By Chris Olsen
Whenever possible, the best way to support small businesses is to purchase from them directly—either at their location or on their company website. This ensures the business owner receives the majority of the profits. But the pandemic has created big challenges for small businesses. Consumers’ buying habits have changed and the vast majority of small businesses have had to rethink their operations in order to survive. Many brick-and-mortar shops are now selling exclusively online—both on their own websites and on third-party marketplace sites like Etsy, eBay and Amazon.
According to Amazon: “Supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is a fundamental part of our work and an extension of our customer-centric culture. We see value in investing in the success of sellers, artisans, authors, package-delivery and logistics services, and software developers. When they thrive, our customers benefit from the products and services they offer.” Amazon says over the past two years it will have invested more than $30 billion in tools and resources to foster the growth of SMBs. And currently, over half of the products sold on the site come from these businesses.
With such a significant investment in small businesses, you might think Amazon prioritizes elevating its “Support Small” marketplace and efforts. Unfortunately, it’s not what Amazon customers see first. The quickest way to get to the marketplace is to visit Amazon.com/SupportSmall. The page features the story of a small business owner, and as you scroll down, it lists deals from several small and mid-size businesses. Shoppers can also check out a curated collection of gifts, read more business owner stories, and explore local shops by region. Consider bookmarking the Support Small marketplace and making a conscious effort to go there first if you’re shopping on Amazon.
While it takes a bit of digging to find it, and a little extra effort to support specific businesses, it is possible to shop small on Amazon. And these businesses need the support now more than ever.
About the author: Chris Olsen is a radio veteran turned communications consultant, educator and author of “Whyography: Building a Brand Fueled by Purpose”. Through her work as a consultant partnering with startups, Chris realized her WHY—to support womxn-owned businesses in confidently communicating their purpose and impact, setting them up for entrepreneurial success. She created My Founder Story as a platform for doing so.