The Amazon Business Seller Program is a feature set you can choose to add to your existing Amazon Professional Seller account to extend sales to members of Amazon Business, its business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, and adjust your listings to make your products more appealing to business customers. After joining the program, you access Business Seller features via Seller Central.
One of the main incentives to becoming a Business Seller is that Amazon’s B2B marketplace is large and diverse, claiming as its members 55 of the Fortune 500 companies, more than 50 percent of the 100 biggest hospital systems in the United States, and more than 40 percent of the 100 most populous local governments.
Globally, it accounts for more than $10 billion in sales annually, more than half of which is attributed to third-party sellers.
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What is Amazon Business?
Amazon Business offers a marketplace for businesses of all sizes. It looks and works much like regular Amazon, except it offers access to “hundreds of millions” of business products from “hundreds of thousands” of business sellers. By 2018, Amazon said that it had already generated $10 billion in annualized sales since its launch in spring 2015.
A key feature of Amazon Business is that it is tailored to business needs. Creating a free account, for instance, will let you browse a selection of items with special pricing if purchased in bulk. There is even an option to create a multi-user account so that your entire team can make purchases.
Amazon Business is now available to registered businesses in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India.
Who uses Amazon Business?
Amazon Business in the US serves the following types of customers:
- 80% of the 100 largest enrollment education organizations
- 55 of the Fortune 100 companies
- More than half of the 100 largest hospital systems
- More than 40 percent of the 100 most populous local governments
How to join Amazon Business
Follow these steps to join Amazon Business:
- To get started, go to www.amazon.com/business.
- In the corner of the page, click “Create an Amazon Business account for free.”.
- Enter the email address you want to use for your account. If your employer provides you with one, you can use it. Your name and password will also be required.
- The address shown on your official documents will be required for Amazon to verify your business.
- Providing your credit card or tax information, such as a business tax ID, can speed up the verification process. But you can go straight to the next step.
- You will then be verified by Amazon. This may take up to 24 hours. Check your status here.
When you use an email that’s already connected to a regular Amazon account to join Amazon Business, you’ll be asked to upgrade that account to an Amazon Business account. You’ll need to create a different email address if you decline this offer.
How does Amazon Business work?
The Amazon Business storefront isn’t visible via the web — you have to enter the URL into your browser to view it. Sign up for a free Amazon Business account and then sign in to view all the items available through it. A learning curve is minimal, as Amazon Business operates nearly the same way as regular Amazon.
1. Account and business settings
You can access your Account settings by clicking your name on the top right corner of your free Amazon Business account.
Users of Amazon Business have access to additional settings:
1). Business settings
- Add members
- Set approval workflows
- Manage payment options
- Enter tax exemption information
2). Business analytics
- See reports
- line-item details
3). Management of suppliers
- search for and save preferred suppliers
2. Browse and shop
At the top of your Amazon Business account, you’ll see the familiar Amazon search bar. You can search for a specific item by entering a keyword or product number. Just like on regular Amazon, if you search for something, you’ll be able to filter the results on the left.
Since this is Amazon Business, you will also see options for filtering items by Business Prime eligible, seller type (including business sellers), and seller certification (for example, women-owned businesses).
3. Place an order
As with the regular Amazon checkout process, adding items to your cart, selecting if it’s a recurring delivery, and then going to your cart to confirm your shipping details, payment method, and placing the order is nearly identical. For a detailed report on shipping, product, and seller information, go to your Account settings and click either the Orders menu option directly or Business analytics.
How is Amazon Business different from Amazon Seller Central?
To better understand the differences between Amazon Business and Amazon Seller Central, which you are probably already familiar with, let’s look at some of the features that are not only exclusive to Amazon Business but also make it stand out:
- Business pricing and quantity discounts enable you to sweeten the deal for business customers.
- Business-only offers allow you to offer certain products exclusively to business customers.
- Business-only selection enables you to list certain products and in certain categories made available only to business customers.
- Enhanced content allows you to upload additional content, such as user guides and material safety data sheets (MSDSs) in several categories.
- Seller credential program gives you the option to claim certain credentials relevant to your business, such as quality, diversity, and ownership.
- Enhanced seller profile enables you build a business profile with enhanced content, such as a logo, year established, business type, and more.
- Business reporting provides access to a number of reports that provide useful data, such as when business customers placed orders and the number of businesses you serve.
Following, we will explore some of the most significant differences:
1. Business pricing and quantity discounts
For all stock keeping units (SKUs) eligible for business sales, you can offer a business price or quantity discount:
- Business price is a discounted price available only to Amazon Business customers regardless of the quantity of the product they purchase.
- Quantity discounts are tiered discounts also available only to Amazon Business customers based on the quantities of items purchased.
If you already have a product listing for the item you want to sell to Amazon Business customers, you can simply add the business price and quantity discounts using a feed file or by making changes through the Manage Inventory page.
The easiest way to add a business price or quantity discounts is through the Manage Pricing page. Take the following steps:
- In Seller Central, open the Pricing Menu and select Manage Pricing.
- The Manage Pricing page appears; if you don’t see the Business Price column, click Preferences and select the Business Price box.
- Click in the Business Price field for the product whose price you want to change, type the business price, and click the Save button.
- To add quantity discounts, select Add Quantity Discounts for the desired product and then select either Percent off Business Price (to offer a percentage discount) or Fixed Prices (to set the price per item as a dollar amount).
- In the At Least box, enter the minimum order quantity required to qualify for the first-tier business discount.
- In the For box, type the price per item or percentage discount for this tier.
