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Consumer Engagement – Unavoidable Amazon

Consumer Engagement – Unavoidable Amazon

There are plenty of brands out there that suffer financially because of consumer perception backlash after a legal or ethical scandal. Amazon however, doesn’t appear to be one of them. Amazon not only makes it possible to find and buy just a about anything you need at a reasonable price– but they can get it to you in sometimes as soon as 1 day. Including a Sunday– for free. As a consumer, it makes it difficult to boycott a brand that makes your life this much easier.

As the owner of a small business that sells apparel, I get frustrated with Amazon for the fact that it is now utilizing influencers to sell apparel. It undercuts my business and all the work we put in. Amazon is a lot like the Wild West to those who sell on there. I have heard of Chinese knockoff companies limiting the real products and when consumers purchase and upset with the quality– they blame the original creator of the products, not the knockoff company because the average consumer can’t tell the difference.

Amazon has been in hot water for the way it treats both their blue collar and white collar workers. Warehouse employees are often exploited and considered “temporary” so that they are not eligible for healthcare and paid wages well below the average for their positions (Willow, 2019). White collar workers are also known to be under incredible amounts of stress and have to put up with an incredible toxic company culture (Willow, 2019).

Amazon has also been known to avoid paying taxes. From the early days of the online sales loophole of not having established Nexus in the states they serve, to avoiding paying taxes on revenue due to funneling their money through holdings (E.C. 2019) and reinvesting in the company to count as a loss (Willow, 2019).

As a consumer and a business owner, I know all these things and yet, I still shop frequently enough for Prime to be worth it and buy my business supplies from them. But, I’m not alone. Even though consumers are generally aware of Amazon’s long list of ethical issues, it doesn’t seem to present any immediate problems with Amazon’s growth as a company.

It seems like price and convenience can sometimes cloud consumer judgement when it comes to ethical issues.

References:

Ethical Consumer (2019) Amazon.com, Inc. https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/company-profile/amazoncom-inc

Marketing Charts (2019, May 3) Consumers Love Amazon, But May Be Questioning Its Ethics. Retrieved from https://www.marketingcharts.com/brand-related-108314

Willow, F. (2019, January 12) The Ethical Issues with Amazon. Retrieved from https://ethicalunicorn.com/2019/01/12/how-ethical-is-amazon/

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Chrystal Rose
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