Amazon… and On and On

A recent report issued by Forrester Research Inc. indicates that Web darling Amazon is at a critical crossroads.

As the company continues to work to expand its retailing, shopping portal and technology platform businesses, more than $8 billion is at stake, the report says. Among the company’s challenges? “It has become cluttered and commoditized on the consumer side, putting it fourth in overall quality of operation among leading retail sites. And, on the business side of providing its e-commerce platform to other retailers, Amazon has irked some of its customers due to inflexible negotiations, weak execution and disappointing sales.”

Forrester suggests that Amazon focus on its core competency: selling merchandise. To do so, the company should concentrate on its repeat customers and scale back its technology platform business. Keep in mind, however, that in 1997, Forrester predicted that Amazon would soon build brick-and-mortar stores.