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Making the Most of an Amazon Business Account

Making the Most of an Amazon Business Account
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An Amazon Business account can save your company time and money if you know how to make the most of it.

Amazon is the proverbial 800-pound gorilla on the consumer retail front, so who was really surprised in April, 2015, when the tech giant rolled out Amazon Business? At the time, Amazon billed its new business marketplace as having combining the "selection, convenience and value customers have come to know and love from Amazon, with new features and unique benefits tailored to businesses."

MORE: Best Business Uses for Amazon's Alexa

Amazon Business, the company said upon the April 28, 2015 rollout, would go big by "providing easy access to hundreds of millions of products – everything from IT and lab equipment to education and food service supplies – as well as business-only selection and pricing." Amazon Business customers could also count on free two-day shipping on" tens of millions" of eligible items, multi-user business accounts, approval workflow, payment solutions, tax exemptions, dedicated customer support "and much more."

Pricing, Discounts and Shipments

Amazon Business helps registered businesses purchase supplies in bulk from Amazon. Anyone with a business-user account can purchase via Amazon.com. It comes with business-only pricing that offers discounts on millions of products across Amazon, and helpful price comparison features. You can even request quantity discounts from some sellers. 

With your Amazon Business account, your multi-user business enjoys Business Prime Shipping. It comes with unlimited, free two-day shipping on eligible items. Customers can get a Business Prime Shipping annual membership based on the number of users that need access. It'll cost you $499 for up to 10 users, $1,299 for up to 100 users, and $10,099 for more than 100 users. Also, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial

An Amazon Prime account can also be linked to the business account for free. Prime membership makes you eligible for exclusive Prime Day deals during the company's annual sales extravaganza.  

Amazon Business offers a few payment options. A company-wide purchasing card can be added to the account to be accessed by multiple users, or you can open a corporate credit line. Administrators can manage individual and shared payment methods and shipping addresses to make ordering seamless for all purchasers. 

What Customers Say

In touting its "tailored business experience," has Amazon come through on the promise of Amazon Business two years later? It's growing number of customers certainly think so.

"We have our Amazon Business account to mainly take advantage the Amazon Tax Exemption Program," states Rob Boirun, chief executive officer at The Reviewster Network.

"So, in addition to getting tax free purchases, we love the program's ease of use in ordering and reordering our most common items," Bourin says. "When we run out of printer toner, or other office supplies, we can easily order within a few seconds and the items are in the office two days later."

Bourin says his company has also used Amazon Business for larger purchases – leveraging payment options where the firm can split up the payments between different people in the company. "For example, we purchased a new Wi-Fi router and were able to 'split up' the bill so that four different people using it would each pay 25 percent," he adds.

Business experts say there are ways that Amazon Business helps some companies more than others, and those decision makers should know that before signing on with the program.

"Amazon Business works the best when you have products that can be purchased in bulk for businesses," notes Chad Rubin, an e-commerce business owner and a "Top 50" Amazon seller. "That's a big benefit, as you can incorporate bulk pricing to boost sales and provide a discount to businesses who need a larger amount of your product."

Rubin points out that when Amazon Business customers use bulk pricing, they can reach a new audience that tends to spend more – mainly with businesses and corporate accounts.

"It definitely helps when you use bulk pricing to attract customers who need more of certain products," he adds.

Krista Fabregas, ecommerce staff writer at New York City-based Fit Small Business, who regularly chronicles the progress of Amazon, on both the consumer and business side, and who also sells regularly on the site, says that selling on Amazon "definitely has pros and cons, but is often worth the effort for a variety of sellers"

It's especially ideal for manufacturers to reach buyers direct, Fabregas notes. "The first trick for success on Amazon is having at least a 250 to 300 percent markup (or more) over cost (her experience is based on a retail plus/$30 price point). "Any lower and Amazon's high seller fees quickly eat into profits," she warns.

As Fabregas says, there are upsides and some downsides in using Amazon Business for your company, with the former seemingly outweighing the latter.

See if there isn't a good business case for leveraging Amazon's enterprise side for your company. In that sense, it's good to have the 800-pound gorilla on your team.