- To add more discount tiers, click the Add More Price Breaks button and enter the minimum order quantity and per item discount for the next discount tier.
- Click the Save Prices button.
- Repeat Steps 3 to 8 for any additional products you want to offer to business customers at a special price or quantity discount.
2. Business-only offers
Business-only offers are product listings available only to Amazon Business customers, not retail customers. This option may come in handy in the following situations:
- The manufacturer restricts the sale of the product to businesses.
- The project is fragile and is likely to break or fail if the customer doesn’t have the training or expertise to properly handle or install the product.
- The product is a specialty item that could injure a customer who doesn’t have the training or expertise to properly handle or install the product.
To create a business-only offer, take the following steps:
- If you already have a listing for the product with a retail price, delete the listing. If the product doesn’t have an existing listing, proceed to Step 2.
- Create a new listing for the product.
- Open the Pricing Menu and select Manage Pricing.
- The Manage Pricing page appears; if you don’t see the Business Price column, click Preferences and select the Business Price box.
- In the Business Price field for the product whose price you want to change, type the business price. Leave the Standard Price field empty.
- Click the Save button. Your new listing is now a business-only offer.
3. Performance standards
Compared to Seller Central, Amazon Business has more stringent performance standards, as shown here:
|Seller Central||Amazon Business|
|Order defect rate 1 percent or less||Order defect rate 0.5 percent or less|
|Pre-shipment cancellation rate 2.5 percent or less||Pre-shipment cancellation rate less than 1 percent|
|Late shipment rate 4 percent or less||Late shipment rate less than 1 percent|
In addition, if you’re going to sell on Amazon Business, you have a few extra rules to follow:
- You must participate in the Amazon Business Seller program to offer special pricing to business customers.
- If you use Amazon’s tax calculation services, you must honor the customer’s tax-exempt status.
- You must provide a tracking number for every business order and a packing slip and purchase order number for every package.
4. Amazon’s tax exemption program
Nonprofit businesses can choose to register for the Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP) to make tax-exempt purchases. If you choose to participate in ATEP, Amazon automatically records and processes the tax exemption for you.
More importantly, when business customers search for products and filter the results to show only products from sellers who offer tax exemptions, your listings are eligible to appear in the search results, whereas nonparticipating sellers’ products aren’t included.
As a business seller, you’re automatically enrolled in ATEP as soon as you enter your tax info. To check whether you’re enrolled and to opt out or opt in to the program, take the following steps:
- In Seller Central, select Settings (top right).
- Scroll down to the Amazon Tax Exemption Program (ATEP) section.
- Select the box next to Enroll in the Amazon Tax Exemption Program to opt in to the program, or remove the checkmark to opt out.
- Select the box next to the option showing that you agree to the terms of the agreement.
- Press the Save Settings button.
If you opt out of the program, a tax-exempt business buyer can still buy your product and then contact you to request a tax-only refund. For FBA orders, Amazon customer service issues the tax-only refund after receiving the necessary supporting documents from the buyer.
5. Price negotiation
Amazon allows business buyers and sellers to haggle over pricing via its Negotiated Pricing feature. After you and the buyer agree to a pricing agreement (via Amazon’s messaging service or over the phone), you can add the buyer to your account and provide the buyer with the agreed-upon price list.
Before you begin, obtain the business customer’s Amazon Business identification number. Also, be sure you have a listing for each product you’ve agreed to sell at a discount.
To add your business customer to your account and submit a negotiated price list to the customer, take the following steps:
- In Seller Central, open the Pricing menu and select Negotiated Pricing. The Negotiated Pricing page appears.
- Press the Add Customer button, enter the customer’s Amazon Business ID, and press the Search button. Seller Central displays the customer’s information.
- Press the Add button. Seller Central adds the customer to your account and returns you to the Negotiated Price page.
- Press the Upload Price Sheet button.
- After the Upload Price Sheet page appears, click the Download New Template link, download the new price sheet template to your computer, and save or move it to a location on your computer you’ll remember.
- Open the new price sheet template and follow the instructions on the first worksheet of the template to add the required pricing details.
- Use the File, Save As command in Excel to save the file as a Text (Tab-Delimited) file.
- Return to the Upload Price Sheet page in Seller Central, press the Browse button, find and select the new price template file, and press the Open button. You’re returned to the Upload Price Sheet page, which now displays the name of the file you selected.
- Type the price sheet details in the appropriate text boxes: Version Description (the descriptive name for this price sheet), Price Start Date, and Price End Date.
- Press the Upload Price Sheet button. Your price sheet is uploaded, and Seller Central displays the account page for this customer showing that the pricing update is “In Progress.” The customer will be notified that the new price sheet is available and be instructed to review and approve it. The new prices will be available after the customer approves the new prices until the specified price end date.
To manage your price sheets from Seller Central, open the Pricing menu and select Manage Pricing. The Manage Pricing page enables you to add, delete, or replace price sheets.
What about Amazon Business Prime?
A Business Prime membership offers Amazon Business customers free shipping on more than 100 million items, as well as other benefits. It enhances your procurement experience by analyzing spending patterns and creating policies that guide employees to approved products. You can try it for free for 30 days.
Note: Subscribers do not get access to Prime Video or other features of Amazon Prime.
Business Prime is only available in the United States, Germany, and Japan.
Business Prime is priced based on the number of users per Amazon Business account:
- Essentials: $179 a year for up to three users
- Small: $499 a year for up to 10 users
- Medium: $1,299 a year for up to 100 users
- Enterprise: $10,099 a year for over 100 users
- Public Sector*: $3,499 a year for over 100 users
After you determine which plan is best for you, click the “30-day free trial” button.