Amazon Services opens a new channel for small business

New feature will allow service businesses to market themselves in their local area through Amazon

Matt Janik

Amazon is the top e-retailer in the country with a catalog of goods exceeding 200 million. If you are looking for a product at a fair price and can wait for the shipping time, Amazon is probably going to be your best bet. One in eight people across the country have purchased an item from Amazon in the last 30 days. In fact, in 2015 Amazon surpassed Walmart, taking the crown as the largest retailer in the country. With one of the best business models in Internet history, Amazon is providing quality goods that people rate and trust, at prices that are tough to beat.

Competing on Amazon as a small business can be difficult. There is a right way and a wrong way to sell your widgets on the “Yellow Giant,” and at the end of the day, the most profitable products are made and sold by Amazon itself.

As a company who offers the service of helping businesses succeed on Amazon, we know firsthand that when Amazon’s intelligent search algorithm sees a high-volume, profitable product, they seek to cut out the middleman and retain the profits for themselves. Some items are branded as Amazon Basics, but many others are made to look like small retailers trying to scrape by and turn a profit in the hugely competitive online marketplace.

Now Amazon is upping the ante. The company has been piloting a new feature on their website that will allow service businesses to market themselves in their local area, and do so with the built-in trust of having Amazon promote them. Amazon Services is a new way to find local service providers for almost anything a consumer could need. The idea is a great one for many reasons: it opens a new revenue channel for Amazon itself; it brings two big fish (Google and Amazon) head to head in competing in the services space; and it helps small businesses gain access to real business in their local area.

Normally, when a small business wants to procure business from the Internet, they need to build a website, create social media accounts and market their website online. The hope is that with enough visits, likes and reviews, their service will show up on the first page of the Google search where 94 percent of people will click. Many companies hire digital marketing firms to help promote their website and go for those top Google rankings to drive traffic, conversions and, eventually, sales. Google has always been the best at connecting customers with the right businesses, but they have never been into selling products – they let e-commerce (small businesses) handle that. Amazon has quickly become the largest e-commerce store on the Internet and now is the largest seller of goods – period. Google is the most widely-used and most trusted search engine to ever exist, but that may now start to change.

For years, the planets of Google and Amazon have enjoyed a complementary orbit around each other, neither really interfering in each other’s space. However, with Amazon Services, these two mammoth companies may collide in the rush for local supremacy. Both companies see the value and the overwhelming consumer response to local. Amazon Service will provide customers with local service providers, prescreened by Amazon, that also come with ratings and testimonials from other local customers. For example, if you purchase a new faucet on Amazon and are within the pilot area for Amazon Services, you may receive a message asking if you would like that new faucet professionally installed. If you are not as handy as you would like, you can have a professional come to your home with the faucet you ordered and install it for you – quick, simple, easy, just how Amazon likes it.

This new channel for Amazon should become a channel for all service businesses. Amazon allows you to set your price and only charges you when the work is actually complete. You can find more information, as well as apply to sell your services on Amazon, at https://services.amazon.com.

Matthew Janik is the owner of Vancouver-based Fringe Digital Marketing Agency, online at fringewebpro.com.

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