Amazon widens catering equipment market place with B2B service

A photo taken on April 11, 2015 in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, shows a computer screen displaying the website of the Amazon electronic commerce company.  AFP PHOTO PHILIPPE HUGUEN        (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Amazon is bringing down the barriers of entry into the resale market for B2B products such as catering equipment by launching ‘Amazon Business’ in the UK.

Amazon Business is a new service designed to meet the procurement needs of businesses of every size. Crucially, it gives sellers on amazon.co.uk the opportunity to grow their sales by reaching business customers – from small businesses to large multinational organisations, as well as institutional buyers like universities, hospitals and non-profits.

Amazon Business provides sellers with a set of features to help drive sales to businesses, including VAT-exclusive pricing and VAT invoicing.

It means sellers can now display VAT-exclusive prices to business customers and provide VAT invoices for all customers by enrolling in a free VAT Calculation Service.

Sellers can also choose to make products available for sale to business customers only and set exclusive pricing and quantity discounts for businesses purchasing larger quantities.

Under the online giant’s ‘Fulfilment by Amazon’ (FBA) initiative, sellers can store their products in Amazon’s fulfilment centres for Amazon to pick, pack, ship and provide customer service for products as sales are made.

Products using FBA are included in Amazon Prime, making them eligible for Unlimited One-Day Delivery for Prime customers.

With Amazon Business, products using FBA are also eligible for Free One-Day Delivery to all business customers on qualified orders of £30 or more.

Amazon Business launched in the US two years ago, serving more than 400,000 businesses and generating more than $1bn (£800m) in sales in its first year, with sellers accounting for over half of the orders.

The service launched in Germany at the end of last year, with more than 50,000 business customers now using Amazon Business and over 10,000 business sellers having accessed the Amazon Business Seller feature set to sell their products to business customers.

Since the US launch, Amazon Business has shipped to business customers in more than 60 countries through the US and German websites.

MMP Living is one company that has benefitted from Amazon Business to increase sales of catering equipment. Founder Mike Mitchell said: “We’ve been using Amazon Business in the US – which has been a great growth opportunity for us as we’ve historically been a consumer focused business – and with the success of Amazon Business we started sourcing products to satisfy growing demand from businesses.

“We’ve developed our offering of catering equipment for bars and restaurants, and educational products for schools, all of which we supply through Amazon. We recently launched in Germany on Amazon Business and are now very excited to start selling in the UK.”

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