You might have shopped from Amazon.com earlier to buy discounted and bulk items. If you have not, you are at least known about the e-tail titan. But for small businesses, Amazon Business can give even more benefits than just low prices and free shipping.
Amazon’s program gives registered users various advantages that are not possible to regular Amazon account holders. An Amazon Business account makes buying corporate items and supplies through Amazon seamless, effective and economical.
What is Amazon Business?
Amazon Business is the best marketplace for businesses of all sizes. According to Amazon, it looks and works very much like regular Amazon — only it allows access to “hundreds of millions” of business products from “hundreds of thousands” of business sellers. It started in spring 2015, and by 2018, Amazon said it was already making $10 billion in annualized sales.
The thing to know about Amazon Business is it has characteristics and benefits tailored to the requirements of businesses. For example, if you create a free account, you will be able to browse a broad selection of items that may be available at exceptional pricing if bought in bulk. You can even make a multi-user account, so your team members can do the shopping.
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How does Amazon Business work?
There is no front-facing Amazon Business storefront — you can’t enter a web address into your browser to see it. You must create a free account and then sign in to see Amazon Business and all the things available through it. There is also a little-to-no learning curve, as Amazon Business views and operates almost similar to regular Amazon.
Account And Business Settings
Sign in to your free Amazon Business account, and from the corner of the page, you can click on your name to reach a drop-down menu with your Account settings. Amazon Business users get different settings, such as business settings (add members, set up approval workflows, manage payment options, and enter tax exemption information), business analytics (see reports, invoices, and line-item details), and the ability to manage suppliers (search for and save your preferred suppliers).
Survey and shop
Once you sign in to your Amazon Business account, you will see the familiar Amazon search bar at the top. You can insert a keyword or product number to find a particular item. Try searching for something, like a printer, and you will be able to filter your results on the left – as similar as you do on regular Amazon. However, since this is Amazon Business, you also see the option to filter things by Business Prime eligible, seller type (like a business seller), and seller certification (i.e., women-owned).
Place an order
The Amazon Business checkout process is almost the same as the regular Amazon checkout process: Add an item to your cart, select whether it’s a recurring delivery, and then go to your cart to verify your shipping details, payment method, and place the order. If you’d like to review your order after you have placed it, move to your Account settings and either click the Orders menu option immediately or select Business analytics to get a complete report on shipping, product, and seller data.
Which businesses use Amazon Business?
According to Amazon, Amazon Business assists the following kind of customers in the US:
- 80% of the 100 largest enrollment education organizations
- 55 of the Fortune 100 companies
- More than half of the 100 biggest hospital systems
- More than 40% of the 100 most populous local governments
How can you start Amazon Business?
To start Amazon Business, you must follow these steps:
- Go to the Amazon business website www.amazon.com/business to get started.
- Select the “Create a free Amazon Business account” button in the corner of the page.
- You will be required to enter the email you like to use for your account. You can use the one given by your employer. You will also need to enter your name and a password.
- Amazon will require your business information to verify it further, such as the address registered on your official documents.
- You can provide your credit card or tax information such as a business tax ID to get verified quicker. But you can skip this step.
- Amazon will then verify you. It can take up to 24 hours.
Note: If you try to join Amazon Business with an email that is already linked to a regular Amazon account, you will be required to update that account to an Amazon Business account. If you reject this offer, you will need to sign up with a separate email.
Advantages for small businesses
Many businesses have the possibility for tax exemption under the Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP). Amazon gives a tool to help you learn if you qualify for the program. The program then enables you to apply your tax-exempt status to eligible purchases from Amazon and all of its associates. You do not even require an Amazon Business account to take most of this benefit.
Amazon Business also gives some transparency into the supply chain purchasing process with the analytics dashboard.
“Customers can look at their spending activity and total costs on purchases at the individual, purchasing group or type of spend level – giving small businesses the information they need to better control their bottom line,” Rohde said.
He continued that small business sellers on Amazon Business have the chance to increase their sales by joining millions of business customers across the globe.
What is Amazon Business Prime and its benefits?
Amazon Business Prime provides your business access to free same-day or two-day shipping on particular items.
Amazon Business Prime perks extend beyond expedited, free shipping and heavy discounts on bulk business products. Amazon Business Prime users get access to the following exclusive tools:
- Spend Visibility, which shows visualizations of your business’s spending to examine data and track spending trends.
- Guided Buying enables you to tag some suppliers and products as preferred, place restrictions on specific product categories, and more.
- The Amazon Business American Express Card, which has no annual fee.
Extended terms for Pay by Invoice, meaning that your business can pay its monthly membership dues 45 to 60 days after invoice from Amazon instead of the usual 30-day payment terms stipulated in your Amazon Business Prime contact.
