By Lauren | November 30, 2009
Now that Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday has come and gone, you might think that holiday sales have already hit their high point. If you do, think again. Today is Cyber-Monday, the day that online retailers rely upon to hit their year-end sales goals. It’s an important day for the economy that also offers an interesting insight into business ethics.
Just a decade or so ago, few people had high speed Internet connections in their homes. On-line shopping was pretty much limited to whatever time people could carve out at work, and not much of that went on. Apart from the risk of being caught surfing the Web from their desks, consumers were often reluctant to use their credit cards online. They didn’t trust online security or the quality of merchandise they couldn’t see or touch.
Then, along came Amazon.
Amazon revolutionized online merchandising. Its products were of consistent quality, its policies were clear and user-friendly, and it kept its promises about shipping times and product availability. Most important, Amazon provided a safe venue for online credit card shopping. Consumers responded, and Amazon is now the largest online vendor in the world.
What’s the lesson here? Customers do business with companies they trust. Amazon established itself as trustworthy at a time when people could barely imagine doing business outside of a brick-and-mortar store. Amazon proved that its “store” might be virtual, but its integrity was very real. It earned its success by building trust … and so can your company.