PCOnline boosts sales after venturing into B2B commerce
Since that pivot in strategy and partnering with Amazon Business, PCOnline has reported a 96% year-on-year increase in B2B sales.
PCOnline was formed in 2015 when Ryan (Liyuan) Chen and Charles (Chen) Zhang were students at the University of Delaware and saw the rise of companies selling direct-to-consumers on Amazon. As with other great start-up stories, they started in a garage, where they resold PCs and electronics while studying, and the company grew from there. From the start, they had a mission in mind: “to deliver professional, comprehensive, and optimal technology and services to strengthen the connection between brands and customers.”
Fast forward to 2019, and PCOnline established partnerships with some major OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Intel. This meant that as an authorized reseller and service provider, the company has full access to all HP and Lenovo products for both consumer and commercial and is responsible for bringing those products to the Amazon marketplace.
“[The] Custom Quote feature really helps us a lot in reaching large volume purchasers and significantly increases our sales volume ... an efficient way to connect with top Amazon Business customers to meet their purchasing needs."
— Charles (Chen) Zhang, CEO and Co-founder, PCOnline
Tapping into the world of B2B
In 2021, PCOnline observed that there was massive potential for the B2B market. Until then, their main focus had been B2C commerce. They started thinking of ways to change their strategy to expand their direct distribution to reach business customers.
The company knew they were capable of fulfilling B2B customers’ needs, “but our only obstacle was that we could not reach them,” said Charles, CEO and Co-founder of PCOnline. The company needed a way to establish a presence in the B2B world and reach the right customers. With this in mind, PCOnline joined Amazon Business to bridge that gap. Amazon Business gave them easy access to business customers and more, allowing them to ship orders to Prime members straight from their warehouses with seller-fulfilled Prime and provide a same-day hardware customization/upgrade service at a cost 50% lower than manufacturers.
Since that pivot in strategy and partnering with Amazon Business, PCOnline has reported a 96% year-on-year increase in B2B sales. Additionally, the company has maintained a consistent growth rate of 8-9% since last year. In the previous year, its reported revenue was $200 million, with 20% of that figure coming from B2B sales.
“Amazon Business plays an important role for us to reach the right audience ... in 2022, 90% of PCOnline’s $200M revenue came from Amazon, so it’s a partnership that continues to be exceptional for us.”
— Charles (Chen) Zhang, CEO and Co-founder, PCOnline
Since joining Amazon Business, PCOnline has taken advantage of features such as certifications, business pricing, quantity discounts and custom quote engine to help increase business orders. By building business profiles and certifications, customers can know and trust PCOnline as an authorized supplier. PCOnline attributes an increase of orders and sales units to adding business price and quantity discount features.
PCOnline’s B2B sales increase has been aided by Amazon’s ‘Custom Quote’ feature. “[The] Custom Quote feature really helps us a lot in reaching large volume purchasers and significantly increases our sales volume,” says Charles. This feature, which lets Amazon Business customers to request quotes for bulk purchases from a trusted network of suppliers, allows PCOnline to respond to requests from B2B customers if they have the inventory to fulfil the request, or offer alternative options if they don’t have the exact product requested. PCOnline views Custom Quote as “an efficient way to connect with top Amazon Business customers to meet their purchasing needs.”
Another impact that PCOnline has seen since joining Amazon Business is the strengthening of their relationship with vendors from the increase in sales from B2B – “We are now able to extend our product lines for future collaborations.”
PCOnline has also started providing bids to support “Planned Spend,” where customers have a product basket of goods for which Amazon Business sources sharp prices. Customers provide a list of product purchase needs for a certain period of time, which may include various product combinations, such as laptops, printers, and other hardware product packages. This allows PCOnline to create unique packages to meet the different needs for any one customer. “Although we have just started participating in this program, we believe that it will have a significant impact on our revenue in the future,” said Charles.
“Amazon Business is mutually beneficial for customers and sellers, especially for the Custom Quote Program. We are aiming for stickiness, loyalty, and recurring purchases that are more common with business customers. Amazon Business plays an important role for us to reach the right audience, and, we have seen a healthy ongoing growth happening within our business,” said Charles. He also reports that "in 2022, 90% of PCOnline’s $200M revenue came from Amazon, so it’s a partnership that continues to be exceptional for us.”
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