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Amazon Fights Image as Retail Goliath


Amazon wants to change its image as a retail goliath and have people think of it as a platform for supporting small businesses. On Friday, it issued a press release to support that notion.

Amazon particularly wants to be seen by lawmakers and regulators as being pro small-business and as contributing to job-growth, two areas politicians are especially keen on. “In 2018, Amazon introduced the Small Business Impact Report. According to the report, small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide,” Amazon bragged.

Over a million small- and medium-sized businesses sell in Amazon’s stores in the US, according to the press release, and that number is millions when you count international sellers.

The company’s use of the term “Amazon’s stores” is interesting. “Small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores come from every state in the U.S., and from more than 130 different countries around the world,” it noted.

Amazon released the following statistics in the release:

  • More than 50,000 small and medium-sized businesses exceeded $500,000 in sales in Amazon’s stores worldwide in 2018.
  • Nearly 200,000 small and medium-sized businesses surpassed $100,000 in sales in Amazon stores in 2018.
  • The number of small and medium-sized businesses eclipsing $1 million in sales in Amazon’s stores worldwide grew by 20 percent in 2018.
  • Third-party sales are growing at a faster rate than first-party sales in Amazon’s stores.
  • More than half of units sold in Amazon’s stores are from small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses in the US using Fulfillment by Amazon more than doubled their export sales.
  • Small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores exceeded $1.5 billion in sales during the Prime Day event.
  • Amazon Storefronts features more than 1 million products from 20,000 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses.

In addition, Amazon is running a TV commercial that also emphasizes its support of small businesses, featuring the Little Flower Soap Company.

Amazon’s push to shift public perception to help boost sales was also in evidence in a survey it conducted of shoppers in October. Among the questions it asked was the following:

“If in the future, you routinely saw that many products sold on Amazon were sold by small businesses, how would this change the way you shopped on Amazon?”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

2 thoughts on “Amazon Fights Image as Retail Goliath”

  1. Maybe if they would quit screwing small business sellers they wouldn’t have to, treat them better and drop some fee’s.. 29% is a ridiculous amount of fee’s to take out of a sale.

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