Amazon is promoting small business owners, by launching an online shop portal called Storefronts.
The portal launched today and is accessible from Amazon’s homepage. Storefronts will be a haven to over 20,000 mom and pop stores across all 50 states.
Currently, this is only available for US-based small and medium businesses only.
Some might see this as another power move by Amazon to attract more business or even to get a small piece of the pie from the small and medium business industry.
And while this might be true, Amazon is doing it in a way which seems to be helping out such small business owners.
Amazon will be making a portfolio of the business, making custom marketing campaigns for them and making a sort of “get to know the owners of the business” videos.
Amazon will also be highlighting the most popular products they sell on the site. But Amazon won’t be providing any external links to the business’ personal websites.
So it might not be all from the goodness of Jeff Bezos’ heart.
In fact, it might just be to prevent this market from taking their business to other avenues such as eBay or Shopify, or setting up their own e-commerce websites.
Storefronts will allow customers to search using categories such as Books, Pet Supplies, Back to School and Halloween. Users will also be able to search for niche businesses such as family-focused businesses, artisans or women-owned businesses.
Since most people are already quite familiar with the search functionality and overall user interface of Amazon, they shouldn’t have a hard time finding their favorite vintage tea set via Storefronts.
The Vice President of Amazon, Nicholas Denissen stated,
We’ve created a custom, one-stop shopping experience for customers looking for interesting, innovative and high-quality products from American businesses from all across the country.
He further added that business owners were first invited to sell their products two decades ago.
Whereas today, small and medium business owners are a vital part of Amazon’s business model.
In 2015, Amazon launched a similar model called Launchpad. Launchpad focused on technology startups and highlighted the products they had created.
This helped the startups gain international recognition, and helped ease them into the cutthroat tech industry.
Launchpad later incorporated startups from outside of the US as well. So it won’t be a surprise if Storefronts took a similar path.
One could debate that by creating more digital frontiers, the traditional mom and pop stores will die off. But actually, Amazon has been able to pull off a small miracle, by bringing the often neglected small and medium business industry back into the limelight.
According to a poll conducted by Amazon, it was estimated that the e-commerce giant was able to create more than 900,000 jobs because of the small and medium businesses selling their products on the website.
This must be a piece of welcome news for Amazon, due to the barrage of constant criticism by the press that it does not provide a healthy work environment for its employees or deserving wages.
Small business owners can finally rejoice, they are finally getting the recognition they deserve, thanks to Amazon.