Amazon released its 2019 SMB Impact Report, detailing the ways that the e-commerce monolith is helping small- to medium-sized businesses and content creators grow and achieve success on the platform and in its stores.
The data revealed that 1.9 million SMBs, content creators and developers are currently working with Amazon, and that they have created 1.6 million jobs worldwide—900,000 more than 2017.
“SMBs are growing their businesses with Amazon by selling in Amazon’s stores, publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing, using Amazon Web Services, as well as operating as a delivery service provider and building Alexa skills and devices,” the company said in a press release.
The company claimed that it’s also arming SMBs with the tools to succeed. In the report, Amazon indicated that it has donated more than $500 million in credits for its Amazon Web Services program, with the goal of helping startups accelerate their growth and development. AWS offers tailored programs, training and support to brands getting started on the platform.
The company said that during 2018, it lent more than $1 billion to U.S.-based SMBs to help them build up their businesses and their inventory for Amazon stores. On average, SMBs selling in Amazon stores made more than $90,000 last year.
Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in the report that small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon’s stores now account for 58 percent of sales, up 30 percent from 10 years ago. “Amazon’s mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” he said. “Among the customers we’re focused on are small businesses and entrepreneurs.”
The company’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform enables authors to self-publish and distribute their books. The company claimed that thousands of independent authors earned more than $50,000 in 2018, and more than a thousand surpassed $100,000 in royalties.
Though Amazon is clearly looking to inspire confidence from its brand partners, research shows that consumers aren’t totally sold on Amazon’s convenience model. Even young consumers, who are becoming increasingly conscious in their shopping decisions, are driven to support small, local businesses without Amazon’s unparalleled online infrastructure and shipping capabilities.
This year’s Cox Business Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses report indicated that consumers are compelled by the desire to shop locally, and they value the individualized customer service and convenience of shopping in their neighborhood stores.
“While big-box brands are forced to prioritize uniformity across their markets, small businesses can—and should—emphasize what makes them different,” Steve Rowley, executive vice president of Cox Business, said in a press release accompanying the report.