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Amazon Business Launches Business Prime Shipping

Oct. 25, 2017
The service builds on the popularity of its consumer-market Prime quick-shipping program to enhance the ease of procurement.

Amazon Business today upped the ante in its bid to take a chunk out of the wholesale business-to-business market by announcing the launch a new service, Business Prime Shipping, a paid annual membership program for registered multi-user business customers in the United States and Germany. The service builds on the popularity of its consumer-market Prime quick-shipping program to enhance the ease of procurement.

In the United States, Amazon said in a release, Business Prime Shipping offers unlimited free two-day shipping on eligible items for all users on an Amazon Business account. The company is offering a 30-day trial at its Amazon Business website.

“Business Prime Shipping combines the wide selection of products available to Amazon Business customers, with the speed and convenience that customers have come to know and love from Amazon Prime,” Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon Prime, said in the release. “We are excited to introduce a shipping program designed to meet the needs of businesses and will continue to innovate on behalf of customers to make business purchasing even easier.”

The cost of an annual Business Prime Shipping membership is based on the number of users on a customer’s business account: $499 for up to 10 users, $1,299 for up to 100 users, and $10,099 for over 100 users.

Share prices of the industrial market’s premier business-to-business online provider, W.W. Grainger, dropped 3% immediately after the news on expectations that the introduction of Amazon Prime will draw Grainger further into an ongoing price battle with the e-commerce giant.

A recent study by David Gordon of Channel Marketing Group, Raleigh, NC, found that Amazon’s drive into the wholesale market had pushed electrical and industrial distributors to invest more in e-commerce capabilities but that they didn’t see it taking much business at this point.

With Business Prime Amazon Business is adding to an already rich array of offerings to the wholesale market – access to hundreds of millions of products, business-only pricing and selection, a multi-seller marketplace, single- or multi-user business accounts, approval workflow, purchasing system integrations, payment solutions, tax exemptions, dedicated customer support and more.