Starting with “a select number of small businesses that sell on Amazon.com” the eCommerce giant is piloting a financial tool designed to help sellers convert, manage and disburse funds from their seller accounts more easily — and better facilitate cross-border commerce.
The company will roll out the Amazon Seller Wallet, the company said in announcement on Monday (July 25). The solution will let merchants hold, view and transfer funds directly to their bank accounts within Seller Central. The move comes as a sales slowdown on the eCommerce leader is having an outsize impact on the thousands of independent sellers whose digital storefronts generate a high volume of Amazon orders.
Freight Waves reported earlier this year that Amazon sellers have been somewhat overlooked in the coverage of supply chain chaos and other factors impacting the company overall, saying that many sellers “are small to midsized companies that rely on the global supply chain for their livelihoods. E-commerce sales reached nearly $470 billion in the U.S. last year. Amazon, which accounts for roughly 40% of total U.S. eCommerce sales, is also a large platform for third-party sellers, with nearly 50% of its sales coming from this source.”
A survey of 3,500 Amazon sellers conducted by seller site Jungle Scout found that some 93% of eCommerce sellers lost revenue due to supply chain delays into the first quarter of 2022. With half of Amazon’s share coming from sellers under mounting economic pressures, getting them faster access to funds at a time of strained finances may not just be a helpful innovation, but a hedge against losing independent merchants generating so much business.
There’s no cost to use the basic Amazon Seller Wallet, which also offers free account maintenance. The announcement notes, however, that Amazon will charge currency conversion and international transfer fees based on sales volume.
Expanding Seller Toolbox
Calling Amazon Seller Wallet “one of the many payment options, financing opportunities, and funds management tools that we provide sellers to help them grow,” the announcement notes, “In the last decade, we’ve introduced convenient financing options through Amazon Lending, rewards on Amazon purchases with the Amazon Business Prime American Express Card, and automatic proceeds disbursements through the Amazon Currency Converter for Sellers. We also connect sellers with more than 6,000 third-party service providers through our Seller Central Partner Network.”
Describing this as an “initial launch” using certain sellers only, Amazon added that it plans to refine the tool based on seller feedback over time. Eventually, the company plans to introduce new features, including support for third-party payments and foreign-exchange-rate tools.
Maxwell Sigurdson-Scott, founder of Amazon seller MESS based in Canada, is one of the select sellers testing Amazon Seller Wallet. In the announcement, Sigurdson-Scott said “Amazon Seller Wallet has allowed me to easily manage my payouts all within Seller Central. The tool is simple to use and has saved me time and money.”
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