The Amazon Badge Paving the
Way for Small Businesses
In an effort to help small businesses succeed, Amazon has been discretely testing a “Small Business” badge for some items on the online marketplace that would allow shoppers to identify products being sold by small businesses with more ease. So, the question remains can this Small Business badge really pave the way for small businesses to achieve big business capabilities? And do Amazon badges actually influence purchasing decisions?
Amazon’s Small Business Badge
On April 28 of this year, Amazon announced in a New Feature Flash that the company would be testing a Small Business badge over the next few months as part of its ongoing commitment to support small businesses. Amazon is testing the badge on a subset of product details pages in the United Kingdom and eventually plans to scale further after confirming the badge’s ability to increase consumer discovery of small business products. It is important to note that not all Amazon shoppers will be able to see the badge during the testing phase.
Amazon’s Small Business Badge Eligibility
Unlike most Amazon badges, the Small Business badge does not rely on Amazon’s algorithm to determine its presence. Instead, only those businesses that are brand owners registered with Amazon’s Brand Registry or are a part of the Handmade Program are eligible for Amazon’s Small Business badge.
Despite being considered a small business in your respective country, Amazon sellers can only be eligible for the badge exclusively after obtaining an active registered trademark. After registering for Amazon’s Brand Registry program, small businesses can contact Amazon’s Selling Partner Support to receive an assessment and confirm that a business qualifies for the badge at large.
Above all, in order to be eligible for Amazon’s Small Business badge, businesses must first meet Amazon’s definition of a “small” business. In an interview with Forbes, Keri Cusick, the Director of Small Business Empowerment for Amazon, said that Amazon defines small businesses as those with fewer than 100 employees and total annual revenues of less than $50 million.
Amazon Small Business Badge: How to Apply
How to apply for Amazon’s Small Business badge? The good news, Amazon sellers do not need to apply; all they have to do is ensure they are brand owners enrolled in Brand Registry or participate in the Handmade Program.
To confirm whether or not you can “apply” or are eligible for Amazon’s Small Business badge, contact Selling Partner Support and provide them with the name of your brand, company, business address, and your designated merchant token ID. A reply typically takes around ten business days after an official request.
Benefits of Amazon’s Small Business Badge
Increasingly, shoppers want to support small businesses. However, more often than not, Amazon customers are not aware when they are supporting small businesses when shopping on the platform because it is not clear which products come from small businesses and which ones come from larger, more established ones.
Amazon’s Small Business badge is designed to help shoppers easily distinguish those third-party small business sellers from mega-corporations on Amazon. Essentially, this badge would allow consumers to purchase products from small businesses instead of larger ones. According to Semrush,
“91% of the time, consumers will choose small businesses when convenient, and 74% look for ways to support small businesses even if it’s not convenient.”
There is no doubt that Amazon badges are verifiable symbols that can significantly influence customers purchasing decisions, enhance product performance, and optimize product listings. A December 2021 study conducted by DataHawk that analyzed the impact of Amazon badges revealed that products with badges tend to perform better than products without them as they connote a sense of legitimacy.
The Small Business badge will also allow small businesses to be included in Amazon special events and promotions. For example, products with the Small Business badge may do exceptionally well in promoting small businesses during special Amazon events like Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Prime Day. According to DataHawk’s 2021 Amazon Advertising Benchmark Report, these online shopping dates have proven to yield high conversion rates.
Does Amazon Really Support Small Businesses?
Amazon has long been criticized for its tendency to make it difficult for small businesses to compete with larger businesses on the platform. However, many would be surprised to know that as of late 2021, according to Amazon’s Small Business Empowerment Report, products from small and medium-sized businesses actually account for over half of everything sold on Amazon.
During the pandemic, Amazon helped small businesses keep their enterprise afloat. For example, when hundreds of millions were confined in their homes, more and more individuals relied on Amazon to get their goods while fewer and fewer left their abodes.
With an increasing number of shoppers opting for online orders and next-day delivery, small business sales decreased substantially because before 2020, brick-and-mortar small businesses barely had an online presence. Instead, they relied on locals or passerbyers to stay competitive.
After 2020, a vast majority of those small businesses hopped on the eCommerce bandwagon because Amazon allowed small businesses to stay close to customers who became accustomed to online shopping during the pandemic.
The question of whether or not Amazon actually supports third-party small business sellers continues to surface. While the Small Business badge would definitely help pave the way for small businesses to succeed, as of April 2022, Amazon announced that it would add a five percent surcharge for third-party sellers.
The surcharge hurts small businesses in the sense that they depend on Amazon to satisfy their fulfillment needs. What’s more, in 2020, The Wall Street Journal accused Amazon of unethically mismanaging third-party seller data and using it to launch competing products of its own.
Despite these mishaps, Amazon gives small businesses the opportunity to operate like big businesses. Partnering with Amazon has its perks. For example, Amazon offers small businesses an immense volume of customers they would not be able to attract otherwise with their storefronts alone.
The eCommerce giant also allows small businesses to sell their products globally without having to build or maintain their own personal websites. Additionally, Amazon’s services give small businesses a chance to operate like larger ones by taking a chunk of logistics off their plate (storing, packing, shipping), providing them with more time to focus on customer service and business strategies to maximize sales.
So, is the Small Business badge Amazon’s latest shot at redemption? Can the badge really pave the way for small businesses to succeed in such a competitive online marketplace? Simply put, perhaps.
Other Amazon Badges that Help Small Businesses
There are more ways than one that small businesses can thrive on Amazon. Even if they cannot get the Small Business badge, small businesses can aspire to earn other badges. Currently, Amazon has four main badges: the best Seller badge, Amazon’s Choice badge, the New Release badge, and the Deal of the Day and Limited-Time Deals badge.
The Best Seller Badge
Although difficult to maintain, the Best Seller badge is worth its weight in gold. This kind of badge can be identified on the platform for having an orange ribbon below the star rating of a product with text that says “#1 Best Seller.” Essentially, the Best Seller badge conveys status and quality and can significantly increase a product’s odds of boosting visibility and sales collectively.
Amazon’s Choice Badge
The Amazon’s Choice badge is extremely keyword-specific and is awarded to sellers with the best keyword match. Every keyword has its own badge. To earn the Amazon’s Choice badges, sellers should have a strong SEO strategy, ensure excellent product ratings and maintain five-star reviews, and keep their return rate down.
New Release Badge
The New Release badge is sometimes coupled with either the Amazon Choice or Best Seller badge, and its prime purpose is to draw attention to shoppers. It is awarded to those sellers who offer new products and is only available for the first 90 days of when a product is launched. To earn this badge, product listings should be optimized and distinguished with excellent media.
Deal of the Day and Limited-Time Deals Badge
The Deal of the Day and Limited-Time Deals badge runs for a limited time and is given to those products assessed by Amazon’s algorithm. These badges have high-exposure positions on the platform, increasing product visibility in the marketplace at large.
In sum, if Amazon decides to follow through with it after the trial period, the Small Business badge can really be a game-changer for small businesses. Despite the ongoing friction between Amazon products and small business products on the platform, the Small Business badge has its fair share of benefits.
In the future, Amazon also expressed interest in adding further discovery features on its platform, such as the ability to search specifically for third-party sellers, making it much easier for shoppers to use specific characteristics when sifting through Amazon’s overwhelming SKU count.
Overall, the online support for small businesses is charming and proving successful. With more and more shoppers wanting to help small businesses, the more Amazon will have to subsequently comply with their wants and show its support as well. However, is the Small Business badge merely a CSR stunt trying to boast Amazon’s credibility, or is it a genuine effort to support small businesses?