: Amazon business days
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You can watch a thematic videoDay in the Life at Amazon Business Development
Amazon expands same-day Prime delivery to 6 more US cities
Amazon announced this morning it’s expanding its faster, same-day delivery service to half a dozen more U.S. cities. The service, which the retailer has been working to make same-day delivery even faster over the past year, now offers consumers in a number of markets the ability to shop up to 3 million items on Amazon.com, then receive their orders in only a few hours.
To do so, Amazon invested in what it called “mini-fulfillment centers” closer to where customers lived in select U.S. markets, initially in Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando and Dallas. Those customers could then shop across a dozen merchandise categories, including Baby, Beauty & Health, Kitchen & Dining, Electronics, Pet Supplies and more. As the pandemic continued to impact Amazon’s business, in November 2020, Amazon expanded its faster same-day service to more cities, to include Nashville and Washington, D.C.
With today’s expansion, Amazon is rolling out same-day delivery to Prime members in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa, Charlotte and Houston, bringing the total markets served to 12. In these markets, shoppers will be able to place orders online throughout the day, then have items on their doorstep in as fast as five hours, Amazon says. Customers can also place orders by midnight to have their orders arrive the following morning.
The service continues to be free, with no additional charges on orders over $35 that qualify for same-day delivery. Orders less than $35 amazon business days a $2.99 fee for Prime customers, and a $12.99 santander metro centre opening hours for nonmembers. Prime membership, meanwhile, is $12.99 per month, or $119 per year.
The time frame commitments for same-day delivery are the same as those Amazon promised last year when it first announced its plans to speed up Prime delivery. Orders placed between midnight and 8 AM will arrive by 1 PM. Orders placed between 8 AM and 1 PM arrive by 6 PM; those placed between 1 PM and 5 PM will arrive by 10 PM; and those placed between 5 PM and midnight will arrive overnight by 8 AM. That means customers can place orders fairly late and receive their items before they head out of the house the next day.
Faster same-day delivery has been one of the most significant services Amazon has used to challenge rivals like Walmart and Target, which both benefit from having a large brick-and-mortar footprint that allows them to more quickly serve their customers through same-day order pickup, curbside pickup and same-day delivery services. While Walmart partners with third-parties on its same-day service, Express delivery, largely focused on grocery, Target acquired delivery service Shipt in 2017 to bring its fast delivery services in-house.
In response to the growing competition, Amazon has been acquiring smaller warehouse space inside major urban metros, including in these six newmarkets where it’s now announcing same-day delivery, as well as larger markets, like New York, and even suburban neighborhoods. It also acquired Whole Foods for $137.7 billion in 2017, not only to more fully participate in the online grocery business, but also in part because of its large retail footprint.
As Amazon has sped up the pace of what’s available under “Prime” delivery, it has wound down its older “Prime Now” business, which is being retired August 30. The separate app had allowed customers to shop items that were available in one or two hours for an additional fee, if orders were less than $35.
The news follows Amazon’s earning miss last week, when the retailer fell short of Wall Street’s estimates for revenue, and gave a weaker than-expected outlook for the quarter ahead, which Amazon attributed to difficult comparisons with a time frame that included COVID lockdowns during the height of the pandemic in 2020. The company reported $113.08 billion in revenue and earnings of $15.12, versus expectations of $115.2 billion and $12.30.
Update, 8/4/21, 11 am pt to clarify Prime Now’s retirement was accelerated from year-end, as Amazon initially said, to Aug. 30 when its website and app will fully closed.
How This Company Makes $70 Million Selling Random Stuff on Amazon
To show off the secret behind Pharmapacks, his $70 million retail business, Andrew Vagenas picked up an EOS lip balm and tossed it to his buddy Brad Tramunti.
"Watch," Vagenas said. "He's bank of hawaii kaimuki branch hours a special kid."
There is nothing about Tramunti that makes you think: lip-balm guy. Annual interest rate house loan 33 years old and hefty, with a two-day scruff and a faded T-shirt wrapped around his torso. But he held the lip balm in his paw carefully, inspecting its lollipop-purple-swirl case like a savant.
"This is a new flavor," he said. "Just came out. Blackberry nectar." He took it to his desk and brought up its Amazon.com product page. He checked its weight--0.25 ounce. He pursed his lips and calculated the shipping cost in his head: "$1.89," amazon business days muttered. He looked at its Amazon sales rank: 54,000. He brought up a page with suppliers' prices.
"We get this wholesale for $2.23," he said, smiling. "That, plus shipping, plus our margin? We'll be in the number-one spot." That meant when a shopper clicked Add to Cart on Amazon, Pharmapacks would get the sale.
