Amazon launches business platform in UK

7 April 2017

What firm could be better placed to deliver an e-procurement service that’s ‘like Amazon but for business’ than the online retail giant itself?

Amazon Business UK, a dedicated e-procurement service from the online retail giant, has launched in the UK. The platform will provide the same shopping and delivery experience as its consumer website but with a dedicated business inventory, said the company. The platform will also provide buyers with management functions such as spend tracking.

A similar service was launched in the US in 2015, and in Germany last year.

When it launched, more than 100m products were stocked on Amazon Business UK, the company said. These include offices supplies, power tools and cleaning products, as well as lab supplies such as microscopes and test tubes.

The business functions include VAT invoicing, spend visibility and control tools and the ability to create and manage multiple users.

Amazon is targeting businesses of all sizes. “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. 

The inventory comes from a mix of products sold by Amazon and a new Amazon B2B marketplace, which functions in the same way as its consumer marketplace. According to the company, it vets third party B2B sellers – as it does on its consumer site – and said it will be clearly visible who is selling the products. It declined to go into any more detail.

Half of the Amazon Business sales in the US were placed through the B2B marketplace.

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