Lookout, Staples. Aiming for a slice of the booming nearly $8 trillion-dollar business-to-business sector, Amazon today announced the launch of a massive new marketplace designed exclusively for U.S. companies.
The new online shop, simply called Amazon Business, is stocked with hundreds of millions of business products – IT, industrial, construction, janitorial and food service supplies included.
The marketplace offers business-only selection and pricing, bulk discounts and free two-day shipping on orders totaling more than $49 (for “tens of millions” of eligible items).
Some of the other benefits the Seattle-based ecommerce giant says Amazon Business customers will have access to include:
- Free, multi-user business accounts that allow for shared shipping addresses and payment methods.
- Amazon’s corporate credit line, which enables customers to place orders and finance purchases via Amazon’s Pay-in-Full Credit Line or Amazon’s Revolving Credit Line.
- Purchasing approval tools and purchasing system integration.
- Tax exemption purchasing program access, which allows for making tax-exempt purchases and managing tax exemption permissions throughout your business.
- Chat-based customer support dedicated to registered Amazon Business shoppers.
- Next-day shipping across 48 states.
Amazon Business arrives as a replacement of AmazonSupply, Amazon’s existing online store for office and industrial goods. The site, which went live without much fanfare back in 2012, will be completely phased out by May 13, reports Forbes.
Prentis Wilson, vice president of Amazon Business, told Forbes that the new platform is designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop upstarts to multibillion-dollar operations. He said the new marketplace is Amazon’s response to feedback from business owners who want the same Amazon shopping experience when purchasing for work that they have when shopping for home.
“We’ve heard from business customers that they love the convenience of shopping online, and want an experience at work that is similar to how they shop at home,” Wilson said in a statement released today. “Amazon Business delivers a new and expanded marketplace that brings the selection, convenience and value of Amazon to business customers, manufacturers and sellers with the additional selection, features and back-end integration businesses need to save time and money.”
Wilson also said Amazon will continue to expand the new service in the coming days.