Amazon investing over $5 billion in small business success and stability during a difficult time


#1

This continues to be an incredibly difficult year for entrepreneurs and small business owners around the world. Nobody had a playbook for how to keep a business going through a global pandemic, but you continue to meet the challenge and serve customers every day. We are inspired by your efforts and want to help you be successful during these times. Our communities are depending on Amazon and all the small businesses who sell in our store to keep as much in stock as we can and to deliver products to doorsteps while keeping our employees and partners safe and healthy.

We are working hard and investing heavily to support you and your business. Since the start of the pandemic, we have invested more than $10 billion in COVID-19 related operating costs. We have increased square footage across our fulfilment and logistics network by 50%, opening dozens of new delivery stations and fulfilment centres around the world. We have hired over 400,000 employees in the biggest peacetime workforce ramp-up by any company in history. And we have spent more than $2.5 billion on pay incentives and bonuses. We continue to be thrilled by how successfully hundreds of thousands of you have leveraged our investments during 2020. It has benefited everyone—you, us, our customers, and communities. While many other companies have passed along costs through surcharges and fee changes in 2020, we have absorbed over $5 billion of those costs on your behalf. And we expect to invest billions more in the first half of 2021 in helping selling partners like you as we all try to return to normalcy.

Now, as we look ahead with a vaccine on the horizon, other logistics providers have already announced their annual fee increases for 2021. In a normal year we would be doing the same, but this is not a normal year and we have made the decision to postpone our annual fulfilment fee adjustments and continue to absorb the costs we are incurring on your behalf until June 1, 2021. We will share more details in the spring. We are doing this because we want to provide stability and support for you during what will likely remain a challenging winter as the vaccine distribution gets underway.

Our focus throughout this holiday season has been on getting the most selection for customers while enabling your success. That has included limiting ordering for our own retail business in the EU, allocating the majority of space in our fulfilment centres for seller inventory so that your products are in stock for customer orders. As we write this email today, more than 60% of products in our fulfilment centres worldwide are from sellers.

Sellers surpassed $4.8 billion in worldwide sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, growing about 60% from last year. Your businesses continue to grow faster than Amazon’s own first-party retail business, and we are glad. What’s good for you is good for Amazon, our customers, and communities around the world.

You and the more than 1.7 million small and medium-sized businesses serving Amazon customers in our store have never been more important for our communities, and we want to thank you for your continued partnership and support. We remain more committed than ever to supporting your success, and we hope you and your families stay safe this holiday season.

Thank you,

Jeff Wilke


#2

As a small business, the best thing you could use all that money on, is having ‘actual’ people for business users to contact. Not the ridiculous joke of a ‘support’ which basically answers, says ‘I can do nothing’ then claims it as resolved… A fair AtoZ claim system that doesn’t aid scammers and thieves. Actually look at the facts before awarding them the goods AND their money back. Ebay manages that side soooo much better. I have so many higher priced items I would sell through here, but I cannot trust Amazon when the scammers start to steal it.


#3

Wow…it’s so generous of the multi billion dollar company to postpone any increases in fees until June, 2021. We are all so lucky.


#4

Who is Jeff Wilke? Why is he so out of touch with actual human sellers? It sounds like inferior AI wrote that post. Edit: So Jeff Wilke is stepping down from Amazon, just like Doug Gurr. 53 is a nice age to retire, but if you enjoy your work, like Warren Buffet does, you don’t retire that young. Doug Gurr going to the science museum. Maybe they don’t agree with the how Amazon has grown without a conscious.
While Amazon has the lion’s share of B2C e-commerce market, the actual attention they pay to sellers is bordering on inhumane.
Our account was blocked in August for a reason which we have learnt is not really our fault, as in nothing malicious was done, it was because of series of unfortunate events.
However, Amazon refuse to even look at new evidence when escalating to a VP, it is simply forwarded to reviews-appeal department and they automatically say they looked of the information and decided not to reinstate. But there are companies out there that can send you actual photographs of the screens of your account inside Amazon, proving they don’t even look at anything and refer everything back to the original case.
All Amazon has to do is look at its own Seller Forums to see the grief sellers have to deal with on a daily basis. Amazon has been fined TWICE this year and is under investigation by the EU for breaching antitrust rules. For sellers, Amazon is simply not good enough in proper communication and understanding. For customers, all they do (to be the most customer-centric company), is refund immediately no questions asked.
What does Amazon do well? Logistics. What does Amazon do really badly, dealing with humans.
Amazon has long way to go in improving.
We have our local member of parliament involved and soon arbitration and court case, unless they buck up their ideas.


