Coming off a record Prime Day earlier this month, ecommerce giant Amazon.com Inc (AMZN) announced a new milestone: more than 2 billion items sold on its platform from a small business or entrepreneur so far this year.
In a press release, the Seattle company said that with its marketplace, small businesses can tap Amazon’s fulfillment services and its customer service expertise to sell to its more than 300 million customers in more than 180 million countries around the world. Hitting the 2 billion mark with half the year left is notable given reports have surfaced recently depicting Amazon as the cranky landlord and sellers who are frustrated because they are having a hard time standing out. Some third-party sellers, according to a recent Bloomberg report, are mulling a jump to rival Wal-Mart’s (WMT) marketplace. (See also: Don't Give Up on Amazon: Barclays.)
“Amazon Marketplace has grown so significantly that sales by small businesses now account for over half of the unit sales on Amazon sites around the world, and 2017 is off to a record-start with over 2 billion units sold,” said Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, in a prepared statement. According to the ecommerce giant, Amazon currently runs 11 marketplaces around the globe for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Since last year more than 100,000 entrepreneurs had more than $100,000 in sales with sellers creating more than 600,000 new jobs outside of Amazon.
Prime Day Ready for Prime Time
Earlier this month Amazon held its third annual Prime Day in which it gives members of Prime, its subscription service, deep discounts on a slew of products. It was able to hit new records in terms of sales during the event. The online retailer said sales increased more than 60% compared to last year’s Prime Day, with growth among small businesses even higher. What’s more, the company said more members joined Prime on July 11 than any other single day in the company’s history with tens of millions of Prime members making a purchase during the event. That is up more than 50% compared to last year. This year’s Prime event went for 30 hours and included more countries than in the past years. (See also: How Amazon Rakes in Big Bucks From Prime Day.)
Last week, Amazon spooked investors after reporting EPS of $0.40 a share for the second quarter, which was starkly different from the $1.42 a share Wall Street was looking for. Revenue came in at $37.96 billion, higher than the consensus, which stood at $37.18 billion. Revenue for AWS, its cloud unit, came in at $4.1 billion, surpassing the $4.08 billion Wall Street had expected. Amazon’s profit in the three months ended in June was hurt by investments in new areas such as video, expansion outside the U.S., logistics and fulfillment.