Vagenas grinned. Then he tossed Tramunti a box of Vitamin Friends Iron Diet Supplement.
"He just gave me a crazy product right now," Tramunti said. He pointed to his screen: The vitamins already had 201 Amazon reviews. "If we can get this for under 10 bucks, it's a home run."
"We're getting it for 11 bucks," Vagenas said.
"OK, it's a double," he shot back. "But we're going to be number one on this product--and it's ranked 1,451 in all of personal care, number two in vitamins. This is crazy! This is bonkers!" Whatever you want to call it, within hours, Pharmapacks would be the number-one seller on Amazon for both of those products--a ranking it would hold for weeks.
"He's my special boy," beamed Vagenas.
The next time you buy some humdrum product on Amazon, pause for a moment and check the Other Sellers listed on the right side of the page. That lip balm? Thirteen vendors offer it. Those vitamins? Twenty. As you click and shop, a battle rages in that little box, fought every day by entrepreneurs like Vagenas and Tramunti on practically every one of Amazon's 410 million product pages.
This is the Amazon Marketplace, where anybody can walmart play day pool just about anything right alongside Amazon's own wares. Unlike eBay, where each vendor maintains a separate listings page, Amazon tidily groups its Marketplace sellers by item, hiding away the inferior offers, to showcase the best deals up front. (In seller parlance, landing the number-one spot is called "getting the buy box.") What looks so clean on your screen obscures the messy and massive jungle of the Marketplace: There are now more than two million sellers on Amazon. While the Seattle-based giant still sells the most popular items on the site itself, Marketplace sellers now ship nearly half of the products--about two billion items each year, all told--and those sales are growing twice as fast as Amazon's, according to the consultancy ChannelAdvisor. The Marketplace started in 2000 selling used books. In 2016, it's a retail phenomenon as significant as any in the past 50 years--together these sellers ring up what ChannelAdvisor estimates to be $132 billion in sales each year. That's more than Walmart sold in 1997. Yet we know so little about who they are.
On 2015's Inc. 500 list of America's fastest-growing private companies, something stood out about the retailers. Nearly all of them, companies that were growing by 1,000 percent or more, had websites that looked a decade out of date. Like, a homepage. Maybe a few links to products. Why? That's because, these days, such retailers don't use their own sites much. They build their businesses on platforms--eBay, Walmart.com, Overstock, and especially Amazon.
Vagenas's company, Pharmapacks, notched $31.5 million in revenue in 2014, which made its three-year growth rate 3,035 percent, good enough to earn it the 115th spot on the Inc. 500. By the end of 2015, its annual revenue was $70 million. Vagenas proudly told me the company was on track to do $140 million to amazon business days million in revenue in 2016, the vast majority coming from those platforms (and around 40 percent from Amazon). While other platform retailers have identified a niche opportunity and capitalized--search Amazon for horse brushes or pickle ball paddles and you can buy from two other Inc. 500 entrepreneurs--Pharmapacks sells everyday stuff found in drugstores: This upstart has succeeded by selling what most every retailer in the world, Amazon included, already offers. How?
"Sex Toys, I'm Telling You!"
Pharmapacks operates out of a low-slung warehouse in the College Point section of Queens, New York. From there, you can see the new World Trade Center, but otherwise the glitz of Manhattan might as well be a thousand miles away. Planes take off and land practically overhead. (LaGuardia Airport is across a nearby inlet.) The closest neighbor is a vast parking lot jammed with Time Warner Cable vans.
Pharmapacks' warehouse has a different name on the sign out front. Tramunti got the door, and Vagenas was waiting behind his desk, a wary look on his face. He's 34 and trim, and a slim gold chain was tucked beneath his plaid shirt.
"I Googled your picture to make sure you were actually from Inc.," he told me. Nothing personal, he said--but competitors always try to steal their secrets. One even sent a guy undercover to apply for a packing job, he added, staring at me for an extra beat. Then he cracked a smile.
Vagenas introduced me to his partners. Tramunti is an old buddy who grew up a few blocks from his house. Jimmy Mastronardi knows Tramunti and Vagenas from the neighborhood too. He once had a job in finance, so he's the CFO. Two other guys, Jonathan Webb and his business partner, Adam Berkowitz, joined recently. They are older, in their 40s. The younger guys busted their chops about their age. But really, everybody was busting chops about everything. Constantly.
"We're adding 4,000 makeup products, fragrances--" said Vagenas.
"And sex toys, I'm telling you!" Webb chimed in.
"Not under the Pharmapacks brand!"
"Call it Splash!"
