How has Amazon used data to enhance: (1) their profits, and (2) the customer experiences? Justify your answer with examples. Also discuss the role of machine learning in enhancing profits and improving the customer experience.

Scenario

You have been provided with a case study on Amazon (which can be found in your Assignment 2 resources on Canvas). In this case it is described how Amazon has been one of the most successful companies in the world. A main point in the case is that Amazon has been using data to further enhance their profits. Further details that are relevant for your tasks, which are outlined below, can be derived from the case.


Your tasks

With respect to the Amazon case, you are to write a short market research report to answer the following questions:

  1. How has Amazon used data to enhance: (1) their profits, and (2) the customer experiences? Justify your answer with examples. Also discuss the role of machine learning in enhancing profits and improving the customer experience.
  2. The world has been affected by the covid-19 pandemic and some of the changes that have occurred may be lasting. Amazon’s sales have increased dramatically during the pandemic, due to the closure of stores. Explain whether the pandemic will have long-term effects on the sales of Amazon in a post-covid-19 world.

You are also required to collect at least one piece of secondary research to support your arguments in Task 1 and/or Task 2.

Structure

Below is a suggested structure:

  • Page 1: Title page with course code (MKTG 202), a descriptive, interesting title of your report, submission date of your assignment, your full name, your student ID.
  • Page 2: Table of contents.
  • Pages 3 – 5: This is where the page limit starts (maximum of 3 pages):
  • Page 3: Executive summary (half a page).
  • Page 3/4: Background: setting the scene for the reader. You can extract the background information from the case provided to you.
  • Page 4/5: Findings:  addressing the questions in “Your Task”.
  • Page 5: Conclusions: concluding the main findings of your investigation.
  • Appendices (on a new page).  Appendices may contain any supplementary material relating to your report which doesn’t fit into your page limit, such as references, further supporting material etc. Remember to ensure that key findings/important material is included in the body of your report rather than putting everything in the appendices. Also, ensure that you refer the reader to the relevant appendices in the main body of your report.
  • References (on a new page).



Length

Up to three pages for the ‘body’ of your report (i.e. from background to recommendations, excluding title page, table of contents, references and appendices). Material beyond three pages of ‘body’ will not be read.

Marking criteria

See the rubric on p.3 for the marking criteria.

Tips
  1. Do not contact any companies/organisations relating to this case study as they would be overrun by enquiries.
  2. Review your report using the criteria in this hand-out as a checklist.
  3. Think of the reader (assume that this is written for managers, rather than an academic piece of writing) and write your report with them in mind.
  4. Signpost clearly (make good use of headings, white space, etc.)
  5. Spell check
  6. Cut down on long words (use simple, easy to read but appropriate language).
  7. Make your document look professional by using page numbers, table of contents, headings, headers and/or footers. You can do all these very easily with Microsoft Word. If you don’t know how, use the Help function in Word.
  8. Allow time between drafts – NEVER hand in your first draft. Do consider giving your final draft to somebody else to review.
Feedback Sheet 
CriteriaRatingPts.
Executive summary10.0 to >8.0 Pts Advanced Flawless/near flawless presentation of a summary. Relevant information has been fully synthesised and prioritised; links to case/research are clear.8.0 to >6.5 Pts Proficient Proficient presentation but may be lacking some information. Relevant information has been synthesised where there are some links to case/research.6.5 to >4.5 Pts Basic Basic presentation, just meeting expectations. Relevant information has been somewhat synthesised where there may some unclear links to case/research.4.5 to >0 Pts Very Poor Poor presentation, not meeting expectations. Relevant information has not been prioritised and/or synthesised where there is no links to case/research.10.0  
Task 1  25.0 to >21.0  Pts Advanced Identified clearly and flawlessly how data and machine learning are used by Amazon for enhancing customer experience and their profits. Displays a clear understanding of machine learning and big data.21.0 to >15.0  Pts Proficient Identified clearly how data and machine learning are used by Amazon for enhancing customer experience and their profits. Displays some understanding of machine learning and big data.15.0 to >10.0  Pts Advanced Identified how data and machine learning are used by Amazon for enhancing customer experience and their profits.10.0 to >0 Pts Advanced Tentative identification of how data and machine learning are used by Amazon for enhancing customer experience and their profits.25.0
Task 2  25.0 to >21.0  Pts Advanced Explained clearly whether Amazon’s sales will structurally change in the post-Covid-19 world and used secondary data to support the argumentation.21.0 to >15.0  Pts Proficient Provided a clear explanation about whether Amazon’s sales will structurally change in the post-Covid-19 world or provided a reasonable explanation that is supported by data.15.0 to >10.0  Pts Advanced Provided a reasonable explanation about whether Amazon’s sales will structurally change in the post-Covid-19 world10.0 to >0 Pts Advanced Tentative explanation about whether Amazon’s sales will structurally change in the post-Covid-19 world25.0
Quality of secondary research (e.g. ability to answer questions, reliability of source) and APA-style referencing (including citations)20.0 to >16.0 Pts Advanced Top quality secondary research, good breadth and depth. Secondary sources are analysed in a thematic way, not just listed. Flawless reference list.  16.0 to >13.0 Pts Proficient Quality secondary research, good breadth and depth. Secondary sources are properly just listed. Near flawless APA-style citations, quotations and references.  13.0 to >9.0 Pts Basic Secondary research could be improved. Quality of secondary research is somewhat basic and has flaws. APA-style citations, quotations and references have mistakes/are inconsistent and are/or are possibly missing.9.0 to >0 Pts Very Poor Secondary research is very basic/non-existent, findings are largely irrelevant No/very tentative relationship between problems/questions and findings. No or minimal attempt to use formal referencing.20.0
Presentation20.0 to >16.0 Pts Advanced Flawless/near flawless presentation and language, professional in both regards. Discussion flows seamlessly. Great use of relevant, well designed infographics to represent data, reflecting written content.  16.0 to >13.0 Pts Proficient Proficient presentation and/or language skills. Mostly logical flow. Some use of relevant infographics to represent data, mostly reflecting written content.  13.0 to >9.0 Pts Basic Basic/expected presentation and/or language skills with some logical flow. Minimal use of infographics to represent data, not adequately reflecting written content.  9.0 to >0 Pts Very Poor Document looks very unprofessional. Poor command of language. Difficult to understand and read. No or very little logical flow. No use of infographics to represent data.  20.0
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