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Heal the world with your eCommerce

“Heal the world, make it a better place / For you and for me and the entire human race…”

Sounds pathetic? Sure enough, healing the world is a far-fetched goal for an individual. And a lot would be achieved already if we were able to sort out our own fast-paced lives… But let’s face this great challenge and make it to our #1 resolution for 2015: Healing the world. With your eCommerce. Let me tell you how.

Let’s talk about the wealth gap

Even in times of peace, our societies are producing outrageous inequalities and crisis situations. It is safe to say that the richest 1% of the American population owns at least 40% of the country’s total wealth, while the poorest 80% have less than 15%. We all know what it means; everyone has heard of the deadly consequences of hurricane Katharina in the poor districts of New Orleans, while the golden boys of Wall Street were playing golf in their Hampton summer residence. But what can you do about it, you ask?

The problem with taxes

In the good old days, the state has been responsible for redistributing the wealth and income produced within the country in a more socially sustainable way than the free market alone can do it. Taxes and subventions were the appropriate tools to achieve this. But in today’s borderless world – that states have created themselves, by the way – taxes have lost most of their efficiency. The rich are escaping taxation by “donating” to foundations created especially for this purpose in tax paradises, and governments have no power to do anything about it. So what next?

Income inequality in the US

Income is very unevenly distributed within the US, as you can see on the following map. So redistributing wealth is basically a geographical issue, it’s all about moving money from one end of the US to another:

Now if the government isn’t able to do that any more, you, as an eCommerce manager, have the opportunity to do the job better. How? Well, it’s quite easy actually. You have everything you need to tackle this problem.

Take back your power

The idea is simple, easy to implement, and if we do it right it is going to change lives. When you’re selling a product online, the visitors of your website are providing you their IP address. That’s part of how the internet works: Their web browser has to send their IP address to your web server along with the request, in order for the response to come back to them. No need to register or to login, that’s a piece of information that you will always have when someone visits your website. And there are great IP geolocation databases that are mapping IP addresses to countries, states, cities and zip codes. So in principle, you can always know where your visitors come from. And you can take a look at the data provided by the US Census Bureau to know much they’re earning in their county, in average. Do you see what I’m getting at?

The Robin Hood tax system

You don’t need any democratic legitimacy to setup your own taxation system. In fact, as an eCommerce manager, you do have a wonderful opportunity to take from the rich and give to the poor. It is as easy as charging 50% more for your products when you sell them in the Hamptons, and 50% less when you sell them in New Orleans, for instance. That’s a practice called “price discrimination”, and it is completely legal in the US, as long as the discrimination isn’t based on race, religion, opinions etc.

Actually, lots of companies are doing that already, as a price optimization strategy intended to increase their eCommerce profitability. Increasing your margins in the Hamptons and your sales volume in New Orleans is a great way of driving more profits. But it is not only an economically attractive pricing strategy, it is also the best way towards an ethical, socially responsible eCommerce.

Implementing your own “tax system” is a child’s play with Darwin Pricing. Our app integrates into your eCommerce website and enables you to define, with a single click, the price level at which you’re willing to sell in every location. The eCommerce revolution is on its way. Now it’s up to you whether you would like to take part. And heal the world, at your level, in 2015.

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