Content, Small business

Amazon Ecosystem Spans One Million U.S. Small Businesses

More than one million U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) sell their wares through Amazon, according to the online retailer's newly released Small Business Impact Report.

Along with the United States, more than 130 countries use the company’s services to sell their products. Amazon estimates that SMBs selling through its channels have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide.

Amazon says it invested billions of dollars in infrastructure and technical services to help third-party businesses reach customers around the world. Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon, says the company first invited small business to sell on Amazon nearly two decades ago and now they’re a vital part of its growth.

Additional findings from the Small Business Impact Report include:

  • More than 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses worldwide on Amazon surpassed $1 million in sales in 2017.
  • In 2017, Amazon lent more than $1 billion to U.S-based small and medium-sized businesses through the Amazon Lending Program.
  • Half the items purchased on Amazon come from small and medium-sized businesses.

Under Fire

The report comes amidst criticism of Amazon’s business practices. In the US, a recent tweet from Bernie Sanders helped draw attention from both sides of the aisle to Amazon’s tax record.

You know what Amazon paid in federal income taxes last year?


— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) April 30, 2018

President Trump has called the company a “scam,” referring to its practice of not collecting state sales taxes for those same third-party sellers throughout most of the United States.

In its hometown of Seattle, Amazon is battling with city hall as it debates a tax targeting large employers in an effort to address homelessness and housing affordability. The company said it will pause construction on a new office building as it awaits a decision from the council. The city is proposing a new per-worker “head tax” on large employers to help direct money to homeless services and affordable housing. The tax would raise an estimated $75 million a year, according to Bloomberg.

The company has also faced scrutiny over its working conditions, both in the US and abroad.

Additional Insights

Of course, SMBs aren’t the only revenue channel for Amazon. Earnings from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) continue to grow, with revenues of $5.442 billion in Q1 of 2018, up nearly 49 percent from the same quarter in 2017.

MSPs and private equity firms have noticed the success of AWS with MSPs scooping up AWS-minded talent and private equity firms looking to combine AWS-centric consulting firms with one another.

Just last month we saw a number of AWS-related moves. Reliam acquired Stratalux, merging two MSPs that were already focused on Amazon Web Services. Hybrid IT services provider Ensono also announced it now employs 100 experts who are certified within the AWS Partner Network (APN). Large firms like Deloitte continue to expand their AWS-relate talent around the world. That company recently acquired New Zealand-based AWS specialized API Talent.