Midterm blog-post!

Midterm test for Creativity and Innovation!

1. Choose one of the top 10 most innovative Companies attached.

2. Show and explain the innovation of the company those on
a) technology
b) process
c) the product / service
d) business model

3. Make suggestions or predictions of future innovations to the company concerned.

1. Choose Company: Amazon.com

Amazon.com is an American multinational electronic commerce company with headquarters in United States. It is the world’s largest online retailer. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably the Amazon Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer—and is a major provider of cloud computing services.

The company began as an online bookstore but soon diversified to selling DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. While the largest brick-and-mortar bookstores and mail-order catalogs might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could sell far more. Bezos wanted a name for his company that began with “A” so that it would appear early in alphabetic order. He began looking through the dictionary and settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different” and it was the river he considered the biggest in the world, as he hoped his company would be. Since 2000, Amazon’s logotype is an arrow leading from A to Z, representing that they carry every product from A to Z.

2. Show and explain the innovation of the company those on

a) technology

As mentioned before amazon.com is the world’s largest online retailer in the world. It has several offices, fulfillment centers, customer service centers and software development centers all across North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The website attracted 615 million visitors annually by 2008, twice as much as walmart.com.

Amazon.com is cooperating with third-party sellers. 40% of it sales are coming from affiliate marketing which is called ‘Amazon Association’. By using Affiliate Marketing commissions were paid to the association for referring customers to Amazon via links on their websites. Over 900 000 members are in affiliate programs. The main advantage of Amazon is a homogeneous payment system contrary to eBay for example.

The Amazon catalog can directly be access via Amazon Web Services (AWS) XML service. Also targeting is a common tool used by Amazon. Hereby Amazon is able to remember pages the customer visit before and show single products and services in your email account. So the customers will be reminded what products they searched before and the likelihood of a purchase is increased.

Products sold by Amazon are ranked via Amazon sales rank by their popularity. The relative indicator of popularity is updated every hour. It is to mention that the Amazon sales rank has no direct influence on the sale of products, but it helps Amazon list the most popular products in their best sellers list. Thereby an increase of sell of those products is possible because they have an additional exposure on the Amazon website.

b) process

The process at Amazon is characterized by making everything as easy as possible for the customer. When you enter Amazon’s website you can choose one of its categories to find you required product or just by using the “google” type search function, which means that finding a product is extremely easy and fast. After you have chosen your product or products you can check your current amount of products in the shopping cart, where you can also proceed on paying your purchases. All the steps for paying are provided  with tips, which means that the whole process is rather easy for even a new customer!

Amazon also includes the possibility to rate the whole process e.g. services, products and even suppliers. This is a good function because then customers themselves make the service better and quicker for everyone!

Another good feature is called ‘search inside the box’ where customers can look up for keywords in many complete books and e-books. To secure the copyrights of authors Amazon does not return the computer-readable texts of books but pictures of the page. Therefore its quite hard to print the whole book by using the keyword function.

c) the product / service

Amazon started as an online bookstore and by now the products offered via Amazon are countless. A few examples of sold procuts are for example the following: books, music CDs, videotapes and DVDs, software, consumer electronics, kitchen items, tools, lawn and garden items, toys & games, baby products, apparel, sporting goods, gourmet food, jewelry, watches, health and personal-care items, beauty products, musical instruments, clothing, industrial & scientific supplies, and groceries.

d) business model

Amazon’s business plan was very unusual and the company did not expect a profit for four to five years. The growth was not fast enough and stockholders complained. But when the dot.com bubble burst, many e-companies went out of business while Amazon survived and started to prosper. Consequently Amazon received its first profit in 2001 ($5 million).


 

This revenue showed that the business model was profitable, although it was modest. The model itself was based on a multi level e-commerce strategy. It started with a Business-to-Customer relationship and Business-to-Business strategy. Later on it moved to incorporate Customer-to- Business transactions. Very special is that Amazon lets almost everybody to sell almost everything by their platform. Even other e-commerce companies use Amazon to retail their products. Smaller suppliers are able to offer their goods at fixed prices.

3. Make suggestions or predictions of future innovations to the company concerned.

 

A possible scenario is that the Amazon Appstore will become the biggest provider of Android tablet apps. This is an possible result from the Kindle Fire’s unprecedented grab of the Android tablet market share, something no other Android tablet has been able to do. Basically, if you’re an Android developer, you’ll want to be on the Kindle Fire, and that means you have to prioritize the Appstore over the Android Market.

This is unfortunate for Google, which has invested much time and effort into optimizing Android for tablets with its “Honeycomb,” “Ice Cream Sandwich” versions. The Kindle Fire runs Android 2.3 “Gingerbread,” although Amazon’s tweaked it to look nothing like other Android interfaces. With the red-hot Fire, though, Amazon will have a lot of influence among consumers and developers, and its mutant ecosystem is on track to become the market leader among Android tablets.

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