"This guy--no shame," Vagenas sighed, a thought bubble reading, See what I gotta deal with? But the company was considering it. "I always joke our bread and butter is anal cream," Vagenas said. "Our top sellers are things nobody wants to buy at a store. But from there, people buy everything else."
All the while, more than a hundred workers, mostly women, stood at tables in the warehouse packing products into bubble-pack containers that looked like tiny space pods--Colgate toothpaste, Pantene shampoo. A man sat, an air gun in hand, inflating the containers nonstop. As soon as one crackled into shape, he grabbed the next, 15 times a minute. Psst-thwap. Psst-thwap.
Originally, Vagenas and Tramunti and another friend ran a pharmacy in the South Bronx. When they started selling health and beauty products online in 2011, they thought it could make a nifty side business. They rented a little warehouse on a leafy street six blocks from Vagenas's childhood home in Whitestone, Queens, and started spending half the day there. Mastronardi soon joined them to help run the numbers. As they hammered out kinks, they discovered that selling on a platform like Amazon was totally different from running their drugstore or even a standalone website. It was also a much bigger opportunity.
You could fill a book with all the differences, of course, but the big one was: They could sell whatever they wanted, at whatever price, for whatever period of time. A marketplace vendor doesn't worry about stocking a full line of shampoos, or whether certain soaps are always on sale. Amazon business days they want to sell lotion one week and hairspray the next, they can do that.
Early on, the guys decided that it would be easiest to offer whatever their suppliers had in stock. They built each online listing, and had a developer code a script that scraped the suppliers' databases to enter each product's information. When a customer ordered something, they in turn would order it from the supplier, pick it up, and then pack and ship it. That's still the model, more or less, though nowadays they order in bulk using sales projections and need three trucks and a van to pick everything up. Inventory often stays in their warehouse only for a few hours before going right back out the door. The business is less like traditional merchandising than it is like a commodities trader from a bygone era, buying and selling well-known goods and turning a profit on each transaction.
Not that any of their family and friends knew the difference, at first. Their moms' friends would call asking the Pharmapacks guys to pick stuff up for them. "I'm like, Listen! There's a website!" said Vagenas.
In the platform business, they learned, price is everything. Set a price too high, and Amazon buries it. Setting it too low is worse, earning the buy box and leading to thousands of orders flooding in--and a loss of money on every sale.
The conundrum fascinated Tramunti. He'd struggled with dyslexia in school, and like many with it, he'd developed an ability to memorize huge chunks of facts and figures to compensate--as he puts it, "we find workarounds." He began studying all their products, memorizing competitors' prices, watching as new items climbed the rankings. He toyed with different pricing strategies, figuring out formulas for how much they could charge for certain products and still get the sale. They started getting the buy box--and making money--more often.
Vagenas, a problem solver at heart, loved turning Tramunti's tricks into rules. He and the team had a developer code the tactics into algorithms, and baked them right into their proprietary software. Now the listings had what time is it in new mexico usa prices. Sales took off. They called the software the Master Brain.
The Pharmapacks guys love the Master Brain. They protect it the way a star pit master guards the recipe for his barbecue's rub. Or the way Pablo Escobar guarded the source of his ultrapure cocaine. Speaking of which: "You ever seen the movie Blow?" Tramunti asked me one day. He showed me the YouTube clip of the scene in which Johnny Depp, who plays the kingpin 10 day weather russellville ar smuggler in the film, has his product tested by a black-market chemist--who goes gaga over its off-the-charts purity.
"That's us. We've got the Colombian cocaine of algorithms," a proud Tramunti declared.
And as it did with Depp's character in Blow, life got pretty crazy once the Master Brain's pricing kicked in. Orders poured in. Sales increased sixfold in a year. Neighbors began complaining about the never-ending stream of UPS and postal trucks. They were also unhappy about the warehouse packers who, in the absence of a decent-size company cafeteria or nearby restaurants, plopped down on their lawns each day to eat lunch.
Other marketplace sellers have algorithms. There are now companies that design pricing software for platform vendors: ChannelAdvisor, WisePricer. But that's all chump stuff when you have a Master Brain. "We can make listings in seconds," Tramunti boasted. "Everybody else has to do all this hoopala hoppala."
Because Even Mom Complains
Life as a Marketplace seller isn't all algorithms and cash. Vendors also need high customer-service ratings to get the buy box. Keeping them that way is a grind, especially when you sell almost 25,000 different products and ship 570,000 orders a month. People get emotional about personal-care products. Including Vagenas's mother, who called last summer to complain about her Coppertone suntan lotion. In July, it came with 10 percent extra. In August, it didn't.
