If you’ve ever tried buying anything online- be it homeware, hardware, kitchenware or any other type of “ware” chances are your search results included items listed on online retail giant Amazon.

What is Amazon Business?

Amazon has been the B2C marketplace of choice globally for many years now. Reasons for Amazon’s success include competitive pricing and fast delivery times for end-consumers and end-to-end solutions at competitive rates for its merchants. 

Now with the B2C market cornered, Amazon is turning its eye to the B2B pie with Amazon Business. Amazon Business is Amazon’s solution for businesses to sell their products to other businesses, in bulk, ie; B2B or wholesale. amazonb2b-product

An Amazon business account is free to create and comes with a variety of benefits, including price comparisons, fast delivery options, and analytics reports. However to sell on Amazon Business you need a Professional Seller account which costs USD$39.99 per month. Amazon business allows for heavily discounted sales between merchants that are not available to retail customers, as well as other B2B only benefits. 

How does it work?

There are two programs that are available on Amazon Business. These are;

  1. The Amazon Business Sellers Program
  2. The Amazon Business Buyers Program

Amazon Business Sellers Program

This program enables existing Seller Central merchants to add Amazon Business Account Features through their Seller Central Account. Merchants will be required to upgrade to a Professional Seller Plan to use the business sellers program. 

Eligibility to be a Professional Seller is not based entirely on your subscription package with Amazon, your account will also be vetted based on business success metrics such as Seller Feedback and past Sales Performance, to determine if you qualify. 

Amazon Business Buyer’s programamazonb2b-buyer

This program is for any business with an Amazon business account that wants to buy items in bulk for their own businesses. Any business, organization, government or non-profit organization can sign up to buy via Amazon Business with a Business Account for Amazon.

What are the benefits of Amazon Business for selling B2B?

Amazon Business offers many benefits for buyers and sellers who choose to be part of their programs. These include; 

  • Unmatched variety of products to choose from- all at competitive prices. As a buyer you get to choose from over 5 million products, all with exclusive price and quantity discounts.
  • Granular control over the buying process. As a seller, nothing is more frustrating than not being equipped to sell in the way you want to your sellers. Amazon Business lets you create and approve shopping lists, manage your favorite suppliers, and set up recurring deliveries with ease. 
  • Offer different payment methods to your B2B buyers such as; credit and debit cards, an Amazon.com Corporate credit line, or intermediary purchasing systems such as Ariba or Coupa.

What are the disadvantages of Amazon Business?

Using Amazon Business to sell is a double edged sword. We’ve examined the benefits; you can tap into a large network of potential buyers, the set up cost is low and your customers benefit from these cost savings too. But there are some significant downsides for B2B merchants as well. These include:

  • Your brand will be overshadowed by Amazon’s branding. There is very little in the way of custom branding on the Amazon marketplace, therefore branding and even product differentiation becomes challenging. Buyers inevitably differentiate by price because it is the most obvious difference and this could impact your sales. 
  • You (and your customers) are at the mercy of Amazon’s fees. Fee increases are not uncommon with Amazon and an increase in their fees might mean an increase in your prices- which may in turn cause your customers to look elsewhere. Having control over your pricing is critical for a wholesaler. 
  • Operational complexity. Without leveraging an order and inventory management system, managing sales on the Amazon marketplace and other online and offline channels is likely to pose a challenge and cause errors. 

TradeGecko as an alternative

TradeGecko’s B2B eCommerce platform solves the problems of selling using Amazon Business and then some. The B2B eCommerce platform is powered by TradeGecko’s cutting-edge inventory and order management technology and integrates with several eCommerce platforms making omnichannel sales and even manual, offline sales, a breeze. Key features of the B2B eCommerce platform include;

  • The ability to cream custom price lists for each B2B buyer
  • Fully customizable storefront for your brand
  • Selling using multiple currencies
  • Real-time visibility into stock availability across channels
  • An built-in payment processor for faster payments and better cash flow
  • Granular reporting for visibility into profitability by product and inventory valuation summary. 

TradeGecko’s B2B eCommerce platform is best suited for;

  • Brands and small businesses that are already selling or have plans to expand into the B2B space
  • Wholesalers carrying multiple brands in their inventory
  • Manufacturers looking to distribute their products to wholesale buyers
  • Wholesalers who are looking for new channels to grow on

What’s more, unlike Amazon Business, the B2B eCommerce platform comes included with most TradeGecko subscription plans. If you are looking for a reliable, robust, low-cost platform to start selling on -with no hidden fees and out-of-the box usability- TradeGecko B2B eCommerce Platform is the solution for you.

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