With small and medium-sized businesses accounting for 58% of all sales made on Amazon around the world, independent retailers are a crucial constituency for the e-commerce giant. Amazon has now launched 150 separate tools and services this year designed to help SMEs operating through its marketplaces.
The initiative represents a significant increase in support for small businesses that depend on Amazon to reach their customers. The platform is keen to rebut criticisms that it has prioritised sales of its own products ahead of those of third-party sellers.
The services on offer do provide SMEs with access to the sort of functionality that large retailers take for granted. They include fulfilment and inventory management tools to help SMEs manage their stock more effectively, a suite of analytics software to help firms identify new sales opportunities, and automatic pricing data allowing sellers to manage the sales process more efficiently. Most of the tools are available for no additional cost, but retailers do risk increasing their dependence on Amazon for their business development.