"She was like, You basically robbed me," Vagenas said. "I'm like, Mom! It was a promo!"
As Pharmapacks' sales mushroomed, so did the complaints. Part of this was growing pains--it took a while to figure out how to fill so many orders fast without screwing up. But complainers are a naturally occurring species in e-commerce, and Pharmapacks now employs 16 customer-service reps, who field almost 200 concerns over the phone and by email every day. They write back to all customer inquiries within 24 hours--one of the key metrics Amazon tracks in its customer-service ratings. Two employees use a software program called Trustpilot to scroll through every 1- 2- and 3-star review the company receives and give each of them special attention. If a customer remains unsatisfied and won't change the low mark, the reps appeal to Amazon's Seller Support group--the judge, jury, and executioner in all customer-seller disputes--with detailed objections. Thanks to such micro-advocacy, Pharmapacks had amazon business days than 3,300 low ratings removed in 2015 alone. To put that into perspective, Pharmapacks products have been rated more than 280,000 times--and its Amazon rating is 4.9 stars.
But Vagenas's desk is constantly cluttered with products that have caused problems. Each day, the Seller Support group takes down one or more Pharmapacks listings without warning because of customer complaints. One day it was a bottle of Dove Advanced Hair Series Quench Absolute Serum that was listed for fine hair but turned out to be for coarse hair. (The manufacturer changed the UPC code, Vagenas said.) Another day it was Cold-Eeze Cold Remedy lozenges. In each case, customer-service reps send Amazon copies of supplier invoices, product photos, and other documentation to get the item relisted, and Vagenas tries to identify the root of the problem and develop a protocol his staff can use to rapidly identify and solve similar problems in the future, so more products won't end up on his desk. But every time I visited, some new toiletry had taken the place of the others on his desk. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown of 4.9 stars.
Ever heard the phrase "It fell off the back of a truck"?
No, not like that. Pharmapacks buys from the same established, law-abiding distributors that sell to national chains like Walmart, Costco, and CVS. But ask these distributors where they get the products, and some will give an answer as gruff and dismissive as the vehicular estrangement explanation above.
Pharmapacks has agreements with 16 suppliers. Some deal directly with manufacturers. Others get their goods in more circuitous ways. These tight-lipped suppliers are known by their critics as diverters. (They prefer "secondary market distributors.") They acquire deeply discounted goods through gray-market methods, such as buying deodorant from a company that ordered too much. But diverters don't discuss where they get their goods. Their lawyers will cheerfully tell you they don't have to.
When people discuss the rise of online marketplaces, they tend to focus on the tech companies that have made it possible for shoppers to find and purchase things in a matter of clicks. But that explains only the demand side of the equation. It doesn't explain the supply side--why all this product is available so cheaply and freely in the first place.
In 2014, a guy from Vagenas's regular pickup basketball game asked to introduce him to a guy his bb king lucille full album had met, Jonathan Webb. He ran a similar business, called StocknGo. Vagenas grudgingly agreed. "I'm thinking, I don't know this fucking guy from a hole in the wall," he said. "I didn't want to bring him to the warehouse." He brought Webb to a tiny offsite office where Mastronardi ran the numbers.
Webb, like Vagenas, has little patience for nonsense. "He was like, 'What kind of shit is this?'" Vagenas remembered. "You guys doing $25 million out of this office?"
Vagenas showed him a UPS statement so he could see exactly what kind it was: The shipper was processing 21,000 Pharmapacks orders a week.
Webb and Vagenas connected right away. "Definitely don't record this," said Webb directly into my tape recorder. "But it was like love at first sight."
"Weird as that sounds, he's exactly right," Vagenas said. Webb had barely driven away when Vagenas called his cell phone to propose they work together.
Webb brought business and branding experience, since he'd previously run an ad agency. Webb also had a pertinent family connection. His wife's uncle was the CEO of a distributor based in Ronkonkoma, New York, called Quality King, which is widely regarded as the largest and most successful diverter in the world.
As the tech companies have disrupted retail online, Quality King has spent the past few decades disrupting retail behind the scenes--on trucks, on freighter ships, and through good old-fashioned American litigation. Take, for instance, the 1998 Supreme Court case involving Quality King and a fancy shampoo maker named L'Anza Research. To preserve its cachet, L'Anza made its U.S. distributors sell only to exclusive boutiques and salons at high prices. But L'Anza sold its shampoo more cheaply in Europe, where it was less known. So several tons of L'Anza shampoo intended for distribution in Malta ultimately ended up on a ship headed for Ronkonkoma, for Quality King to sell wherever. (You could say it fell off the back of a boat.) L'Anza sued, claiming a Copyright Act violation, but the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for Quality King: A company buying products on the open market can resell them as it sees fit.
