As waves of legacy retailers close their doors or go bankrupt, countless others are scrambling to build a digital presence with the potential to compete against Amazon. However, as Amazon joined Apple as the second trillion dollar company in history, fighting the ecommerce giant’s unmatched economic influence over global consumer culture is no longer the right answer. In today’s fast paced ecommerce landscape, the most successful businesses will be those that can navigate the complexities of selling on the Amazon Marketplace and capitalize on its success to fuel their own growth.

In 2017, Amazon claimed 44 cents for every ecommerce dollar spent in the U.S. Its growth is nowhere near plateauing—by 2020 it is projected to account for 58% of U.S. ecommerce sales and total revenue for Amazon’s Marketplace of third party sellers is estimated to be $259 billion alone.

At first glance, these trends are undoubtedly intimidating for businesses eager to have a stake in the race, but the reality is that Amazon’s growth actually represents a massive opportunity for merchants. Ultimately, Amazon’s unprecedented success marks an essential paradigm shift in retail—one where merchants cannot simply rely on a basic ecommerce presence, but must take the next step to develop an intelligent, data-powered Amazon strategy.

Just as businesses were built on the back of the app economy following the introduction of the iPhone and evolution of the App Store, significant e-commerce businesses are already being built on top of the Amazon Marketplace. Estimates show that third-party sales drove 57% of Amazon’s gross merchandise volume in 2017, totaling more than $135 billion in revenue. Jeff Bezos noted in his recent letter to shareholders that, for the first time in the company’s history, the number of units sold globally by third-party sellers last year exceeded those sold by Amazon itself. These successful sellers are businesses both small and large—more than one million small businesses in the U.S. are selling on its…