Innovating for small businesses
At Amazon, we talk a lot about two things: 1) customer obsession and 2) innovation. But how do we apply these principles to support the millions of small and medium businesses that sell on Amazon? Did you know more than half the items sold on Amazon in 2017 came from these small businesses?
For the Fulfillment by Amazon team, our customers are these small business owners. We had the opportunity today to bring together more than 1,500 entrepreneurs that sell on Amazon to learn more about our tools and services so they can continue to grow and improve their businesses. Here's how we’re bringing together customer obsession, innovation, and our small business customers.
Machine learning is one of the most interesting areas of technology today. Fulfillment by Amazon is investing in powerful machine learning-based tools to help our small business owners improve their efficiency, identify and fix mistakes, and even identify potential new growth areas. Here are two (of many) ways we’re using machine learning:
Intelligent Inventory Reconciliation – Small business owners are often wearing many hats, from president and CEO to finance director, procurement, and intern. They also are juggling a wide range of products with many details to consider—from colors to sizes to men’s vs. women’s. Our machine learning models can catch small discrepancies that could result in a negative experience for our customers and lower sales for our business owners. For example, if Fulfillment by Amazon is supposed to receive 50 white towels and 50 brown towels, but actually receive 100 white towels, our machine learning models can detect this discrepancy and correct the labeling error before it causes delays, negative reviews, or customer returns. And when our machines aren’t sure, they flag the item for our associates to review.
Global Expansion Opportunities – This tool helps small businesses that sell on Amazon identity products that they already sell in one marketplace and recommends other marketplaces where we believe there may be a high sales potential. How do we know there’s a high sales potential? Our technology weighs hundreds of factors that impact demand for a product before making a recommendation. And, because we—and our machines—are always learning, we’re constantly improving and refining our recommendations.
These are small but mighty examples of how machine learning is identifying meaningful business insights and actions for the millions of entrepreneurs on Amazon. In 2017, more than 20,000 small and medium-sized businesses worldwide on Amazon surpassed $1M in sales! At Fulfillment by Amazon, we are obsessed with our customers—the small and medium-sized businesses that sell on Amazon—and continue to build tools and services to help even more entrepreneurs achieve and surpass their dreams.