The Amazon Business Service Review

Here’s something I came across the other day while I was looking for a place to source supplies for the office. Amazon now have a one-stop-shop where any sized business can buy laptops, computers, printers, office supplies, office furniture, hand tools, power tools, safety equipment, office kitchen essentials and cleaning supplies. I thought this was a really good idea for anyone wanting to source all their supplies in one place, with minimum fuss. Here’s the Amazon blurb about it:

What is Amazon Business?

Amazon Business is a new competitive marketplace for B2B products on that serves the procurement needs of businesses of every size. Purchasing online for businesses has never been easier. Whether you are a sole trader, a buyer in a mid-size company or a procurement executive in a large multinational firm, Amazon Business has the products and services to serve your online shopping needs.

You can register for a free Amazon Business account and save time and money while buying over a hundred million products.

What are the Advantages of Amazon Business?

Reduced Business Costs.

Competitive marketplace: You get competitive prices for specific products, with easy to compare alternatives across different price ranges. This is handy when you aren’t quite sure which product you want.

Improve cash flow: Purchase now and pay in net 30 days after shipping with Pay By Invoice (subject to satisfactory credit checks and individual credit limit). This is the way businesses expect to operate for supplies, and Amazon also do it this way within Amazon Business.

Unlimited fast, FREE shipping: From £80/year excl. VAT, with Business Prime you get unlimited Free One-Day Delivery for everyone in the workplace. This is like the ordinary Amazon Prime, but tailored for your business instead.

Easy returns: Reduce any wasteful spend with hassle-free returns, only keeping what your business actually needs. This is really great because it lets you operate a consignment stock kind of system. If you don’t use it, just send it back to Amazon.

Greater Visibility and Control

Consolidate your team’s spending: Replicate your company’s organisational structure in Amazon Business by creating buying groups, and implement your sign-off process with approval workflows. Add your whole team to gain full visibility over your  team spend. Not too much of an advantage if you’re just a sole trader, but if you are ordering as part of an organisation it’s a Godsend.

Control your purchasing: Set your spending limits and auto-approve purchases below your chosen threshold. Guide your company spend and implement policies through Catalogue Curation, setting restricted categories or preferred products as you wish. This is crucial to control your businesses overall spending. Amazon Business has the tools to allow that.

Evaluate and optimise your buying: Customise you spending reports to track metrics. You can spot  purchase trends and opportunities, to consolidate and reduce wasteful spend. A very useful tool to allow evaluation of what has been bought to ensure the purchase policy is both efficient and not wasteful for your company.

Create custom purchasing lists: Influence what your team purchases by creating lists with preferred products, making it easier for them to buy. This allows you to set a priority list of items that may favour a particular supplier that you have a separate relationship with, outside of Amazon Business.

Saves You Time

Simple supplier management: Spend less time searching for, negotiating with and managing all your suppliers – find them in one competitive marketplace. Everything is all in one place and is a very neat solution provided prices are competitive. Amazon Business allows that to happen.

Easier VAT invoice management: You can compare VAT-exclusive prices and filter sellers with downloadable VAT invoices. Find the invoices automatically populated in your account, available to download in bulk. Again, a huge time saver.

Quicker replenishment of stock: Add frequently purchased products to purchasing lists and re-order items in a single click. Set up different lists for different categories, departments, functions or branches. This happens automatically, negating the need to manually procure supplies for your business.

Speed up your approvals process: Implement your offline approvals directly on Amazon Business, with the ability to approve multiple orders, either in bulk or individually at item level. This stops purchasers needing to ask for approval, the rules are already set for them in Amazon Business.

Easy reconciliation of accounts

Line-item detail: Simplify reconciliation through detailed invoices when using Pay by Invoice (subject to satisfactory credit checks and individual credit limit), or enhanced transaction data on eligible commercial credit cards.

Add PO numbers to orders: Add Purchase Order numbers and other business information for easier approvals, tracking and reconciliation.

Download reconciliation reports: Use Amazon Business Analytics to download detailed, customisable reconciliation reports.

Seamless integration: Use your existing procurement business systems to purchase on Amazon, including Coupa, JAGGAER and SAP Ariba.

Frequently Asked Questions about Amazon Business

Do I need a VAT number to register?
No, adding a VAT number is optional. If you do not wish to add a VAT number during registration, leave the field blank and continue with your registration. If you choose to add a VAT number, it will be printed on your invoices. You can add your VAT number any time after registration through the ‘Ordering and shopping preferences’ on Your Account to enable this functionality.
Why do I get an error when I add a VAT number?
You may get an error message if the VAT number is incomplete or not in the required format. Make sure that the VAT number you add is complete and in the following format – GB123456789 (2 digit country code followed by a 9 digit number).
Why do I get an error while adding my address?
Make sure that the address you have provided is correct as we match the address entered with known addresses provided by Royal Mail. If you are certain the address you have entered is correct, click the ‘Save and Continue’ button to ignore the error and move forward with the registration.
What business name do I need to add on “Business info” section?
Add your business full legal name in the “Business name” field. Do not use your personal name or your department name in this section.
What information should I add on the “Contact info” section?
Provide your full name and job title in the “Contact information” section to verify that you are an employee of the business you are registering. Provide your name and not your department or administrator name in this section.
Can I create an account if I am not a purchasing administrator?
Yes. You can create an account for your business even if you are not a purchasing administrator or do not work in a purchasing function. Once an account is created, you can always add your manager and your purchasing team as additional users or account administrators.
What email ID should I use to register for an Amazon Business account?
Please use your business email ID to register for an Amazon Business account. We use email IDs as part of our account verification process to ensure that you work for the business you are creating an account for. We do not recommend the use of generic email IDs (e.g.
I already have a personal Amazon account using my business email address. Can I convert my current Amazon account to an Amazon Business account?
Please change the email ID on your personal Amazon account to a personal email ID (you can do this in the ‘Login & Security’ option on Your Account). Once you have changed your email ID, create a new Amazon Business account with your business email ID.
What happens to my Amazon Prime membership if I convert my account?
If you convert your personal Amazon account to an Amazon Business account, your Amazon Prime membership will automatically transition to your Amazon Business account and you will be able to access Amazon Prime Shipping Benefits.
Can I convert my Amazon account associated with my personal email ID?
If you use a personal email ID on your Amazon account, we recommend that you create a new Amazon Business account with a business email ID.If you still wish to convert to a business account, change the email ID linked to your Amazon account to your business email ID (you can do this in the ‘Login & Security’ option on Your Account). Once you have changed your email ID, you can convert the account to a business account.
Can I convert my Amazon account that I use to make personal purchases?
If you have used your existing Amazon account to make personal purchases, we recommend that you create a new business user account (rather than converting an existing Amazon account) to protect the privacy of your account information (i.e. order history, addresses, payment methods, and personal information).

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