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Executive Summary

The report is a marketing strategy plan of Amazon, one of the top online retailing brands
acknowledged by many people around the world. Amazon.com obsessed with the inspiring
vision statement to be Earths most customer-centric company while the mission of Amazon
which consistent with the vision statement, To leverage technology and the expertise of our
invaluable employees to provide our customer with the best shopping experience on the
Internet (Vladimir, 2010). Successfully positioning as a Glocal (Go global Act local) ecommerce giant, Amazon has become a reliable company where one can purchase anything
and get it shipped to any distant locations. Going beyond the US market, Amazon currently
has its subsidiaries in different countries such as Europe, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, and
India. Currently, Amazon is chasing the chance of fostering its business in China because it
has invested a huge amount of money in this market. Besides, the company is also aware of
the potential development of entering the new market in Vietnam due to its rapid growth of
economy and Internet users in Southeast Asia area. As a result, the report will offer an
objective evaluation of both opportunities, thus focus on the one appropriated with Amazons
SCA, strengths and capabilities.
According to the previous marketing audit, Amazon has applied successfully two integrated
generic strategies including innovation and relationship strategies over two decades.
Notwithstanding, the firm currently perceives the more essential of relationship generic
strategy over time while developing its brand to increase the recognition of customers toward
Amazon, thus brand strategy eventually becomes a strong feature as well. To entering
Vietnam market, the company should use the combo branding-channel generic
strategies with the major branding strategy. The fundamental of the
branding strategy is the spread of branding in every facet of the company
including its advertising (Cravens et al, 2000). Meanwhile, the nature of
channel/relationship strategy concentrates on the control of distribution
channels like suppliers and customers as the essence of the companys
marketing strategy.
Standing at the number one in the US market as the leader of the online
retailing company, Amazon will become a challenger in Vietnam if it
decides to enter this new market. Therefore, branding strategy is the
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domination in the combo branding-channel strategies because the


company needs to position in the minds of targeted customers as the
leader of innovation of product as well as excellent customer service. Furthermore,
Amazon can establish relationships with its stakeholders through channel strategy to obtain
an advantage cost in delivering and trading goods, thus Amazon customers can buy low-price
and high-quality products. Even high appreciated in several attributes including customer
services, innovation, and branding, the company still have to improve features comprising
reliability, price and ordering, packing & delivering process to catch up with local entrants.
The company has adequate inherent capacities including good leadership, strong R&D
investment, and marketing resources to utilize the combo brandingchannel strategies for developing in the Vietnamese market.
Regarding to Promotion in the marketing mix of the project, the company can take advantage
of social media in stimulating its brand. Amazon should generate new mobile purchase app as
well as a website that fit with locally targeted market and the quality of network system. In
addition, using Danbo (Amazon brand mascot) could be a creative way to strengthen brand
image and brand personality of the firm. When it comes to Place/distribution, Amazon can
use new shipping method to compete with its competitors and to ensure the quality of
delivery in rural areas as well as big cities. To assist this objective, the company can apply
alliance strategy to co-operate with suppliers and delivery companies, thus both sides can
achieve a win-win situation. Among broad product line provided to Vietnamese customers,
Amazon should focus on new Kindle version for children and young customers with special
features. Meanwhile, the firm may offer different online payment methods with strong
benefits to gradually affect the habit of customers in using COD payment in online shopping.
It should be acknowledged that implementation part is equally essential to
strategy formulation as both have influences on the successful of a
company. It should be acknowledged that many companies even have
really a good marketing plan but fail in apply the plan in a real situation.
As a result, the implementation process of Amazon will have four stages
including emphasizing the essence and objectives, allocation of resources,
management the process, monitor and keeping everything on track.
Special features that are beneficial for Amazon over rivals will include a
sense of urgency in every stage of the implementation process and the
2

employee value proposition associated with the company culture.


Therefore, the company can allow all stakeholders engage in the project
plan from the early stage and work more efficiently. Whilst, Amazon
employees will have chances to be creative and more empowered in
challenging working environment, which permeates the company culture.

