Pay disparity. It’s not a new concept. The fact that women are paid less than men for the same work has been an issue since women entered the workforce.
However, there are some jobs and businesses that don’t financially discriminate against women, including Amazon entrepreneurship.
Since selling on Amazon is one of those businesses that offers a level playing field for both genders, we took a closer look at traits of female Amazon sellers* to determine what these Amazon entrepreneurs have in common, like:
- Half own a business outside of Amazon
- Nearly all women use FBA (93%)
- Two-thirds use the private label business model (65%)
- Over half reported bigger profits in 2019 (57%)
- #1 challenge: getting reviews 44%
Let’s dive deeper into the data.
Female entrepreneurs on Amazon are educated
Though Amazon sellers don’t necessarily need a post-secondary education in order to succeed, 71% of women actively selling on the platform do have a college education.
Yet, even though female entrepreneurs are well-educated, over half categorize their Amazon knowledge as average.
- 47% have a Bachelor’s degree
- 24% have an advanced degree (Master’s or PhD)
- 56% see themselves as intermediate when it comes to knowing how to sell on Amazon
Women are experienced Amazon sellers and entrepreneurs
While e-commerce is a first for nearly two-thirds of female sellers, almost half have been selling for three years or longer.
Also, half of the women selling on Amazon own another company, in addition to their Amazon business.
- 65% said Amazon is their first experience as a web entrepreneur
- 48% have been selling on Amazon for 3+ yrs
- 49% own a business outside of Amazon
Most women started selling on Amazon for the flexibility it offers
As for why female entrepreneurs decided to sell on Amazon, their number one reason is the flexibility it offers. And considering that 30% of women said they are a stay-at-home parent, on maternity leave, or working fewer than 40 hours per week outside the home, that makes sense.
Coming in a close second, a significant number of women said they started their Amazon businesses to replace (rather than supplement) their current income.
“Take action” and “don’t quit” are the best pieces of advice female Amazon sellers have received
The Jungle Scout team also reached out to our social media following to ask women sellers for the best advice they’ve ever received when it comes to selling on Amazon.
Though many answers were unique, 25% of the women quoted “don’t quit” and “keep going” as the most helpful words of wisdom given.
Others mentioned the following useful tips:
- “Learn to use a spreadsheet. Work out the fees first. And get a product inspection. Every…single…time.” – Sam
- “Create a brand, rather than [having] random products.” – Liz
- “Success means different thing[s] on Amazon. [There are] different ways to approach this biz.” – Ming
- “Educate but don’t overwhelm yourself.” – Mana
More than half of women sellers are expanding their product suite
In terms of the products they sell, a third of women stated they currently have 1-5 active listings on Amazon.
But, in 2020, over half of the women selling on Amazon said they plan to add more items to their present product catalog.
- 35% have 1-5 products listed
- 51% plan to expand their brand by adding new products
In fact, in 2020 finding new products to sell is women’s number one focus
After product research, female sellers report listing optimization and inventory management as their second and third priorities.
Women say they’re successful on Amazon because they have the time
Like the best bits of advice women have received, when it comes to the reason why someone is successful on Amazon, answers will vary.
For female Amazon sellers, however, having the time to build and focus on their business is the top reason they’re succeeding on the platform. Having drive and ambition, and the right tools and information aren’t far behind.
But, in order to succeed, they rely most heavily on their ability to analyze data and persevere
As for actual skill sets, female sellers on social media said that leaning into their ability to research and analyze data, as well as persevering when things get tough, are necessary in order to prosper on Amazon.
- Perseverance/Persistence: 25%
- Research/Analyzing data: 25%
- Resourcefulness: 13%
- Other skills
- Attention to detail
- Out-of-the-box thinking
Selling on Amazon is still a part of women’s e-commerce strategies for 2020 and beyond
Women are still planning on selling on Amazon in 2020. Moreover, as long as rising costs and competition don’t make it impossible to turn a profit, virtually all women said they would continue selling on Amazon past 2020.
- 93% will sell on Amazon in 2020
- 91% will continue to sell on Amazon as long as it’s profitable
- 72% wished they’d started selling sooner
However, women think Amazon is a better platform for shoppers than it is for sellers
But, just because they’re going to continue selling on the site doesn’t mean everyone is a fan. 45% of female sellers don’t think Amazon is a good retail site for sellers.
- 86% say Amazon is good for consumers
- 55% say Amazon is good for sellers
Women say their sensitivity to a buyer’s needs and emotions gives them an advantage on Amazon over men
Though a quarter of women said Amazon was an equalizer with respect to gender, the biggest advantage our social media followers said they had over men when selling on Amazon is understanding their customers.
- Sensitivity to buyers’ needs/emotions: 38%
- Attention to detail: 25%
- No advantages; all equal: 25%
They highlighted these advantages as well:
- “I think we are more [detail-oriented] and understand our audience better. We are the main shoppers in most households.” – Meeka
- “Maybe we have less pressure to bring home the dough so we have more room for failure.” – Ming
- “Focus.” – Marilou
When it comes to disadvantages as a woman, though, most female Amazon sellers say there aren’t any
On the flip side, 63% of women said everything is equal between men and women who sell on Amazon. Although, 13% of our social media respondents said they are at a disadvantage technologically.
This is what some women had to say:
- “As a [woman], I don’t feel safe travelling to different part[s] of the world to do sourcing alone.” – Ming
- “It’s all men so it’s hard to find like minded females to connect with and share ups and downs along with challenges of everyday life.” – Meeka
- “We are undervalued.” – Amanda
- “None. It is what you make it.” – DG
While some of the data above came from a social media survey we conducted in March 2020, the majority of the stats reference answers from 1,046 respondents who have more than one year of experience selling on Amazon, and have at least one active listing.
In addition, they sell in all 14 Amazon marketplaces, in all relevant Amazon product categories, and range in age from 18 to 80+.
To access the report in its entirety, check out and download “The State of the Amazon Seller” for 2020.
For more information about this survey and/or Jungle Scout’s data, please contact [email protected].