Online retail giant Amazon recently launched Amazon Storefronts, a new section of its site focusing on small and medium-sized businesses.
Amazon Storefronts will feature smaller firms that sell on Amazon, and it's understood that the section will soon include over one million products from some 20,000 businesses.
Amazon Storefronts is a new part of the Amazon website that only features products from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). In addition to the products themselves, Amazon Storefronts includes editorial about selected companies, videos, and deals.
Products are also split into curated categories – for example, collections dedicated to ‘Innovator-makers’ and women-owned businesses.
According to Amazon more than half of all the products sold on its platform come from SMEs, and Amazon Storefronts will help to place more focus on these businesses.
But Storefronts can also be seen as part of a wider PR effort from Amazon, which has faced criticism in recent years for pushing out independent retailers, especially on the High Street. Amazon Storefronts may be part of a strategy to boost perceptions of the online retailer amongst shoppers who might otherwise choose to do business with independent companies.
The bad news for independent business in the UK interested in Amazon’s new offering? Amazon Storefronts UK doesn’t yet have a launch date – so far, the section is only available in the States.
However, if Amazon Storefronts UK receives the same attention as its US counterpart, independent businesses could see some benefits. In the States, the project is being supported by large-scale television advertising featuring chosen independent retailers, and it seems likely that the section will be given more prominence by Amazon in the coming months.
There appears to be no additional cost for independent retailers to sell through Amazon Storefronts, and it seems likely that this will remain the case if and when the project launches in the UK.
But there are some costs for any independent retailer selling on Amazon. For those selling fewer than 35 items per month, sales attract a 75 pence charge per item. For businesses selling 35 or more items per month, there is a flat subscription fee of £25 per month plus VAT. In addition to both of these plans, individual items attract an extra ‘referral fee’ per sale, which varies depending on the category in which the item is listed.
What do you think about Amazon Storefronts? Let us know in the comments below.
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