I am doing some shopping on Amazon and a dialog box came up with this text:

Remember, start at smile.amazon.com to support American Red Cross. Amazon donates a portion of eligible purchases made at AmazonSmile to the charity of your choice. We'll show you this reminder periodically.

I think it is mildly annoying, like all dialog boxes, and there is a chance that some users will close the thing without reading it. Why are they doing this? This seems more complex than it needs to be and it makes me curious as to its purpose. Can't they just donate the money without me having to access that subdomain? I doubt that there is any technical reason that they can't.

Do they just want to give me a choice as to whether I want to donate? If so, I think it would be easier to let me shop as usual, and then ask me, when I am about to pay for my order, "Check this checkbox to donate a fraction of your total to the Red Cross", instead of showing the dialog and making me decide before I'm sure whether I want to buy anything, or making me remember to type a URL that is different from the one I've been using for much of my online shopping for the last 12 years or so.

There must be some sort of ulterior motive. What is the purpose of this?

  • 5
    This question appears to be off-topic because only Amazon could possibly answer this with any sort of authority. Jun 24, 2014 at 19:46
  • As far as your title is concerned, they aren't requiring you to access a separate domain. URL, yes. Domain, no. Jun 24, 2014 at 19:50
  • I guess I can fix it and make it say "subdomain". I am asking why this feature requires the user to read a dialog box explaining that the feature must be enabled in a convoluted and non-obvious way. Jun 24, 2014 at 20:56
  • 1
    Does that make the question off-topic? What if there is some chance that someone from Amazon can definitively answer it? Jun 25, 2014 at 17:45
  • 2
    I'd like to know the answer as well - it's really weird that they constantly remind you to go to smile.amazon.com
    – Jon z
    Jul 23, 2014 at 23:21


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