Quality King has been named in more than 50 lawsuits because of its business practices, four times under the RICO Act, the racketeering statute designed to bring down organized crime bosses. Time and again, Quality King walks away, no matter the circumstances. There was the freighter full of Paul Mitchell products that went all the way to China, where much was resold and loaded onto another ship heading to the Netherlands before ending up in Ronkonkoma. There was the con woman who promised to distribute various product samples on college campuses and elsewhere, but sold much of it to the University of Quality King instead. She went to prison; Quality King was untouched.
And courts continue to rule that, so long as amazon business days goods are authentic and the buyers come by them honestly, they can resell them as they please. One frustrated lawyer for brand owners, writing in a legal handbook, referred to the company as the "ever-innocent Quality King." Precedents like these mean that if marketplace sellers find a product for less, they can buy it, list it on Amazon, and get the buy box until they sell out, and there's not much brands can do about it.
In June 2014, Webb and Vagenas teamed up, with Webb and Berkowitz taking an equity position in the company. Quality King is now a supplier, although Vagenas and Webb stress it is only one of Pharmapacks' four major distributors and not its largest--it buys more from suppliers Kinray and H.D. Smith, for example.
But it's easy to see the influence. "We constantly get bombarded by manufacturers saying they want us to take their products off our websites," said Webb. "Before I met these guys, they stopped selling products. They didn't know any better. Now we have a team of attorneys."
The same way the Pharmapacks guys won't divulge the inner workings of their algorithm, they won't tell manufacturers who their suppliers are, to keep them from snooping up the chain. "We don't have to tell brands anything, and we don't want to," said Vagenas. "And, hypothetically, say a distributor cuts us off from a particular item. We'll just go find it somewhere else," said Webb. "You know who it works out for?" asked Vagenas. "The consumer. The consumer's no longer getting gouged."
"It's Like Blood Diamond!"
With all the pieces in place, Pharmapacks' growth continues to skyrocket. Vagenas just signed a lease on a new, 142,000-square-foot headquarters. Late last year, the company installed robotics and conveyor belts to help package goods, and it can now prepare 50 orders per minute. They are in talks with the grocery-deliverer Fresh Direct, to sell and fulfill orders for health and beauty products on its site. The company is already doing the same for Walmart.com. It is also working with two of its distributors--naturally, Vagenas won't say who--to bring a white-label version of its site to mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar drugstores, so that pharmacies like Vagenas and Tramunti's old one in the Bronx can deliver goods as fast as the big guys. After growing up on Amazon's platform, Pharmapacks is concentrating on its own.
Still, on a recent afternoon, Tramunti was hard at work, sifting through delisted items, checking and uploading each one using the Master Brain. "It's tedious, it's hard, it's a real grind," he said, checking boxes on his computer. "Other tech companies--I'm not saying they don't work hard, but do you see the amount of shit we have to deal with? It's not sexy. It's like Blood Diamond! This is our Sierra Leone!" He cracked a wry smile, knowing, as always, that if he ever slips up, two million other sellers are out there, ready to do whatever they can to beat him to the buy box.
-- Additional reporting by Will Yakowicz
On July 16, 1995, Amazon officially opens for business as an online bookseller. Within a month, the fledgling retailer had shipped books to all 50 U.S. states and to 45 countries. Founder Jeff Bezos’s motto was “get big fast,” and Seattle-based Amazon eventually morphed into an e-commerce colossus, selling everything from groceries to furniture to live ladybugs, and helping to revolutionize the way people shop.
Bezos earned an undergraduate degree in computer science and electrical engineering from Princeton University in 1986 then worked in the financial services industry in New York City. In 1994, after realizing the commercial potential of the Internet and determining that books might sell well online, he moved to Washington state and founded Amazon.
He initially dubbed the business Cadabra (as in abracadabra) but after someone misheard the name as “cadaver,” Bezos decided to call his startup Amazon, after the enormous river in South America, a moniker he believed wouldn’t box him into offering just one type of product or service.
In the spring of 1995, Bezos invited a small group of friends and former colleagues to check out a beta version of Amazon’s website, and the first-ever order was placed on April 3 of that year, for a science book titled Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies. When Amazon.com went live to the general public in July 1995, the company boldly billed itself as “Earth’s biggest bookstore,” although sales initially were drummed up solely by word of mouth and Bezos assisted with assembling orders and driving the packages to the post office.