Table of Contents
Executive Summary 1
1. Opportunities times two 1
2. Justification

3. Holistic and snake positioning

4. SCA and value proposition

5. Capabilities

6. Marketing Mix

7. Four stages of implementation

8. Two special features of implementation 11


9. Quality of integration throughout the strategy 11
References

12

1.

Opportunities times two


2. First of all, Amazon might expand current market share in China by utilizing two low-cost
and channel generic strategies with the major channel strategy. According to Faraz (2016),
Amazon China is recently likely to offer air-delivery services through Prime-Air for saving
costs, simultaneously leveraging its presence in the countryside that lacks proper
infrastructure. To gain more profits in the intense competitive e-commerce market of China,
Amazon could implement alliance management strategy to develop a logistic business which
also assists Amazon in exporting goods to the US as well as distributing goods from US
factories (Faraz, 2016).
3. Secondly, Amazon can enter a new internationally market with its current products in
Vietnam where has a high potential for growth of B2C E-Commerce and the fastest
increasing

middle

and

affluent

class

in

the

South

East

Asia

area

(CompaniesandMarkets.com, 2014). Instead of offering the broad categories of all


products at the same time, it will be better for Amazon to focus on its core product first such
as books, e-books, Kindle and technology stuff with new methods of order and shipping that
suitable to local cultural and development situation. This opportunity could be practically
implemented by using branding-channel generic strategy (the dominant branding strategy)
with a new mobile purchase platform.
4.

5.

Justification
6. Chinese market is considered as one of the lucrative markets for all
companies from Western countries including Amazon, yet the highly intense
competition many times stops Amazon in the increase of market share.
Alibaba's Tmall and JD.com occupy the large market share of China ecommerce, at 58 percentage and 20 percentage respectively, while
Amazon just holds a mere market share of

1.1 proportion in the first

quarter of 2015 (Wang, 2015). Even though, Amazon has recently started
advertising itself more aggressively in China through launching a store in

Tmall to sell more foreign electronics, pursuing the chance to become a


huge player is in cross-border e-commerce.
7. Meanwhile, Vietnam is one of Asia countries offering favourable conditions in policy,
transparency and financial sector regulation for international e-commerce companies,
encouraging those companies to bring its highly-demanded products and e-commerce
ecosystem to the country (Kaylene, 2014). Compared with other countries in Southeast
Asia area, Vietnam has the largest online audience with the constantly growing rate of
Internet users, thus Vietnamese are now strongly associated with social media and online
shopping via mobile devices. Moreover, the locals are also aware of the high quality of
Amazon products such as Kindle and started ordering goods since 7 years ago through third
parties. With all evidence mentioned above, it could be a pity if Amazon missed an
opportunity of entering Vietnamese market after a long time being patient.

8.
9.

10. Holistic and snake positioning


11. According to Amazons mission statement, the essence of Amazon is market orientation
which all the customers needs and wants are the starting point for Amazon to generate value,
underlining customer obsession rather than competitor focus (Urde et al, 2013). Amazon.com
is well-known all over the world as the leader in innovation of product as well as excellent
customer service. In particular, Amazon has invested a huge part of its budget on developing
the website where customers could easily access, leaving feedbacks and reviews for products.
Understanding the need of reading unlimited books, Amazon is the first company in the
world releasing Kindle - a great e-book device. Whilst, Amazon has strengthened the current
relationship with its partners to achieve an advantage cost in delivering and trading goods,
thus Amazon shoppers can purchase products with the best quality but the lower price at the
same time.
12. Standing at the number one in the US, yet Amazon will be a challenger in Vietnam market
because it comes later. According to The Economist (2015), Lazada online retailer from
Germany has developed in six Southeast Asian countries since it established in 2012, largely
undisputed by online retailing giants such as Alibaba and Amazon. Another famous name in
B2C e-commerce in Vietnam is Tiki a domestic company which initially focus on selling
books and e-books. According to DI Marketing (2015), Lazada and Tiki are respectively the
first and the second e-commerce company gaining high customer satisfaction of products and
service in Vietnam. Even the competition between on-line retailers in Vietnamese market
recently is not so aggressively, things could totally change after few years. Therefore, this is
an urgent moment for Amazon to take a chance of entering Vietnamese e-commerce market
before other international e-commerce companies recognize the opportunity.
13. In the case of Vietnam, a branding-channel combo generic strategy could be the most rational
approach for Amazon to pursue with the major branding strategy. To support this generic
strategies, Amazon might use a follower strategy like leapfrogging the leader market with
utmost product technology, product quality and customer service (Walker et al, 2009).
Beside, alliance strategy can also help Amazon expand its products in the new market as well
as strengthen channel/relationship strategy.

