When it comes to e-commerce retail, Amazon (AMZN) is putting its money where its biggest sellers are.
The web retail behemoth — which has recently been put on the defensive for its more controversial business practices — is spending $15 billion on new tools to help the over 1.9 million small businesses that rely on Amazon every day, a top executive told Yahoo Finance.
Amazon is “earth’s biggest champion of small businesses,” Nick Denissen, Amazon’s vice president of small business told “On The Move” in an interview on Friday.
“Small business partners are integral to our business model. Their success is our success, and that's why we're investing heavily in them,” Denissen added.
Part of that investment is in new tools to manage pricing and inventory, along with brand analytics software to help a small business better leverage its image.
“They're able to see and test various aspects of their brands and get more insights, which helps them in forming their product decisions and essentially building out their brand,” Denissen said.
He added that Amazon is aiming to deliver “the best possible experience for our customers,” and “empower small business to better serve customers.”
But not everyone is thrilled with having to deal with Amazon.
Regulators are reportedly probing a complaint that Amazon was rewarding third party sellers who use its logistics services with better placement on the site.
The e-commerce giant has also been accused of pushing third party sellers into raising prices on competing sites like Walmart.com (WMT). Those that don’t comply reportedly see their offerings pushed lower in search results or even blocked from view on Amazon.
And shipping recently became more difficult for Amazon’s sellers. As part of a long-running dispute, Amazon briefly barred third party merchants from shipping through Fedex (FDX), though it later relented.
Dennisen told Yahoo Finance they are always listening to those third party sellers, and trying to make sure Amazon works for them.
“The voice of the small business partners is an integral part of how we're continuing to develop and evolve our business model,” he said. “Our interests are aligned and really focused on offering the best tools and services for them to grow their business.”