By the end of 1996 Amazon had racked up $15.7 million in revenues, and in 1997 Bezos took the company public with an initial public offering that raised $54 million. That same year, Bezos personally delivered his company’s one-millionth order, to a customer in Japan who had purchased a Windows NT manual and a Princess Diana biography. In 1998, Amazon extended beyond books and started selling music CDs, and by the following year it had added more product categories, such as toys, electronics and tools.
By December 1999, Amazon had shipped 20 million items to 150 countries around the globe. That same month, Bezos was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year. In 2000, the company introduced a service allowing individual sellers and other outside merchants to peddle their products alongside Amazon’s own items. Meanwhile, Amazon continued to spend heavily on expansion and didn’t post its first full-year profit until 2003.
In 2007, Amazon debuted its Kindle e-reader; four years later, the company announced it was selling more e-books than print books. Also in 2011, Amazon’s tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, was amazon business days. Among a variety of other ventures, Amazon launched a cloud computing and video on demand services in 2006; a studio that develops movies and TV series, in 2010; and an online marketplace for fine art, in 2013, which has featured original works by artists including Claude Monet and Norman Rockwell.
Additionally, Amazon has acquired a number of companies, including Zappos and Whole Foods. In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the world’s most valuable retailer. Two decades after its founding and with Bezos still at the helm, Amazon’s market value was $250 billion. In 2017, Bezos was named the richest man in the world. On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon to focus on his aerospace company Blue Origin.
Is it really possible to save millions on company purchases with Amazon Business? If you’re having trouble with your current vendors then Amazon Business will help you save money while getting your supplies quickly and efficiently.
How To Create An Amazon Business Account:
Before you can go shopping or selling on Amazon Business, you need to register for an account, which includes providing some information about your business. To become an Amazon business customer, please visit business.amazon.com/ and create a new business account. You can also update your existing personal account on Amazon.com to a business account.
Here are step by step instructions:
Step 1: Open the Amazon Business Membership Page in a new tab.
Step 2: Click the button that says "Create a free account".
Step 3: Type in your work email.
Step 4: Enter your full name and choose your business password.
Step 5: Verify your email address.
Step 6: Enter information such as your full name, business name, business phone number and so on. Now it will take a day for Amazon to verify your business by contacting your phone and email.
Congrats, you have successfully created an account on Amazon Business!
You can then manage your account information, sign up multiple users, and organize people into groups (like by different departments) to keep them separated. You can even designatedifferent payment methodsand spending limits for each group or user.
Amazon Business also allows you to set upapproval workflowsif you'd like to be notified of purchases or have a supervisor approve any or all purchases through the platform. Also, if you're a non-profit or any other business that getstax-exempt statuson purchases, there are options for that too. Anyway, once you've set all that up, it's time to shop.
What is Amazon Business?
- Amazon Business is, "providing easy access to hundreds of millions of products – everything from IT and lab equipment to education and foodservice supplies – as well as business-only selection and pricing."
Amazon Business customers can also count on:
- free two-day shipping on" tens of millions" of eligible items
- multi-user business accounts
- approval workflow
- payment solutions
- tax exemptions
- business-ready purchasing analytics
- dedicated customer support "and much more.
Read also:What is Amazon Prime? - CNET
Why Should You Sign Up For A Business Account?
It may or may not be worth it depending on your business goals. There is a free plan for Amazon Business and you have the following capabilities:
- Manage all the users on your Amazon Business account
- Save preferred suppliers for easy purchasing access
- Establish order-approval procedures and spending caps
- Make a company credit card accessible to certain account users
- Opt-in to Amazon Corporate Credit
- Integrate purchasing systems so your customers have a punchout option
- Set certain qualifying purchases for consolidated delivery on a pallet to your doorstep or dock
Plus, Amazon Business got a 4/5 stars with 70+ ratings! I think it's worth trying the free Amazon Business version & possibly upgrading to Amazon Business Prime.
The main reason to become an Amazon Business member is because of how much money you can save by shopping & selling on Amazon Business. Similarly, Amazon Business gives you the tools to help manage your business easier. In my opinion, signing up for an Amazon Business Account has been worth signing up for. I use Amazon Business and it has made amazon business days life simpler. My recommendation is to sign up for an Amazon Business account and try it out for a month. That way, you can see if it is helpful for you & your business. If it's not valuable for you, it is super easy to cancel.
Read also:Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon - Forbes
Difference Between Amazon Business & Amazon Business Prime
Amazon Business is a bundle of features Amazon offers exclusively for businesses of all sizes. Signing up for and using the service is free. Amazon will verify that you do indeed have a business, so you’ll have a short waiting period before you’re up and running.