14.

Snake diagram for Amazon, Tiki and Lazada


10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

Amazon

Tiki

Lazada

15. The diagram above reveals that Amazon is rank highest for customer service, innovation and
branding attributes. Amazon has built strongly customer relationship through customer
service and invested on technology to leverage their in-house products for meeting
customers expectation. Meanwhile, Vietnamese people could recognize Amazon through the
logo from A to Z and lovely Danbo (Amazon box robot) as brand mascots. However, those
attribute that Amazon does not achieve high score include reliability, price, and ordering,
packing & delivering process. Due to late entering into Vietnamese market, it will take time
for Amazon to catch up with two competitors and gain attention from customers. Besides, the
diagram also shows three remaining attributes of Amazon including variety, trust, and price.

16.

17. SCA and value proposition


18.

First of all, the customer relationship is the most prior sustainable

competitive advantage of Amazon which has made its reputation in the


world. Compared with two rivals considered as clones of Amazon, the
company could maintain and even constantly improve the excellent
customer services in every country having its branch. In particular, the
company has different customer channel comprising telephone, e-mail,
and chat to address all inquiries and complaints immediately. Amazon also
offers a convenient interface to customers for registering their complaint
and leaving feedback on products and packing.
19. Secondly, the company continuingly stimulate itself to be innovative
through creating a new design of Kindle as well as improve its web
technology. It is noteworthy that neither Tiki nor Lazada have its own inhouse products like Amazon, therefore Kindle e-reader innovation could
be a unique advantage to compete with two rivals and assist Amazon in
establishing its position in the Vietnamese market. Besides, Amazon website
has been designed to help customers effectively access millions of unique products.
20.

Finally, branding strategy is now becoming another competitive

advantage of Amazon over two decades successfully working in the ecommerce industry. Even reaching a high level of awareness, Amazon just
has a limited ad budget. Instead of trying to buy love, it obtains from the
customer-centric orientation and the word-of-mouth it generates. The
brand was built up through smart inventiveness like its Frustration-Free
Packaging created as the replacement for old non-environment friendly
plastic models (Murphy, 2010). According to Jeff Bezos, Amazon made the
brand promise of taking care of their customer for starters and delivers on
those promises (Apparel, 2006).

21.

To gain trust and consistently retain existing customers over the world,

Amazon has several long-term strategies like Amazon Prime annual


subscription saving schemes for loyal customers and personalized page
which

tracks

previous

purchase

behaviour

and

applying

modern

technology to suggest recommendations (Nikhil, 2011). With a huge


network of fulfilment centres across the world, Amazon could provide
customers with wide range of products and fast & quality delivery service
(Trefis, 2015). In short, the value proposition of Amazon in Vietnam is Amazon is the ecommerce company that provides the best selective products with saving 50% shipping fee
and convenient services for Vietnamese families and young customers.
22.

23. Capabilities
24.

First of all, the CEO Jeff Bezos having a good leadership style inspires

talented workforce and maintains the strength of customer-centric,


together they create the unique culture of endurance and excellence. It is
true that working in Amazon is not easy as each employee has to push
themselves as far as they can to achieve high expectation of customers.
However, it could partly explain why the organization has maintained
efficiency operation through HR management and staff development
environment.
25.

Secondly, Amazon has kept invested in R&D department to handle with

a mass amount of data retrieved from its webpage, eventually supporting


Amazon strength of Kindle and IT system innovation. In addition, Amazon
has its Creative service teams with top technological experts in different
countries working hard to understand what targeted customers want and
expect. According to Amazon.jobs (2016), Creative service teams
concentrate on responding to the unique needs of each business, its
customers and the products it sells.

26.

