Amazon wants to be more like eBay with Amazon Storefronts launch

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Amazon are taking a leaf out of eBay‘s playbook and promoting themselves as a big collection of small businesses with the Amazon Storefronts launch. Rather than being the big bad all encompassing retailer who threaten jobs in traditional bricks and mortar retail outlets, they want to pivot 180 degrees and highlight the millions of retailers who partner with Amazon with their first-ever national TV commercial running in the US and featuring real businesses that sell on Amazon.

With more than a million small and medium-sized businesses in the US selling on Amazon, the ad gives customers a glimpse into a real business on Amazon and how Amazon is actually a ‘Big collection of Small.’ The commercial shows how Amazon helps businesses get their products to customers all over the world. To help illustrate the growing number of businesses on Amazon, a series of business logos come together at the end of the ad to form the Amazon smile logo.

Holly Rutt, co-founder of Little Flower Soap Co. based in Michigan, is the US business owner featured in the new Amazon national TV ad promoting the Amazon Storefronts launch.

“Since we started selling on Amazon in October 2016, our sales have nearly doubled. Due to our success, we have been able to hire new team members from our community, including full and part time jobs. We believe that customers like to know the story behind what they’re buying. When there is worry about creating jobs, it’s reassuring for customers to know their purchases are helping sustain jobs in the US”
– Holly Rutt, co-founder, Little Flower Soap Co

Amazon playing to eBay’s strengths

The Amazon Storefronts launch is Amazon playing to eBay’s strengths as the home of the small business and, with Amazon featured in the news for employee working conditions in warehouses, logistics drivers who reportedly pee in bottles as they don’t have time for a break, being portrayed as a company that avoid taxation in multiple jurisdictions around the world, is an attempt to cast the business in a different softer light as the champion of independent retailers and manufacturers.

Amazon is all too often viewed as a retailer and generally the average consumer doesn’t even notice when they’re purchasing from a marketplace trader, especially when the item they purchase is fulfilled from Amazon’s own warehouse through FBA. Amazon want to change their image and become a bit more like eBay as a place where you get to know the retailer you purchase from, which is bizarre as in recent years on eBay it’s been less about the retailer and more about the experience with eBay buyer protection, easy returns and eBay’s latest push towards a catalogue search becoming more of an Amazon like buying journey.

Earlier this year, Amazon introduced the Small Business Impact Report. According to the report, small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. In 2017, more than 300,000 US-based small and medium-sized businesses started selling on Amazon.

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