E-commerce retailer finds the right mix of B2B tools and collaboration with the Amazon Business team
Know your strengths and weaknesses
Founded in 2004 as a B2C e-commerce retailer of professional grade power tools, CPO Commerce excelled at creating branded online shopping experiences for their customers. More than a decade later, as a subsidiary of Essendant, they decided to branch out to sell office products and janitorial supplies, as well as target business customers.
As CPO Commerce expanded into B2B, they quickly realized they did not have the systems in place to scale B2B transactions. “B2B customers expect the same easy B2C shopping experience,” says Mike Ritter, President of CPO Commerce. “But they have specific payment requirements such as purchase orders. We were having to customize quotes and payment processes for our corporate customers, which became time consuming and expensive.” Recognizing that Amazon Business had the infrastructure in place to support B2B transactions at scale, CPO Commerce made the strategic decision to shift their focus to Amazon Business to grow their B2B sales.
A shared vision of helping joint customers
Right away, CPO Commerce embraced a collaborative alliance with Amazon Business. “We leaned into Amazon Business and all of its offerings,” says Mike. “Our team worked with theirs to find the right mix of B2B features to achieve our sales goals.” CPO Commerce became an early adopter of many B2B features focused on attracting business customers and sales. Their feature adoption mix includes:
CPO Commerce’s team continues to raise its hand to test beta features, volunteer for pilot programs, provide constructive feedback, and troubleshoot with the Amazon Business team. By being an early adopter and strong voice of seller, CPO has been able to influence the Amazon Business roadmap.
“Our shared vision of delighting joint customers has motivated both teams to brainstorm new ideas, keep an open line of communication, and remediate issues quickly.”
— Mike Ritter, President of CPO Commerce
Fast growth through continued collaboration
Since 2020, CPO Commerce has reported an average of 147% year over year growth in their Amazon Business sales in the office products and janitorial supplies categories, representing roughly 30% of their overall Amazon.com sales. In just the first 3 months of 2022, CPO Commerce has celebrated sales in the same categories rising 90% year over year, representing 36% of their overall Amazon.com sales. They have also reported 37% larger order size on Amazon Business than in its sales to individual customers.
“We attribute these results to the ongoing collaboration and innovation of the Amazon Business team,” says Mike. “Our shared vision of delighting joint customers has motivated both teams to brainstorm new ideas, keep an open line of communication, and remediate issues quickly.” Looking ahead, CPO Commerce plans to further expand business-relevant selection and extend their fulfillment capabilities.
One piece of advice for new B2B sellers? “Understand what you’re good at and where Amazon Business may be able to complement your strengths. And don’t be afraid of Amazon. They’re here to help you succeed, so take advantage of the resources available to you.”
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