Amazon set to invest US$18bn to help SMBs do business

By Sean Galea-Pace
Amazon is set to invest US$18bn to help independent businesses sell to customers, including investments in logistics, tools, services, programs and peop...

Since the start of 2020, Amazon has launched over 135 free tools and services to help sellers grow their sales in Amazon’s store. During the next 12 months, the e-commerce giant will provide over 500,000 US small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) currently selling on Amazon with online selling guidance, education and support, as the company plans to onboard an additional 100,000 US businesses as new sellers in its store.

The announcements were made at Amazon Accelerate - a three-day virtual summit for US SMBs who are currently selling in Amazon’s store or interested in doing so. Amazon Accelerate is the company’s largest-ever US event focused on providing existing and aspiring sellers with insights and ideas for how small businesses can thrive in Amazon’s store. 

Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses, many American SMBs selling through Amazon have experienced continued growth. Third-party sellers continue to account for over half of all units sold in Amazon’s store, and even during the pandemic, third-party sales continued to grow faster than Amazon’s first-party sales. From May 2019 to May 2020, US SMB sellers sold over 3.4 billion products, up from 2.7 billion year-over-year, and amassed $160,000 in sales, up from $100,000 a year prior. Accelerate features Amazon executives, sellers and independent online selling experts sharing insights on how sellers can sustain and grow their companies through 2020 and into the future.

“At Amazon, our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, and part of fulfilling that mission is connecting small businesses with customers,” says Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, who opened the event with a fireside chat with Dharmesh Mehta, Vice President, Customer Trust & Partner Support at Amazon. “Amazon’s success is directly tied to the success of independent businesses across the U.S. We are passionate about supporting small businesses, investing and inventing on their behalf to help them be resilient through COVID-19 and beyond.”

Amazon has also confirmed plans to invest an additional US$100mn to help small businesses worldwide to increase their sales and reach new customers this Prime Day and throughout the holiday season. Last year during Prime Day, third-party sellers - mostly SMBs - exceeded US$2bn in global sales. This new investment will go towards showcasing the diversity of small businesses selling in Amazon’s store and positioning them for increased sales during Prime Day and throughout Q4.

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