Investment includes 150 new tools and services released in 2019
Amazon is spending more than $15 billion to help independent small and midsize business that are selling in Amazon’s stores, and part of that investment is in 150 tools and services the giant online reseller has released since the beginning of this year.
The Lowdown: The company spends billions of dollars every year to help these smaller businesses, from infrastructure and tools to services and personnel. Investments also are made in such programs as Amazon Storefronts, Amazon Handmade, Amazon Launchpad, Merch by Amazon, and Amazon Lending.
The Details: The 150 new tools and services include everything from inventory trackers, pricing tools, sales reports, and product branding and marketing tools. They also include educational videos and Webinars, all of which Amazon officials say are done to help small and midsize businesses compete against larger companies and make it easier for them to sell in Amazon’s stores.
Fulfillment and inventory tools, including the Target Inventory Levels tool, are available in the United States and Europe and help sellers get better insights into their inventory. Also, Amazon has expanded the Amazon Marketplace Appstore, which offers more than 200 third-party applications, into Europe, India, Japan, and Australia.
Sold by Amazon is a free service designed to save sellers time and grow sales by automating prices, ensuring that they won’t receive less than the established price for a product even if selling it to a customer for less. The Product Opportunities dashboard enables sellers to find new product opportunities, and a redesigned Seller University portal is a way for businesses to more easily find relevant educational content.
The Impact: It’s hard to think of a company other than Amazon that’s had as large and lasting an impact on how business is done, and that includes on the channel. Selling through Amazon and similar marketplaces that offer automated digital sales is now a growing source of indirect revenue for tech vendors.
Background: Independent third-party sellers, which are mostly small and midsize businesses, accounted for 58% of all physical gross merchandise sold in Amazon’s stores last year, with sales totaling more than $2 billion on Prime Day in July this year. According to Amazon, these businesses have created about 1.6 million jobs worldwide.
The Buzz: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and we’re committed to empowering them,” said Nicholas Denissen, Amazon’s vice president of small business. “As part of our dedication to supporting independent retailers, we have thousands of employees around the globe who work hard on their behalf, developing tools and services to help them grow their sales in Amazon’s stores. Ultimately, our success depends on their success.”
“Based on our recent survey data, we know that greater adoption of digital technology, such as online retail capabilities and tools, could unlock small-business job creation and growth to the tune of 360,000 jobs and $140 billion over the next three years with the greatest potential impact on small businesses in rural America with annual revenue under $100,000,” said Tim Day, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center. “To unlock this potential, the Chamber and Amazon share a goal of incentivizing entrepreneurship and enabling small-business growth.”