Amazon gets into holiday spirit already with charity checkout option

Summary:Dubbed AmazonSmile, the service is touted as a way to make it easy for customers to support their favorite charities each time they shop online.

Halloween is tomorrow, so really you should have started drafting your holiday shopping lists----oh, well probably starting last month, according to most major retailers.

To get the holiday spirit flowing through your veins already, Amazon has launched a new program at the digital checkout counter.

Dubbed AmazonSmile, the service is touted as a way to make it easy for customers to support their favorite charities each time they shop online.

The online retail giant has pledged to donate 0.5 percent of the purchase price for millions (read: not all) of products each time customers shop at this specific URL: smile.amazon.com, optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.

Amazon stressed that prices will remain the same on this portal as through the de facto online warehouse.

But the Seattle-based corporation noted that there isn't a cap on how much customers want to donate -- meaning there likely isn't a cap on how much Amazon will be willing to pledge either. If customers pick an organization that doesn't register (or becomes ineligible for whatever reason), they will be given the option to choose a different organization or Amazon will redistribute donations earned among other organizations in the program.

There are nearly one million 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations nationwide to choose from, including the American Red Cross, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and The Nature Conservancy.

AmazonSmile is now live, and this would probably be a good time to start brainstorming your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies too.

Topics: E-Commerce, Amazon, Apps, Cloud, Consumerization

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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