U.S. sellers on the Amazon marketplace averaged more than $200,000 in sales in the year ending Aug. 31, 2021, a 16.6% rise from a year earlier. The biggest players on the marketplace drove the rise: more than 27,000 U.S. sellers had more than $500,000 in sales, up more than 10% year over year.
Amazon released those numbers this week in its 2021 Amazon Small Business Empowerment Report, an annual report on the state of small- and medium-sized businesses on the marketplace.
Is the Amazon Marketplace profitable?
Other key statistics in the report:
- Nearly 4,000 U.S. sellers topped $1 million in sales for the first time.
- U.S. marketplace sellers sold more than 3.8 billion products, an 11.7% increase from the prior year.
More than 2 million small businesses, including marketplace sellers, content creators (authors) and developers sell on Amazon’s site or use the company’s services.
The report was released the day before Amazon Accelerate, an online conference for marketplace sellers, held Oct. 20-21, 2021. In sessions at that event, executives from Amazon discussed two recent additions to its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program. Roughly half of the company’s approximately 500,000 U.S. sellers used FBA in the past year. Those sellers saw a 20% to 25% rise in their sales on average, according to Amazon.
In the FBA system Amazon stores, packs, picks and ships orders for sellers from its global network of fulfillment centers. Amazon told attendees that the additions to FBA—dubbed FBA Liquidations and FBA Grade and Resell—will help sellers cut losses by reselling returned and overstock inventory as used products on Amazon or by liquidating products in bulk via Amazon partners and technology.
Amazon’s third-party sellers growing
Amazon’s use of third-party sellers has been an ever-growing part of the web giant’s success. More than half of Amazon’s gross merchandise value (GMV) is attributed to sellers. Including purchases made through third-party sellers, the value of goods sold on Amazon reached a Digital Commerce 360-estimated $475.00 billion in 2020, a 40.1% jump from $339.00 billion the year before. As consumers leaned heavily on Amazon during the pandemic, the marketplace accelerated both first-party revenue and total GMV growth to roughly double its 2019 upticks.
The Small Business report and the Accelerate conference come as some legislators on Capitol Hill call for tighter regulation of the tech behemoth. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Ma., has called for breaking up the retailer. Earlier this week members of the House Judiciary Committee suggested that Jeff Bezos and other Amazon executives lied or misled Congress when they testified in 2020 and 2019 about the retailer’s use of marketplace seller data.
Amazon is No. 3 in the Digital Commerce 360 Online Marketplaces database, which ranks the 100 largest global marketplaces.