Amazon is engaging SMBs in a full court press as “omni-channel” becomes the norm for SMBs and retail. The Web giant is a natural rival of SMBs in many categories, but it is becoming hard to avoid as it begins to provide a list of helpful “infrastructure” services that don’t always relate directly to sales and marketing. It is is pushing hard to:
• Get SMB retailers to use Fulfilment by Amazon
• Win SMB hosting contracts for Amazon Web Services.
• Enlist service pros in Amazon Services (in a growing number of markets)
• Get SMBs to use Amazon Payments for transactions
• Arrange for SMB loans with Amazon Lending
Amazon is also going after Etsy’s core market with Amazon Handmade, which is selling handcrafted items in 10 categories.
The efforts have made a lot of progress. There’s a clear analogy with Amazon and its multi-year effort to placate retailers. Many seem to have grown resigned to Amazon’s presence in the market. At retailer events such as ShopTalk, you no longer hear many complaints about Amazon’s use of their data to beat their prices and even target their customers.
Here’s some 2017 data that Amazon Marketplace has released to prove its point:
• More than 140,000 SMBs are annually earning $100K + from Amazon Marketplaces
• More than $3 Billion has been lent to SMBs via Amazon Lending since its launch in 2011
• 300,000 SMBs started selling on Amazon Marketplaces in 2017
Many SMBs seem to accept Amazon’s presence as a competitor, and are now eager to use its helpful services. Amazon routinely scores the top Net Performance Scores in Alignable’s SMB Brand Ratings.
In 2018, we’ll see new tests for Amazon’s acceptance among SMBs – including many that haven’t previously been threatened by an Amazon service. Service pros , for instance, will be asked to sign up for leads in more markets from Amazon Selling Services (and to pay its commissions). Similarly, Amazon Restaurants will seek to deliver food from SMB restaurants. Prime Now deliveries will also increasingly seek to work with SMB retailers.