How many articles have you read so far about “How to sell more on Amazon”, or how many trainings have you attended on the subject?! Personally, I have even given a few… They are all over the place, but what we don’t speak enough about is how to sell more ETHICALLY… This is an article for those that care about more than profit or for those that want to start doing it.
Here’s the funny thing. Ethics are not difficult. Being ethical has nothing to do with how big or how small you are as a company. It has nothing to do with your profit or sales (or it does, but not the way you would initially think of it – discover more below). One could even say that:
Here are 5 steps that we can all take to ensure we are running a business ethically on Amazon
- SOURCING AND MANUFACTURING PRODUCTS ETHICALLY
You may remember the Cacao scandal from a few years ago discussing the challenges that farmers are facing. In short, they were [and most of them still are] getting almost nothing back for their efforts, as the price for their products are dictated by someone else. There was also the issue of Child labour…
Here are a few questions that we can ask ourselves: Is anyone being impacted negatively by my product being manufactured? Are my products hurting the environment? Are my products made with sustainable/renewable resources? Is everyone that’s involved in the product cycle being rewarded enough for their efforts?
These and many other questions can help raise awareness regarding selling more ethically. In this case though, actions do speak louder than words. If we stop at only raising the questions and taking no actions, then all is for nothing.
- BEING HONEST AND TRANSPARENT
This is not only a step, but a value that should be part of everything we do. Here are a few things we can look at:
- Source for genuine reviews. Don’t pay for fake reviews.
- Don’t lie in your title, bullet points, and other content.
- Be truthful in your ads/marketing activities (on and off Amazon).
- Follow the Amazon policies (even if there are many of them).
- SETTING PRICING RIGHT
Pricing is a very complex strategy and, while it is usually considered a subject about sales and profit, we can not leave it out of the equation when speaking about ethics.
Food for thought: wasn’t it shameful to see so many sellers increasing the prices on hand sanitizers when COVID 19 hit us?!
Is my RRP reflective of the value that the product is bringing? Is my product accessible to those that need it (empathy can help both ways)? If I have no competition, should I really increase my price, despite my production and selling costs being low?! These are a few of the questions that we can raise and take action on.
- TREATING EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS FAIRLY
You may think this is a basic step that’s covered by all businesses already. Unfortunately, the reality is different in many cases. We still see employees treated badly and we still see customers being taken advantage of.
Here are a few things we can do: reward our employees based on the real work they do, try to support them in their development [and maybe even in their personal life], and also be transparent with them.
On the customer experience side, start by covering the already mentioned steps and then try to respond to their needs wherever possible. Have a good after-sale service in place that responds to customers in a timely-manner. If there are issues with the product, don’t, deny and try to help the customers facing the issues (even by sending a new product to them at the expense of the company). Consider also running Corporate Social Responsibility Programs or local programs to help the community you are part of.
- PLAYING FAIR WITH OUR COMPETITORS
It is true that business is in general a battle. As most battles, there are winners and losers, and those that dare to advocate for a market where all businesses can survive successfully, are most times seen as idealists and dreamers. Isn’t that toxic thinking though? If brands hold monopoly over their respective markets, then wouldn’t everyone else be a loser? Imagine a brand that can dictate any price they wish as there is no more competition. Imagine a brand that stops developing and improving products, as there is nothing else in the market like it anyway…
Here are a few “NOs” when it comes to running a business ethically:
- Copying competitors’ products and simply adding a new brand name to them.
- Making it difficult for the new, honest, seller to come on the market with a new product (which may be better than yours).
- Purchasing products at sale price from competitors and then resale (especially sellers/re-sellers).
- Paying people to leave negative reviews for competitors.
- Clicking intentionally on competitors’ ads just to increase their spend.
- Denigrating your competitors through your content.
If you think being ethical is a hassle, you are very far from the truth. There are huge advantages of running a business ethically. Within the article, you have been offered a few stats regarding consumers’ behaviour towards businesses that have embraced ethical practices.
Here is a summary of advantages of running a business ethically:
- Better reviews/no negative reviews
- Increased loyalty to your brand
- Brand trust
- Increase in return customers and an increase in spend for your product
- Healthier market that encourages innovation
- Retaining your employees and attracting new ones.
All of these lead to an increase in earnings, so, while not directly intended, running a business ethically does have to do with profit or sales.
If you want to have a chat about how you can run your own business more ethically, get in touch. We’ll waive our consultation fee for you.