King of eCommerce but bad responsiveness

I am referring to this article: “Why Amazon Doesn’t Understand Social Commerce” by Leigh Duncan Durst published in November 2010:

  • “How a pioneer in e-commerce has not been keeping pace with the changes in social media
  • How Amazon fails to respond to fans and foes alike
  • What not to do when confronted with a PR nightmare

“I began writing this article on November 8, after a series of interactions with Two days later, a furor erupted over Amazon’s sale of a self-published book titled The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lovers Code of Conduct. The book has been described as a guide for how to approach young children. TechCrunch was the first on the scene with an article, followed shortly thereafter with a second article, calling national attention to the issue and denouncing the retailer’s decision to defend the presence of the book under an “anti-censorship” argument. The articles triggered public outrage, resulting in a backlash via digital, social, and major media, including calls for a boycott. Unfortunately, the attention also worked to drive the self-published book to the Top Sellers list, although Amazon later removed the book and adjusted the rankings of other adult content on its site.
It would be a disservice not to point out that Amazon was a game-changing leader in social commerce well before the social media frenzy and hype of the past several years.

But the Playing Field Has Changed

Today, the site-driven “rating,” “tell-a-friend, “add to list,” or “write a review” are commodity functions found on any good shopping site. On the Internet, the standalone Web presence is giving way to the networked economy, as interactions and transactions scatter across multiple hubs. Websites are now interconnecting via open source or open API to other sites, tools, apps, networks, and communities. People don’t just interact with people, products, and brands, they like them, follow them, and friend them—forming tangible relationships—without leaving the digital space they’re in.”

More at: Why Amazon doesn’t understand social commerce

From CreateColours:

Indeed, Amazon has been the pioneer in the eCommerce world and it is amazing now to see how they can handle basic troubles towards customers’ feedback. Amazing that they are so slow in acting and reacting and facing online issues. I just cant believe this really, although I perfectly know and understand from previous experiences within major corporations how difficult it is to react to change, since the whole company should move at the same time. It is just like trying to get some 100 elephants moving a foot forward in synchronicity all together. You cant basically change strategies and their respective processes from one day to another and get all your 50.000+ employes adopting those rules at the same time. But Amazon should tackle its issues really not by the time it occurs on the medias but at its roots. Due to its innovative strength in eCommerce, Amazon shouldn’t belong to the slow new social media adopters. Amazon should have put resources upfront to adopt, test, try those new social media tools. They cannot neglect or ignore all what happens online as the king of eCommerce. I consider this as part of their job.

Now to be constructive, there are very innovative tools indeed today that at least allow to be aware of any negative feedback floating on the web about your company. Those tools not only detect keywords but also manage those results so that they end up on the desk of the responsible person within the organization. I strongly believe that those tools are key to any organization today. It is really worth investing here, it saves time and resources and the issue is corrected in a very short and professional manner before any escalation. Organizations should realize indeed how crucial it is to access to any (negative) feedback almost immediately. A week could basically ruin a company’s image today because of the flow of information running within seconds across the world.

For more information about the technology solutions I referred to, please just comment this blog here or drop me an email at


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