Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Amazon launches Storefronts portal to court SMBs

Amazon launches Storefronts portal to court SMBs

The new platform is called Storefronts and contains a collection of over one million products from almost 20,000 businesses.

To support the launch of the new store, Amazon is unveiling its first-ever national TV commercial featuring real businesses that sell on Amazon.

Amazon is thinking small for a change. Showcasing small and medium-sized businesses via its new portal could attract more of those companies to the Amazon seller platform-meaning Amazon makes more cash.

Amazon says it launched the new store to offer customers an "easy way to buy from small and medium-sized businesses through the convenient and trusted Amazon experience".

Storefront of the Week: Each week the store will highlight a featured US business through a fun video to help introduce the many faces and types of businesses that customers are shopping from on Amazon Storefronts. Located on Amazon's homepage and at www.amazon.com/storefronts, the online store features more than 25 product categories, such as Back to School, Halloween, and Home.

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Amazon will feature the included businesses in marketing for the new initiative. Minnery said he started selling his toys on Amazon Handmade about two years ago and was asked by Amazon to join Storefronts. One of the main sellers Amazon is highlighting in the campaign, Michigan-based soap shop The Little Flower Soap Co.

Meet the Business Owner: Rotating exploratory feature that profiles USA small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon. Kicking off the site's launch is The Little Flower Soap Co., which sells handmade soap from MI. According to the report, small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide.

Amazon is huge, but those small businesses have other options, including other marketplaces like eBay, or building their own sites and using something like Shopify to power them, or foregoeing [sic] "traditional" e-commerce routes altogether. Earlier this year, it released a report that said half of the items purchased on Amazon come from small- and medium-sized businesses.

Still, it seems egregious to have a "books" section on the Storefronts page when Amazon single-handedly decimated the brick-and-mortar book industry. "I think it is carefully curated, and I like the seasonal things", Minnery said.

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