Amazon Prime Day 2021 – Meet some of the independent small businesses set to benefit

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This Prime Day, and for the remainder of 2021, Amazon has pledged to spend more than $100 million globally on promotional activities to encourage customers to shop small. In the run-up to the two-day event (until 20 June), Prime customers will receive £10 credit to spend on Prime Day for every £10 they spend with a small business.

Amazon’s Prime Day event for 2021 will be held across 21-22 June, offering Prime customers over two million deals worldwide across every category. More than a million of these deals come from independent selling partners, many of whom are small and medium-sized businesses.

Amazon has a long track record of supporting small businesses across the UK. During the 12 months ending May 2020, UK selling partners sold more than 600 million products on Amazon stores, up 100 million from the previous year – that's 1,200 products sold per minute.

Tens of thousands of UK-based small and medium-sized businesses sell their products in Amazon’s stores, and they support more than 85,000 job opportunities in the UK. More than 60% of these businesses export to customers all over the world. Last year the company launched the Amazon Small Business Accelerator with business support network Enterprise Nation to provide 200,000 small businesses with free training on a variety of topics, including social media marketing, selling online, scaling production and hiring. Businesses across the UK can sign up for free today here.

In addition to the usual promotions, from now until Prime Day, for Prime customers and first-time users of the charity initiative AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate an enhanced five per cent donation to customers’ chosen charities – ten times the regular donation.

The following artisan small businesses are just some of the companies set to benefit from a sales bump this Prime Day.

Based in Ringwood, Hampshire, Manta Makes - a family business designing and making personalised, engraved wedding decor and keepsake gifts - was set up in 2016 by founders 36-year-old Samantha Riley and her 38-year-old husband, Paul Riley. As new parents, they wanted a better work/life balance to spend more time with their new baby. 

Samantha Riley commented: "People always think of Amazon as this massive company, but for many normal people and businesses like ours - especially if you're stuck in the middle of nowhere - Amazon is a business lifeline and key to our success and growth.

"As a small business owner, Prime Day has had a huge impact on our sales year-on-year. Last year it helped our business grow rapidly and enabled us to employ more local staff with a 50% staff increase around Prime Day to keep up with orders in the last part of 2020.”

Entrepreneurs and friends 32-year-old Andy Jefferies, and Ben Muller threw in the towel at their old jobs to launch this colourful beachwear brand, retailing quick-drying towels, shorts, pool/beach changing ponchos, and hair wraps. Following an appearance on Dragon's Den and an investment from Deborah Meaden, the London based business has gone from strength to strength, operating in 14 countries through Amazon and employing 20 people. Despite the pandemic, they managed to grow the business by 15%, with their best-selling quick-drying hair wraps enjoying an 80% YOY uplift! Pre-Covid, they had an £8m turnover and forecast a £12m turnover for this year. 

Andy Jefferies commented: "We launched our business on Amazon a few years ago. It was so much easier doing it this way, as you have the equivalent of an in-house customer services team, marketing and fulfilment support all in one place. Without Amazon, we would not have grown and exported to new markets along the way.

"Prime Day is an important moment for us as it brings new customers to our business and has previously helped to increase our sales tenfold. It's not just the exposure you get during the event – it allows us to grow once Prime Day is over. The small business promotion in the run-up to Prime Day also means we can deliver more products as the weather warms with more people than ever talking about Dock & Bay.”

Andy credits much of their growth to selling on Amazon, which has helped them expand their customer base globally to 14 cities. They're now thinking about opening an office in America.

Free Soul sells women-focused nutritional health products that support hormonal balance, bone density, energy and mood and was founded by 27-year-old Arjun Sofat, who was previously an Investment Banker. Following his mother's need for additional supplements to support her health, he decided to quit his day job to develop a mainly vegan, vitamin and nutrition-rich protein powders, meals, gummies and supplements. He launched his business in 2017 by selling on Amazon.

Not only has Amazon helped Free Soul reach customers quickly, but the founder has also helped other SMBs by providing training and guidance for them through Amazon Small Business Accelerator programme - support for more than 200,000 small businesses and startups across the UK.

Arjun Sofat commented: "Prime Day allows us to offer the market incredible deals, which gives us an amazing opportunity to serve an even greater pool of customers and get the brand out there! If you're not selling on Amazon, you're missing out as the traffic and customers already there and guaranteed."

STRP'D sells nut, gluten and dairy-free flour natural tiger nut products derived from an ancient West African root vegetable and was set up by London-based founder, 32-year-old Ayesha Grover. She had the vision to create something new with tiger nut - an ingredient she discovered when she moved back to her hometown in Nigeria. 

After attending Amazon's Small Business Accelerator programme, Ayesha launched on Amazon. Within three months of being listed, she has seen a month-on-month growth of 333%, winning the Amazon Choice Badge Award. She would not have seen this sales spike without the support from Amazon. 

Ayesha Grover commented: "This will be my first Prime Day as a seller, and, coupled with the strategic tips I picked from Amazon's small business bootcamp - the Amazon Small Business Accelerator, that has allowed me to sell successfully on Amazon - and my experience with Prime as a customer - I understand the powerful impact of Prime Day and am looking forward to taking part as a small business seller."

Life’s Little Recipies - a store that sells unique gift bags for every occasion (i.e. birthdays, weddings, friendship, divorce, valentine's, Christmas etc.) was set up by an ex-cancer nurse, Devon-based 48-year-old Fionna Thomas, in 2016. 

Fiona had the idea to start the company after seeing her friend get ill and wanting to gift them something considered and priceless to say thank you and demonstrate her support. But, for Fiona, the best part of the experience with Life's Little Recipes is hearing how the 'Recipes' have enabled people to connect, to share their love, thoughtfulness and warmth – it shows that communication with each other (in whatever form that may be) can give a positive outcome to a person's relationship and alter their day! 

Fionna Thomas commented: "Whilst the focus of Prime Day is on deals, the additional number of shoppers on Amazon presents an opportunity for Life's Little Recipes to engage with new customers who haven't found us yet, and will hopefully love our products as much as so many others do, coming back time and again throughout the year.

"Prime Day attracts a significant number of additional customers to shop on Amazon over this period. This means a wider audience to find products from Life's Little Recipes and an increase in sales as a result," continued Thomas.