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Amazon Promotes SMB E-commerce Success on Prime Day

Amazon put out a mid-Prime Day press release touting, among other things, the success of small businesses (SMBs) on its platform. The company has in the past few years increasingly sought to present itself as a primary channel for SMB e-commerce.

According to the release, “Worldwide sellers – predominantly small and medium-sized businesses – saw the biggest 24-hour sales day in Amazon history.” Amazon doesn’t offer any specific data but goes on to offer favorable quotes from several SMB sellers.

Survey data from earlier this year found that for SMB product sellers, Amazon was the second most commonly used channel after their own websites. Business owner sentiment toward Amazon was mostly positive, with 61% saying Amazon and other e-commerce options have made a positive impact on their business. However, that number is down 7% from 2018.

A 2017 survey from CNBC found that the vast majority of SMBs (83%) didn’t feel their business was negatively impacted by Amazon. And a 2018 LSA survey discovered that roughly 70% of SMBs are members of Amazon Prime. Of this group, 72% are using it to buy parts, products or services for their businesses (in some cases as alternatives to traditional suppliers).

Yet critics of Amazon argue it’s harming SMB sellers through a variety of practices, among them: watching online sales and introducing its own private-label products in popular categories that then undercut small sellers. Amazon disputes this position.

While there are different estimates in the market, the consensus is that Amazon captures between 40% and 50% of all e-commerce sales in the US.

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