Amazon expands into B2B market

Amazon on Tuesday launched a new service targetting businesses in a move that will see the online retailer offer a marketplace that stocks everything from stationery to industrial machinery. 

Amazon Business isn’t just a copy of its consumer site with a different stocklist though. The website offers a wider range of tools and business-friendly features such as the ability to track purchases and set spending limits, along with an expanded range of products that are geared for commercial users and not available to private consumers.

In order to get going with the service users must be verified as business customers, but once signed up they can have their pick of over 100 million products. One particularly interesting feature is that suppliers will be able to offer discounts to corporate customers while also maintaining a higher retail price for private buyers. The company says that lower prices for business customers is down to the tendency to buy in bulk.

Amazon Business first launched in the US in 2015 where it is generating more than $1bn (£800m) in annual sales and works with more than 400,000 businesses.

Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business UK, said: “Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a chief procurement officer in a large multinational organisation, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs. 

“Amazon Business combines more than 100m business products with a new set of unique business features – from reporting and analytics to spending limits and purchasing workflow approvals.”

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