Leap in number of Scots firms selling on Amazon, with Glasgow a star performer

More than 4,000 Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) now sell professionally on Amazon, with those in Glasgow among the top performers in the UK, according to a study published today by the online retail giant.

Its UK SME Impact Report highlights how 85,000-plus relevant firms altogether in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland now sell on Amazon, up by a quarter year on year, with in excess of 15,000 seeing sales exceed £100,000 last year, and at least 700 reaching sales of £1 million or more for the first time.

Scotland’s pool of sellers was up around 30 per cent on 2020, with those in Glasgow generating revenue of almost £190,000, one of the highest recorded for any city region in the UK, while the Edinburgh figure was almost £140,000.

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'Today, the vast majority of our growth is coming through Amazon,' says Scotland's MorphCostumes. Picture: contributed.
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Fraser Smeaton, owner and co-founder of Scottish firm MorphCostumes, said: “Today, the vast majority of our growth is coming through Amazon. Costumes tend to be a last-minute purchase, and Amazon is often the go-to place for customers.”

Dave Law, founder of Edinburgh-based Faff Coffee, said: “As soon as the business launched, we started selling on Amazon. I knew coffee was a huge category on the site and Faff needed to be on there… We’ve managed to get a lot of new customers on the site that we just wouldn’t have found otherwise.”

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Amazon also said more than half of all physical product sales on its store in the UK are from independent selling partners, most of whom are SMEs, who reached hundreds of millions of customers around the globe in 2021, with more than half of UK-based sellers exporting. Relevant firms also sold more than 950 million products on Amazon, up from 750 million the year before, and equivalent to more than 1,750 a minute on average.

Amazon is today also announcing the launch of its upgraded Amazon Small Business Accelerator, which it says will serve the “evolving” needs of the UK’s small business community, comprising accessible and free-to-use resources for all start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs.

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The initiative also includes Amazon Masterclasses to help people learn from the company’s senior leaders about decision-making, innovation, customer obsession and more; and new partners including Be the Business, Planet Mark, and The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who will deliver online content and specialist in-depth workshops and bootcamps.

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Caroline Lavelle, chief commercial officer at the FSB, said: “It’s always good to see companies like Amazon play a role in supporting our smaller businesses to improve their online presence and reach. We hope that many of our members will find this useful.”

John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon, said: “Supporting UK small businesses to fulfil their potential remains an essential part of what we do. Today we’re proud to launch our revamped Amazon Small Business Accelerator, which will help even more small businesses across the UK.

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"Many people told us the Accelerator was the catalyst for them to start a new business during and since the pandemic, so we are excited to see how many more we can reach with new content, events and partners. In addition, the SME Impact Report shows many small businesses are proving resilient, and thriving against a challenging backdrop, with continued sales growth at home and abroad by using Amazon’s world-leading services to help them.”

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