Amazon is on track to invest upwards of $15 billion this year in new tools to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) grow and succeed, according to a press release.
To aid SMBs, 150 new tools have been launched since the beginning of the year, the company announced on Thursday (Aug 22). These include Sold by Amazon, which helps to manage pricing, and Target Inventory Levels, which helps merchants manage Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) inventory.
Third-party sellers, or SMBs that are mostly independent, make up about 58 percent of all of the physical gross merchandise sold in different Amazon stores, the company said. During Prime Day this year, SMB sales were more than $2 billion, and these businesses created about 1.6 million jobs around the world.
Some of the different programs that Amazon invests in to help SMBs include: Amazon Storefronts, Amazon Handmade, Amazon Launchpad, Amazon Business, Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon Global Selling, Merch by Amazon, and Amazon Lending, a program created to aid the growth of a business.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, and we are committed to empowering them,” said Nicholas Denissen, Amazon 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.”
Amazon said that it understands the struggles of SMBs, and it wants to level the playing field by providing the tools that they need, like fulfillment and inventory tools. These include the Target Inventory Levels tool, which is available in the U.S., U.K., Spain, France and others — by keeping up with suggested inventory levels, sellers are eligible for 1-Day delivery and lower storage fees.
Also, the Amazon Marketplace App Store recently expanded into markets like India and Japan, with the purpose of streamlining business operations. There are upwards of 200 apps available.
“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 revenues under $100,000,” said Tim Day, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC). “To unlock this potential, the Chamber and Amazon share a goal of incentivizing entrepreneurship and enabling small business growth.”