The new report by Data & Society on Amazon’s transformation of small businesses indicates that traditional retail industry has been drastically bent in favor of the tech giant’s marketplace economy.
With around six million merchants on Amazon’s platform in 2021 and almost 2,000 new accounts every day, Amazon sellers have to design their businesses around the e-commerce giant.
While the majority of third-party sellers depend on Amazon not only to market their goods but also to provide shipping and logistics, Amazon collects an average 34% of each sale. Small businesses have had to yield to Amazon’s peculiarities, relying on complex practices such as keyword optimization and running their operations like day traders.
In China, selling on Amazon has become an economy itself and it has given U.S. consumers a closer look at the manufacturers from which their purchases come from. Consequently, Amazon has courted a number of Chinese merchants by sponsoring conferences and courses to recruit and train them in Chinese cities.
Chinese merchants have sometimes struggled in the face of Amazon’s high fees and confusing policies. In 2021, the tech giant permanently banned hundreds of Chinese brands for allegedly buying fake reviews and violating other rules, disrupting the entire Chinese