Amazon’s B2B Marketplace Could Surpass $10 Billion


Amazon appears to be rapidly expanding its presence and influence in the estimated $9 trillion U.S. online business-to-business market.

The Seattle-based ecommerce company announced this week that Amazon Business, its web-based marketplace for B2B selling, is on track to generate sales of more than $10 billion on an annualized basis over 12 months, should the rate of sales recorded between June and August continue at the current pace.

The announcement came via a blog post that appears to be no longer available. Still, Amazon Business’ Twitter account was touting the platform’s progress from a business channel that tallied more than $1 billion in 2016 – its first year – to a marketplace rolling toward 10 times that amount of business just two years later.

According to company executives, Amazon Business buyers include 55 of the Fortune 100 companies, and more than half of the 100 biggest U.S. hospital systems. Large sectors like healthcare, education and government have been a focus for Amazon Business – a marketplace where businesses of all sizes can purchase a vast spectrum of products, everything from light bulbs to promotional products.

Notably, Amazon Business includes more than 100,000 third-party sellers – businesses that sell in the B2B realm. Provided the firms meet strictly enforced customer service standards and other criteria, these vetted third-party sellers list what they have for sale on Amazon Business and give the e-commerce company a cut of sales, usually 15%, that they make through the platform. The sales of such third parties are included in Amazon Business’ $10 billion in projected annualized sales.

“(Amazon) really grabbed a hold of the market,” Doug Root, owner of Atlanta Light Bulbs, told The Seattle Times in sharing why he began selling through Amazon Business. “We kind of came to the realization that we needed to do it. They take fees and introduce us to a new world and new customers.”

Root continued that having a presence on Amazon Business is a reality of the new world of digital commerce. “All that stuff of the ‘good old days,’ people don’t do business like that anymore,” he said. “People don’t want a guy to come into their office and bring doughnuts and tell them about their latest product line. They say, ‘I want to go online and have that stuff tomorrow.’

As Counselor has previously reported, a growing number of promotional products companies are selling through Amazon Business and Amazon Custom, home to an array of products anyone can customize online and purchase.

Distributor iPromo (asi/229471) is one of the firms with a presence on both platforms, as well as the main Amazon site. iPromo CEO/Founder Leo Friedman has said that the Chicago-based distributorship began conducting sales through Amazon over a year ago. “The same people who buy consumer goods on Amazon are also making B2B purchasing decisions,” said Friedman. “We want customers to find us easily anywhere they are online.”


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