Consumers and businesses are well aware of e-tail giant Amazon.com; many companies turn to Amazon to purchase discounted and bulk items. However, Amazon Business provides tools and benefits beyond low prices and free shipping.
Amazon’s business resources give registered users valuable benefits unavailable to regular Amazon account holders. Whether you’re starting a business or have an established venture, learn how an Amazon Business account makes purchasing corporate items and supplies through Amazon seamless, efficient and inexpensive while providing purchase management features, analytics tools and more.
What is Amazon Business?
Amazon Business is a free platform that makes purchasing on Amazon easier, more insightful and more convenient for registered businesses.
After registering with Amazon Business, you can take advantage of the following features (and more):
- Access specific business products: Access business- and industry-relevant products not available to regular Amazon account holders.
- Shipping perks: Fast, free shipping is available for eligible items, and you can set delivery preferences to control purchases. You can even arrange for consolidated delivery of qualifying purchases on a pallet to your doorstep or dock.
- Special pricing and discounts: Access bulk discounts, special business pricing, recurring delivery discounts, customized bulk pricing and more.
- Easy reordering: Set up reorders to receive the items you regularly need so you always have enough.
- Maintain current relationships: Invite current suppliers to become part of Amazon Business, and save preferred suppliers for easy purchasing access.
- Flexible account management: Use your Amazon Business account as a central purchase-management hub where you can control purchasing groups and permissions. You can manage all your Amazon Business account users, establish order-approval procedures and spending caps, and make a business credit card accessible to specific account users.
- Flexible payment options: Set up various payment methods with specific permissions. You can also use buy now, pay later options like Pay by Invoice (more on this below).
- Analytics: Amazon Business Analytics offers data analytics and insights that help you monitor account transactions and track expenses. It includes charts and other infographics that track and monitor your spending, helping with your business budget.
- Link to your Prime accounts: You can also link your existing Amazon Prime account to your Amazon Business services. Prime membership makes you eligible for exclusive Prime Day deals during the company’s annual sales extravaganza. Plus, if you use an Alexa-enabled device like an Amazon Echo, you’re eligible for even more deals.
- Tax-exempt benefits: If you have tax-exempt status, you can make tax-exempt purchases on eligible orders. Amazon guides users through the enrollment process. Once you review an order, you can modify specific items that should have the tax-exemption certificate applied.
Amazon Business is an excellent financial accounting tool that integrates with accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero. Read our QuickBooks Online accounting review and our review of Xero to learn more.
How do I create an Amazon Business account?
Creating an Amazon Business account is free and straightforward. Here’s how it works:
- Visit the Amazon Business website and select Create a Free Account.
- Enter your business email address.
- Select Get Started.
- Enter your business details and select Create Business Account.
- Verify your business. This step is optional but makes business verification quicker. You can do this by:
- Entering a business credit card number
- Entering your business tax ID or employer ID number (EIN)
- Entering your Social Security number (if you’re a sole proprietor)
Amazon will verify your business, and you can begin shopping and setting up your account. As the account creator, you’re the administrator, so you can:
- Link your other Amazon accounts and switch between them easily
- Create groups
- Purchase items
- Create approval workflows
- Add purchase order numbers
- Add and manage business-account features such as payment methods and shipping addresses
How does Amazon Business work?
Amazon Business works almost exactly like a standard Amazon account. If you’ve ever used Amazon to purchase something, you’re already familiar with the interface and the basics of how Amazon Business works.
To use Amazon Business, log in to your Amazon Business account. Once signed in, you can explore flash deals, wholesale options, quantity discounts, specific business categories and more.
Hover the cursor over your account to access your account details and manage your business. Select Business Analytics to access your Analytics dashboard, and select Business Settings to set up your team, add users and more.
Is pricing different for businesses?
Amazon Business offers discounts on millions of products. It also provides price breaks on multi-unit purchases and allows users to view multiple offers from various sellers on a single page.
Amazon Business offers quantity discounts and tiered pricing discounts for higher-volume purchases on select items. To show items for sale at a discounted price from participating sellers, you can click Request a Quantity Discount.
Amazon introduced the concept of one-click purchasing in 2000. One-click purchasing helps reduce shopping cart abandonment and encourages impulse buys.
