Seattle– Amazon has announced to invest $18 billion this year to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) scale their operations and grow.

In the next 12 months, the ecommerce behemoth will provide more than 500,000 SMBs in the US currently selling on Amazon, with online selling guidance, education, and support and the company plans to onboard an additional 100,000 US businesses as new sellers in its store.

“At Amazon, our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, and part of fulfilling that mission is connecting small businesses with customers,” Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer at Amazon, said during Amazon Accelerate, a three-day virtual summit for SMBs in the US that was kicked-off on Tuesday,

“Amazon’s success is directly tied to the success of independent businesses across the US. We are passionate about supporting small businesses, investing and inventing on their behalf to help them be resilient through Covid-19 and beyond,” Wilke said.

Amazon has launched more than 135 new tools and services this year to help sellers manage and grow their businesses, including new ways to connect brands with customers

The company said it will spend an additional $100 million this year to promote small businesses during Prime Day and through the holiday season. Last year during Prime Day, third-party sellers – mostly SMBs – exceeded $2 billion in global sales.

Despite the impact Covid-19 has had on small businesses, many American SMBs selling through Amazon have experienced continued growth.

Third-party sellers continue to account for more than half of all units sold in Amazon’s store, and even during the pandemic, third-party sales continued to grow faster than Amazon’s first-party sales.

In the 12-month period ending in May, American SMB sellers sold more than 3.4 billion products, up from 2.7 billion year-over-year, and averaged $160,000 in sales, up from approximately $100,000 a year prior. (IANS)

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