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Afterpay Touch (APT) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Afterpay Touch (Australia)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Afterpay Touch is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – increasing commodity prices, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, technology disruption, there is backlash against globalization, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, wage bills are increasing, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, banking and financial system is disrupted by Bitcoin and other crypto currencies, cloud computing is disrupting traditional business models, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Afterpay Touch


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Afterpay Touch can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Afterpay Touch, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Afterpay Touch operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Afterpay Touch can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Afterpay Touch
2. Improving business portfolio management of Afterpay Touch
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Australia
4. Making a Consumer Financial Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Afterpay Touch




Strengths of Afterpay Touch | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Afterpay Touch are -

Digital Transformation in Consumer Financial Services industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Afterpay Touch digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Afterpay Touch has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Afterpay Touch in Consumer Financial Services industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Training and development

– Afterpay Touch has one of the best training and development program in Financial industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

High brand equity

– Afterpay Touch has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Afterpay Touch to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Strong track record of project management in the Consumer Financial Services industry

– Afterpay Touch is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Afterpay Touch in the Financial sector have low bargaining power. Afterpay Touch has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Afterpay Touch to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Afterpay Touch has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Afterpay Touch comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Consumer Financial Services industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Afterpay Touch has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Consumer Financial Services industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Afterpay Touch have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Afterpay Touch has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Afterpay Touch staying ahead in the Consumer Financial Services industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Afterpay Touch has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Afterpay Touch has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Consumer Financial Services industry

– Afterpay Touch has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Afterpay Touch to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Consumer Financial Services industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Afterpay Touch to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.






Weaknesses of Afterpay Touch | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Afterpay Touch are -

High bargaining power of channel partners in Consumer Financial Services industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Australia, Afterpay Touch is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Consumer Financial Services industry.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Afterpay Touch has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Consumer Financial Services industry over the last five years. Afterpay Touch even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Afterpay Touch has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Consumer Financial Services industry using digital technology.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Afterpay Touch has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Consumer Financial Services industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Afterpay Touch is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Afterpay Touch to provide better information regarding Consumer Financial Services products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Employees’ less understanding of Afterpay Touch strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Afterpay Touch don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.

Interest costs

– Compare to the competition, Afterpay Touch has borrowed money from the capital market at higher rates. It needs to restructure the interest payment and costs so that it can compete better and improve profitability.

Workers concerns about automation

– As automation is fast increasing in the Consumer Financial Services industry, Afterpay Touch needs to come up with a strategy to reduce the workers concern regarding automation. Without a clear strategy, it could lead to disruption and uncertainty within the organization.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Afterpay Touch needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Consumer Financial Services industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Afterpay Touch can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Afterpay Touch is planning to shift buying processes online.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Afterpay Touch is just above the Consumer Financial Services industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Lack of clear differentiation of Afterpay Touch products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Afterpay Touch needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.




Afterpay Touch Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Afterpay Touch are -

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Afterpay Touch has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Consumer Financial Services industry. This can help Afterpay Touch to build a more holistic ecosystem for Afterpay Touch products in the Consumer Financial Services industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Consumer Financial Services industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Afterpay Touch in the Consumer Financial Services industry. Now Afterpay Touch can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Buying journey improvements

– Afterpay Touch can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Consumer Financial Services industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Afterpay Touch has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Consumer Financial Services sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Afterpay Touch to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Afterpay Touch to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Afterpay Touch is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Afterpay Touch can utilize new technology in the field of Consumer Financial Services industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Loyalty marketing

– Afterpay Touch has focused on building a highly responsive customer relationship management platform. This platform is built on in-house data and driven by analytics and artificial intelligence. The customer analytics can help the organization to fine tune its loyalty marketing efforts, increase the wallet share of the organization, reduce wastage on mainstream advertising spending, build better pricing strategies using personalization, etc.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Consumer Financial Services industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Afterpay Touch can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Afterpay Touch can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Afterpay Touch to increase its market reach. Afterpay Touch will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Afterpay Touch in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Consumer Financial Services industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Afterpay Touch can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Afterpay Touch can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Afterpay Touch to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Afterpay Touch to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Consumer Financial Services industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Afterpay Touch can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.




Threats Afterpay Touch External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Afterpay Touch are -

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Afterpay Touch in the Consumer Financial Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Regulatory challenges

– Afterpay Touch needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Consumer Financial Services industry regulations.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Afterpay Touch is facing in Consumer Financial Services sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Environmental challenges

– Afterpay Touch needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Afterpay Touch can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Consumer Financial Services industry.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Afterpay Touch needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Consumer Financial Services industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Afterpay Touch may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Consumer Financial Services sector.

Increasing wage structure of Afterpay Touch

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Afterpay Touch.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Afterpay Touch in Consumer Financial Services industry. The Consumer Financial Services industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Afterpay Touch will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Afterpay Touch demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Consumer Financial Services industry and other sectors.

Capital market disruption

– During the Covid-19, Dow Jones has touched record high. The valuations of a number of companies are way beyond their existing business model potential. This can lead to capital market correction which can put a number of suppliers, collaborators, value chain partners in great financial difficulty. It will directly impact the business of Afterpay Touch.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Afterpay Touch Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Afterpay Touch needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Afterpay Touch is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Afterpay Touch is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Afterpay Touch to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Afterpay Touch needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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