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Amazon Go convenience stores: skip the lines

Anthony Furnelli (Westfield State University, Westfield, Massachusetts, USA)

The CASE Journal

ISSN: 1544-9106

Publication date: 29 June 2021

Issue publication date: 24 August 2021

Abstract

Theoretical basis

This compact case study uses the marketing mix (product, price, place and promotion) and customer segmentation/targeting as theoretical platforms for the Amazon Go business concept. It reinforces the idea that these are important aspects in developing a successful marketing strategy especially when they are aligned with the core competencies of a firm. Additional concepts include localization strategy, loyalty and Maslow’s hierarchy. Localization focuses on merchandising and local partnerships. Customer loyalty is discussed in the context of loyalty programs and consumer trust. Maslow’s hierarchy is used as a way to connect the pandemic and safety concerns to the offline retail experience.

Research methodology

This case was developed from secondary sources readily available in the public domain including websites, news articles and social media sites. This case has been taught in undergraduate marketing management courses.

Case overview/synopsis

In 2018, Amazon opened high tech convenience stores across a number of metropolitan cities in the USA offering a checkout-free experience for customers. This case evaluates the marketing aspects of the move including industry structure, store format and customer loyalty. The underlying question is how will Amazon, the company that pioneered online shopping, perform in an offline retail marketplace that is highly competitive? Will Amazon be able to leverage its massive technology power and shake up offline retail? Will changing market forces caused by the pandemic reshape retail as we know it?

Complexity academic level

This case should be used in a marketing management course or a retailing course for undergraduate students. Applicable concepts include competitive advantage, marketing mix, customer loyalty and retailing in a digital world. This case could also be used to discuss or compare the differences between online and offline brand leadership.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Dr Rebecca Morris (Westfield State University) for teaching the compact case study technique through her “hackathon” events.Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.

Citation

Furnelli, A. (2021), "Amazon Go convenience stores: skip the lines", The CASE Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 320-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/TCJ-11-2020-0165

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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