What is Amazon Business and how does it work? Well, to start with I didn’t even know Amazon offered accounts to people with business purchasing needs. I only found out recently, when a pop up appeared when I logged into my Amazon Prime account.
I logged in and it said something along the lines of, and this isn’t a direct quite but you get the idea, ‘based on your previous purchases we think you’d benefit from a business account’.
So, I decided to look into it and to find out if I’d benefit from it. If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re keen to find out what Amazon business can do for your business and how it works.
What is Amazon Business & How Does It Work?
To help me write this article, I switched my standard Prime account to an Amazon Business account. But, before you do the same you need to know that there isn’t an easy way to switch it back once you make the change.
You’ll need to contact Amazon support and request it. They’ll switch it back at their end.
I wanted to make sure I was able to accurately describe each feature with first hand experience, this is in an effort to help you decide if you should sign up or not. So that’s why I sacrificed my standard account.
What is it?
Amazon Business is fairly similar to a standard account, but it’s marketed more toward businesses owners. You don’t have to own a multi million dollar enterprise to signup. Businesses of all sizes are welcome.
It looks and works just like a regular Amazon account. The only differences are that it gives you access to hundreds of millions of business products from hundreds of thousands of business sellers.
Amazon Business first launched in the spring 2015 and as of 2018 it was generating over $10 billion in sales each year.
Amazon Business has specific features and benefits that you won’t find on your regular account. It’s specifically tailored to the needs of businesses.
When you create a free account, you’ll be able to browse a wide selection of items that have a discount available; further discounts are available when buying in bulk too.
Another neat feature is that you can request bulk pricing on any product! Perfect if you need to buy a lot of something for a campaign or a business need.
Who is it for?
According to Amazon, Amazon Business serves the following sort of customers in the US:
- Education organizations
- Fortune 100 companies
- Local Councils
- Local governments
- Small Business
- Sole Trader
- Limited Companies
You’ll be able to register for an Amazon Business account as long as you have and/or live in one of the following countries:
Amazon Business Video
The video gives you a brief overview of what Amazon business is all about!
How To join Amazon Business:
Follow these steps to register for a business account. But, remember you’ll have to contact support should you wish to switch back.
Depending on your location you’ll need to visit the associated website. So .co.uk, .com, .ca etc.
For this example we’ll use www.amazon.com/business.
Go to amazon.com/business, click here.
In the corner of the page you’ll see a button that says “Create a free Amazon Business account”. Click that to get started.
You’ll be presented with a signup form. It’s no different that what you’ve seen countless times online. You’ll be asked to enter the email you want to use for your account.
If you have a business email address or one given to you by your employer, it makes perfect sense to use that one.
Enter your name and a secure password.
Amazon will need some business information to help verify that you meet the criteria for a business account. You’ll need your business address shown on your official documents, letterheads etc.
If you’re in a rush to be verified, make sure your credit card and tax info is to hand. If you can provide this information it makes the verification process a lot quicker. It’s not mandatory, so if you don’t have it available you can skip that step.
It can take up to 24 hours for Amazon to verify you for a business account. Once it’s set-up, they’ll email you.
Upgrading Your Existing Amazon Account
If you try to join Amazon Business using an email address that’s already registered to a regular Amazon account, you’ll be asked to upgrade that account to an Amazon Business account.
If you don’t want to do that you’ll need to sign up with a different email.
Differences Between Amazon Business and Regular Amazon Account
When I first converted my regular account I didn’t really understand the differences between the two types.
So, to help you understand most of differences between Amazon Business and the regular Amazon marketplace, I’ve written the below list of features that are not only exclusive to Amazon Business, but also make it quite a good offering for your business needs.:
You get access to a pretty decent discount across a range of more than 5 million products. You can also request further discounts on eligible products.
Shopping with safety in mind. Amazon Business lets you browse and shop from a lot of niche sellers. You’ll be able to search for business sellers that are from specific minorities.
For example: small businesses, LGBT community, woman owned businesses and BAME (black and minority ethnic) owned. It’s great to see them promoting and pushing inclusiveness and diversity.
