Amazon Accelerate 2021 brought together thousands of entrepreneurs to hear from small business owners and Amazon leaders about growing a successful business on Amazon.
Speakers at the conference ranged from Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to small business owners like Danyel Surrency-Jones, the CEO and co-founder of POWERHANDZ. She gave a stirring address from the Accelerate stage, noting how other stores wouldn’t give her products a chance.
“When retailers lacked shelf space for this minority-owned business, we thought differently about our sales and marketing channel, and partnered with Amazon,” Surrency-Jones said. “We are all each other’s opportunity brokers.”
The Accelerate conference is focused on the thriving community of third-party sellers, who account for more than half of all products purchased on Amazon. Last year nearly 200,000 new selling partners began selling in Amazon’s U.S. store —up 45% since 2019—and between September 2020 and August 2021 the number of U.S. sellers who surpassed $1 million in sales grew nearly 15%. Sellers have also created more than an estimated 1.8 million jobs across the U.S.
Jassy and Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Dave Clark sat down for longer discussions during the conference, emphasizing Amazon’s focus on its partnership with sellers.
"The growth is pretty amazing," said Jassy, commenting on rising sales and engagement on Amazon by sellers. "That growth doesn’t come automatically. It's a lot of hard work and a lot of collaboration, working together collectively as a community. We have to earn that trust with consumers every day, every week, every month, every year ... Thank you for the partnership.”
Amazon also announced a range of new tools, programs, and services to help sellers get started, build their brands, and scale and grow with Amazon. In total, Amazon made more than 30 product and service announcements and updates during the conference. Here are some of the top announcements:
- Product Opportunity Explorer
A solution to help sellers identify new high-potential products to sell, based on unmet customer demand. It provides detailed insights into what customers are searching for, clicking on, and buying, as well as product sales history, pricing trends, and more.
- Search Analytics Dashboard
A tool helping sellers better understand customers’ interests and shopping choices about their products. The dashboard provides a wealth of anonymized data to improve sellers’ listing, inventory planning, and product development road map to grow both on and off Amazon.
- Brand-Building Innovations
Programs that assist brands in telling their story, grow customer loyalty, and increase sales. Over 100,000 brands have joined Amazon in 2021, and programs like Amazon Brand Referral Bonus, Amazon Customer Engagement, A+ Story Cards, and Customer Review Resolution help brands of all types succeed on Amazon.
- Local Selling
Capabilities that empower small business to reach more local customers and offer the option to “buy online, pick up in store.” Amazon sellers can grow by listing and offering products to local customers in designated areas for in-store pickup or for fast delivery with add-on services.
- Global Selling
Tools that enable U.S. small businesses to grow their export sales. Last year, 20,000 U.S. sellers launched in Amazon global stores, and new tools identify international sales opportunities for third-party sellers, simplify listing products in Amazon’s stores around the world, enable global inventory management, and allow U.S. sellers who fulfill orders themselves to use Customer Service by Amazon free of charge.
Additionally, Amazon announced BBA Connect, a new benefit for the Black Business Accelerator (BBA) that connects Black entrepreneurs with a dedicated network of mentors to accelerate their success as sellers. Amazon has also assembled a BBA Advisory Council of Black business leaders who will provide strategic guidance for the program.
The conference also featured Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., president and CEO of Black Enterprise, in a fireside chat with Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Customer Trust and Partner Support. Graves discussed the importance of providing resources to Black-owned businesses.
Isabella Casillas Guzman, who leads the U.S. Small Business Administration, also joined Mehta on stage to discuss the shared focus on empowering small businesses. “One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that businesses have adopted technology,” said Guzman. “We know the future is in ecommerce, and we need to make sure our businesses are learning how to do this, they’re doing it safely, and they have key partners.”
Amazon Accelerate 2021 delivered more than 30 hours of livestreamed content, and more than 3,000 of the event attendees participated in two and half hours of community networking. Some of the most popular sessions at Accelerate included Managing Your Account Health and Performance, Pricing Strategies to Accelerate Your Sales, and Launch and Grow Your Business on Amazon featuring a seller panel.
View any session from Accelerate 2021 at no cost.