In 2002, we opened our store to selling partners, which meant that independent companies from Austria could offer their products via Amazon for the first time, gaining access to millions of customers worldwide. The majority of local selling partners - over 2,500 from Austria - are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “SMEs are a driving force for innovation and growth. It is crucial to support them in their digital transformation,” says Florian Frauscher, head of the section for business location, innovation and internationalisation in the Federal Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs. Markus Schöberl, Director of Seller Services at Amazon in Austria and Germany, confirms: “Every day we see how SMEs grow through e-commerce and successfully digitise their businesses.”

Daniela Plekat, Interim Country Lead at Amazon Austria
Daniela Plekat, Interim Country Lead at Amazon Austria

SMEs as the backbone of the Austrian economy

In order to support entrepreneurs in exploiting the full potential of online trading, Amazon launched the e-learning platform Quickstart Online, together with Austrian partners such as the Trade Division of the Chamber of Commerce and the E-Commerce Quality Sign. In free seminars and workshops on the subject of e-commerce, experts on the platform share their knowledge and support local SMEs in digitising their business - whether through their own web shop or a store like Amazon. To date, over 40,000 entrepreneurs in Austria and Germany have been supported through Quickstart Online.

Quickstart Online as a live event for the first time

“Quickstart Online is a place for exchange and further training for our Austrian selling partners and those who want to become one – not just online. We want to shape the future of e-commerce together with you,” said Rocco Bräuniger, Amazon’s Country Manager for Austria and Germany. For this reason, Quickstart Online was presented as a live event for the first time this month. A programme featuring experts from politics and business awaited over 220 participants at the Ottakringer Brewery in Vienna, including Eva-Maria Himmelbauer (Member of the National Council), Thorsten Behrens (Managing Director, Austrian E-Commerce Quality Sign), and Sebastian Eckler (Head of Enterprise, AWS Austria). Panels, courses and business speed dating offered networking opportunities and insights into current topics in domestic e-commerce; from export opportunities and artificial intelligence, to legal challenges.

Rocco Bräuniger, Amazon’s Country Manager for Austria and Germany QSO academy
Rocco Bräuniger, Amazon's Country Manager for Austria and Germany

“As a representative of the interests of all retail businesses in Austria, we advocate for framework conditions that give access to new target groups and markets as easily as possible for retailers. The Quickstart Online Academy is an excellent addition to our training and further education offerings, which is why we are happy to support with know-how,” said Iris Thalbauer, Managing Director of the Federal Trade Division of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

From Irrsee to Villach – there are e-commerce starters all over Austria

While the majority of the participating entrepreneurs came to the Ottakringer Brewery directly from Vienna, there were also numerous guests from other federal states, especially from upper Austria, Styria, and Carinthia. Among them, Markus Miklautsch, founder of Stilmelange from Klagenfurt, who said: “Austria stands abroad as a country for high quality, service and friendliness, paired with well-known culture. Values from Austria are becoming increasingly important for customers.”

quickstart online academy austria event

E-commerce starters from a wide range of industries found out how they can benefit from the “Made in Austria” search filter in the Amazon store, which makes it easier for customers to find products that were made in Austria. Start-up founders Thomas Grüner from WALTZ7 and Rima Suppan from PEACHIES talked about using avenues such as the TV programme 2 Minutes 2 Million from PULS4 and the Amazon Sustainability Accelerator funding programme to kickstart their businesses. Also in attendance were e-commerce experts, from traditional companies such as Original Sacher-Torten Manufaktur GmbH, to family businesses, to well-known Austrian brands such as MPreis and BIPA. “The event provides insights into many exciting e-commerce topics in Austria and the key developments to be expected on the market. I am looking forward to the exciting day full of success stories, interesting conversations, and the exchange of experiences with other e-commerce companies,” said Dr. Julian Fischer, Head of E-Commerce at BIPA.

As part of an exclusive cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, students of its “E-Commerce Management” course were also invited to the event. Daniela Plekat, Interim Country Lead at Amazon Austria said: “From now on, we will introduce students to Amazon and the marketplace. This includes free participation in today’s event, guest lectures at the university of applied sciences, and an excursion to our distribution centre in Vienna-Liesing.”