Since 2004, Lisa Will has upheld the dream of supporting children's ability to play outdoors every day, regardless of the weather. As an adamant lover of nature, she frequently took her infant son on her various outdoor adventures, but his footwear would always fall off, leaving his feet cold and exposed.
After searching the market, unable to find a plausible footwear fix, she decided to put her dream into action while subsequently helping other families in her same position.
Like many small-to-medium-sized business owners, Will began her operations out of her own home, producing the Stonz Bootie and selling locally amongst her community in Vancouver, B.C.
But then she began selling her products online using Amazon.
“I love hearing that Stonz helps parents get outside with their kids. We make sure we have you covered head to toe, in all seasons, in any kind of weather, and the quality to last through many children!” Will enthusiastically explains. “Amazon helps us reach our customers – many who live in more remote areas and nearer to nature. Access for our customers when they need our gear is so important. It’s Stonz’s mission to make outside easy... no matter the weather!”
Will’s words echo the excitement of tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across the country who sell their products, promote their brands and scale their success using Amazon.
Since 2003, Amazon.ca has made virtual shelf space available for SMBs — whether a few hundred employees or just one — to engage with millions of previously out-of-reach customers. In 2020, more than 40,000 third-party sellers in Canada (most of them SMBs) used Amazon to sell products and services, of which over 4,000 enjoyed annual sales of $100,000 USD or more. In fact, sellers sold an average of more than 200 products every minute — totalling almost 110 million products in that year alone. Compared to the previous year, the number of Canadian sellers who surpassed $1 million USD in sales grew by more than 38%.
Amazon continuously seeks out new and innovative ways to assist the growth of SMBs in B.C. and across Canada. These include Stores, a free branded online storefront that provides tools with which brands can create a customizable destination; the Brand Analytics feature, which helps sellers make informed decisions about their marketing activities; and Brand Registry, another free service that allows brands to protect their intellectual property rights. Additionally, Amazon recently launched the Intellectual Property Accelerator, which makes it easier and more cost effective for SMBs to obtain trademarks, protect their brands, and deal with infringing goods.
Amazon also aligns itself with progressive organizations and events that help SMBs gain access to valuable professional knowledge. Recently, Amazon partnered with the Women in Leadership Foundation to present the webinar “Expand Your Market with Selling on Amazon.” Find the link to a video of this event at the bottom of the story.
These tools, services and collaborations are merely a few aspects of Amazon’s overarching commitment to helping Canadians realize their dreams, which includes providing meaningful, secure and well-paying jobs. At the time of this writing, Amazon employs 39,500 full- and part-time individuals across the country, of which 10,000 are in B.C. Full-time employees receive competitive wages plus medical, vision, and dental coverage; a group RRSP plan; and stock awards. A variety of company-funded training opportunities helps them grow their careers and transition into higher-paying, in-demand positions, both within Amazon and beyond.
In recognition of its efforts, Amazon was named one of B.C.’s Top Employers in both 2020 and 2021.
“As a small-business owner, selling our products via Amazon enables us to reach a much wider customer base across Canada that we would not ordinarily have access to,” says Sacha Whitehead, founder of Lake Country-based gift company Sacha & Co. “Working with Amazon lets us focus on designing and making new products in our range. With Amazon taking care of order fulfillment, they have helped us grow quicker than we ever imagined, all while balancing family life.”
To learn more about how Amazon supports Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses via its Support Small storefront, visit amazon.ca/supportsmall. To view the Women in Leadership Foundation’s “Expand Your Market with Selling on Amazon” event, click here.