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Controversial Business Moves: Have Amazon Gone Too Far?

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Amazon are a marketplace giant, and their combination of a huge choice of products, low prices, and fast delivery options have seen them wipe the floor with their competitors. It’s even claimed that whole industries have been almost wiped out by the online retailer’s presence. But, where there is brilliance, there is often also controversy. Amazon is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of their most controversial business moves of late!

Packaging

Let’s start with what is perhaps the one thing that we’ve all experienced when shopping with Amazon that has left a sour taste in our mouths: packaging. Now, we live in a world where we’re becoming increasingly aware of the detrimental effects that human activity is having on our planet. One of the main man-made problems posing a threat to our beloved Earth? Waste. We use so many products on a day to day basis that are seen as disposable, and we often throw many products and most packaging away after just a single use. The UK produces around 30.5 million tonnes of waste every single year. Within the EU, people produce around half a tonne of waste per person, and with over 500 million inhabitants, this figure quickly mounts up. America is said to produce 250 million tonnes of garbage on an annual basis. So, when many of us shop, we expect responsible large-scale businesses to use as little packaging as possible and to, preferably, send our purchases in recyclable materials. Sure, this may cost a little more and take a little more time, after all, you’ll have to pick packaging options logically rather than throwing every item into the first box that catches the supplier’s eye, but surely it’s worth it. It really isn’t all too surprising that Amazon causes outrage on a regular basis when they have been reported to send items as small as a phone charger in a box large enough for your small kids and cats to make a fort from. Now, the company has tried to justify this behaviour by saying that they optimise for the whole rather than the individual. Theorist Alexander Savin noted on his twitter feed that “Amazon uses a complicated software system to determine the box size that should be used based on what else is going in the same truck and the exact size of the cargo bay. It is playing an automated Tetris with the packages. Sometimes it will select a larger box because there is nothing else that needs to go out on that specific truck, and by making it bigger, it is using up the remaining space, so items don’t slide around and break. This actually minimises waste and is on the whole q (sic) greener system. Even if for some individual item it looks weird.” While this is an interesting theory, the tweet received all sorts of lash back from people refuting the theory. Many believe that the genuine reason for entirely environmentally unfriendly packaging is because Amazon promises such fast delivery that workers have just a matter of seconds to grab the nearest box or packaging to get the item out on time.

Drone Delivery

Again, convenience has come hand in hand with another complaint for the big bosses at Amazon. Sure, we’re all now familiar with Amazon Prime, a service which offers guaranteed next day delivery on a whole host of items. But have you heard of Amazon Prime Air? This is a fully autonomous system where a drone (otherwise known as an aerial vehicle) without a human pilot can deliver goods to customers within 30 minutes or less of completing their order. Sounds like something from the future, right? While this service hasn’t yet been launched by the company, it is in development and trial, and Amazon hopes that one day seeing an Amazon drone delivering goods by air will be as common a sight as seeing one of their delivery trucks travelling down the highway. People, expectedly, have a lot of questions surrounding the practice. They want to know how heavy the goods that this method could deliver can be (the answer, so far, is five pounds), where they are testing (there are currently trials in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, France, and Israel), and whether weather will affect the service (the company claim that they aim to operate in daylight when there are low winds, there’s good visibility, and a lack of rain, snow, or ice). Perhaps the most important issue on our minds, however, is how Amazon intends to navigate the airspace in each given country, as drones are a risk to planes. This is still being negotiated, so perhaps it will be a while before we really do see these plans come into practice and public use.

Live Purchases

Perhaps the most recent controversy associated with this retail giant is its delivery of live animals. The company has been slammed by animal activists and many consumers alike for offering home delivery of live animals such as lobsters and crabs. Not only is the method of boiling these creatures alive for consumption cruel in and of itself and something that shouldn’t be promoted at all (nevermind in the home and left to the hands of inexperienced and unprofessional cooks), they can also face the cruel fate of being left in boxes for days as they make their way from supplier to consumer. This is a sad case of sentient creatures being treated like commodities on a whole new level. Many customers have since cancelled their accounts completely, stating that they will not return to Amazon until they cease this cruel practice.