Individual Staff Accounts
Another thing I noticed was that you are able to set up individual staff accounts. Sort of like a sub account for your team members.
All you need to do after creating your free Amazon Business account is go to your settings, you’ll then be able to add individual accounts for your entire team.
Each team in your company hierarchy and/or structure will be able to have their own purchasing groups, approval workflows etc. It makes for a really streamlined and easy to document purchasing process.
Approval Processes and Workflows
Create your own approval workflows and set spending limits specific to purchasing groups or individuals. It gives you visibility of how your cash is being spent and allows you to manage your expenditure down to a granular level.
Payment Method Options
Most small businesses have a credit or debit card. You can add this payment method across the whole team or give access to just a few trusted users. The benefit of this is that it gives you great control of who can spend business funds.
You can also register and apply for Amazon Corporate Credit and with it comes the option of being able to pay by purchasing order.
Convenient Delivery Options
As with a regular account there are plenty of delivery options available. And what’s more, if your order qualifies for a consolidated delivery, one of Amazon’s carriers will deliver it on a pallet to your goods in bay.
This is just another convenient way to streamline your business processes by having your order processed by your existing goods in team.
Powerful Analytics Data
Are you familar with Google Analytics? Well if you are you’ll find the data charts in your account a breeze to work with. Don’t worry if you haven’t worked with this sort of set up before as it’s easy to get to grips with.
The charts allow you to track and monitor your spending in an easy way.
So How Does It Work?
Your Amazon Business account is pretty much exactly the same as your regular one. The checkout process remains almost identical.
One of the main things you’ll notice is that when you go to checkout you’ll see a box for entering a PO (purchase order). This is perfect for tracking cost codes or individual teams budget.
Another difference is that when you add items to your cart you’ll see with and without V.A.T pricing.
Millions of Products
Once you’ve signed up, sign in to your Amazon Business account and you’ll see a fairly typical layout. You’ll see that the Amazon search bar is still at the top of the page. And the categories are all there in the drop down menu.
Just enter your search keywords or product number (if you know it) to find a specific product.
For example, let’s say you want to find a brand new desk for the office. Try searching for something, like an office desk. Once you see the results you’ll be able to filter your results on the left. Again matching your regular Amazon for functionality.
Since this is a Business account however, you’ll also see the option to filter items by Business Prime eligible, seller type and seller type (BAME, LGBT, small business etc).
At the moment Business Prime is only available in a select few countries. I expect this will change in the future, as more and more businesses in other geographic locations explore their options for business purchases.
Amazon are already aware of the demand coming from different countries but for now it’s only available in:
Business Amazon Cost (Prime)
A key factor in deciding if you sign up is the cost. And understanding the cost of Prime for business will help you manage your expenditure and cashflow.
The Business Prime pricing model is based around the number of users you have on your account. There are currently 5 ‘sectors’ or categories and these are:
$179 a year for up to 3 users.
$499 a year for up to 10 users
$1,299 a year for up to 100 users
$10,099 a year for over 100 users
$3,499 a year for over 100 users
As far as I could tell the public sector membership is only available in the US. If this changes I’ll come back and update the article.
Account Features & Highlights
Here are a few of the key account features & highlights:
With Amazon’s powerful cloud service you’ll be able to easily analyse your spending data.
You can also restrict purchases to certain categories.
As a Business Prime member you can can get access to a no-annual-fee credit card. You’ll need to pass a credit check and pass other elibility critera.
Check out www.amazon.com/businesscard to read all the details you’ll need to make an informed decision.
Pay by Invoice 45 or 60 Day Terms
Are you struggling with cash flow? A handy tip is that business accounts are able to request an extended invoice time frame. This means you can worry a bit less about when your customers will pay your invoices.
In terms of how long you can request, you can request either 45 or 60 day invoice due day.
Business Delivery Options
You can choose free delivery options that are convenient for you. You can select at checkout the following;
Same Day Shipping
One Day Shipping
Two Day Shipping
And as mentioned, if you’re a Prime member, you can also select consolidated shipping on eligible orders.
So, if you want to sign up to an Amazon Business account, you can do so by clicking the affiliate link here.
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