After you’re verified as an Amazon Business customer, you become eligible to purchase the Business Prime plan, if you wish. Business Prime enhances Amazon Business, giving you more flexibility on delivery and payment terms.
Amazon Business Account Perks
There are various benefits and perks which business members get when they subscribe to Amazon Business Prime. Some of these benefits include;
- Better and discounted pricing exclusive for Business Prime members as well as Prime Day offers
- Businesses can use AWS QuickSight to visually analyze their spending trends and expenses
- It offers account administrators with a unique guided buying procedure by allowing them to consolidate suppliers and select certain products and services which are usually ordered.
- Business Prime members are given a non-annual fee Amazon Business American Express card
- Businesses enjoy extended terms for pay by Invoice from 45-60 days depending with the plan
- Business delivery is also enhanced for members as they also enjoy same-day or two-day shipping on all eligible products. For bulk orders, a consolidated delivery is done so that you can easily get amazon business days your items delivered to your doorstep all at one.
Is Amazon Business Worth It?
If you are a business entity, registering for Amazon Business is worth the cost. It offers unique features to members such as purchasing analytics, guides, and business-only pricing on certain eligible products. It's a good time to create an Amazon Business Account.
The following are the Amazon Business Prime plan packages (upgrade from Free Business Account) that you can choose from:
- Essential Plan- Subscription fee is $179 per annum and it supports up to 3 users
- Small Plan- Subscription fee is $499 per year and it supports up to 10 users
- Medium Plan- Subscription fee is $1, 299 per annum and it supports up to 100 users
- Enterprise Plan- Subscription fee is $10,099 per annum and it supports over 100 users
- Public Sector Plan- Subscription fee is $3,499 per year and it supports over 100 users also
Other benefits that makes Amazon Business worth include; Multi-user account, enhanced delivery and shipping time and purchasing policy controls. The efficiency it offers account administrators and the discounted pricing on eligible products saves you money and time in the long-run.
Downsides to Amazon Business
Here are some of the Cons that come with selling on Amazon Business:
- More Fees Which Reduce Product Margin. With Amazon Business, you may pay 6 to 15 percent in fees, with a few exceptions for items that are typically not sold as business products. This does not include fees for Fulfillment by Amazon.
- Product Differentiation is Harder. By selling on Amazon, you can't differentiate yourself as easily. Similarly, you can't interact with your target market and end consumers and explain why they should buy from you. On Amazon Business, buyers can easily search for the lowest cost vendors and purchase from them.
- Buyers Become Amazon's Customers, Not Yours.Amazon limits how sellers can communicate with customers. As a seller, you can't easily communicate with your customers. Similarly, you don't have as much freedom to include packaging inserts and other marketing materials. It will become more difficult for consumers to understand your brand because Amazon has more control of the buyer-seller relationship.
- Product Data and Technical Information. It can be difficult to effectively upload product data into Amazon Business. It becomes a very technical and tedious task which you may have to outsource to an IT company. Each product category has its own rules. The way you set up your product data will affect how well it sells and appears on Amazon.
Although there are a few downsides to Amazon Business, it still may be worth it for your business to set up an Amazon Business account. Unlike Amazon Prime, it is free tosign up for an Amazon Business account! I recommend signing up and evaluating if it works well for your business.
What Is The Amazon Business Credit Card?
Amazon Business launched a credit card with American Express! Here are some benefits of an Amazon Business Credit Card:
- Earn up to $200 in savings.
- Get a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card†upon approval.
- Plus, earn an additional $100 statement credit after you spend $3,000 on the Card in the 2% Back and 1% Back categories in your first 3 months.†
I suggest reading through theterms, conditions, & disclosuresto get a better idea of the American Express/Amazon Business credit card's interest rates, APR, fees & more.
How To Apply For An Amazon Business Credit Card
All Amazon customers seeking a business purpose Card are welcome to apply—not just Amazon Business customers. The Card benefits are designed for the needs of business owners, and Card Members who also have an Amazon Business account can take advantage of the enhanced data views available with the Card. If you are approved for the Amazon Business American Express Card, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of expedited registration for a new Amazon Business account (if you do not already have one). Here is a link to take you to theAmazon Business Credit Card Application Page.
The reviews for the Amazon Business Credit Card are pretty positive! I recommend reading through the comments before applying. A little additional information never hurts.
To sum up this article, an Amazon Business Account is a multi faceted selling/buying platform for your business needs. With your Amazon Business Account, you can create a single or multi-user business account, invite additional users to join, and define groups of users to share payment methods and shipping addresses. The Amazon Business Account also includes business-tailored features, such as approval workflow, payment solutions, tax exemptions, dedicated customer support, and more.
