Amazon Business Launched What You Need To KnowAmazon just decided to set its sights on the B2B market—watch out world.. The online shopping behemoth has evolved to become a crazily comprehensive source to find and buy just about anything with a simple touch of the “buy” button. And now that consumers are largely addicted to the ease of purchase and efficiency that buying from Amazon affords, Amazon is making a move to get more of the lucrative B2B market. This should come as no surprise to anyone, Amazon has never been content to sit still when it comes to growth opportunities. After three years of testing, Amazon Business has officially launched.

An expansion of Amazon Supply, the wholesale site launched in 2012, Amazon Business will make Supply look like small potatoes. Where Supply had somewhere around 2 million products, and millions of business customers spending billions of dollars, Amazon Business will be much bigger, with hundreds of millions of products, and of course, expanded profits to match. If you’re currently an Amazon Supply customer, come May 13th Amazon Business will make Supply look like small potatoes.

And not just any old schmo can use Amazon Business. You must be a legally recognized company – Amazon has a detailed vetting process to ensure you are – but membership has its perks: Free two-day shipping on orders of $50 or more, products not available to retail consumers, products with special business discounts, and a suite of tools including a tax exemption program, purchasing approval, and the ability to use corporate lines of credit to pay.

B2B sales and service is a huge market, and growing. Like, “a trillion dollars” growing. BusinessInsider.com reports that “wholesale e-commerce saw $1.96 trillion in sales in 2013, while e-commerce retail sales were only expected to his $304.9 billion in 2014.” It’s not surprising that Amazon is looking to take a chunk of that B2B business.

Benefits of using Amazon Business for your company

Convenience. A major benefit Amazon Business is convenience. Along with the aforementioned free two-day shipping, if your business signs up for an account, the business solution package will become available to your company. You will be able to easily manage accounts for individual or group users.

Efficiency. As part of their business solution, businesses can approve orders and set individual spending limits. Team members can access shipping addresses and select mode of payment. Record keeping efficiency will also be improved since Amazon Business will allow you to use your own purchase order and reference numbers.

Pricing. Whether you are purchasing office supplies or industrial products for your business, Amazon Business will be offering special pricing on a certain selection of products for members only. Only registered businesses will have access to those special discounted prices. According to Fast Company, “Amazon declined to say whether it will achieve competitive pricing via cheaper supplier contracts or if Amazon will lower prices themselves after paying wholesale.”

Tax exemption program. If your business is eligible for tax-exempt purchasing, you will be able to apply for the program. This will allow you to manage tax exemptions within your organization and to make tax exempt purchases.

To make it even easier (and more attractive) to participate Amazon Business will also be rolling out a “Live Expert” customer service program that will help manufacturers connect easily with buyers and potential customers.

Businesses can easily sign up for an account now, it’s free, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

Here is a quick look at Amazon Business:

For now, Amazon Business is available in the United States, but could expand to international customers in the future.

As a business owner, will you sign up for an Amazon Business account? Do you find the benefits enticing enough to get on board? Let us know your thoughts. We would love to hear from you.

Additional Resources:

Meet Jet: The site that promises lower prices than Amazon — and hopes to change how you do errands
Amazon Launches Amazon Business Marketplace, Will Close AmazonSupply  

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