The Amazon Conundrum: Should E-tailers Use the Marketplace Right Now?
Amazon leaders who are known for bullying Disney and book publishers into submission are doing the same thing to their co-workers, according to a lengthy expose from The New York Times. So should marketers be partnering with an entity its customers may despise at the moment?
Will consumers flee Amazon after reading Saturday’s article about how parents are slow-tracked and employees with health problems are pushed out by backstabbing colleagues who are encouraged by management to write negative work reviews? Is it all worth it to customers for a within-the-hour delivery of a “Frozen” doll? Or will the public forget about the expose as they did the U.S. Supreme Court case brought by warehouse workers who requested pay for Amazon’s time-consuming post-work screening procedures? The court decided in Amazon’s favor in December 2014.
Former Target Marketing blogger Michael Lowenstein, Ph.D., says on Monday that employees are on the front lines of customer relations, brand perception and brand ambassadorship. Contacted by Target Marketing on Monday, he cites an October 2014 post he wrote for the Customer Think blog.
“Employees … can significantly impact customer loyalty behavior toward their employer through a range of attitudes and behaviors on behalf of the brand, company, and customer,” writes Lowenstein. “These attitudes and behaviors, like those of customers, can range from highly positive, to indifferent, to highly negative.”
Right now, consumers think enough of Amazon’s brand to outstrip Walmart of the title as “the most valuable retailer in the country,” says the Times article. Amazon is worth $250 billion, according to the story.
While marketers mull whether to stick with Amazon, here are some statistics to consider from a June 2014 article in The NonProfit Times:
- “More than half of online consumers around the world (55 percent) will pay more for products and services from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible,” according to The NonProfit Times article.
- Millennials, a huge consumer segment with growing purchasing power, watches for corporate social responsibility, according to the article. This generation even thinks of conscious purchasing in a global context. “Millennials, those consumers aged 21 through 34, represent about half (51 percent) of the consumers willing to pay more for products from sustainable countries, and 51 percent of those who check package labeling for indications of sustainability,” reads the article.
And according to e-Strategy Trends, as of June: “Some 47 percent of consumers surveyed across nine countries say that they’ve told friends or family about a company’s corporate social responsibility efforts at some point in the past year. That’s according to a recent survey from Cone Communications and Ebiquity, which also found more than one-third (37 percent) having researched a company’s business practices or support of social and environmental issues.”
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