A look at the etail giant's plans to partner with independent retailers...

Amazon’s drive for indie alliances

Amazon is on a concerted drive to bolster the number of partners within its Marketplace scheme – and believes it is the perfect way for independent retailers to extend their reach and increase their sales.

A long-standing concern amongst High Street retailers in any sector is that online giants are luring customers away from bricks and mortar businesses. Amazon believes that signing up to the Marketplace programme reverses the trend – you can start selling to their customers.

There are certainly a lot of them, 130 million around the world, in fact. And Marketplace is a strong part of the site’s offering. There are currently two million sellers and they account for 30 per cent of all sales by units.

The site – and its sellers – deal in a vast range of sectors, with customers now seeing it as something close to a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution.

IT products are a key/increasingly prominent part of the mix.

Unlike other sites, there are no listing fees on Amazon. Instead, sellers pay an average referral fee of 15 per cent of sale value, plus a monthly subscription of £25 – although the first month is free.

There are no hidden costs. The fees cover all payment processing and sellers are also protected from online fraud.

Setting up as a seller is a simple process and only takes a few minutes. Once a retailer is up and running on the site, adding a new listing literally only takes seconds.

Amazon invests heavily in Google advertising, making it as easy as possible for consumers to find a seller’s product. It can also be a great place to build online brand awareness around the world.

Amazon may not have been initially welcomed with open arms by the independent sector. But the fact is, it’s here to stay, it’s a supremely effective operation, it has a customer base of 130 million and growing – and it wants to share it.

It wants to take a cut, of course, but what’s left (i.e. the vast majority of it) can still be a significant boom for pretty much any business.

To find out how to sign up to Amazon Marketplace, click here.

Amazon’s UK Customer Profile

Average age – 38.6
56% Male, 44% Female
59% in full time employment
Average income – £48,700
Spend 11.7 hours per week online

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