Finally, the company attains great marketing resource to assist its

brand equity. In particular, customer-liking capability based on tactic


knowledge and interpersonal skills of Amazon staff is inherently difficult
for rivals to copy (Hooley et al, 2005). Interpersonal skills of Amazon staff
could see through the way they use email marketing or friendly answer
customers feedbacks for leveraging customer experience. Furthermore,
the reputation and credibility of the company among its stakeholders like
distributors and suppliers also strongly facilitate its brand equity.
27.

28. Marketing Mix


29. Promotion
30.

Amazons brand personality will be developed as friendly and helpful while the brand

image will be timely delivery and remaining quality of products in all areas. First of all,
along with building its website in Vietnamese, Amazon should utilize Amazon mobile app
that is easy-to-use and has a modern interface to reach Vietnamese families and young
customers. Secondly, Amazon should realize the importance of popular social networks in
Vietnam such as Facebook and Instargram to reach wider targeted customer. For example,
when introducing new Kindle version, it may post videos, pictures and do
real customer experiences campaign in Facebook which attracts more
people talking about the brand. Finally, Amazon can use its famous brand
mascot (Danbo) to create limited gifts for lucky customers sharing, writing
comments about Amazon in Facebook. Adorable friendly Danbo can appear
in big events related to books and technology devices that Amazon will be
the sponsor, resulting in an increase in brand awareness of the company.
Amazon also can do mobile marketing strongly associated with online
social media through creating a mobile game app for children and young
customers, using hashtag #BestDelivery and Danbo as the main
character. It is a fact that no online retailing companies did gaming

marketing in Vietnam before, thus the new game app could receive
positive feedbacks and help Amazon teach new behaviours and drive
brand loyalty.

31.

32. Place/ Distribution


33.

Approximately two-thirds of online retailing websites in Vietnam

including Lazada and Tiki have received many complaints from buyers
regarding to delivery times and customer services (YStats, 2015).
Therefore, Amazon as a follower can take advantage of the pioneers
mistake by improving Vietnamese online shopping experience (Walker et
al, 2009). Firstly, the company may apply new shipping method such as 3hour delivery in metropolitan areas and 2-day delivery in rural areas.
Meanwhile, Amazon can collaborate with most reliable partners like DHL
or ViettelPost to ensure timely delivery process. Secondly, Amazon
Vietnam can initially co-operate with Amazon China to deliver goods from

nearest fulfilment centres in China to Vietnam while building two big


fulfilment centres in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh cities. After that, the system
of fulfilment and customer services centres need to ensure the quality of
delivering and products in rural areas maintained the same as big
metropolitans. Finally, the company can also use alliance strategy with
resellers and suppliers to develop their products and service offering, for
example, Kindle e-readers and foreign books can be put in credibility
bookstores like Fahasa for introducing to customers.
34.

35.

Product

36. Among those, books/e-books, Kindles e-readers will be developed as core products in the
new market. First of all, Amazon can conduct some researches before designing a new
version of Kindle to make sure that it will fit with local cultural. The change in design can
emphasize on special features such as accessible to Kindle program without Wifi, supporting.
Secondly, the targeted market of Kindle in Vietnam will be young customers and families,
thus designs of an eye-protect screen for children and enduring protected case could be put
into consideration. To compete with Tiki also offering e-books, Amazon can invest in
technology to make sure that audiences can access and purchase items faster than Tiki
currently do.

37. Price
38. YStats (2015) emphasize that cash on delivery (COD) is by far the major
payment method, yet online payment or card payment is better now because of high
urbanization rate, youth population and increasing income. Amazon should initially offer
COD payment methods but gradually drive customers to use online payment methods
through showing them its clear benefits. The company may co-operate with big local banks
to compete with Tiki and Lazada, discounting 30% for customers using online payment
method. Furthermore, Amazon can provide saving 50% shipping fee program for loyal
customers or free shipping for them on big discount occasions while maintaining the quality
of its website, which Lazada obviously cannot do currently.
39.

