Amazon is an online business company that was founded in the year 1994, by Mr. Jeff Bezos, with its headquarters located in Seattle, Washington DC. Amazon.com has come to be one of the largest online retailers in the world, and this is attributed to the mission and vision statement of the company and the company’s innovation ideas. The mission and vision statement are “to be the earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices.” Corporate social responsibilities are the projects that a business organization undertakes in order to further their social goals that are beyond the interest of the company (Lindgreen, & Swaen, 2010).
Amazon is involved in charity works that may be considered as CSR projects. The reactivation of the Red Cross channel helped the no-profit organization rise up to 15.7 million dollars in donations to support the earthquake, hurricane and tsunami victims. Although the company does not have a clear CSR guideline, it still endeavors to achieve some social goals. Through the introduction of Amazon smile, the company has been able to donate more than a million dollars to different charity organizations. Donating a small amount of money from the purchases made by the shoppers has enabled this venture. The online company caters to millions of people worldwide, and it should be its responsibility in ensuring corporate social responsibility model is put in place.
Amazon is an ideal company to incorporate CSR due to its large investment portfolio and its annual turnovers. With annual turnovers of more than a million dollars, the company can easily introduce a CSR model that will in the long run benefit the company (Leonard, & McAdam, 2003). According to statistics, Amazon has a customer base of approximately thirty million people; this means the website is visited by millions of people every day. The company should, therefore, have some certain social responsibility to all its users. CSR will ensure that the company is accountable for all its actions, and it will encourage Amazon to impact both the employees and its customers positively. CSR will enhance the business model and promote innovation among its employees since it is the driving force of the company. Since the company is an online business, the CSR projects it is expected to undertake must not necessarily be physically seen. The company can incorporate its online business ideas to different projects that will enhance its social responsibility goals.
A company that can implement its CSR program thoughtfully can reveal the kind of trusted leadership that it uses to run its business to the world (Portney, 2005). The first step is for Amazon to identify the focus of its project. It is important that the company focuses on one or two causes in order to reduce the managing time the projects would require. When the projects are numerous and scattered, they tend to fail since the company is not able to effectively manage them, and the company ends up looking insincere to its customers. In addition, the company should be able to determine the cost of the projects. For example, if Amazon is going to volunteer some of its employees to volunteer during their working hours, or if the site will donate a percentage of its revenues to charity causes. It is important that the company determines the cost of these programs even though they are done to benefit the customers.
For Amazon to successfully implement a CSR model, it should incorporate the help of its employees and the amazing ideas the people working for the company have. The employees are the ones who interact with the customers on a daily basis, and they are able to know what exactly can help the customers. The employees may also be enlisted to provide their knowledge in helping charitable organizations improve their services. An example would be to enlist the technology team to set up a technology center for local schools. Finally, CSR programs benefit the society, the employees and the organization. It is important that the stakeholders of the Amazon Company are made aware of the efforts that are being made to enhance CSR programs in the company. These stakeholders are the ones who invest in the business. They should be given the chance to decide if they are willing to invest their money in the project and the effect it will have on the business. The stakeholders are the link between the company’s goals and the society’s expectations.
Recommendations to Implement a CSR Model at Amazon
The research shows that customers tend to relate well with companies that they can trust, and the companies they know have some social responsibility. The introduction of CSR in Amazon will increase its customer base significantly. The profits of the company will rise significantly due to an increase in customers who are coaxed by the CSR programs they have witnessed. The CSR programs will positively affect the society. The company will be able to improve the lives of the people who are directly being affected by the program. The society as a whole will be developed as the company would have affected it positively though indirectly. The small contributions the company will make to the society will affect the whole planet. A small percentage of people who have been helped would most probably go ahead and help others. This chain reaction will end up affecting very many people in the whole world, whether directly or indirectly (Crowther & Aras, 2008).
A CSR program should be able to align with the mission and vision statement of the company. It is important that the company is aware of its values in order to have a good organizational fit. The guiding values of the company will help in embedding the CSR values of the company. Through CSR, the company will be able to be a “customer-centric company” and the people visiting their website will not only be able to buy anything online but to also invest in the society by supporting the CSR projects. The mission and vision statement would be realized, and the company will go a step further to incorporate the society.
Since many customers gravitate toward companies that have a social responsibility, the same will be witnessed if Amazon incorporates CSR in its business model. Many people will want to get involved in the company’s social activities, and they will go the extra mile to ensure they help whenever they can, therefore, increasing the number of customers in the company. Through CSR, the community is made aware of the projects undertaken by the Amazon Company. People will wish to volunteer in the activities and to get more information on the project they will have to visit the Amazon website.
CSR programs will encourage the Amazon innovative team to come up with new products. The company will innovate new ways to enhance the projects and make them easier to the public. The company will introduce new applications catered specifically for the projects, and through these efforts, new ideas will be realized. The company will be able to enhance its product delivery and, at the same time, deliver their social responsibility effectively.
In conclusion, it is important that CSR is put in place in every business model thus ensuring the company can meet its social responsibility, and at the same time increasing its customer base (Vogel, 2006). It is essential that Amazon improves its social responsibility activities to have a full customer social responsibility program. The introduction of Amazon smile is a good start, but the formation of the CSR department will truly give people ‘real reason to smile’.