Amazon Smile: A way to bring shining smile on Faces

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Sharing is caring, and Amazon proved it through Amazon Smile. It was a great step by Amazon to help the heroes, and they have collected over £171,600 since 2018. This amazing step was rolled back on 20 Feb 2023, and a charity door was closed. It was really sad news.

What was Amazon Smile?  

It was an eCommerce website managed by Amazon with features similar to a regular Amazon website. The difference lies in the financial aspect; Amazon Smile Foundation contributed a percentage to charity for every purchase. They have defined 0.5% of the cost to donate to selected charity organizations.

It seems a very minimal amount at first glance, but when looking at Amazon’s daily revenue, which is more than $385, this percentage makes a difference. This charity was derived from Amazon earnings and not from the customer’s wallet. They only have to purchase more from Amazon Smile to add their contribution to charity without paying more.

The reason for its end up

It was a great project, and Amazon hoped to have a big impact on it. But unfortunately, they didn’t get it. According to their analysis, it didn’t create the expected impact, so they rolled it back and finally closed it on 20 Feb 2023, although it had generated a lump sum amount for charity.

How did it work?

Amazon Smile worked as a regular eCommerce website. Along with regular operations, it focused on charity and defined a percentage that is 0.5% of total purchases for it. There isn’t any increase in prices on this website. It only encouraged the purchaser to purchase from this website so the charity could be derived from revenue. Regular Amazon buyers or prime members were the main source.

Was Amazon Smile Valuable for Charities?

Absolutely, it was beneficial as it has generated huge charity funds by boosting purchases from Amazon Smile. It added up its customers to charity plans for free. They shopped their desired items from the Smile website at regular prices, and Amazon spared 0.5% of the total cost of purchase for charity. The massive collections contributed to the welfare of veterans, who now depend on charity.

What were the smile-eligible items?

Smile’s website offers millions of products, and users can shop any of them. All items were not eligible for donations. There are definite criteria for donation items. The foundation donated 0.5 % of the product purchase price. It excluded shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, rebates, service charges and any applicable taxes. , only the discrete price of eligible products qualified for the donation. The product description contained the stamp “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation.”

It had multiple stakeholders where consumers and charity-receiving organizations are significant. It had pros and cons for both. Let’s explore.

What were the pros and cons of Amazon Smile for customers?

Pros

Easy and Free: Its procedure was very simple and didn’t put a burden on the consumer. They were not forced to buy charity products, and nothing was added to the product price. Sign-up was free and easy. They could contribute to charity only by buying a charity-eligible product, and Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of their paid cost.

Cons  

Double-checking needed: To keep the entire project transparent, amazon applied double-checking to ensure that the user is buying from the right website.

Single donation: The user could select a single charity at a time. If someone desired to cover multiple charities, they had to go through a rotation among the selected ones.  

Small donation amount: The donation amount was so small that it took a long time to collect notable funds for your selected charity. The consumer couldn’t donate large amounts through it.

What were the pros and cons of Amazon Smile for organizations?

Pros

Lucrative: Although Amazon Smile generated a small percentage as a donation, it is a huge add-up for many small organizations.  

Easy to set up: It is simple and easy for Amazon Smile to bring more funds to charity.

Most supporters buy from Amazon: If supporters were Amazon customers, the organization could register there for fundraising.

Cons

Small donations: For many charity organizations, this amount seemed minimal. They had to wait for long to collect a handsome amount.

Personal data access restricted: Fororganizations the donor’s data is not reachable. So, they lost a big source of support and they couldn’t send their greetings to the donors.

Need to publicize: Although Amazon has a large number of consumers around the globe; it needs to advertise the project through nonprofit organizations.

Diminish generosity: According to the speculation of experts, the collection of charities through such platforms might diminish the people’s generosity. This could result in a decrease in donations and could have a great impact on welfare projects.

Conclusion

Amazon Smile was a great project and widely helped in charity fundraising. However, according to Amazon, this project couldn’t get the desired output and impact, so they stopped it in Feb 2023. At the same time, some organizations got huge donations from Amazon that were not possible for them to get in a regular way. All this has created a debate about the closing of this project. Visit: entrepreneurship definition

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