eCommerce Insiders

Amazon Business: What’s Involved, And How To Gain B2B Benefits


With its former identity as Amazon Supply, Amazon Business offered wholesale and spot-purchase capabilities to businesses.

At that time, however, Amazon was the only supplier. Under the umbrella of Amazon Business, Amazon now offers product sources in conjunction with 30,000 other sellers.

Although the current brand identity has only been in business for a little bit over a year (it launched April of 2015), it’s vastly exceeded all expectations, generating over 1 billion in sales, and the brand is experiencing a consistent 20% growth rate.

Prentis Wilson, VP of Amazon Business, was eager to share with B2B eCommerce World information about the program’s success and growth. While Mr. Wilson excluded himself from providing exact figures, he did say:

(Amazon Business)20% monthly growth rate is holding steady even as its total increases.
(This is) attributed to steady increases in numbers of customers, suppliers and products.

We’re adding new businesses every week, on both the buy side and sell side. Amazon Business now has 300,000 registered business accounts among buyers, up from 200,000 at the end of last year, and it’s adding thousands more every week.

Among its new and growing customer segments…are schools, universities, hospitals, medical clinics, small restaurants, construction contractors and government agencies.

Mr Wilson also revealed that Amazon Business currently offers over 9 million business-specific products for sale. The goal is to ramp up its offerings, along with it’s capability for offering top-notch selling and purchasing services. They hope to make each transaction both easier, and faster.

B2B eCommerce World has a full listing of what Amazon Business customers can expect in the near future:

  • Business accounts, which allow a company to add thousands of individual buyers, or groups of buyers and departments, authorized to place orders under the same account. A company can run analytics reports to monitor spending by individuals and groups of buyers. Wilson said one Amazon Business customer has more than 100,000 users on its business account. Amazon Business launched these business accounts services in January 2016.
  • Customer-specific pricing, which is still being tested with some customers, and which allows suppliers to display pricing—such as discounted pricing based on high order volume—to particular customers as they log into their account. Customers can also view off-contract pricing available from other sellers, letting them take advantage of prices that may be more attractive. “They can click to buy from the marketplace, or from their contract seller,” Wilson said.
  • Electronic invoicing, which lets customers purchase products from multiple sellers and receive a single invoice from Amazon Business. Customers pay Amazon Business, which then pays each supplier included in the invoice. Amazon is still testing the e-invoicing program with several customers, and hopes to make it available to all customers later this year.
  • The ability to purchase from Amazon Business through 31 procurement software applications, including the ability to link from such applications directly to a “punchout” catalog of authorized products on the Amazon Business site.
  • Workflow for routing order approvals among a buyer’s superiors. The approval workflow has been available since Amazon Business launched last April.

Amazon Business Orders Qualify For FBA

One of the most exciting aspects of Amazon Business is that it not only provides a wide host of products to support business operations, but it also allows B2B business vendors to sell directly to new purchase clients.

This is possible through Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program.

B2B vendors can use Amazon’s warehouses as storage space, for a fee. However, the fee is worth taking the burden off small to medium-sized vendors who either can’t afford warehousing, or they don’t have enough inventory to justify the expense of buying or renting a dedicated fulfillment and storage center.

Best of all, B2B vendors who sell through Amazon Business and ship through FBA will enjoy the same efficient, expedient shipping process as all Amazon vendors have come to enjoy.

B2B eCommerce Will Dominate By 2030

A recent study conducted by Forrester Research reports that up to 40% of all eCommerce transactions will be generated for B2B purposes. Specifically:

That would be roughly $6 trillion of a projected $15 trillion in U.S. commerce between businesses in 2030, Hoar said. Forrester’s official estimate is that online retail sales in the U.S. will reach $531billion by 2020 when B2B e-commerce sales willl total $1.13 trillion.

That estimate of e-commerce, he added, does not include purchases placed through electronic data interchange, or EDI, a widely used method of exchanging purchase orders, invoices, shipping confirmations and other documents between companies.

And as it currently stands, Amazon is reporting that companies that are doing business on its platform has risen 50% since its inception.

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

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