Amazon Launches New B2B Marketplace

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Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Business, a new marketplace on Amazon.com, according to a press release. The new marketplace provides access to several products from IT and lab equipment to education and food service supplies as well as business-only selection and pricing.

Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, said instead of having multiple sites for business buyers, the user experience will improve as one login will provide access to the Amazon.com catalog as well as business-only offers.

“A neat feature that will benefit sellers is a consumer who wants to buy just one commercial refrigerator can do so via Amazon, and if a business wants to buy 10 commercial refrigerators at a discount price, they can use the Amazon Business platform,” said Wingo.

Amazon Business customers will also benefit from free two-day shipping on eligible items, multi-user accounts, approval workflow, payment solutions, tax exemptions and customer support.

Other features include business accounts, a multi-seller marketplace, business-only pricing, business-only selection, purchasing approval and system integration, an Amazon corporate credit line and business customer support.

In 2012, Amazon launched AmazonSupply, which was dedicated to offering a broad selection of products to business, industrial, scientific and commercial customers.

“The biggest difference is Amazon Business brings third-party sellers into the mix, so its selection will be much larger,” said Wingo. “We think Amazon Business will have about 10 times the amount of selection that Amazon Supply offered.”

In recent months, the office supply space has become extremely consolidated when Staples announced it would acquire Office Depot for $6.3 billion. In 2013, Office Depot acquired Office Max but announced last year that it was closing 400+ stores.

Is Amazon responding to the changes in the office supply industry? Wingo said Amazon seems committed to this segment.

“They keep trying to improve their offerings to the B2B seller, and they’re not going to give up on it,” said Wingo. “It appears they see the potential of this segment, and they’re putting a significant focus on it.”

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