The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Growth-Share Matrix is a pivotal tool in strategic business planning. It assists organizations in categorizing their business units or product lines based on market growth and market share. This analysis enables companies to determine where to allocate resources to maximize growth and profitability. Here, we delve into a detailed BCG Matrix analysis of Amazon, one of the world's leading e-commerce giants, and perform a gap analysis against its competitors.

Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos in Seattle, Amazon started as an online bookstore. Over the years, it has transformed into the largest e-commerce marketplace globally, offering a vast array of products including books, music, electronics, clothing, and household items. Beyond retail, Amazon has diversified into digital services with Amazon Web Services (AWS), cloud computing, and streaming services.

Amazon's BCG Matrix

The BCG Matrix categorizes business units into four quadrants based on market share and growth potential: Dogs, Stars, Cash Cows, and Question Marks. This segmentation aids in strategic decision-making regarding investment and divestment.


  • Amazon MP3: Despite initial success, the market for MP3 downloads has dwindled, positioning it firmly in the Dogs category due to insignificant market share and minimal revenue generation.
  • Amazon's Physical Stores: These stores have a negligible market share, accounting for only about 0.015%, making them a resource-draining entity without significant return on investment.
  • Amazon Alexa: Once a dominant player with an 80% market share in 2017, Alexa's market position has weakened due to increased competition, thus classifying it as a Dog.


  • The flagship online store generated $108 billion in revenue in 2017, showcasing high market growth and strong revenue potential, marking it as a Star.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS is a leader in cloud computing with a robust market share. Despite emerging competitors, AWS continues to exhibit high growth potential.

Cash Cows

  • Amazon Kindle and E-Books: The e-books division, powered by Kindle, generates substantial revenue in a mature market, maintaining its status as a Cash Cow.
  • Amazon Prime Video: This service has a significant market share and steady demand, contributing consistent revenue and positioning it as a Cash Cow.

Question Marks

  • Video on Demand: Although currently a Question Mark due to limited market share, the growing demand for streaming services suggests potential for future growth and transition into a Star category.

Competitor Gap Analysis of BCG Matrix

Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  • Strengths: Strong integration with Google’s AI and data analytics tools, growing enterprise adoption.
  • Gaps: AWS has a broader service portfolio and larger market share [1].

Microsoft Azure:

  • Strengths: Robust enterprise relationships, and extensive hybrid cloud capabilities.
  • Gaps: AWS still leads in terms of market share and service variety [2].


  • Strengths: Integrated ecosystem, strong brand loyalty.
  • Gaps: Limited cloud services compared to AWS, lacking in diversified product lines like Amazon’s retail operations [3].


  • Strengths: Leader in streaming services, extensive original content library.
  • Gaps: Lower market share in cloud services compared to AWS, high dependency on content production [4].

Limitations of the BCG Matrix

Limitation 1: Too Simplistic 

Imagine trying to describe your best friend with just one word. Tough, right? The BCG Matrix does something similar. It tries to fit everything into four neat boxes. But just like people, businesses are complex. This simplicity can make us miss out on important details. Think of it as calling every sweet treat just "candy" without realizing the difference between chocolate and jelly beans! 

Limitation 2: Ignores Market Dynamics 

The BCG Matrix doesn't always keep up with how fast things change. Imagine you're playing a game, but the rules change every few minutes! The market can be like that. New trends, customer preferences, and technologies can shift quickly, but the BCG Matrix stays the same. It’s like wearing winter clothes in summer – it just doesn't fit!

Limitation 3: Short-Term Focus 

Do you remember waiting for your favorite show to come back on TV? The BCG Matrix is a bit impatient. It looks at what's happening now and doesn't always think about the long term. It's like planting a seed and expecting a tree the next day! 🌱🌳 Sometimes, good things take time, but the BCG Matrix wants quick results.

Limitation 4: Limited Data 

Have you ever played a guessing game with only a few clues? The BCG Matrix often works with limited data. It focuses on market growth and market share, but there’s so much more to consider! It's like judging a book by its cover – you might miss out on an amazing story inside. 

Limitation 5: Not Future-Proof 

Ever tried predicting the weather? It’s tricky, right? The BCG Matrix isn’t great at predicting the future either. It relies on past and current data, but what about the surprises tomorrow holds? It’s like preparing for a picnic without checking the forecast – you might end up soaked in rain! 

How to Improve Your Analysis

Combine tools! Don’t just stick to one. Mix the BCG Matrix with other models to get a fuller picture. It’s like adding different colors to your painting – it becomes more vibrant and detailed! 🎨

The Role of Innovation and Flexibility

Stay flexible! The business world is like a dance floor – you’ve got to move with the music. Be ready to change your strategies as the market changes. Innovation is your best friend here. Keep an eye on trends and be ready to pivot.

Learning from Past Mistakes

We all make mistakes, and that’s okay! The important part is to learn from them. Study where the BCG Matrix led companies astray and think about how you can avoid those pitfalls. It’s like learning to ride a bike – you might fall, but you get back up and try again. 

FAQs: Answering Your Burning Questions

1. What is the BCG Matrix?

The BCG Matrix is a tool that helps companies decide where to invest their money by sorting their products into four categories: Stars, Cash Cows, Question Marks, and Dogs.

2. Why is the BCG Matrix considered too simplistic?

It tries to fit complex businesses into four neat boxes, which can miss out on important details, just like calling all sweet treats "candy" without distinguishing between chocolate and jelly beans.

3. How does the BCG Matrix ignore market dynamics?

It doesn't keep up with fast-changing trends, customer preferences, and technologies, much like wearing winter clothes in summer – it just doesn't fit the current situation.

4. Why is the BCG Matrix focused on the short-term?

It looks at what's happening now and doesn't always consider the long-term potential of products, similar to expecting a tree to grow from a seed overnight.

5. What can we do to improve our business analysis?

Combine the BCG Matrix with other models, like SWOT Analysis and the Ansoff Matrix, to get a more complete picture. Stay flexible and ready to adapt to changes in the market.

So there you have it! Understanding the limitations of the BCG Matrix can help you use it more effectively and avoid some common pitfalls. Keep exploring, stay curious, and remember to always look at the bigger picture. Happy analyzing! 





Mr. MD Riad Mia
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