Amazon Business gives discounts on millions of products. It also provides price breaks on multiunit purchases and enables the user to view many offers from various sellers on a single page. The site gives quantity discounts and tiered pricing discounts for higher-volume purchases on preferred items. You can click Request a Quantity Discount to show items for sale at a discounted price from participating sellers.
Just as Amazon users with free accounts can give a yearly fee to opt into Prime and receive free same-day or two-shipping, Amazon Business users with free accounts can promote to Amazon Business Prime for unlimited, free two-day shipping on eligible items. Customers can sign up for a Business Prime Shipping annual membership based on the number of users their business account has, with memberships ranging from $179 to $10,099 per year.
Amazon Business allows a few different payment options. A credit card can be added to the account that multiple users can access. Amazon also allows you to open a corporate credit line. If you go that way, you can approve various buyers on a single account, download order history reports and pay by purchase order.
Other small business benefits
The Amazon Tax Exemption Program allows Amazon Business customers to apply their tax-exemption status to eligible purchases from Amazon, Amazon Digital Services, Warehouse Deals, Amazon Services or other participating sellers. The Amazon Tax Exemption Tool guides users through the process of registering in the program. You can update your status and edit or upload certificates. Once you review your order, you can change which items should have the tax-exemption certificate applied.
What does Amazon Business Prime cost?
Amazon Business Prime has several membership plans to accommodate many numbers of users. These include:
- Duo: The Duo plan is $69 per year and accommodates one user. However, it does not include access to spend Visibility, guided buying, or extended terms for Pay By Invoice.
- Essentials: The Essentials plan is $179 per year and covers up to three users. It does make available the spend visibility, guided purchasing, and extended terms for Pay By Invoice that are not available with the Duo plan.
- Small: The small plan is $499 per year and covers up to 10 users.
- Medium: The medium plan is $1,299 per year and includes up to 100 users.
- Enterprise: The Enterprise plan is $10,099 per year and adds more than 100 users. It also adds an optimal deployment, in which Amazon Business Professional Services fine-tunes the account to optimize spend visibility and policy settings in a full-scale implementation process.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- Spend Visibility: Powered by AWS QuickSight, this feature gives visualizations of company spending, making it more comfortable to analyze data and spending trends.
- Guided buying: Account administrators can mark specific suppliers and products as preferred, set specific product category restrictions, and more to improve compliance and connect suppliers.
- Amazon Business American Express Card: Business Prime members can get access to a no-annual fee credit card.
- Extended terms for Pay by Invoice: Business Prime members can request “Extended Terms for Pay by Invoice” — increasing their payment terms to 45 or 60 days, depending on their plan, to pay an Amazon Business invoice.
- Business delivery: Choose free same-day, one-day, or two-day shipping on more than 100 million articles. Business Prime members can also pick consolidated shipping on eligible bulk orders at checkout.
How is Amazon Business separate from Amazon?
To completely understand the main differences between Amazon Business and the regular Amazon marketplace, check out some of the features that are not only restricted to Amazon Business but also make it different:
- Business-only prices: You get access to price discounts on more than five million products, including bulk discounts on multiunit purchases.
- Business-only products: Find particular business products. From IT to janitorial, from office to restaurant supplies, from healthcare to hospitality, Amazon Business has it.
- Seller credentials: Amazon Business allows you to browse and shop from business sellers with particular characteristics such as small business, women-owned, and minority-owned.
- Multi-user accounts: Once you create a free Amazon Business account, you can connect your entire team and create buying groups to meet your organization’s structure.
- Approval workflows: You can customize order approvals and set spending limits to manage your organization’s buying and gain Visibility into how funds are spent.
- Purchasing cards: You can share payment methods with a few users or your entire team. You can also get AmazonCorporate Credit, with the ability to pay by purchase order.
- Integrate purchasing systems: If you are interested in having Amazon as a punchout option for customers, Amazon Business is enabled to catalog over 90 systems.
- Business Prime: Subscribers get free same-day, one-day, or two-day shipping on eligible articles, as well as some extra benefits.
- Consolidated deliveries: If an order fits for a consolidated delivery, one of Amazon’s carriers will deliver it on a pallet to your receiving dock or doorstep.
- Reporting and analytics: You can follow and watch your spending with handy charts.
- Tax-exempt purchasing: If your organization is qualified for tax-exempt purchasing, enroll in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program.
Many companies find value in the subscription, but it is not always the most economical way to shop. The value of free shipping on selected items from Amazon is primarily influenced by local prices and availability, bulk prices for business shoppers, and order scheduling. For example, if you own a restaurant and typically order from Restaurant Depot a few times a year, you should make a price estimate; you may already be receiving the best deal possible. On the other hand, if you live in a far area where little in-store shopping is available, or delivery costs are usually very high, Prime may be worth it.