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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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5 Ways To Find New Clients For Your Business

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If you’re looking for ways to find new clients for your business but you don’t know where to begin then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether you’re a new business or you’ve been in operation for years, you need to be sure you’re regularly approaching new clients that could be interested in your business. Luckily, there are lots of ways for you to do exactly that. From attending events to speaking with local businesses, you may be surprised at the things that you can do. With that in mind, here are 5 ways to find new clients for your business: 

Attend Events And Conferences (Both Online And Off)

One of the best ways to find new clietns is to attend events and conferences within your business. With everyone there to network, you will be able to speak to people when they’re open to discussing their needs as a business. Face-to-face conversation goes a long way in sales and with that, events are the perfect too. 

With the COVID-19 curently affecting the events industry negatively, online events are also a great way to meet potential clients. Although networking may be a little harder, you still have lots of opportunity to meet new clients. For a guide to events during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can visit this site here. 

Speak With Local Businesses

If you have lots of businesses in your local area and you think that they could be a potential client for your business, get out there and speak to them. Whether this means sending them an email or picking up the phone, you may be surprised at how far a quick conversation can go. 

Use Online Platforms That Help You Find Leads

Although you may not be aware of this, there are lots of online platforms that allow your to find leads. Whether you’re searching through online tenders or looking a job listning boards for freelancers, you can find a lot of your clients simply by searching the right site. For more information when it comes to online tenders, you can visit etenders here. 

Invest In A Sales Team

By investing in a sales team, you’re investing in people who can help your business make more money. It may be a scary investment to start with but by the time they start bringing new clients on board, it will be worth it. For a guide to building a sales team, you can visit this site here. 

Use Social Media To Advertise

Social media is a great way to market your business and in turn, it can bring you more clients. Although it takes a lot of work and dedication, it’s definitely worth it. 

With lots of great tips and tricks to bear in mind, you can be sure you’re doing all that you can to find new clients for your business. What else could you do? Did we miss anything off of the list? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. 

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Tips For Organizing A Successful Business Event

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It doesn’t matter your industry or the nature of your business. There will likely be a time when you’ll want to throw a business event of some sort.

It’s essential that you review the following tips before you get started planning so that all goes over smoothly. You can rest assured that your event will be a success when you start planning early and map out your tasks and set deadlines for each to-do. Remember to have fun with this project and to make a note of what didn’t go over well so you can make changes the next time around.

Assign A Planning Team

Events can give your business the competitive edge it needs to succeed. It takes a team to plan a successful business event. There’s a lot that needs to get done so avoid trying to do all the work yourself. Put one person in charge of the event, so you know who to turn to for questions and to get an update on the progress you’re making. Make sure you sit down and talk about who’s doing what so there’s no overlap.

Set A Budget

Another tip for organizing a successful business event is to set a budget and to do so right away. It’ll be helpful to know how much money you have to work with before you start to sign contracts and put down deposits. A budget will help guide your decisions and ensure you don’t spend too much. Keep your budget handy throughout the planning process so you can refer to it when you’re completing your tasks.

Choose the Right Location

Your event will be much more of a success when you pick a prime location to hold it. You must have the right size venue and ensure it fits your theme. Tour spaces and see your options before making a choice. Once you have a venue, consider hiring First Traffic Management to ensure your guests get to your event safely. Let them handle the logistics and any permits so you can focus on being a good host.

Get the Invites Out Early

Your event isn’t going to go over very well if there are no attendees. Therefore, once you secure a date, time, and location, then you should send out the invitations right away. You want to have an idea of how many guests you can expect and for the invitees to put the event on their calendars and save the date. Create a marketing plan to help drum up excitement and get the word out about your business event.

Discuss On-Site Roles & Responsibilities

The night of the event is just as important as the preparation and planning leading up to it. You’re going to want to have a staff of people who can help ensure all goes over seamlessly when it’s show time. Get your staff together and discuss roles and responsibilities so each person knows what they’re in charge of and can be useful at your business event. Talk about logistics and ensuring everyone involved has a job to do and knows how to answer any questions the guests may have.

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How to Give Your Business a Competitive Edge

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Due to the current financial climate, it is more critical than ever before for companies to stand out against their competition. The damage caused to the economy by COVID-19 has led to job losses and business closures. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 5.0% in Q1 2020 and then dropped to 31.7% in Q2 2020. While you may not be able to control the events that caused the economic downturn, you can take steps to ensure that your business has the best chance of success and survival in these challenging times. One crucial way to protect your business for the longterm is to find ways to give your company a competitive edge. 

A competitive edge enables your business to become a major competitor in your industry and differentiates your company from the many similar businesses operating in your sector. You need your business to be the one that consumers think of first, when they have a need for the products and services that you offer, and you want them to keep coming back time and again. The question is, how do you develop a competitive edge? Read on to find out:

Differentiate Your Company From the Competition

The phrase USP or unique selling proposition is one that you would hear bandied around a lot in marketing departments in the past. Nowadays, the term USP is so well worn that it is practically overlooked. However, the importance of finding a way of differentiating your business from your competitors is a lot more than mere marketing jargon; it is an essential tool to ensure that your business stands out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Ask yourself, ‘what makes my business different from the many others out there?’ Then use this to your advantage by communicating it to your customers.

Spot Opportunities

Being the first in your industry to capitalize on an innovative new trend or idea is an excellent way to edge your way ahead of the competition. To spot these opportunities, you need to be on the lookout for ideas and inspiration. A perfect way to spot opportunities that your competitors may have missed it to keep up with news from around the world by reading the international press, for example, israelnationalnews.com. Keeping up with international news will enable you to spot potential markets for your products and services and to capitalize on these opportunities.

Offer Exceptional Service

While there are many ways that you develop a competitive edge for your business, it is vital that you don’t neglect the basics. Offering exceptional customer service is crucial for keeping a step ahead of your competitors. Many consumers become frustrated when a business attempts to attract new customers while neglecting existing customers. Ensuring that both returning and new customers are offered the same level of outstanding customer service is sure to give you a significant edge over the competition.

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