Can Amazon mold public perception so it's seen as a platform supporting small businesses and avoid being seen as a faceless corporate giant swallowing everything in its path? A survey adds to the growing evidence that Amazon is seeking to do just that.
"Do you know that half of everything sold on Amazon comes from small and medium-sized businesses," Amazon asked customers in a survey this week.
The survey comes at a time when the company faces criticism on many fronts, and it's not alone. In writing about Google's earnings call, Business Insider
noted that its CEO touted investments in the US and wrote, "But these are not ordinary times, and Google, like many of its Big Tech peers, is doing whatever it can to wrap itself in the American flag and show what a good citizen it is," the publication wrote.
Both Amazon and eBay have launched initiatives to promote their sites as helpful to small businesses - eBay with its Retail Revival program that helps Main Street retailers in several cities grow by selling on eBay, and Amazon with its new Storefronts
launched last month, which it described as follows:
"Amazon opens "Amazon Storefronts," a new store for customers to shop exclusively from U.S. small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon. With Storefronts, customers can shop a curated collection of over one million products, and deals from nearly 20,000 U.S. small and medium-sized businesses, and learn more about profiled businesses through featured videos and stories."
That puts this week's Amazon survey into perspective. In the survey, Amazon asked shoppers how well the statement "Is good for small businesses" applied to Amazon.
"How easy is it to discover and learn about small and medium-sized businesses on Amazon," the survey also asked; keep in mind that Amazon's marketplace de-emphasizes sellers to the point shoppers may feel they're buying from Amazon itself even when purchasing from a third-party seller. The exception being the new Storefronts and its Amazon Handmade site for artisan goods.
Amazon also asked survey-takers how likely they would be to recommend Amazon to a friend or colleague shopping for products from small and medium-sized businesses.
The survey ended with a question that left us wondering what changes Amazon may be considering making to its site:
"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?"