Amazon Enters Lucrative Business Market

Amazon has entered the lucrative business-to-business (B2B) supply market in the UK with the launch of new service on its website.

Amazon Business, which has been available in the US for two years, claims to meet the procurement needs of businesses of every size – from small firms to large multi-national companies, as well as institutional buyers like universities, hospitals and non-profit organisations.

Launched today, it offers more than one hundred million products including laptops, office supplies, janitorial products, commercial-grade tools, as well as thousands of different types of lab supplies. The website also provides business-friendly features such VAT-free pricing, the ability to track purchases and set spending limits, and integration into leading procurement systems.

Amazon Business will both supply products directly to businesses and act as a middleman through its marketplace system.

The US version of Amazon Business signed up over 400,000 corporate customers and hit US$1bn in revenues in its first year. The service was also launched in Germany in December 2016, with more than 50,000 business customers now using it.

“Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a Chief Procurement Officer in a large multi-national organisation, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs,” said Bill Burkland, Head of Amazon Business UK.

Meanwhile, Bryan Roberts, an analyst for TCC Global, commented: “It’s not going to change the world but I think it will certainly over time become a decent chunk of Amazon’s business here.”

Businesses are responsible for about £97bn worth of online purchases a year, only slightly behind private consumer spending of £119bn.