#5

I agree here, there needs to be a significant investment in seller support, who currently are worse than hopeless. When things go wrong on Amazon, there zero support and is incredible painfull.

Having said that, whilst I know many will bash Amazon for everything, I have to say well done to Amazon fulfillment for 2020. Yes there have been headaches, but they have been head and shoulders above other retailers despite the huge influx of volume. This is a large reason why marketplace sales have increased dramatically. Well done.


#6

The large increase in sales is because other businesses have been forced to close! Amazon have been ridiculously lucky. Everything they do is to benefit them and shareholders, little is done to genuinely help sellers. I’ve been on Amazon 8 years, I’ve seen it all.


#7

“Now, as we look ahead with vaccines on the horizon, other logistics providers have already announced their annual fee increases for 2021. In a normal year we’d be doing the same, but this isn’t a normal year and we’ve made the decision to postpone our annual fulfillment fee adjustments and continue to absorb the costs we are incurring on your behalf until June 1, 2021. We’ll share more details in the spring. We are doing this because we want to provide stability and support for you during what will likely remain a challenging winter as vaccine distribution gets underway.”

Ah, thanks Amazon for absorbing the cost!
Here I am just half an hour ago got an A-Z granted for shoes being worn for 2 months but yet the ‘damage’ would of course be due to us. /s


#8

I think it is quite generous to be fair. They will have faced an increase in costs due to covid, they have certainly had to invest more up front on new FCs. Additional volumes will offset some costs, but certainly not all.


#9

I think they holding off after passing down the last 2% increase that they were supposed to have taken hit on lol


#11

HA! oh wait… are you serious?

They are making a killing and expanding their logistics to make even more profit for themselves. Generous? Give me a break :joy::joy::joy: It should be bonuses all around for sellers rather than a postponement of seller fees.


#12

Exactly! They are not investing in small businesses! They are forced to put the new logistics in place. And their profits globally far outweigh any investment. Remember, Amazon only cares about itself. They switch small businesses off like a light switch with zero remorse.


#13

Invest some the money in a UK call center with real people that can make decisions and take actions to really support small businesses.


#14

Yep, very serious. The initial outlay for FCs is huge. I’ve seen 2 new DCs opened up within 10 miles of my house since covid, with a third being built in 2021. Yes they will make money in the long term, but they will also reduce FBA fees in the long term too. That investment most come from somewhere, including marketplace sellers.


#15

Mass expansion sacrificing quality customer service. When the pandemic is over, some of these new FCs will be half empty. Customers need to be educated to use Amazon like a search engine then go shop on the small business’s own website. That’s the proper way to help small businesses.


#16

Oh jeez you really believe that they are being generous. To put things into perspective, Amazon profits in the 3rd fiscal quarter of 2020 was including revenue up 37% to $96.1 billion, net income of $6.3 billion, and earnings per share of $12.37 (compared to revenue of $70.0 billion, net income of $2.1 billion, and earnings per share of $4.23 in Q3 2019. And you think it’s generous they postpone fee changes? Make money in the long term? Wahahahaha Thank you. You really gave me a smile today :joy::rofl::rofl::rofl::joy::joy:


#17

The FC’s will make money in the long term. They are a long term investment with payback over many years.

Yep, Amazon have made profits this year, they are a business that aims to make profits. They have done well. They are a business that share profit with investers, not a co-operative that share profits between members/customers.

FBA fees are optional, if you are unhappy with your fees or logistics service you can arrange your own.


#18

Keep it coming. We need some laughs around here.


#19

If amazon is so concerned about helping SMALL BUSINESSES they should reduce the monthly selling fees which is way too high and per item sold fees it is way too high . for a massivley rich company i need to know they are helping strucgliing businesses like myself and not themselves but i am not getting this impression at the moment thanks


#20

That’s great and all Jeff but I’m not FBA and my sales have dropped off a cliff as Amazon has been estimating my delivery eta as 4-8th Jan next year!!! I notice that all FBA sellers had arrival in plenty of time for Xmas, are these bully boy tactics to get me to sign up?


#21

I know you were being sarcastic :rofl: - but anyway - don’t be so sure - i’m pretty sure a double whammy will come in June (fee increases)

I wonder if they will postpone Jeff Wilke’s pay review until June as well !!