After Amazon Storefronts, A Self-Service Suite Of Ad Tools?

Amazon will capitalize on content to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in a new section of its online marketplace called Storefronts, where consumers can shop for more than 1 million products from nearly 20,000 companies — all U.S. SMBs. Will a suite of self-serve, easy-to-use advertising tools come next?

The launch unveils its first national TV spot featuring real businesses that sell on Amazon in an ad that gives customers a glimpse into a real business on Amazon. It shows how Amazon helps businesses get their products to customers.

The new section will also have a feature called “Storefront of the Week” to highlight a specific company selling on Amazon. Another series called “Meet the Business Owner” will run profiles on the business owner.

SMBs have become a major focus for Google and Facebook as well. Earlier this year Google began promoting several services to connect with customers through the company’s tools such as the ability to create free websites, post about events and promotions, messaging, update business listings without leaving search, and answer customer customers directly.

In a recent report, Jumpshot estimates that Amazon holds about 80% market share across numerous categories, with about 54% of product searches beginning on the marketplace -- up from 46% in 2015. Granted, the data analyzes all purchases, not just SMBs.

Jumpshot analyzed anonymous consumer actions on mobile and desktop devices within 500 e-commerce sites and marketplaces in the second quarter of 2018, analyzing visits and transactions for different brand categories across these sites.

Half of everything sold on Amazon comes from small to medium-size businesses. The strategy is to give companies like The Little Flower Soap Co., Primo, Dock & Bay, and others more exposure on the site. It will highlight products from 25 different categories including home, pet supplies, school supplies, books and gadgets geared toward holidays like Halloween.

To find Storefronts from the Amazon home page, customers can click on the rotating banner featuring a U.S. business, or navigate to the store directly.

Amazon recently analyzed how the company impacts small businesses and created the Small Business Impact Report. Small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon are estimated to have created more than 900,000 jobs worldwide. In 2017, more than 300,000 U.S.-based small and medium-sized businesses began selling on Amazon.

The five top entrepreneurial states are mostly located on the coasts. California, of course, has the most SMBs selling on Amazon with 175,000. New York follows with about 81,000. Florida has about 75,000; Washington state about 27,000; and Colorado around 20,000.

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