Amazon is setting up a dedicated online storefront in Singapore to showcase stories and products offered by 12 women-owned businesses over the next four weeks - from craft supplies to baby and maternity essentials.
The sellers featured include Yvon Bock, founder of baby and maternity lifestyle brand Hegen; Beth Candice Wu, founder of local gift company and social enterprise HoneySpree; Pauline Ng, founder of cult-premium skincare brand Porcelain; Suzanne Vetillart, CEO of sustainable handcrafted jewelry brand Boma Jewelry; Trimongsowati Sekarpantjawati, founder of holistic wellness brand Botanica Culture; Connie Tan, founder of creative craft supplies shop Glittery Garden; and Sarah Jean Rodrigues, founder of local wine company Wine with Us.
The founders have not only created jobs and enabled financial independence in their communities, but also championed eco-friendly business practices. Through this initiative, Amazon seeks to inspire more entrepreneurs and consumers to #ChooseToChallenge gender stereotypes and empower local business owners, regardless of their gender, to sell online and scale globally. #ChooseToChallenge is the theme for this year's International Women's Day, which encourages individuals to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality.
In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from Amazon Singapore said to promote the dedicated storefront and further the reach of its sellers' stories, the platform will be sharing video content on its Instagram page, alongside its collaboration with a few key influencers throughout March.
According to the study titled "The power of parity: Advancing women's equality in Asia Pacific" by McKinsey Global Institute, increasing gender equality in Singapore's workforce could add up to SG$26 billion to the country's GDP by 2025.
Bernard Tay, Amazon.sg seller services and head of Amazon global selling Southeast Asia, said women are a critical force for Singapore's economic progress and the growth of their businesses fuels our collective success. "Amazon is proud to mark this year's International Women's Day by celebrating the resilience of women entrepreneurs and showcasing their success stories. We hope that their experiences will resonate with other entrepreneurs, encouraging them to #ChooseToChallenge gender conventions and grow their businesses globally with us," he added.
The dedicated storefront is in addition to its Market Readiness Assistance Scheme done in conjunction with Enterprise Singapore, which helps local retailers, including women-run businesses, sell online and scale globally. The support includes up to 70% of eligible costs for overseas promotion, overseas business development and overseas country set-up and capped at a maximum of SG$100,000 per new country.
The eCommerce giant previously said it has offered support to "thousands of SMBs" keen to sell online with Amazon.sg and its stores globally. To further help local sellers, it also introduced the Amazon seller app to help local businesses in Singapore track sales and manage their business via mobile. Amazon is also currently collaborating with the Infocomm Media Development Authority for the digital resilience bonus, offering eligible SMBs a bonus of up to SG$2,500 for selling on eCommerce channels such as Amazon.
Separately on a global scale, the company also refreshed its app icon from a blue shopping cart to one that resembles a package with Amazon's smiling arrow logo and a strip of blue tape at the top. This is the first update to its global mobile icon in more than five years and it is designed to be instantly recognisable to customers worldwide.
The new icon follows recent visual and functional updates to the app, including new bottom navigation, simplified top navigation, and a new color scheme. Amazon's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that the company is always exploring new ways to delight its customers. "We designed the new icon to spark anticipation, excitement, and joy when customers start their shopping journey on their phone, just as they do when they see our boxes on their door step," the spokesperson added.
According to multiple media reports including BBC , The New York Times and CBS News , Amazon tweaked the logo design after some netizens commented that the initial logo resembled Adolf Hitler's face. Media outlets said the previous icon had "a toothbrush-style mustache" which was associated with Hitler.
The eCommerce giant experienced a leadership change last month when Andrew Jassy was appointed to take over Jeff Bezos, as the latter transitions to the role of executive chair in the third quarter. Jassy has been with the company since 1997 and was the brainchild of Amazon Web Services which was launched in 2006.
Analysis: What Amazon's leadership change signals to the market
Amazon SG and Enterprise Singapore help local retailers scale globally with assistance scheme
Amazon reportedly sued for racial discrimination practice
Amazon SG combines everyday objects with fresh produce to push new grocery delivery service
Amazon SG on the hunt for advertising, marketing, PR and design roles
Amazon SG and Mothership quiz consumers about their shopper persona ahead of Prime Day