Amazon have revealed that their B2B offering - Amazon Business - has passed the 1 million customer mark. Launched in April 2015, Amazon business is targeted at facilitating B2B sales and is aimed at all kinds of business who buy and sell from other businesses. Amazon Business customers work across the whole spectrum, from hospitals to companies from Fortune 50 group, to education institutions through to sole traders.
The rapid growth in the number of Amazon Business customers is attributed to two factors - one being that many customers have converted from B2C to B2B, and the other through the features which makes it easier to buy from and sell to other businesses.
Some of the factors which are attracting customers to Amazon Business include the fact that it is easy to set up and use, purchases are easy to track, Amazon's quick delivery, pricing is very competitive and that customers can obtain large amounts of products and get them delivered quickly.
It also allows for multi user accounts, the creation of custom groups to match a business, lets customers pay with corporate credit cards and tax-exempt buying for those businesses who qualify.
Another important feature of Amazon Business is that it can be integrated with existing purchasing systems, reports and the dashboard can produce analytic reports on spending and who is spending as well as other charts and reports as stipulated by the business.
According to senior analyst at Nucleus Research, Seth Lippincott, many vendors out there tend to offer various procurement solutions. Still for most of the customers, the quick option to set up an account with Amazon Business' marketplace gives better results and is far simpler than obtaining and learning how to use an enterprise solution.
This, teamed with the other features offered by Amazon Business, is why it seems to be becoming so popular.
There does appear to be a trend towards Amazon dominating almost all kinds of e-commerce. According to Ray Wang, at Constellation Research, brands and B2B customers need to organize an alliance against Amazon within the next 36 months or they will be annihilated.
With an estimated 1 million B2B sales jobs at risk in the US (according to Forrester Research) if self-service e-commerce such as Amazon Business continues as it is, it is a serious aspect that businesses need to be looking at.
Whilst Amazon Business is an excellent and ever-growing tool for B2B buying and selling, it is also a potential sign of things to come. Businesses need to bear this in mind and start to look at training employees to be able to maximise on these new trends.