Digital marketplaces offer small businesses the leverage they need to expand and reach new customers. Half of the items sold on Amazon worldwide are from more than 1.9 million small-and medium-sized businesses. In 2018, these businesses generated more than $160 billion in revenue, resulting in an average annual revenue of $90,000 per business.
But the playing field remains uneven for some small business suppliers that face socioeconomic disadvantages, such as minorities, disabled veterans, the LGBTQ community, women and other diverse groups.
Amazon’s answer to supporting diverse business owners? Seller Certifications.
By supporting diversity credentials (e.g. the Small Business Administration’s Minority-Owned and Women-Owned certifications), Amazon Business allows buyers to select filters like “Veteran-Owned Small Business” and “LGBT Business Enterprise” to refine product searches, identify relevant sellers, and invest in and support diverse small businesses’ growth. In addition to diversity certifications, Amazon Business also offers seller tools like wholesale pricing, B2B badges, and product document uploads that streamline the selling process and increase sales.
By lending increased visibility to diverse small business sellers, Amazon exemplifies how digital marketplaces are helping to lead the charge in creating equal opportunities for historically disadvantaged small business owners – but regulation threatens to stunt this growth for good.
Regulating digital marketplaces could severely limit these small businesses’ access to tools that support their success by driving up costs – which is why we’re calling on Congress to keep digital marketplaces affordable and accessible for all small business owners.