Going the extra smile: AmazonSmile and the effect it might have on Sellers

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a little known website created by Amazon which showcases all the same products, prices and shopping features as the original site but it has a twist. When consumers buy products off AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) on eligible purchases to a chosen charity. Donations are not made for products that are returned though. From time to time, Amazon may also offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organisations.

There are a limited number of products that aren’t eligible for Amazon donations but most products are. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages.

Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases/subscription renewals aren't currently eligible for AmazonSmile

What sort of charities can be donated to?

Amazon provides a number of charities that consumers can choose from which they call Spotlight charities. They also allow users to search for specific charitable organisations if they have a specific one in mind. Amazon hosts over 1 million eligible organisations to donate to. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you will be asked to select a charitable organisation to receive donations from eligible purchases. Your charity will be remembered in the future. Charities can be changed at any time via Your Account.

Eligible organisations must: 

  • Be a registered charity
  • Be a public charitable organisation (not private foundations)
  • Be located in the area of the specified location (smile.com for American charities & smile.co.uk for UK based organisations)
  • Not engage in, support, encourage, or promote intolerance, hate, terrorism, violence, money laundering, or other illegal activities
  • Adhere to the AmazonSmile Participation Agreement to maintain eligibility
There is no added costs to charitable organizations or to AmazonSmile customers.

Charities can choose to opt out of AmazonSmile at any time

How will this affect my online sales?

In short, AmazonSmile is a programme that might increase your marketplace sales just by existing on Amazon. In fact, you might not realise you are already selling on AmazonSmile. Every listing on Amazon is present on the sister site. Moreover, this isn’t a bad thing as it costs you nothing extra to be present on AmazonSmile.

Everyone likes to feel good about themselves, especially when dealing with online marketplaces known for ethically dubious decisions. The idea of giving to a charity while you buy products online for no extra charge is an excellent tactic by Amazon that will increase traffic for everyone selling on the site. Amazon’s charitable site may in fact convince consumers to buy via the ecommerce conglomerate which could mean an increase of your sales from more ethics-considerate consumers.

The Amazon foundation expects AmazonSmile to grow primarily through word of mouth instead of paid advertising which is why it is less known. However, this provides brands with their own sites an opportunity to direct traffic to the AmazonSmile site instead of the original. By doing so, you can both publicise your product’s Amazon page and also portray yourself as a charitable business just as Amazon has attempted. This is extremely useful for businesses as the rise of conscious-consumerism is prevalent in today’s society.

92% of millennial consumers and 81% of all consumers are more likely to purchase from ethically perceived companies

For more details visit AmazonSmile information page.

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