As you can see, Amazon is no stranger to controversy, and some of the decisions that they have made in their process of trying to meet the mass market’s needs and expectations really have backfired. However, where there is a complaint, there is room for improvement, and hopefully, they will begin to take customer feedback into account, ensuring that their business becomes as eco-friendly, safe, and cruelty-free as possible!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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How To Manage A Team Working Remotely

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Once upon a time, practically all businesses were run on a local scale, meaning that they were within a short distance of their core consumer group. Even the largest, most expansive firms in the country have broken their territory up into smaller regions, cities, and zones. Through the use of eCommerce solutions, remote working, and outsourcing, modern firms are no longer constrained by their physical locations. This has allowed the wheels of industry to continue rolling.

In point of fact, the time has come when a proprietor of a company may now conduct their entire operation from the comfort of their own home and the benefits of a distributed workforce

 are now more commonly known.

Let us get started with our discussion of how to manage remote workers.

Improve the efficiency of communication

You may probably guess that clear and concise communication is one of the most important aspects of managing a workforce that is geographically dispersed. The very last thing you want is for anything significant to be lost in the shuffle as a result of a mistake that was made with the logistics.

As a result of this, it is of the utmost importance that you establish a clear chain of command and make every effort to simplify and expedite your communication process. You do not want your workers to be uncertain about who they should report to or where they should deliver paperwork, do you?

Establish early on how you intend to conduct business, and then modify your approach only when it makes logical sense to do so. Your team will not benefit from continual upheaval in any way.

Place emphasis on the big picture.

How do you plan to make sure that everyone is on the same page? Paying attention to the whole context is one of the most effective responses to that query. Not just the deadlines and information that they “need to know,” but also the end goal of their job should be communicated to the members of your team.

The likelihood of your employees becoming interested in the various projects they are working on increases in proportion to the amount of involvement they have in the firm as a whole.

Use modern tech

It ought to go without saying, but it is important to emphasize that managers should make use of the most cutting-edge technology available in order to link the members of their teams. Skype, Zoom, and other video chat platforms to assist in maintaining continuity despite the large distances that separate them.

The use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone systems in establishments such as hospitals, legal firms, and private schools will make it possible for members of the team to share vital information instantly.

Keep in mind that managers have a responsibility to encourage their staff to investigate all of the possibilities and benefits that current technology offers. It is a waste of resources to invest a significant amount of money on a communication or software programme that is not utilized to the maximum possible degree. Remember to keep this in mind prior to making any more investments.

Face to face meetings

When it comes to bringing your team together for regular meetings, video chat is an upgrade over phone calls; but, neither of these options is as beneficial as having everyone in the room together in person. Create recurring activities in which all of your employees may interact with one another and spend time together. When people like one another, or at the very least have a healthy mutual regard for one another, they are able to collaborate more effectively.

A frequent “catch up” session with the team might involve either work or play. The culture of the team is an essential component in the process of constructing a company in which all employees, irrespective of their location, respond to clients in the same manner, utilizing the same templates, and communicate in the same manner.

The culture of your company, which includes how your employees interact with one another and with customers, is shaped from the very top, by the person who owns the firm. Maintaining a positive reputation for your company depends on providing consistently high-quality customer service. Now that the majority of business is conducted online and is less dependent on foot traffic, the way in which we collaborate has altered, which has produced issues for the management of the team.

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How To Scale Your Business In 10 Steps

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It’s no secret that businesses today face more challenges than ever before. In order to stay afloat and thrive in today’s economy, businesses need to be able to scale their operations effectively.

The good news is that there are a few key things you can do to make sure your business is able to scale successfully. In this article, we’ll go over ten essential tips for scaling your business effectively.

1. Define Your Target Market

The first step to scaling your business effectively is to define your target market. Without a clear target market, it will be very difficult to focus your efforts and resources in a way that will allow you to scale effectively.

2. Know Your Costs

Another important factor to consider when scaling your business is your costs. It’s important to have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with running your business, such as overhead costs, production costs, and marketing costs.

3. Streamline Your Processes

Another important tip for scaling your business is to streamline your processes. When you’re first starting out, it’s common to have a lot of different processes and procedures in place that may not be entirely necessary.

4. Invest in automation

Investing in automation is another great way to scale your business effectively. Automation can help you save time and money by taking care of tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually.

5. Focus on Your Core Competencies

When you’re scaling your business, it’s important to focus on your core competencies. These are the areas of your business that you’re most skilled at and that provide the most value to your customers.

