2019 Amazon SMB Impact Report: Get the Highlights

by Becky Trowbridge

When a young Wall Street employee decided to quit his job and move to Seattle to start selling books online, who would have imagined that this early venture into eCommerce would grow into one of the world’s largest companies?

Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") began with a dream and a goal of becoming “Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company.” Nearly 25 years later, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) selling products in Amazon’s store account for 58% of the company’s sales. Amazon may have grown (a lot), but it is still helping dreamers bring their ideas to market.

The 2019 Amazon SMB Impact Report highlights the many ways that small businesses are using Amazon’s tools and services to reach customers and continue to grow.

Amazon Sales and Business Growth

In 2000, Amazon allowed SMBs to begin selling products on its platform. Over the past 19 years, many things have changed, including internet speed and attitudes about online shopping: good news for Amazon sellers!

  • More than half of the items sold in Amazon stores around the world are purchased from SMBs.
  • Since 1999 third-party gross physical merchandise sales by SMBs have grown from $0.1 billion to $160 billion in 2018.
  • An estimated 1.6 million jobs have been created worldwide by SMBs selling in Amazon’s stores.
  • Amazon lent over $1 billion to US-based SMBs in 2018 to support their Amazon stores.
  • More than 25,000 SMBs worldwide sold more than $1 million of merchandise in Amazon’s stores in 2018, up from more than 20,000 in 2017.

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Fulfillment By Amazon

Selling online allows SMBs to stay lean by not investing in a physical store or costs associated with customer acquisition and driving traffic. The Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program allows third-party sellers to have Amazon manage shipping their products, returns and customer service. Selling via FBA also enables products to be eligible for Amazon Prime shipping. Last year, SMBs in the United States using the FBA program more than doubled their export sales.

The Seller-Fulfilled Prime program allows third-party sellers to fulfill their own orders as Prime orders if they meet eligibility requirements. Merchants can also choose to fulfill orders directly through Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM).

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In 2018, nearly 200,000 SMBs worldwide sold more than $100,000 in Amazon's Stores. More than 50,000 surpassed $500,000 in sales and over 25,000 surpassed one million dollars in sales.

Rapid Growth for US-Based Businesses

In 2018, small and medium-sized businesses in these 10 states saw the fastest growing sales in Amazon’s stores.

  1. Mississippi
  2. Nebraska
  3. Maine
  4. Texas
  5. Indiana
  6. Colorado
  7. North Dakota
  8. Vermont
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Missouri

US-based SMBs made more than $90,000 on average selling in Amazon’s stores last year.

On average, more than 4,000 items are sold by US-based SMBs per minute in Amazon’s stores.

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Other Amazon Business Opportunities: AWS, Alexa, Delivery and Kindle Direct Publishing

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) provided more than $500 million in AWS credits to startups in order to accelerate their growth and development in 2018.
  • More than 90% of Alexa-enabled products launched last year were built by someone other than Amazon. More than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices have been purchased by Amazon customers. As voice search continues to grow, third-party developers have built more than 90,000 Alexa skills.
  • With the Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program, entrepreneurs can build their own businesses delivering Amazon packages in partnership with Amazon for as low as $10,000.
  • Amazon hasn’t forgotten about books. Last year, thousands of independent authors earned over $50,000 through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Authors can choose where they want to sell their books, set their own prices and earn up to 70% of every sale in royalties.

For the past two years, Amazon has hosted the Boost with FBA event designed to help SMBs reach their business growth goals. This year, Amazon has expanded seller education to offer six Selling Partner Summits across the US. Amazon also hosts Amazon Academy events across Europe.

It's clear that Amazon offers great opportunities for continued business growth. Want to accelerate your sales even more? Check out our tools for Amazon sellers.

Originally published on May 10, 2019, updated May 13, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.

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