In true Amazon fashion, the eCommerce behemoth has launched a replacement of its current service, Amazon Supply, called Amazon Business that promises to be a single stop for all your business purchases. On a mission to expand into the B2B world, Amazon plans to do for businesses what it’s done for regular consumers—make online shopping as quick and simple as possible.
As you might expect, this could mean some changes to how you go about purchasing supplies and even how you sell your own products online.
While this expansion will likely come at the cost of smaller suppliers, Amazon has framed the service as the ideal place for suppliers to sell their products and for businesses to find the suppliers to best meet their needs, all wrapped up in a box delivered straight to your door. Only time will tell, but the service could be exactly what busy business owners are looking for. Here’s what you need to know about the service so far.
- Although Amazon launched the Amazon Business yesterday, it won’t merge Amazon Supply with the new service until May 13.
- Amazon intends to supply everything businesses could need (of course) ranging from 3D printers to staplers, for mom-and-pop shops to major corporations.
- While Amazon Supply, launched in 2012, had nearly 2.2 million products, Amazon Business plans to offer hundreds of millions of products.
- Although signup is free, businesses do need to register in order to use the service. This registration is supposed to ensure that only real businesses can access the exclusive products and services offered.
- Interestingly, buyers will be able to find sellers who meet specific requirements through seller profiles, and even narrow down their search to discover women-owned and minority-owned businesses. For businesses looking to make strides toward diversity and equality, this seems like a very easy way to lead by example.
- Amazon Business allows for multiple users or groups of users to make purchases and share payment methods and shipping addresses.
- Buyers have the ability to manage who is able to make purchases and set individual spending limits and approval workflows.
- Amazon intends to roll out a program to let buyers chat with experts about products in order to get information directly from the manufacturer.
- Eligible businesses can apply for the tax exemption program to make tax-exempt purchases and manage exemptions.
- Last but not least, the service offers free two-day shipping on purchases over $49, for those who have grown attached to the convenience of Prime shipping.
It’s difficult to say how this expansion will affect both consumers and suppliers in the future. Given almost instinctual drive for consumers to simply pop over to Amazon for nearly everything, it makes sense that businesses will naturally do the same. Whether this will allow suppliers to find a wider customer base or it’s the first step to Amazon swallowing them whole remains to be seen.
Photo: Mike Seyfang