By Hannah Levin
Amazon has been a dominant force in e-commerce, recently becoming worth one trillion in September of 2018, according to David Streitfeld in the New York Times. This success is largely due to Amazon’s ability to provide consumers with both convenient access and a plethora of purchasing options. With worldwide recognition, however, comes mixed reviews regarding Amazon’s impact, namely its impact on small businesses. While Amazon is often criticized for exploiting small businesses, Amazon also positively impacts these companies by providing them with a marketplace to sell and advertise their products, which in turn benefits a large amount of consumers.
Amazon thrives because its on-line service meets the need for convenience that many people seek in today’s busy society. Many small businesses cannot compete with this since they don’t all have on-line ordering options. Jia Wertz, a contributor to Forbes, recognizes that "only 28% of small businesses are using the internet to sell their products” and says that this low percentage means that many small businesses are ”missing out on the power of internet sales.”
In addition, Amazon provides a platform for small businesses to reach a wider audience with its large amount of consumers and diverse products. There is even a section on Amazon’s website, called Amazon Storefronts, where small businesses can sell their products exclusively and advertise their brands. Amazon Storefronts “directs shoppers to nearly 20,000 American shops across the 50 states.” (David Reid, contributor to CNBC) This shows the magnitude of Amazon’s platform and its potential to increase the popularity of smaller businesses.
It is important to note the positive impact that Amazon has on smaller businesses rather than just reading the negatives that many journalists choose to highlight. Amazon not only provides small businesses with a platform to reach a larger audience, but also provides consumers with a convenient way of buying products while offering a larger selection of these products.