The 2020 pandemic has taken the world by a storm, put us all on a halt, and Amazon’s Prime Day Sale is obviously no exception. Amazon Prime Day, which usually takes place in the month of July, offering discounts as big as 50% on the two days of the sale, is taking this place on October 13th and 14th this year.
Apart from a general, collective worldwide cancellation of plans that people had for 2020, this year was also particularly hard for business owners. Multiple small and medium businesses enterprises suffered huge financial blows because of the lockdowns. Amazon and websites like such, on the other hand, generated increased revenues because the world also went digital in 2020. Everyone is shopping on the web this year; even countries like France and Italy which always were fixated on traditional brick-and-mortar shopping switched to online means.
As a result of all of this, many small business owners completely ran out of money, with nothing left in their accounts and with nowhere to go. Amazon, understanding this obvious issue, has played the game very well. Amazon is urging its customers to support local businesses; while also supporting the Amazon Prime Day sale in a way
There has been a general argument in the countries around the world about supporting local businesses and not shopping from the already booming companies on the web. Understanding that aspect of the general tone and mood of the population, Amazon launched a lead-up promotion. As a part of this Prime Day promotional campaign, Amazon was giving away $10 to spend on Prime Day to each customer who would, in turn, spend $10 at a small business in 2 weeks prior to the Prime day. And the result? A whopping 1 million people took part in this promotion just within the first 24 hours!
Besides, to take the matter a step forward, Amazon is also allowing the users to filter out the seller on the various parameters like veteran-owned, black-owned, and even women-owned. This helps the users invest or support in a particular cause that they might also be personally and emotionally vested in.
So, does Amazon really support this cause, or is this only a way to drive more people on the website on Prime Day?
Well, on the flip side of what has been discussed in this blog already, there also are arguments on the Internet that this promotion from Amazon is a way to lure their customers into buying from the site against going to the local retailers. Experts and activists in support of ethical consumerism are also of the firm belief that this promotion $10 cashback campaign is a mere gimmick that will further hurt the motives of small business owners than helping them out.
This accusation is on the basis of the fact that Amazon aggressively avoids paying taxes. Now, they are, first of all, killing the small seller consumer market with their mega website; and on the other hand, they also are costing vital public services by evading taxes.
Also, the fact that in order to take the $10 advantage, a user first needs to spend $12.99 a month or $119 for a year as a prime subscription charge is what ticks the ethical consumers more. Amazon is also argued to be a lure because as per the campaigners of ethical consumerism, the web might give you deals, but they also take away the experience of buying from your local retailers. Consumers are robbed of building that emotional connection with them, especially during these tough times. While people put in whatever they have left with them to re-open their shops, consumers should be the ones responsible for supporting their efforts by visiting them instead of hitting up Amazon on our smart devices.
Also, on another hand, if you are pinned down by the risks of going out and shopping in terms of the potential contraction of the virus, the said activists still have another way to support the local businesses. A lot of these small shops and business owners have built their own websites, so why not check them out instead of buying from local businesses via Amazon and paying a commission to Amazon? It is also proposed that one could shop early for events that are to happen at a later date, like, Christmas. Instead of waiting for December, why cannot Christmas shopping, just for this one year, happen at the end of October? Shopping early and locally will majorly help secure jobs and extend the kind of support the indigenous communities most seek at the moment.
Having said all of that, from our neutral point of view, there cannot be a definite yes or no to shopping from Amazon. While Amazon might have been guilty of certain activities that might not be generally acceptable by all, one still cannot deny the success stories of those who have made it big on Amazon; the website being their only source of income, saving them from the deadly pandemic and its financial repercussions.
The point should be to make informed, mindful decisions and not let your purchases be driven illogically and aimlessly at least this year. This year is about love, support, and compassion to one another- even those we do not know but can indirectly extend a hand to in whatever manner possible.