At Amazon, we invest in the success of sellers, artisans, authors, delivery providers and software developers. We provide small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs with tools and opportunities to succeed, including support with selling their products online, running delivery and logistics companies, using the cloud to launch and scale their businesses, creating voice apps or publishing their own books.
Despite the impact COVID-19 has had on small businesses, many UK small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) selling on Amazon have been able to grow their businesses. From March – July 2020, SMEs accounted for more than 60% of sales on Amazon’s stores in the UK.
In 2019, we spent over £2m across Europe on logistics, tools, services, programmes and people to fuel the success of selling partners, nearly all of whom are small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
What the SME Impact Report tells us
The 2020 Amazon UK SME Impact Report highlights the success of the tens of thousands of SMEs selling on our stores. During the 12 months ending on 31st May 2020, UK selling partners sold more than 600 million products in our stores, up 100 million from the previous year – that’s 1,200 products sold per minute. On average, our selling partners achieved around £75,000 in sales, up from £60,000 year-on-year.
In the UK in 2019, more than 60% of SMEs selling on Amazon exported around the world and achieved more than £2.75 billion in export sales, up year-on-year from £2 billion. To date, SMEs that sell on Amazon.co.uk have supported 85,000 jobs.
“Empowering small and medium-sized businesses is at the core of everything we do. We will continue to invest in logistics, tools, and people to support small and medium-sized businesses. Supporting these businesses helps us to create the best shopping experience for our customers,” said Francois Saugier, VP EU Seller Services at Amazon.
"Despite this challenging period, selling partners have continued to grow with Amazon. When customers shop on our stores, more than 50% of the products they buy are sold by small businesses.”
Jem Skelding, Founder of Naissance, a Welsh based natural beauty product business, commented: “Covid-19 has really shown the importance of online sales, as we have been able to meet soaring demand for organic and vegan products. We’re based in rural Wales, and it has been a particular help selling via Amazon, who make it possible to ship our natural remedy and beauty products nationwide and to over 90 countries, with packaging in five different languages, resulting in a turnover in excess of £10m. Over the next 12 months, we want to increase our workforce by 20% as we work to grow our business.”
Success for small businesses across the UK
Small businesses from across the UK are increasingly seeing success from selling on Amazon’s stores, supporting regional economies and communities. Many selling partners are located outside of London – areas such as the North of England and the Midlands generated over 40% of total sales volume, while Greater Manchester and the West Midlands respectively achieved more than £250 million and £150 million in export sales last year.
The number of SMEs in Scotland who sell their products on Amazon’s stores increased by around a third last year; and by more than 20% in Wales, Northern Ireland and England respectively. Regions in Scotland and Wales saw particularly large increases in the number of SMEs in percentage terms: selling partners in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, grew by around 60% and by more than 40% in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales.
It’s not just SMEs selling on Amazon’s stores who are using tools and services to grow. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is helping hundreds of thousands of SMEs, startups and partners launch and scale their businesses across Europe. There are more than 700,000 developers building skills for Alexa. These technology entrepreneurs are creating enormous economic value, and delighting customers with their innovations.
The Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) programme has helped thousands of partners to create jobs for tens of thousands of drivers worldwide. Thousands of independent European authors have self-published millions of books through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) since the service was launched in Europe in 2010. And in the last 12 months, authors earned $350 million from the KDP Select Global Fund.
Many of our small business partners are telling us how important it is for them to be able to sell online right now, and we’re doing everything we can to support them and help customers discover their products. We are investing more than £75 million to support small businesses globally with special Prime Day and festive season promotional programmes.
Third party selling partners – most of which are SMEs – surpassed US$3.5 billion in sales globally on Amazon Prime Day 2020, growing even more than Amazon’s retail business. In the UK, these businesses saw an increase of more than 75% in product sales. You can now discover and shop for products from the wide range of small businesses on Amazon through Gifts From Small Businesses.
In response to the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on small businesses, we launched the Amazon Small Business Accelerator to help 200,000 small businesses and startups in the UK through online training, bootcamps, partner offers and support from the UK’s leading small business support network, Enterprise Nation. We have also provided practical advice for 1,000 businesses about how to prepare for reopening physical locations, in partnership with The British Chamber of Commerce.
The 2020 Amazon UK SME Impact Report celebrates the resourcefulness and dedication of the UK’s diverse community of entrepreneurs and our commitment to supporting them.