Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.
Amazon’s biggest event of the year officially ended this month with the company announcing that it was the “biggest Prime Day event ever”. With over 300 million items being sold worldwide, the company has claimed the milestone is a victory for small and medium-sized businesses. The reason for this is that most products came from small and medium-sized businesses. However, many are wondering what the future will look like for these businesses now the event is over.
Over the past years, Amazon has found itself in the middle of several controversies that include suppliers being linked to forced labor, poor working conditions, and taking actions that negatively affect sellers. Despite the company launching a “Support Small Businesses to Win Big” sweepstakes during this year’s event, history has shown that the giant doesn’t have the best interest of its sellers in mind.
A Wall Street Journal report back in 2019 revealed that Amazon manipulated its product-search system to boost its own brands, a practice that continues to this date. More recently, Reuter reported on Amazon’s persistent practice of copying products that it later sold at a lower price, a move sellers had been complaining about for years. This lack of transparency has put Amazon in the spotlight, with entrepreneurs like Krissy Mashinsky choosing to take action by creating platforms like USA Strong.
“Our mission is to bring transparency to the supply chain, support local manufacturing, support local businesses, and help create jobs,” says Krissy about the platform. “Shopping locally, honesty and transparency go hand in hand. Where a product is made, how it is made, who made it, is important to people.”
USA Strong is one of the many companies looking to take on Amazon at a time when many consumers are looking for alternatives. By offering a means for small and mid-sized USA businesses to offer their products to consumers, Krissy believes she can make a bigger impact on local communities. For this purpose, USA Strong has implemented a blockchain solution that allows users to verify the supply chain of all products offered in the marketplace.
Unlike Amazon, Krissy’s company doesn’t own a brand that creates a conflict of interest nor requires them to go through complex calculations to calculate selling costs. Whereas Amazon’s pricing depends on the selling plan, referral fees, fulfillment fees, inventory fees, high-volume listing fees, and many more, USA strong has a flat commission.
By joining USA Strong, entrepreneurs not only gain access to the marketplace but also get to make part of a bigger community. Strong TV, the company’s media platform, offers brands the chance to get featured, learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, and collaborate with ambassadors to reach a new audience.
With American consumers worrying about transparency, sustainability, and ethical manufacturing more than ever, the time seems right for platforms like USA Strong. While it is unlikely that Amazon and its practices will disappear in a matter of months, competition is rising. Will Krissy and like-minded entrepreneurs succeed in taking on Goliath? Only time will tell.