40. Four stages of implementation


41. In the first stage, Amazon has to concentrate on the biggest goal to achieve the second place
in the online retailing market after one year entering Vietnam, gaining approximately 25% of
total market share and profit of $5 million. Likewise, the essence of the company is to offer
customer selective high-quality products with fast delivery and better customer services. The
company helps customers recognize their needs, thus creates urgency and increases the
prospect that Vietnamese customers will buy Amazons products. Therefore, the firm has
several priorities including doing research market and new products, building up fulfilment

centres, recruiting & training local employees, quickly establishing relationships with key
stakeholders, improving the mobile platform and website in the new market.
42. In the following stage, the company needs to promptly allocate adequate and sufficient
resources to enable the marketing strategy plan to work efficiently. The main advantages of
Vietnamese market for all foreign companies are cheap abundant workforce and help from
the government with great strides in policy. However, Vietnamese workers need to be trained
and intensely pushed through different challenges to keep up with the competition and offer
better service for customers. Furthermore, Amazon in the US could send senior managers to
help build the team. Another necessary resource will be IT support through co-operating with
technological experts of Amazon Japan and Amazon USA to come up with ideas of new
Kindle, mobile purchase platform & website and Danbo game app. Recruiting young talents
from local technological universities could be put into consideration as they are quite creative
and know targeted markets needs. Based on the importance of different departments, the
company will spend major its budget on R&D department and HR department.
43. In the third stage, Amazon Vietnam will focus on how to manage the implementation of
marketing plan through assigning tasks for each department with explicit responsibilities and
timeline.

44.

Gantt Chart For Managing Stage


Analyze current market and main rivals
Start survey targeted customers
Research for new product
Recruiting & Training local staff
Establish relationship with stakeholders
Generate website & mobile apps
Running new campaign
Feedback from customers
Staff climate survey
0

10

HR department

R&D department

PR department

Marketing & Sales department

12

14

16

18

45. The company needs to identify all possible internal and external stakeholders who can assist
the company in effectively putting the marketing strategy plan into action. It will be better if
Amazon allows key stakeholders involve early in the project through communication to be
aware of their expectation, thus devise corporate objectives and goals. For example,
Amazons customers can enjoy innovative products with better services while Amazon will
bring more job opportunities for local people, eventually stimulating economic growth and
technology development of the community. Likewise, Amazon employees in Vietnam will
have chances to work in challenging environment and, thus enrich their career experience.
Besides, the company culture and sense of team spirit should spread to every staff to
encourage them to be creative when working in self-managing teams.

46.

In the final stage, the company ought to come up with KPI measures and information

systems due to the prerequisite of monitoring the progress and keeping everything on track.
In particular, long-term financial metrics will include profit and costs analysis
associated with particular marketing activities; expense and budget
comparison (Ted, 2015). Other non-financial KPIs could be customer and
employee satisfactions which can give Amazon an initial caution of
upcoming issues and opportunities. Those KPIs could totally carry out by
surveys, face-to-face approach, asking customers when they recommend
Amazon to others, and feedback process for employees. Furthermore, the
company can design the tracking system to oversee all metrics on a
weekly or monthly basis, resulting in usable and timely feedback data on
actual performance.

47.
48. Two special features of implementation
49.

Special attributes that are beneficial for Amazon compared to

competitors will comprise a sense of urgency in every stage of the


implementation process and the employee value proposition associated
with the company culture. Firstly, members in all departments know about
Amazon priority of customer-centric as well as the detailed plan from the
beginning. Furthermore, the managers will frequently communicate with
stakeholders both good and bad news, thus fix the problems together.
Injecting a spirit of urgency into the team could help Amazon increase
operation efficiency as people will make decisions quickly and moving
ideas along. Secondly, Amazon provides staff with a good standard of EVP
including rewards, opportunity, health insurance and career development
to attract new employees and keep old ones. In Amazon, all ideas and
feedbacks from employees are taken into account to improve the current
situation.

50.

51. Quality of integration throughout the strategy


52.

The marketing strategy plan is generated based on the in-depth

understanding of the current market in Vietnam. The local people are


looking for high-quality products and better services which Amazon with
its inherent SCA could definitely provide, thus the opportunity to enter
Vietnamese market is quite significant. As a result, the marketing mix that
aligned with Amazons capabilities is created, based on targeted
customers perspective and what two rivals are currently doing. Finally,
the implementation process is build up to ensure that everything is under
control.

53.
54.