The Amazon Effect: Can Amazon disrupt the print industry?
The print industry can learn from Amazon’s unparalleled focus on customer centricity and its leadership in technology markets beyond the online marketplace.
Amazon’s announcement, on 2nd February 2021, that its founder Jeff Bezos will pass the reins to AWS CEO Andy Jassy, came in conjunction with reporting record quarterly revenues of more than $100 billion.
Amazon seems unstoppable, the driving force being AWS, the pioneer in cloud computing and its most profitable business.
As Bezos stated, “Amazon is where it is due to invention…..Amazon couldn’t be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish.”
Learning from the master disruptor
Amazon is undeniably the great disruptor. No other global organisation has created the level of continual market disruption that Amazon has achieved. From its beginnings as an online bookstore, taking on publishers and booksellers around the world, the online behemoth posted £386 billion in sales for 2020. Amazon continues to disrupt industry after industry. Its global scale, relentless obsession with customer centricity and innovation has led it to become one of the big four technology companies. Beyond rapidly scaling its online marketplace, Amazon continues to innovate in markets such as media streaming, cloud, IoT and the smart home.
Print manufacturers and their partners need to step up their game to remain relevant in the Amazon era. This means learning from Amazon’s focus on customer centricity and developing disruptive business models in the subscription and marketplace economy.
At its core, Amazon is a technology company – its biggest source of operating profit is its cloud computing business – Amazon Web Services (AWS). Launched in 2006, AWS ushered in the cloud era. As well as powering the building blocks of the internet through its hosting of websites, applications and services, Amazon is also at the forefront of new initiatives, such as AI and machine learning, IoT, augmented reality (AR) and quantum computing. AWS is said to provide a platform for more than a million companies around the world – its biggest customers include Netflix and Apple. Today the AWS marketplace includes more than 8,000 AWS-compatible software listings sold by 2,000-plus Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and Systems Integrators (SIs).
Differentiating to thrive in the Amazon era means print industry players should look to capitalise on a range of opportunities. This includes partnering with Amazon in technology sectors (Cloud, IoT, Smart Connected Home and Office), replicating the Amazon experience by harnessing the power of customer analytics and excelling in areas that deliver value such as professional services through online B2B marketplaces.
About the report
Quocirca’s “The Amazon Effect” Executive Briefing examines the disruptive effect that Amazon has had on a range of industries – Cloud, IoT, Edge Computing, Smart home and office and Print on Demand. The report looks at some of these areas in-depth and provides some recommendations for the print industry in relation to:
- AWS Cloud and Professional Services. Leveraging AWS Cloud and IoT as a platform for interoperability in the wider smart connected IoT space.
- “Alexa print my shopping list”. Will voice assistant integration help boost printing and scanning in the smart connected home?
- Amazon Business. Set to break $53 Billion revenue by 2023, is Amazon Business a threat or opportunity for the traditional channel?
- Vertical B2B online marketplaces. Embracing the marketplace model to create a vertical marketplace that goes beyond a transactional platform to encompass a services and solutions ecosystem.
- Cloud Print services. Strategies and opportunities to address remote worker printing needs.
- Analytics. Opportunities for harnessing the power of predictive customer analytics.
The phenomenal growth of Amazon shows no signs of slowing down and ultimately every print manufacturer and channel partner should have a clear vision on what role Amazon plays in the future of their business.
With Andy Jassy at the helm, Amazon is showing it is serious about the enterprise market. Amazon is undoubtedly set to reinforce its position as a leading technology innovator and drive further market disruption.
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