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Amazon Business: The great entry-level guide for B2B retailers who want to get started on Amazon

Join Amazon B2B now and reach millions of new customers, especially from the business segment

Since 2016, Amazon has been offering online retailers from the B2B segment a platform extension that is designed to meet the specific needs of business sellers. The principle of Amazon B2B: Retailers can offer their goods in the usual way at end and business customer conditions. You are also serving a market that ranges from small businesses to institutional buyers.

The articles will continue to be posted on the regular Amazon marketplace and shown to those buyers who have also expanded their account to a business account with net prices and volume discounts.

As a seller, you can benefit in two ways: On the one hand, you acquire yourself as a qualified dealer1 In the form of the coveted business seller badge, increased visibility compared to other B2B offers. In addition, Amazon offers a range of features with purchase on account, volume discounts and exclusive business customer prices that further increase your sales opportunities. Invoice processing is significantly simplified by the Amazon VCS program, as invoices with the correct sales tax rate are automatically created by Amazon and transmitted to the appropriate buyer on your behalf.

In this beginner's guide you will find out everything you need to know to start and use the Amazon B2B marketplace efficiently. We show how Amazon Business basically works, what requirements should be met in order to sell successfully on Amazon B2B and what costs you have to reckon with when using it. In a step-by-step guide, we also explain how to register as a retailer with Amazon Business or how to add B2B features to your existing Seller Central account.

Do you run your own online shop at the same time and sell goods there to B2B-relevant target groups? Then we have good news: With the magnalister plugin, you can easily offer products directly from your webshop on Amazon B2B and numerous automation functions such as price and stock synchronization, order import and order status comparison (e.g. “shipped” or “canceled”) as well as the extremely time-saving attribute matching. And that even in combination with your existing inventory control system.
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1 A qualified seller is someone who, in addition to the necessary expansion of his "professional seller account" to a business seller account, has also activated the sales tax calculation service and can thus offer the VAT invoice directly for download.

Table of Contents

Service overview: How you as a seller can benefit from Amazon B2B

How the Amazon B2B Marketplace works

The Amazon B2B Marketplace offers you these unique features as a seller

Additional benefits for buyers increase your potential customer base

Amazon Business Prime: Paid extension for additional benefits

The diverse additional functions make Amazon Business interesting for almost every B2B entrepreneur

Connect the Amazon B2B marketplace with the magnalister plugin and manage sales processes centrally in the web shop

Registration with the Amazon Business Portal and the costs incurred

Conclusion: Retailers with corporate customer business can only gain from Amazon B2B - nothing stands in the way of simultaneous B2C sales

Service overview: How you as a seller can benefit from Amazon B2B

As one of the world's largest online retailers, Amazon is an indispensable part of everyday life for countless people: an almost inexhaustible selection of items, valuable product reviews and fast shipping - and all of this is just a few clicks away. A turnover of over 280 billion US dollars and more than 750,000 employees speak for themselves.

For several years now, the company has also been offering all of these services and advantages that make Amazon so attractive to private customers for business customers and thus specifically for the B2B sector. But what exactly is Amazon Business?

How the Amazon B2B Marketplace works

While the design of the Amazon homepage for accounts with a business extension differs slightly from the conventional one, the structure and the essential functionalities remain the same: Search function and categories designed for the B2B area enable business customers to view the entire Amazon product catalog (including B2C products ) Filter by different areas and criteria, compare similar items and browse reviews from previous buyers. As a buyer, for example, you can only display products in the search results for which the sales tax invoice is available for download.

Practical tip: A sudden drop in your turnover can be an indication that previous customers are using this search mechanism. In order not to lose any (potential) customers here, you should definitely make use of the so-called sales tax calculation service from Amazon. Specifically, Amazon VCS or VCS Lite must be activated for this (more on this below).

As a business seller, your products are now displayed to both end and business customers. For the latter, you can also set exclusive business customer prices as well as multi-level volume discounts dynamically and directly. If you have also activated the sales tax calculation service mentioned above, sales prices are shown to your customers net in the search results - i.e. excluding sales tax - and only shown as gross prices in the invoice issued.

As soon as an order process has been completed, your business customers have the option of storing specific company information such as order number, department or the corresponding cost center, which then appear in the order information and the invoice and make handling significantly easier.

The Amazon B2B Marketplace offers you these unique features as a seller

Existing customer base of millions of business customers ready to buy

By participating in Amazon B2B, you benefit directly from Amazon's presence, global logistics network and first-class fulfillment programs. This excellent infrastructure is of particular benefit to you as a B2B dealer, as business customers are known to have significantly higher demands on short delivery times and high reliability than is the case, for example, in the end customer area.

Big advantage of Amazon Business over your own web shop: Instead of luring visitors to your website for expensive money, you can fall back on an existing customer base of many millions, which usually comes to the site with a firm intention to buy. The consequences are noticeably shorter start-up times for the market launch of products as well as significantly higher conversion rates - in other words, a larger proportion of those who actually buy their product after the appraisal.

