Amazon shows third-party sellers all the love with microsite and TV campaign

Discussion
Source: Amazon
Sep 24, 2018

Amazon.com last week introduced Amazon Storefronts, a microsite promoting “nearly 20,000” small-to-medium sized businesses selling on the platform. The launch will be backed by Amazon’s first-ever national TV campaign supporting third-party sellers.

Customers can get to Storefronts from the Amazon.com homepage by clicking on the rotating banner featuring U.S. businesses or navigate to the store directly at www.amazon.com/storefronts.

Customers will be able to shop a curated collection of over one million products from U.S. “innovators, artisans, entrepreneurs and more” across more than 25 categories including back-to-school, Halloween, home, kitchen, pet supplies, and books.

“We’ve created a custom, one-stop shopping experience for customers looking for interesting, innovative and high quality products from American businesses from all across the country,” said Nicholas Denissen, VP for Amazon, in a statement.

The site will feature a lighthearted video profiling the “Storefront of the Week.” Customers can also browse rotating profiles of more than a dozen businesses.

The TV commercial will feature a small business and is designed to give “customers a glimpse into a real business on Amazon and how Amazon is actually a ‘Big collection of Small.’”

The site supports sellers on Amazon Marketplace, who have griped over the years about commission rates, warehousing restrictions and other issues. But it also promotes Amazon’s benefit to small business growth as the company faces political pressures over wage levels, working conditions at its warehouses and other issues.

Amazon introduced the Small Business Impact Report earlier this year that detailed how small and medium-sized businesses on its site are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. The e-tail giant noted that half the items sold on Amazon are from small and medium-sized businesses.

Said Mr. Denissen, “Amazon first invited businesses to sell on Amazon nearly two decades ago, and today, small and medium-sized businesses are a vital part of Amazon’s large selection and commitment to customers. We’re championing their success.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see Amazon Storefronts doing more to support third-party sellers or to promote Amazon’s benefit to small businesses and job growth? Will the initiative resonate with the public?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Scale aside, I think this is a feel-good moment for those small businesses who believe and have hope in the Amazon Effect."
"From a messaging standpoint, this does position Amazon as more of a gentle giant. Beyond the advertising push, the site is more than utilitarian..."
"Very smart political move by Amazon, especially when third-party sellers account for half of Amazon’s sales in many categories."

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8 Comments on "Amazon shows third-party sellers all the love with microsite and TV campaign"


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Chris Petersen, PhD.
Guest

Very smart political move by Amazon, especially when third-party sellers account for half of Amazon’s sales in many categories. Promoting 20,000 resellers on a microsite is only 1 percent of the estimated 2 million third-party sellers on Amazon’s marketplace. What will it take to be part of that 1 percent? Will it be a significant differentiator that produces incremental results with no substantial increase in selling costs? While being showcased might feel very good for the third-party seller, results count — everything else is conversation. And as always, the key will be whether the initiative resonates with customers and they vote with their purchases.

Dave Bruno
BrainTrust

I applaud the effort to promote small businesses and give them a dedicated platform to break through the morass that is Amazon’s immense catalog. I think the ad that Tom highlighted is extremely well produced and, while I can’t judge Amazon’s motives, I think the end result (if promotion efforts continue), will be of benefit to the independent sellers on Amazon. I could potentially see a tie-in to small business Saturday during the holiday season as well, should Amazon be so inclined.

Cynthia Holcomb
BrainTrust

The Little Flower ad video is inspiring! The only thing missing is “the how” to sell enough product on Amazon to fill a shipping container. Scale aside, I think this is a feel-good moment for those small businesses who believe and have hope in the Amazon Effect.

Dan Frechtling
BrainTrust
3 years 8 months ago

From a messaging standpoint, this does position Amazon as more of a gentle giant. Beyond the advertising push, the site is more than utilitarian, as the Meet the Business Owners section puts a human face on the “artisans.”

From a competition standpoint, it’s a savvy move against Etsy, after a prior attempt called Handmade at Amazon. The enormous Amazon customer base is a hefty draw for crafts shoppers and other fans.

Amazon’s subtle nod to job creation is a foil against Alibaba too. Jack Ma just last week said Alibaba is no longer committed to creating 1 million jobs in the U.S., blaming the countries’ deepening trade war. Those jobs were widely assumed to include third-party sellers.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Amazon is supporting Amazon here. And it’s a smart strategy for them — but while a few of the 20,000 might get a few more sales, the approach won’t rebuild the decaying third-party selling and small company environment on Amazon.

The problems have been caused by shifts in Amazon policy and environment as they realize their biggest potentials come from the biggest companies. No surprise in those economics.

Truth is that the small operators I know well are all struggling with Amazon. For example, it’s too expensive to advertise, but now they can’t be found because it’s a “pay to play” environment. Amazon won’t share data so they can’t build on sales that start on Amazon — even to direct further purchases back to Amazon.

But an ad campaign? Amazon’s trying to shift its image from the “big and bad” that’s been developing over the past three years and this is a clever way to do it.

gordon arnold
Guest

Are e-commerce consumers shopping for places to shop or for product and information? If we were to ask ourselves where we got our last e-commerce purchase the most likely answer might be something like eBay, Amazon or other high-visibility shopping sites.

Shep Hyken
BrainTrust

This is just one of the reasons I love Amazon. Yes, Amazon gets their “sliver to deliver,” when selling on their platform, but the point is they let others sell on their platform. And they have standards they are trying to have their third-party sellers keep. Plus the feedback is very helpful. Smaller (and larger) third-party retailers get another channel. And, that Amazon is educating the consumer is a bonus.

Liz Adamson
BrainTrust
Liz Adamson
VP of Advertising | Buy Box Experts
3 years 8 months ago

I see this as primarily a PR and political move from Amazon. This new storefront initiative combined with their SMB Impact Report earlier this year is designed to educate and convince consumers that Amazon is good for small business and job growth. With the increased pressure and negative press being generated by the EU investigation and by U.S. lawmakers, Amazon is fighting back by highlighting just how much of their product offerings are from SMBs and not Amazon itself, something that is not well understood by the general public.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Scale aside, I think this is a feel-good moment for those small businesses who believe and have hope in the Amazon Effect."
"From a messaging standpoint, this does position Amazon as more of a gentle giant. Beyond the advertising push, the site is more than utilitarian..."
"Very smart political move by Amazon, especially when third-party sellers account for half of Amazon’s sales in many categories."

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