Amazon has launched its ‘Amazon Business’ service in the UK. The service, which has been added to the existing website, is essentially a trade counter for UK businesses, where they can buy anything from office supplies and computers to power tools and industrial machinery.
Who & Where?
The new Business marketplace service is targeted squarely at UK businesses and organisations of all kinds, from sole traders to multinationals, to hospitals, and third sector organisations.
UK companies spend £97 billion a year (just less than the private spending total of £119bn) buying supplies online, and corporate customers account for about two-fifths of online spending. Amazon would clearly prefer companies to spend all that money through the Amazon website, thereby enabling Amazon to expand and diversify, increase its stock price, grow its profits, and get the most leverage out of its brand.
‘Amazon Business’ is a service aimed at catering to the procurement needs of businesses and organisations of all kinds and sizes, offering their buyers and chief procurement officers a competitive, controllable, well-known and trusted alternative supply source.
The Amazon Business service was first launched in the US two years ago, where it signed up 400,000 corporate customers and brought in $1bn in revenues within the first year! The German version, which was launched in December 2016, has already signed up 10,000 independent suppliers for business goods.
100 Million Products!
It has been reported that UK companies who sign up to the new service are able to choose from more than a hundred million products!
The products on sale cover a wide range including the usual office supplies, furniture, and devices, plus power tools, lab supplies, industrial machinery, and cleaning equipment.
As well as the huge choice, buyers can benefit from:
- Discounts offered by suppliers without the inefficiencies of bulk buying.
- Maintaining control without burdening employees, through the ability to set limits and approve purchases.
- Saved time e.g. less time spent doing pricing research on products, because competitive pricing from independent suppliers who list their products on Amazon can be easily seen on-screen in one place. Also, the actual purchase transaction can be carried out quickly and easily.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
If you’re an independent supplier of products with a business application, you could benefit from increased sales by getting your product in front of more customers by signing up to Amazon Business. This may, however, require lower pricing.
If you’re B2B supplier to UK businesses and organisations (and if your products aren’t highly specialised) you could be in for some serious competition from Amazon Business and its signed-up, verified, business supply companies. This in itself may encourage you to sign up as a supplier.
If you’re a business customer, this could simplify many aspects of procurement, save you money and time, and give you more choice and control.