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The Logic Behind Amazon’s Prime Day
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Amazon has boldly anointed Wednesday, July 15 as Prime Day. Most holidays revolve around religion, historical events, or appreciation for someone special. So what’s Amazon Prime Day?
At root, it’s a self-interested homage to rock bottom prices and free expedited shipping. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Amazon has pledged more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Amazon Prime members – as well as complimentary 30-day trials of its Prime membership. Prime, which normally costs $99 annually, includes benefits such as free two-day shipping, same-day delivery in some areas, streaming video, streaming music, Kindle library, photo storage, and early access to sales.
So why do we care? We’re interested because Amazon doesn’t seem particularly concerned about earning profits. In FY14, for example, Amazon had an impressive $89 billion in revenues. However, operating income was $178 million (thus, a measly 0.2% operating margin) which resulted in a $241 million net loss. Partly because of Amazon’s longstanding lack of concern over profitability, consumers have faith that Amazon is going to roll out awesome deals on Wednesday.
Prime is the lynchpin of Amazon’s plan to rub out brick and mortar retailers. With “free” expedited shipping, the goal of Prime is unabashedly clear: make Amazon the first-choice retail product provider for consumers. One click assures home delivery in two days or less. The purchase loyalty engendered by this program is reflected in the big difference between Prime vs. non-Prime customer spending. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) estimates Prime had 40 million members – with members spending on average $1,500 annually compared to an average of $625 spent by non-members. (Note: this 40 million member figure amazon business days a significant number of consumers who took advantage of free holiday trials.)
The brilliance of Prime is in how the bundle of benefits is constructed. At its inception, Prime’s key benefit was unlimited two-day shipping. This promotional program was targeted at “Whale Buyers,” those who purchase a lot. For Whales, the calculation is straightforward: “Am I going to make enough purchases – and thus save on shipping costs – to justify the cost of Prime?” If the answer is “yes,” this cost savings justification makes Amazon top of mind for all purchases, including small items such as tweezers normally bought at CVS. And if Amazon loses money on shipping (i.e., cumulative shipping costs are greater than the $99 Prime price) for a particular member, the loss can be rationalized as a volume discount to a big-spending customer.
So why add such seemingly unrelated perks such as streaming video and music amazon business days photo storage to the Prime program? And what does the company hope to achieve with Amazon Prime Day? Quite simply, Prime has saturated the Whale Buyer market and is now hunting for smaller volume customers to fuel growth. With an increasingly large stable of benefits, potential members who can’t justify Prime on the grounds of shipping savings can now conclude, for instance, “Netflix costs $108 annually, so I’m already ahead of the game by purchasing Prime for streaming video before even considering the additional benefits.”
Indeed, the data confirms that Prime is moving beyond Whale Buyers and has begun to attract large numbers of lower volume customers. CIRP estimates that in the first quarter of 2015, Prime had 41 million members with members spending on average $1,100 annually vs. non-members’ spend of $700. Thus, more people are signing up for Prime, but the average member spend dropped by 27% compared to the previous quarter.
The downside of Prime – to Amazon’s stockholders, that is – lies in its pledge of unlimited shipping. The challenge of “unlimited” is that it attracts over-users. Consider Red Lobster’s 2003 Endless Crab promotion. Offering all-you-can-eat crab leg dinners for $20 – $25 (depending on market), determined diners ate and ate—and unfortunately for the seafood restaurant chain’s bottom line, they ate some more. After announcing disappointing financial results – drained by endless crab servings – the market value of Red Lobster’s then parent company, Darden Restaurants, dropped by $405 million in one day – one of the biggest stock routs in the company’s history.
Amazon could think creatively about minimizing the risks of its “unlimited” shipping offer. For instance, the current $99 program could allot, say, 15 free shipments a year, with any overages charged at a trivial $1 per shipment. If Amazon put a ceiling on the number of free shipments on its $99 Prime membership, it could then offer a $149 unlimited shipping option. These two options would allow Amazon to serve different volume customers – and the beauty is customers self-select which option works best for them based on their shipping needs. Forrester Research estimates Amazon loses $1 billion to $2 billion annually on Prime shipping costs. Given that this loss is up to 11 times as much as Amazon’s $178 million operating profit, small changes to Prime’s pricing can significantly improve Amazon’s financial well-being.
Remember the vicious discounting wars that occurred during the Internet bubble era? Amazon emerged a clear victor in that virtual retail grab. It’s time for brick and mortar retailers to be on the lookout. With an enhanced Prime program, focus on same day delivery, and now its own holiday, Amazon is clearly setting its sights on fully invading land-based retail territories.