Amazon, the 800-pound gorilla of eCommerce, announced the launch of its B2B eCommerce platform, Amazon Business. As you recall, Amazon launched AmazonSupply in 2012 as its foray into B2B eCommerce. Beginning May 1, AmazonSupply will be no more and instead give way to the new Amazon Business – call it AmazonSupply version 2.0.

Why the change? You might say that Amazon quickly recognized that B2B eCommerce is a little harder than B2C eCommerce. B2B eCommerce ushers in complexities such as dealing with procurement, buyers, engineers, and order approvals, and is not as simple as operating a site to sell products with millions of SKUs.

Most importantly, Amazon learned that personalization and the B2C experience are what makes B2B eCommerce successful. According to the company, “Amazon is taking what it has learned from its online B2B operations to offer a broader range of products, more useful site search and navigation, personalized content based on a buyer’s transaction history and business category, and a broader of services for both buyers and sellers.”

B2B eCommerce Marketplace

So what does Amazon Business mean for sellers? According to Amazon, “sellers can list their offers in more than 45 business-specific categories, including office, IT, MRO, tools, scientific and food & beverage.” Additional features include a seller program, business pricing and quality discounts, seller credentials such as ISO 9001 certified, small business, women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses, and the ability for sellers to store their products in Amazon fulfillment centers.

This new B2B eCommerce marketplace represents a shift in Amazon’s B2B business model, taking more of an approach of Alibaba, by connecting buyers with a trusted distributor that they are familiar with when purchasing their own products for their own use.

Provide Value to Your Customers

For manufacturers and distributors entering the B2B eCommerce market, the launch of Amazon Business is really a “call-to-arms” to evaluate your eCommerce strategy, strengthen already established customer relationships, and provide value by leveraging your product expertise and knowledge.

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