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Amazon B2B Marketplace: A $1 Trillion Hidden Opportunity?

November 26, 2019 / by Tina Eaton

Any ecommerce retailer who’s hip to modern retail trends knows the key to ecommerce success in 2019: Omnichannel. But retailers may be less aware that there’s a whole new sales and marketing channel that may be a hidden opportunity for huge new sales: The Amazon B2B marketplace.

Amazon is already one of the most powerful tools online retailers have at their disposal, and Amazon Business is a facet of the online marketplace that is growing exponentially — and will only continue to get bigger. If you’re not taking advantage of this opportunity to jump into a marketplace with a rocket ship trajectory, why not?

Curious about how to take advantage of Amazon Business — or just whether it’s the right channel for your business? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the biggest hidden opportunity ecommerce retailers aren’t taking advantage of.

What Is Amazon Business?

What Is Amazon Business?

Launched in 2015, Amazon Business is a business-to-business (B2B) platform that gives registered businesses special perks and purchasing solutions on Amazon’s marketplace. Put more simply, it’s a way for businesses to shop Amazon for their business needs with a lot of special features that cater specifically to businesses rather than individual shoppers.

For example, when shopping on Amazon Business, you can:

  • Add and remove authorized users who can make purchases on behalf of your business
  • Add and manage approval workflows for business purchases
  • Create reporting protocols for expenses related to your business

Amazon Business also offers price savings and business-centric shipping options. Businesses can receive discounts on certain business products, as well as price cuts when they order items in large quantities. In some cases, you can use Amazon Business to request quantity discounts from certain sellers.

And, of course, there are Prime membership options that cater to business accounts. You can apply your personal Prime membership to a registered business account on Amazon Business, as long as it’s a single-user account. Or there are multiple Prime membership options for business accounts that have multiple users.

Why Should You Be Paying Attention to Amazon Business?

There are many business-centric marketplaces out there. Why should Amazon Business be on your radar?

Well, to put it simply, it’s Amazon. Amazon is the giant in ecommerce, and that’s definitely true of its B2B marketplace as well.

Plus, for a relatively new marketplace, Amazon Business is surging. In its first year, it did a cool $1 billion in sales. Just four years later, it’s projected to top $10 billion in sales this year.

Why Should You Be Paying Attention to Amazon Business?

Just like Amazon is a pretty ubiquitous part of most online shoppers’ lives, the Amazon B2B marketplace is becoming the go-to marketplace for businesses. According to a post published on the Amazon Business Blog last year, “In the U.S. alone, Amazon Business serves nearly 80 percent of the 100 largest enrollment education organizations, 55 of the Fortune 100 companies, more than half of the 100 biggest hospital systems and more than 40 percent of the 100 most populous local governments. Amazon Business also offers access to nearly 150,000 U.S. business sellers—hundreds of thousands globally—and hundreds of millions of products.”

amazon business statistics

And that was in 2018. Amazon Business has only continued to grow since then, and is projected to claim 10 percent of the entire B2B ecommerce market in the U.S. by 2021. As Amazon continues to expand internationally, it will claim more of the worldwide market, as well. Currently, it’s projected to account for 5 percent of all international B2B ecommerce sales by 2021.

When we said this was a rocket ship trajectory, we weren’t kidding.

How Does Amazon Business Work?

Is your interest piqued yet? As an ecommerce retailer, you can take advantage of the deals and special features that come from shopping on the Amazon B2B marketplace. But to really take advantage of all the growth opportunity this marketplace provides, you should be selling on it.

To sell on Amazon Business, you’ll first need a business account, if you don’t have one already. It’s free to sign up for one, or you can convert your existing Amazon account into a business account.

Then, you’re free to take advantage of features Amazon Business offers to businesses who are looking to sell their products within the B2B marketplace. There are a lot of advantages to selling on Amazon Business, including:

A New Channel to Market and Sell Your Products

Getting your products into as many marketing and sales channels as possible is a key part of any omnichannel strategy. Amazon’s B2B marketplace is just one more channel that’s not only extremely accessible to businesses, but is lucrative and growing.

going omnichannel

Getting your products into new channels increases their visibility and allows you to reach an even wider pool of potential customers. But Amazon Business also comes with a feature that lets you list products with special SKUs that only other businesses can see, which gives you new strategies for targeting business customers.

Perks From Your Existing Account Carry Over

If you’re a Prime or Fulfilment by Amazon customer, your benefits can be carried over from your personal or pro seller account to your new business account. There’s no need to pay any extra fees or start any new memberships with your business account.

Amazon Is Investing Heavily in its New Platform

There’s a reason Amazon became the ecommerce giant it is today. The company is willing to invest in making sure its products become the best, and Amazon Business is no exception.

For years, Amazon has been in the top (if not the top) companies in the U.S. for spending on research and development — it spent $16 billion in 2016, $23 billion in 2017, and $29 billion in 2018.

Amazon Is Investing Heavily in its New Platform

With that kind of investment, it’s no wonder Amazon Business is growing so exponentially.

Who Is Amazon Business For?

Still not sure if selling on Amazon Business is right for your business? Here’s a quick cheat sheet that should help determine if selling on the Amazon B2B marketplace is a good move for you.

Amazon B2B is right for your business if you:

  • Sell products that businesses want, need, and use.
  • Can fulfill high-volume orders for your products.
  • Can provide quotes for B2B transactions.
  • Want to offer discounts for businesses who make one-off purchases from your business.
  • Want to offer quantity pricing for customers who make high-volume purchases from your business.

Even if your store is not specifically B2B, Amazon Business is also a great option for any ecommerce retailer looking for new channels to expand into as part of their omnichannel strategy. And if you already use a good Product Information Management software like Plytix, managing omnichannel distribution and adding new marketing and sales channels to your omnichannel strategy is a breeze.

Amazon B2B Marketplace: Is It the Marketplace of the Future?

OK, maybe calling Amazon Business the marketplace of the future is getting ahead of ourselves a little bit.

But the Amazon B2B marketplace is a great tool for ecommerce retailers that many of them aren’t aware of — and aren’t taking advantage of.

With how much it’s grown already, and how much it’s projected to continue to grow, Amazon Business should be a part of any ecommerce retailer’s omnichannel strategy if it isn’t already. If your products are a fit for B2B sales, what are you waiting for?

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Tina Eaton

Written by Tina Eaton