Sales tax calculation service and net prices increase your visibility

With the free sales tax calculation service, customers who participate in the Amazon VCS (VAT Calculation Service) program can display net prices directly in the search results. In addition, if you wish, Amazon will take care of the invoicing including the correct VAT rate and will send it to the respective buyer on your behalf.

The feature is also a prerequisite for receiving the coveted 'seller badge': The reference to the invoice creation by Amazon directly on the product page or in the offer overview not only increases your credibility as a seller, but also your visibility and ranking in the search results - and can give you an important competitive advantage over your competition.

Exclusive business prices and volume discounts

Set exclusive business customer prices as well as percentage or fixed volume discounts for different order quantities for each of your products - extremely easy and without significant expenditure of time, so that you as an entrepreneur remain agile at all times. For specific order quantities, customers also have the option of sending an inquiry to all providers of the respective product. You can react to this directly via your Amazon Seller Central account with a corresponding price offer.

Example: A large corporation is modernizing its office building and therefore wants to order 200 PC screens from a certain manufacturer. Because this specific order quantity is not stored with any provider, he makes a price request. As the supplier of the product, you will be informed about this immediately in your seller account. You can now store a quantity discount for this same order quantity in your product range and have the interested party informed about it.

Risk-free invoice purchases

Verified business customers have the option of buying their products on account via the Amazon B2B marketplace. In this case, Amazon takes care of the credit risk, billing and payment collection, which means that you as a seller do not incur any additional work or risk. On the contrary: As one of the most important payment methods for business customers, purchase on account generally increases your chances of selling significantly.

Additional benefits for buyers increase your potential customer base

In addition to the huge range of products, the special B2B price structure and the usual benefits of trading via Amazon, an efficient procurement process is one of the main advantages for buyers. Orders - e.g. continuously required office equipment or parts of the supply chain - can be automatically initiated for certain data. The system administrator of the business account also has the option of creating multi-user accounts that can be used by different purchasing teams, for example.

The “Guided Buying” and “Spend Visibility” functions can already be used in conjunction with the Business Prime “Small” tariff (EUR 200 per year excluding VAT, more on this in the next section). With Guided Buying, the administrator can define various purchasing guidelines, such as preferred sellers, as well as restrictions for the respective users. So-called approval workflows ensure agile adaptation and communication on request.

The Spend Visibility function also offers companies advanced options for analyzing their own business activities: for example, their own purchasing behavior can be displayed and evaluated over time and separated according to the various company areas (or users).

Amazon Business Prime: Paid extension for additional benefits

Analogous to the well-known Prime special status in the B2C area, of which more than 150 million people worldwide now (as of 02/2020) make use, Business Prime offers its business customers free premium delivery on a large number of products - regardless of the order quantity.

Additional features such as “Guided Buying” or “Spend Visibility” also allow buyers to set agile purchasing guidelines or to visualize their own expenses ready for presentation. Various reward programs and exclusive product offers round off the premium offer.

Depending on the size of the company, you can choose between the following annual subscriptions:

  • basic: 70 EUR / year excl. VAT for up to 3 users - the functions ‘Guided Buying’ and ‘Spend Visibility’ are omitted here
  • Small: 200 EUR / year excluding VAT for up to 10 users
  • medium: 500 EUR / year excluding VAT for up to 100 users
  • Unlimited: 4,000 EUR / year excluding VAT for an unlimited number of users

As a seller with the Prime logo, your products receive a particularly high level of attention from buyers, which is why qualifying for Prime status can be very worthwhile. But the decision needs to be carefully considered: Even if you have met the strict requirements in terms of timely delivery and cancellation rate and have successfully completed the necessary test phase, your products will only wear the Prime label for as long as you can maintain it. Short-term delivery bottlenecks or bad planning can lead to a loss of status.

The diverse additional functions make Amazon Business interesting for almost every B2B entrepreneur

The diverse functions of Amazon B2B, specially tailored to the needs of companies and business customers, make the portal interesting for buyers and sellers of all sizes.

For small and medium-sized businesses with typically limited resources, the automated purchasing processes and the numerous analysis tools offer completely new possibilities in terms of efficiency, transparency and control. For retailers who mainly sell goods in the B2B segment, Amazon Business can also represent a simple and targeted entry into online sales - especially against the background of the steadily increasing relevance of the e-commerce sector.

Large companies benefit above all from Amazon's enormous reach and thus the possibility of massively expanding their own customer base through a suitable strategy - but without significantly increasing the administrative effort. The timely delivery of essential components of the company's own supply chain is also guaranteed by Amazon.

In addition, Amazon Business is a comparatively fast and uncomplicated way for small and wholesalers to expand their own trade across national borders.

Connect the Amazon B2B marketplace with the magnalister plugin and manage sales processes centrally in the web shop

magnalister is a leading and award-winning plug-in for your web shop, with which you can connect the largest national and international online marketplaces with just a few clicks. This of course also includes Amazon. For the business portal of the online giant, special features have also been developed that make it even easier for B2B sellers to enter the marketplace and order management directly from their own web shop.

