Amazon Business has more than 19 crore GST-enabled products across 10 lakh sellers in India, ranging from office supplies, laptops, monitors, desktops, and electronics to industrial goods and safety equipment. It offers deliveries to over 99.5% of pin codes
Suchit Subhas, Director, Amazon Business answers frequently asked questions about the B2B marketplace. Edited excerpts.
1. What is Amazon Business?
Amazon Business is a business-friendly marketplace on Amazon.in launched to meet the business-procurement needs of different institutions such as hospitals, clinics, manufacturers, universities, schools, NGOs, government bodies and offices. Amazon provides technology-led procurement solutions built specifically for businesses, attractive pricing and a convenient and transparent shopping experience associated with Amazon.
Business purchases are typically spread over large number of vendors and therefore require disproportionate time investment from the procurement team. Since these purchases are spread over large number of SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) and vendors, they provide less room for negotiation for the procurement team. Absence of insights and analytics on such procurements also prevent customers in driving efficiencies. All of these factors lead to increased procurement costs that have a direct impact on profitability.
Amazon Business is focused on making procurement easy and cost effective for business customers. Ranging from office supplies to large appliances, business customers can make their procurement with ease from their personal computer or mobile phone.
2. How does Amazon Business help businesses reduce indirect costs and get discounts?
Amazon Business supports businesses to run their business more efficiently by tackling the following issues:
- Multiple vendor management: With about 10 lakh sellers on the platform and more than 19 crore GST-enabled products, it acts as a one stop destination, thus helping business customers buy from the seller that best fits their procurement budget.
- Transparency of pricing and cost saving: Business customers have visibility to prices offered by different sellers across the country, enabling them to compare and make informed decisions regarding their procurement needs. They can also request for quotes from sellers customised to their purchase requirements.
- Post-spend insights and budget management: We also provide post purchase data analytics and system-based compliance policies, helping business customers to better understand business spends, and plan better for future supplies.
- Bulk discounts: We provide a key feature for getting bulk discounts irrespective of the volume of orders. This helps business customers ensure they are spending the money where they want to in a way convenient to them. For bulk orders, customers can mail to email@example.com or give a missed call/WhatsApp call on +91- 8197675716 .
3. What has Amazon Business’s journey in India been like?
Amazon Business began its journey in India in 2016 with approximately 14,000 sellers and 11 crore GST- enabled products. Since then, it has witnessed exponential growth, with a 150% increase in customers.
We have seen an overwhelming response from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, with 65% buying customers and 55% of orders coming from smaller cities. Our India marketplace has simplified online procurement by offering access to a wide seller base and various tools to manage purchases efficiently. Amazon Business also provides customers insights to make informed purchasing decisions.
4. How do businesses benefit by making purchases on Amazon Business?
Small and medium businesses and large enterprises face many gaps especially when it comes to the latest technology and skills, scaling, revenue growth, and attracting new customers. Amazon Business steps in to play a pivotal role in enabling sellers to scale their reach and access more customers. We continuously add a host of features catering to their requirements, such as multi-address delivery on a single order, multi-user accounts, and approval and spend analytics.
- Bonus savings: We offer frequently purchased business supplies and products at wholesale prices to small and medium businesses including small office and home offices, educational institutes, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants along with access to incremental savings using exclusive cashbacks offered only to business customers.
- Feature rich: Access to features like multi-user accounts will allow businesses that have multiple team members to add users under one Amazon Business account and set up approval policies and budget guardrails separately for each team. ‘Bill to Ship’ will allow business customers to buy from one location and ship to another location without compromising on the GST input credit. There’s also credit extension through Amazon Pay Later for all eligible customers and the capability to request for quotes for bulk orders through our assisted sales channel.
- Fast and reliable: Convenient and easy delivery across 99.5% pin codes through the trusted delivery experience of Amazon. 43% of products that customers are interested in can be shipped in 2 days.
- Ease and convenience: Amazon Business’ Android and iOS optimised mobile apps facilitate business purchases on the go.
- Multiple business licences applicable: Launched in June’21, Amazon Business also accepts business PAN as a license type, which enables non-profit organisations, educational institutes, NGOs, trusts, associations, and MSMEs with turnover under Rs 20 lakhs to register on Amazon Business.
- Multiple language support: Amazon Business also supports multiple languages, which helps bridge the language barrier and makes it convenient for business customers.
5. What attracts large business customers to Amazon Business?
Amazon Business offers large businesses the widest selection of GST-enabled products, transparent pricing, and pan-India delivery coverage.
- Our ‘Bill to, Ship to’ feature launched in July 2021 allows customers to buy from one location and ship to another location without compromising on GST input credit.
- Our enhanced analytics suite provides near real-time insights to give businesses more visibility into their spends. They can control rogue spends and drive efficiency across spending units, especially for businesses with multiple offices or more than one procurement manager.
6. What does the Amazon Business-Amazon Pay Later integration mean for business customers?
It offers access to Instant Credit for eligible Amazon Business customers. A benchmarking study done by Amazon India last year, revealed that 99% of the business customers across profiles (micro–large business) feel that paying by credit is one of their top requirements while making a purchase for their business. Therefore, these customers consistently look for “Buy Now Pay Later” payment methods backed by financiers to meet their purchase requirements.
Micro business customers rely on the credit offered to them by their suppliers. Supplier led credit is discretionary and based on the history of business relationship and not uniformly accessible to all business customers. Business customers avoid shifting to new suppliers even if it can help them access better selection as continuing with the existing supplier helps build relationships and supplier credit.
During the annual budget 2023-24, the government of India introduced initiatives to revamp the Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME, thereby highlighting the need for credit availability for efficient operations of small businesses. In an attempt to improve affordability for our customers and ease their procurement needs, Amazon Business announced its integration with Amazon Pay Later to provide a virtual credit to eligible business customers. All eligible business customers have seamless access to 30-day interest free credit with the option to extend it to 12 months at minimal interest rates, and no hidden costs.
This initiative is aimed to help MSMEs and other corporate buyers extend their budgets for bulk and regular purchases of products ranging from daily essentials, electronics, to corporate gifts for their businesses with an easy and hassle-free payment experience. With in-built security features, Amazon Pay Later will give customers an option to set up auto-repayment to settle monthly bill or EMIs through the bank of their choice. We estimate customers adopting credit facility to generate more than 25% of sales in the next 3 years.
7. How can businesses register and set up an Amazon Business account?
Businesses can sign up at https://business.amazon.in/ easily by using their work email and by providing basic company information such as name and registered address, and submitting documents such as a GST certificate or business PAN. Once these details are provided, the Amazon Business account can be set up in no time. There is no long-term commitment, and no minimum spend to the business account.