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Companies of all shapes and sizes targeted by new Amazon Business offering

Having already moved into the enterprise space through the creation of Amazon Web Services and Amazon Marketplace, the commerce company has created Amazon Business to meet procurement needs.
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Amazon says its new offering will help British company owners gain better visibility on how their business is spending.

“Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a chief procurement officer in a large multi-national organisation, Amazon Business has the products and capabilities to serve your needs,” said Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business UK.

“Amazon Business combines more than one hundred million business products with a new set of unique business features – from reporting and analytics to spending limits and purchasing workflow approvals – making it everything you love about Amazon, now for business.”

Amazon believes the service will be of use to both small businesses and multi-national organisations, as well as institutional buyers such as universities and hospitals. Users will have access to “more than one hundred million products” such as laptops, office furniture, power tools, cleaning products and laboratory suppliers.

As explored by Real Business in previous features, Amazon has moved away from its traditional commerce platform model to provide a range of services aimed at small and growing companies. It’s Amazon Web Services offering operates as a cloud computing division while Pay with Amazon helps reduce checkout time and cart abandonment.

Amazon Business customers will be able to take advantage of free one-day delivery on orders of £30 or more, VAT-inclusive pricing and VAT invoicing, get “detailed” transaction data on commercial card purchases and will be able to add a purchase order (PO) number to orders.

“As a company, we want to spend as little time as possible purchasing the thousands of things we need to run our business,” said Paul Egan, CTO of Founders Factory, a British startup incubator.

“Amazon Business gives us access to everything we need at competitive prices, whilst supporting our fast pace and agile way of working – crucial as we’re currently hiring one to two people per week on average.”

The service offering has been available in the US since April 2015, building up a customer base of 400,000 companies and generating sales of $1bn in the first year of operation.

In February 2017 it was revealed that Amazon Web Services had posted sales of $3.5bn, up 47 per cent year-on-year. It accounted for eight per cent of the company’s $44.68bn total revenue for the fourth quarter of the year.

Speaking to Real Business in August 2016, Danilo Moccia, technical evangelist at Amazon Web Services, said, “There is no longer a need to raise vast amounts of capital to procure and build your own data centre, all the services a fledgling business needs are available [through Amazon].

Cloud services may sound complicated initially but, as Poccia said: “Anything that can help make the long list [of business owners’ worries]a little shorter, or at least easier, is music to entrepreneurs’ ears.”

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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