How is payment handled with a business account?
Amazon Business offers various payment options. Add a business credit card, ACH payment information or wire information to the primary account, and designate which users can access which payment method.
Amazon also lets you open a corporate credit line. If you go that route, you can authorize multiple buyers on a single account, download order history reports and pay by purchase order.
Amazon Business integrates with numerous purchasing systems, including BirchStreet, Oracle iProcurement and Workday. You can also set up punchout via a self-configuration tool.
What kinds of businesses can use Amazon Business?
In theory, any kind of business can use Amazon Business. If you sell online via a small e-commerce business, you may find Amazon Business useful for automating regular delivery of crucial office supplies. Larger businesses, such as those with over 100 employees, may find Amazon Business helpful for ensuring guaranteed delivery of vital packages of office supplies and other business goods.
Businesses that earn money by selling their products to other businesses can also use Amazon Business as a marketplace for reaching their customers. If you run a business that sells office supplies or other crucial business goods in bulk at discount prices and want to shift toward an e-commerce business model, register as a seller on Amazon and then create a Business profile.
What is Amazon Business Prime?
Amazon Business Prime is a paid membership that enhances the benefits of Amazon Business. It’s separate from a typical consumer Amazon Prime account. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for Amazon Business Prime to test the service and see if it’s right for you.
All Amazon Business Prime tiers include the benefits of Amazon Business in addition to valuable services, tools and perks.
The Amazon Business Prime tiers and their features are as follows:
Amazon Business Prime Duo
The Amazon Business Prime Duo tier is for existing Amazon customers with a personal Prime account. The cost is $69 per year (one user). In this tier, you’ll get:
- Free one-day shipping on millions of available items
- Free same-day delivery on eligible orders
- Your own designated Amazon Day to receive your shipments
- Consolidated shipping, which gets your items delivered in fewer packages
- Customer survey and analytics tools
- The option of using the no-fee Amazon Business Prime American Express Card for 90-day payment terms
Business Prime Essentials
The Business Prime Essentials tier allows up to three users. The cost is $179 per year. In this tier, you’ll get all Amazon Business and Amazon Business Prime Duo benefits along with the following:
- Guided Buying, which allows you to tag certain suppliers and products as preferred, place restrictions on certain product categories, and more
- Spend Visibility reporting dashboards, which display visualizations of your business’s spending to analyze data and track spending trends
- Secure document storage with Amazon WorkDocs
Business Prime Small
The Business Prime Small tier allows up to 10 users. Cost is $499 per year. It includes everything in Essentials plus:
- Extended payment terms with Pay By Invoice, meaning your business can make purchases and pay later without interest or fees
- Expert advice on optimizing your Business Prime features
Business Prime Medium
The Business Prime Medium tier allows up to 100 users. The cost is $1,299 per year. It includes all previous benefits along with 45-day extended terms.
Business Prime Enterprise
The Business Prime Enterprise tier allows over 100 users. The cost is $10,099 per year. It includes all previous benefits plus:
- 60-day extended terms
- Expert assistance from Amazon Business Professional Services
- Exclusive offers from Amazon partners like GoDaddy, H&R Block and McAfee.
An Enterprise option called Public Sector is available to governments, nonprofit universities and public education institutions. Its expense-tracking features could be invaluable for nonprofit accounting challenges. Contact Amazon for pricing.
Can businesses use Amazon Prime?
In theory, a business can join Amazon Prime to get free shipping and delivery benefits (note that sales tax is still charged). However, Amazon Prime is intended for consumer use; it lacks the business tools and steep discounts Amazon Business and Amazon Business Prime provide.
Businesses that need business pricing, bulk discounts and deeper purchasing controls should consider Amazon Business Prime.
Amazon Business has helpful purchasing and management tools
Amazon Business is tailored to large and small businesses to streamline purchasing and help companies boost sales and revenues. The e-commerce giant has created a platform to help automate and manage procurement, providing insights into purchasing trends and spending habits. Amazon Business Prime takes these features further with additional shipping and analytics perks.
Consider the benefits of Amazon Business and Amazon Business Prime to determine if these platforms are right for your business.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.