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B2B buyers embrace digital-first purchasing

New report shows businesses intend to do more buying online.

For consumers, buying online is an accepted part of life. Businesses are rapidly moving in the same direction. Global B2B e-commerce sales reached $1.6 trillion in 20171 and are predicted to surpass $9 trillion by 20212. Third-party B2B selling partners on Amazon Business have grown from 30,000 in 2016 to hundreds of thousands globally today, and they’re reaching buyers that span geographies and industries. In the U.S. alone, Amazon Business selling partners have an opportunity to grow their sales with 55 of the Fortune 100 companies, over 50% of the of the 100 biggest U.S. hospital systems, more than 40% of the 100 most populous local governments, and 80% of the 100 largest-enrollment education organizations.


B2B sellers are no different than their B2C counterparts in that they want to sell where their buyers are shopping. New data from an August 2019 survey by B2BECNews sheds light on where buyers go to research and purchase B2B products, and where they plan to purchase for their businesses over the coming year3. When asked which online store they use to research and/or purchase B2B products, 72% of those surveyed named Amazon Business, with over 50% of buyers reporting that they complete more than 10% of their B2B buying on Amazon Business. Looking ahead, 55% of businesses surveyed expect to increase their spending on Amazon Business next year.


Amazon Business addressed the "e-commerce imperative" at B2B Next


As evidence of the rapid shift to digital B2B e-commerce, B2B buyers and sellers attended the second annual B2B Next Conference & Exhibition in Chicago this week to get practical insights they can use to transform their business models, addressing what conference organizers call the “e-commerce imperative.”

B2B e-commerce makes up only a fraction of overall B2B sales, but accelerating growth in the percentage of B2B buyers who turn to online purchasing presents an opportunity and a challenge for all B2B buyers and sellers to adjust their strategies to make the most of a rising channel.

Amazon Business hosted a pre-conference workshop to share how Amazon Business can help new and current selling partners to achieve growth through the store. Amazon Business leaders discussed integration tactics and selling partners’ successes. A current selling partner and B2B buyer shared real-world experiences on Amazon Business, providing other attendees with actionable advice.

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Amazon Business provides convenience, selection, and value

Driving the rapid growth in B2B e-commerce is the increased efficiency businesses see by consolidating purchasing channels. Buyers’ shopping preferences are also at play. According to Forrester, 82% of business buyers want the same purchasing experience they have in their personal lives4.

Amazon Business provides a customer focused e-commerce experience for B2B buyers with the familiar purchasing experience of shopping on Amazon.com, plus business-relevant features including:

  • Business Prime: Business Prime members get fast, free One or Two-Day delivery on millions of eligible items, plus tools designed for business such as Spend Visibility, Guided Buying, flexible payment terms, and more.

  • Multi-user accounts: Amazon Business gives buyers a greater degree of control over access and approvals with approval workflows, and the ability to set spending limits.

  • Business-only discounts: Buyers have access to bulk quantity discounts on eligible items to unlock lower prices on the products they buy the most.

To learn more, visit this blog post, for a full report on the growth of B2B e-commerce. To get started, create a free Amazon Business account today.


1B2B e-Commerce 2017, Statista, 2017
2Mapping the $9 Trillion US B2B Online Commerce Channel, Forrester, April 2018
3Brohan, Mark, B2B Buyers are Primed for More Amazon Business, Digital Commerce 360, September 2019
4Andy Hoar, Forrester, Magento Imagine Conference 2017

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