On Oct. 30, Amazon.com launched AmazonSmile, a separate website that allows shoppers to direct 0.5 percent of their purchase totals toward a charitable organization of their choice.
Some products sold on Amazon.com, including Kindle e-books and other digital media products, won't be eligible for the program. But otherwise, the pricing, selection and experience customers receive on AmazonSmile.com will be identical to the regular Amazon site.
"We're offering customers a way to support charitable organizations around the country that's simple and automatic," said Ian McAllister, general manager, AmazonSmile, in a statement. "We think customers will love the opportunity to support their favorite organizations without changing how they shop, and there's no cap on how much Amazon will donate."
Customers can choose from nearly a million charitable organizations. Users select their favorite charitable organization on the first visit to AmazonSmile. They can select a new charitable organization at any time.
"Working with AmazonSmile gives us a new way to support our mission that's simple for both us and our supporters," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Said Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water, "AmazonSmile will make charitable giving easier, which is a big win for our supporters, and, most importantly, the 800 million people on the planet who don't have clean and safe drinking water."
The launch comes as a new survey commissioned from U.K. fundraising platform Give as you Live found that only 13 percent of consumers are noticing retailers supporting charities. The survey also found that 49 percent of Britons would spend more money with a retailer if it donated to a charity.
Similar to AmazonSmile, Give as you Live is a platform that ties charity funding to online shopping, although it provides the service to over 3,000 retailers. When consumers shop through Give as you Live, the affiliated retailer donates a percentage of what they spend to the charity of their choice. Retailers are said to benefit from increased customer loyalty, new customer acquisition, and shopper insights.
In the U.S., organizations such as igive.com provide a similar service for retailers, although online purchases tied to charities are far from common.
How responsive do you think consumers will be to shopping on AmazonSmile?