Strategic Planning Tools Amazon use of SWOT TOWS

Strategic Planning Tools Amazon use of SWOT TOWS

Highlights by David Willden

Amazon conducted an internal appraisal of itself, and an external appraisal of threats and opportunities.

To review Amazon’s methodology, visit:

From both of these exercises, Amazon summarized its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the matrix below.

TOWS Matrix

Amazon used the TOWS matrix to help it look at options, and to ultimately identify high leverage strategies. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are looked at in a more systematic way than in a typical SWOT analysis. A TOWS analysis helps one to focus on: leveraging strengths, avoiding weaknesses, make the most of opportunities, and manage threats.

Sources: Deepan's Private Network

For each of the inner four portions of the table (e.g. SO, ST, WO, WT), Amazon asked the following questions:

Strengths and Opportunities (SO): How can we best employ our strengths to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us?

Strengths and Threats (ST): How can we use our strengths to avoid threats?

Weaknesses and Opportunities (WO): How can we use opportunities to overcome the weaknesses?

Weaknesses and Threats (WT) – How can we minimize our weaknesses and manage the threats?

Strategic Planning Tools Amazon use of SWOT TOWS