Two weeks ago Amazon officially launched Amazon Business, Amazon’s strategic move into the Business-to-Business (B2B) marketplace.
The new Amazon Business has pretty much everything you’ve come to know and expect from Amazon’s Business-to-Consumer (B2C) platform. Access to millions of products. Easy to use interface with detailed product and user reviews. Low prices and quick checkout.
Amazon has also added some new features they hope will capture the attention of the business market. Business account customers can compare pricing on different items, create a single or multi-user business account, approve orders through some basic workflow rules and receive free, two-day shipping on orders over $49.
They will also have access to what Amazon touts as “Business Pricing”; however, this special pricing is really dependent on an individual supplier extending special pricing to all members of the Amazon Business community…or not.
Amazon’s initial foray into the B2B market sounds interesting, but in its current incarnation will likely benefit only small businesses. The level of service, oversight and customization needed by larger accounts just isn’t there yet. And maybe never will be.
It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Amazon is certainly going to expand and build out their B2B offering, but will it be a comprehensive program for every size of business or simply a great way for the smallest to make their everyday supply purchases?
We’ll have to wait and see.
Tom is Founder & CEO of Vendor Centric. He writes and speaks frequently on the topics of procurement and vendor management.. Connect with Tom on LinkedIn or drop him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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