Is Buying Our Kids and Baby Clothing On Amazon Still Supporting A Small Business?

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amazon logo

Whether you love it or hate it, the majority of Americans today are shopping online at Amazon for clothing and beyond.

According to Zippia, around 70% of American adults are Prime members, and 89% of U.S. consumers are more likely to buy products from Amazon than from any other e-commerce store.

As a small business offering kids and baby clothing, finding shoppers online can be challenging. Our company has benefitted year-over-year from having a store on Amazon. Did we just upload our own store? It’s not that simple.

Did you know that when you’re buying kids clothing or products on Amazon Prime, sometimes it comes from Amazon directly and sometimes it comes from a third-party seller (3P)’s store?

  • A 3P owns the merchandise and pays Amazon a fee to store and ship items.

Navigating Amazon as a small business is overwhelming – working with a third-party seller helped us continue focusing on how to best make clothing, instead of deciphering how the algorithm on Amazon works.

boy in made in usa clothing.

Many people think they shouldn’t shop on Amazon because of the controversial concerns over the company and how it does business.

Amazon boxes on a doorstep

Here’s how selling clothing online at Amazon has helped our small business –

The Advantage Of Partnering With A 3P Far Surpasses Working Directly With Amazon. If you work with a 3P, you have more control over your product. The seller is your rep in the Amazon world – they have tools to help you be successful on the platform. If you sell directly to Amazon, they do whatever they want – you don’t even control your brand or pricing. Originally, we sold directly to Amazon, but they didn’t do any marketing of our products, so no advertising and no SEO. Because of that, the sales weren’t great, and after 8 weeks, they put our clothing on clearance prices, undercutting all our other wholesale customers. We were disappointed, but we knew there was a potential to do business on Amazon. When we met our 3P, we were excited to learn that they control the selling price, marketing and can help a brand get more exposure through SEO and advertising. Plus, our seller was a small business owner like us, so he understands the concerns of a small business, unlike dealing directly with a huge company like Amazon.

Purchasing Our Clothes On Amazon Is Supporting Another Small Business. Many people think they shouldn’t shop on Amazon because of the controversial concerns over the company and how it does business. People often call us and tell us they want to shop directly with us to help support a small business, as opposed to purchasing from a massive company. However, the truth is for us and many companies, we partner with 3Ps that are small businesses to sell on Amazon together. When you put one of our products in the cart, you’ll see underneath the Buy Now button, that it’s shipped from Amazon but it’s sold by our 3P. And actually, if it says sold by City Threads, that means we are going to ship it to you directly from our warehouse. However, not all 3Ps are the same – we have an exclusive relationship with our 3P, meaning that no one else is supposed to sell our products on Amazon. Some products are being sold by multiple sellers. Some of the sellers are bigger, more corporate companies that don’t have as much concern for small business. For us, that’s not the case – we love our seller and we encourage people to buy our clothing on Amazon.

Reach New Customers Online To expect that a brand can reach everyone online today is impossible – accessing new shoppers solely through our own website is challenging. For us as a small kids clothing business, we were thrilled to discover that we could reach far more customers with Amazon than we could on our own. Certain apparel companies don’t sell on Amazon, but to get the attention of the public, they have to have an enormous marketing budget to grow their own web business. We also evolved from being a wholesale business, not being a direct-to-consumer business, so working with a 3P was a similar wholesaler/retailer relationship that we’ve been accustomed to.

Amazon Reviews Can Be Valuable To Help Sell & Gain Shopper Feedback Getting insight from shoppers is invaluable. For our kids clothing store, knowing what parents and kids think helps us excel and make changes when necessary. Maybe a dress isn’t fitting well or a size is off for certain kids – getting this feedback through reviews helps us ensure we are listening and learning along the way. Also, it reminds us and other shoppers why City Threads can be one of the best options for kids, baby and adult clothing made in the U.S.A. Reviews also help shoppers understand sizing and fit before making a purchase – we see high value in this.

While no platform today is perfect, we have found immense success with our online Amazon store. It’s been the best way to access new shoppers for our baby, kids, and adult clothing, and a way to invest in another small business along the way.

Written by: City Threads Cofounders Shayna Samuels & Joe Willis, and Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.