70% of owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Europe lack confidence on how to scale their businesses online according to new research from Amazon. Guidance on how to best utilise a logistics support network (73%) and assistance on VAT and customs compliance (70%) are the areas SMEs most need assistance according to the 2,500 SME owners in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK surveyed.
82% say they feel the benefits and added value that having a digital sales approach can bring to extend their reach and sales to a wider customer base. While ecommerce was called out as the obvious solution, they are still not sure exactly how to scale up and face challenges and barriers to digitising their operations.
The survey revealed that owners spend on average of 10 hours a week looking into how they can scale up and how to cope with more online sales – 65 days a year! However, learning more about supply chains, delivery options and logistics, as well as regulation can bring additional pressure for owners, as without an experienced partner on board. Naturally, Amazon is one route to shortcut some of these blockers to international trade.
We understand that launching or scaling an existing ecommerce business can be a daunting, complex, and time-consuming experience for sellers. We want business owners to feel confident and supported in navigating the complexities of topics such as VAT and compliance to ensure that they can transition and grow their businesses smoothly.
By selling through Amazon, sellers can access a wide variety of tools and expertise, and with 65% of sellers saying they would benefit from customised support to sell their products online Amazon can be a guiding partner in helping to make their business a success. In fact, of those small businesses that are completely confident in scaling up, they are twice as likely to be an Amazon seller.– Xavier Flamand, VP Europe Seller Services, Amazon
Tools to scale SMEs with Amazon
Amazon has a range of tools that can help small businesses to guide them through the process of digitising, from Seller University to the Perfect Launch. In Europe alone, there were over 125,000 SME sellers across Amazon’s stores last year, accounting for the sale of over 1.2 billion products.
Amazon VAT & Compliance Tools
- Compliance Solutions by Amazon – an all-in-one place solution, integrated within Seller Central
- The VAT Knowledge Centre aims to build sellers’ understanding of the European VAT landscape
Amazon ecommerce business resources
- Amazon Brand Protection offers a selection of advanced programmes for sellers to protect and build their brand
- Amazon Seller University provides educational resources to help businesses learn how to succeed as Amazon
- Amazon Small Business Accelerator offers a suite of free-to-use resources, on topics such as how to build a business online, supercharge operations, grow sales, and create a social media presence
Services to help businesses scale
- Strategic Account Services provides business advice from a designated Marketplace Consultant
- Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) allows sellers to store their products in Amazon’s fulfilment centres, where we pick, pack, ship and provide customer service for these products, helping customers scale their business.