6. Delegate and Outsource

As your business grows, it’s important to delegate tasks and outsource work to other people. This will allow you to focus on your core competencies and leave the less important tasks to others. For example, you may need to involve Het Vertaalbureau to assist with translation of your website and documentation.

7. Get Feedback from Your Customers

Another great way to scale your business effectively is to get feedback from your customers. This feedback can help you improve your products or services and make sure you’re meeting the needs of your target market.

8. Focus on Your Marketing

Marketing is another important aspect of scaling your business effectively. When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to focus all of your attention on the product or service you’re offering.

9. Expand Your Team

As your business grows, you’ll need to expand your team. This means hiring new employees or contractors to help you with the additional work.

10. Keep Your Costs Low

One of the most important tips for scaling your business is to keep your costs low. This means finding ways to save money on overhead, inventory, and other expenses. There are a number of different ways to save money, so it’s important to find the ones that work best for your business. You can negotiate with suppliers, use cheaper materials, or find other ways to reduce your costs.

In Closing

By following these ten steps, you can effectively scale your business while still maintaining a high level of quality. Automation, delegation, and feedback are key to success. Keep your costs low, focus on your marketing, and keep moving forward. With these steps, you’ll be well on your way to scaling your business effectively.

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How To Make SEO Work for Your Business

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When businesses want to get noticed on the internet, they usually turn to something like search engine optimization (SEO) so that their business appears higher on Google searches. SEO can be a wonderful way to help your business grow on the internet. It’s been tried and tested by plenty of businesses, and there’s no denying the power that it has.

But with that said, trying to make SEO work for your business can be tricky. It takes a lot of time and effort in order to make it work, and you need to pour a considerable amount of effort into making content that appeals to Google’s search bots. So before you start investing precious time into your website’s content, here are some considerations to keep in mind on how to make SEO work for your business.

Focus on creating content instead of designing your website

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when designing their website is focusing too much time on the look of their website. Sure, making your website look fancy with loads of unique transitions and animations can attract some people, but those are the wrong things to focus on if you want to get noticed by Google’s search bots.

Instead of focusing on the design and look of your website, focus on the content you have. After all, Google’s algorithm will take content into consideration when deciding on your search rankings–they really don’t care about how your website looks. This is where it helps to focus on content marketing so that you know exactly what kind of keywords to focus on and the types of content you should be making to appeal to a wider audience.

Be consistent with creating content

And if you do focus on content marketing as a priority, you’ll want to try and be consistent with your content releases. Google values websites that regularly update their pages with new content. It’s more stuff to rank, there’s more space for keywords, and it ultimately provides more value to your customers as long as the content is useful somehow. It could be guides and how to use your products, or it could be an FAQ on using your services. As long as you’re creating content on a fairly consistent basis, you’ll have a much easier time getting noticed.

To make this easier, you may want to consider hiring a writer. It doesn’t need to be a full-time employee and can just be a freelancer or even an outsourced service. This will save you a lot of time when writing content for your website.

Consider working with an SEO agency

All of this sounds great and can greatly improve your SEO efforts, but you could just as easily leave all the decisions to a reputable service such as Sofia Marketing. This will take a lot of the responsibility off your hands and you’ll find it much easier to create content that consistently helps your website rank higher. They’ll also help you with technical SEO aspects such as designing your website to work on mobile devices in addition to desktops.

Simply put, SEO agencies can make things a lot easier in the long run. Whether it’s finding the right writers to make valuable content or helping you choose the right keywords to target, their expertise and guidance will be invaluable when you want to get the most out of your SEO efforts.

Choose topics and keywords to focus on

If you haven’t already, it’s a good idea to pick some keywords and topics to focus on for your SEO efforts. For example, your business might want to specialize in appealing to a certain kind of demographic, so you’d research various topics and keywords that the group is more likely to search for. Keyword research can take a lot of time, but it’s something that can be made a lot easier with help from a marketing service. There are also plenty of keyword tools that you can use to help identify strong keywords to focus on.

Identify what your website will be used for

And lastly, figure out what your website will be used for in the long run. This can help drastically improve the user experience and will help you give a purpose to your content because you know who you’re trying to appeal to. If you know exactly what your website is going to be used for, then it cuts out a lot of the decision-making and helps you laser focus your efforts to optimize your time.

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