Whether Amazon B2C or Amazon B2B - you benefit from these core functions as a retailer:

  • Product upload: Upload items from the web shop to Amazon and many other marketplaces
  • Price comparison: Send prices fully automatically or individually (per marketplace)
  • Synchronize stocks: Always keep current stocks between shop and marketplaces
  • Automatic order import: Import and manage marketplace orders
  • Order status comparison: Send order status (e.g. "sent" or "canceled") to marketplaces
  • Interface customization: Customize the plugin via hook points ** according to your own wishes **

* Not supported by all marketplaces

** Assumes programming skills

The magnalister plugin offers the following features especially for Amazon B2B retailers:

  • Mark products specifically as Amazon business offers and upload them
  • Graphic highlighting of B2B orders when importing
  • Individualize prices for B2B products and display them with net prices
  • Send bulk prices to Amazon B2B
  • Display products as pure B2B offers or for all customers (B2B + B2C) on Amazon
  • Support of the Amazon VCS program including invoice creation assistant in the plugin

By the way: You can also use the magnalister plug-in together with your merchandise management system, provided that it is connected to your web shop. In this way, you can have Amazon orders transferred to the inventory management system without any additional effort.

The magnalister plugin is available for all known web shops and can be tested for 30 days free of charge with its full functionality.

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Registration with the Amazon Business Portal and the costs incurred

Requirements and availability in different regions

Amazon Business is (as of 2020) available for commercial users in the following countries: Germany, USA, Great Britain, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, India and, since the end of 2019, also in Canada. The only requirement for activating an Amazon B2B account is a ein Professional Seller Account ’as an upgrade to the free basic tariff aimed at individual providers.

If you would like to use services such as the net price display and the sales tax calculation service, a valid sales tax identification number (USt-IdNr.) Must also be stored in your account.

How-to for the registration process: How to create a business account

Registering with Amazon Business Germany is very easy:

  1. Log in to your Amazon Seller Central and click under ‘Settings’ on ‘Information on seller account’.
  2. Under the ‘Your programs’ tab, click on ‘Manage’ to get an overview of your current programs and authorizations. If you are in the basic tariff, you can now upgrade to the necessary professional tariff via ‘Upgrade’.
  3. At the bottom of the page, check the box ‘Sell as an Amazon Business Seller’ and then click ‘Register’.
  4. On the following page, confirm your plan again by ticking the box and clicking the yellow box ‘Register for Amazon Business’. All functions of Amazon B2B are now available to you.

These costs arise when trading via Amazon Business

While the service in the basic tariff can be used free of charge, as a retailer you pay a monthly subscription fee of EUR 39 (excluding sales tax) for a so-called professional seller account (as a basic requirement for activation).

As with the usual sales on Amazon, there are listing and percentage sales fees on your products, which vary depending on the product category and order quantity. At least the former are usually well below the usual listing fees.

If you are also active as a buyer on Amazon Business, the product shipping without the Business Prime extension up to a minimum order value of 29 EUR is also subject to a charge.

Earning Amazon Business Prime status

To acquire Business Prime status or to edit or cancel your existing subscription, simply select the Business Prime logo in your account overview ("My Account"). Under ‘Manage’ you can now update your payment method, request an invoice or edit the status of your subscription.

In order to obtain the Prime logo as a seller, you must meet a number of requirements, including in the areas of shipping and customer satisfaction, and successfully complete a test phase. The registration procedures and further detailed information can be found directly on the Amazon Services website.

Conclusion: Retailers with corporate customer business can only gain from Amazon B2B - nothing stands in the way of simultaneous B2C sales

As an extension of the world-famous online marketplace, Amazon B2B offers a wealth of essential additional functions for retailers active in the business customer sector who want to promote their online sales apart from or in connection with their own web shop. The registration works just as quickly as it is unproblematic.

The features of Amazon B2B, which are specially tailored to the needs of companies, allow you as a seller to benefit in many ways: In addition to specific business customer prices or the purchase on account processed by Amazon, you have the option of defining multi-level volume discounts for your products and services such as free sales tax -To make use of the calculation service, which also ensures you increased visibility in the competitive marketplace.

Comprehensive additional services on the buyer's side round off the service and ensure that your customers benefit from a lean and efficient procurement process.

It is also important to emphasize that expanding your seller account on Amazon B2B does not in any way impair your existing B2C trade - on the contrary: As an intertwined marketplace, both variants are subject to the same product catalog, which means that you can sell your items to both end and end products at the same time can sell to business customers. A larger potential customer base is the corollary.

If you operate your own B2B webshop parallel to selling on Amazon or are planning to do so in the future, you should also consider using our listing tool magnalister plugins. With the plugin you can connect the Amazon B2B marketplace and many other online shopping portals to your web shop in no time at all.

From product upload to price and stock comparison to order import and order status comparison - magnalister automates a large number of e-commerce processes that you would otherwise have to handle manually via Amazon Seller Central.

At the same time, you benefit from special B2B functions with regard to pricing, filtering of orders and invoicing as well as uploading from the web shop.

Start or optimize your Amazon B2B business now and test magnalister in full for 30 days.

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