School supply company reports growing their B2B sales by 426% YTD
Back in 2018, Kyle Wright spotted a gap in the market in the school supply buying process for parents and teachers. Ahead of each academic year, busy parents had to spend hours and sometimes days searching for all the items on the back-to-school list for their children, only to be met with crowded lines and empty shelves at stores and supermarkets.
School Supply Boxes was created as an online store on Amazon to eliminate this struggle – serving as the one stop shop for everything that students and teachers need in any given academic year, without the hassle of dealing with crowds and queues.
It has since revolutionized the way parents and teachers purchase school supplies by offering bundled back-to-school kits catered to each year group. The company soon developed a steady clientele as its offering became popular amongst consumers, but found it challenging to reach B2B customers for larger volume purchasers, such as EDU buyers and Community Centers that focus on donating school supplies to kids in need.
As a small business, School Supply Boxes did not have all the resources required to reach that kind of customer base and were in search of a more efficient approach to reach their target customers. “We were limited on the tools needed to reach a large customer base that could utilize our product. We knew if we only had a more effective way of reaching teachers, parents, and schools that our products would be successful,” says Kyle, the President and CFO of School Supply Boxes.
“Reaching business customers was and continues to be incredibly important to our company as they have driven us to grow our business each year and have given us ideas on how else to expand not only our line of products, but also our overall customer base.”
— Kyle Wright, President and CFO, School Supply Boxes
Using Amazon Business tools to reach B2B customers
School Supply Boxes joined Amazon Business in 2019, and in a short span of time were able to achieve a number of their goals, including reaching those customers.
Utilizing tools and guidance from Amazon Business, they were able to build their business profile on the platform and introduce features like Business Prices into their product catalog, which resulted in more business orders from companies.
“Our strategy here was to start selling more products in bulk. It is a lot easier to build and sell 10,000 kits and ship them by the truckload than to build 10,000 kits and ship them each individually to the end consumer,” says Kyle. By implementing this strategy, they were able to save a great amount on shipping costs and could provide their clients with lower prices. They now specialize in producing unique bundles for their customers by focusing particularly on Custom Quote, which has massively increased their revenue.
“Adding the Quantity Discounts feature to some of our SKUs resulted in larger orders coming in from Amazon Business customers. Similarly, we significantly increased our business by using the Custom Quotes feature to large volume purchasers this year,” adds Kyle, attributing the growth of the company’s sales to this particular feature and the ability to adapt and source items for larger volume orders. One of the ways this was facilitated was by offering case packs, which allows their customers to purchase their items in big quantities rather than placing repeated small orders.
Quantity Discounts is a tiered discount feature that allows business to request a discount for a specific quantity that they are looking to buy, making sellers even more accessible and attractive. Custom Quote, on the other hand, is a program that allows highly engaged business customers to find trusted sellers to negotiate pricing and quantity with for bulk purchases. Kyle says Custom Quote in particular has been beneficial, “It’s helped us reach people who would probably have had to look at other avenues to get their custom bundles. They would have had to go to multiple suppliers for individual items, which would have been time-intensive and frustrating. Whereas thanks to Amazon Business, we served as a one-stop shop to these customers, and we were even able to kit the items together as they desired!”
School Supply Boxes fulfilled a huge order from the St. Louis School District, using the Custom Quote feature, and it is a great example of the benefits and impact the feature can have. “We ended up selling them 22,800 bundles total. We were even able to make a custom, never before made, teacher kit for all of the teachers in their district,” says Kyle. “They were so happy with what they received that they went ahead and ordered another 1000 units.”
Not only were School Supply Boxes able to generate $500,000 from this sale of bespoke orders, but they also managed to save their customer almost $300,000 in full retail value, making this a mutually beneficial transaction.
Besides boosting sales and enabling access to a larger customer base, Kyle and his team have found that since using Amazon Business, they have developed a more strategic approach. “Like every good business, figuring out ways to become more efficient is a major obstacle. Because of the opportunities unlocked by Amazon Business, we were able to devote more time to working with team members who handle various aspects of production,” explains Kyle.
“Together, we were able to evaluate the needs of each team, which lead to a far more streamlined process of production and gave us more time to find ways to grow our business.”
— Kyle Wright, President and CFO of School Supply Boxes
Business is booming
Through using Amazon Business, School Supply Boxes reports growing their B2B sales by a whopping 426% YTD, alongside expanding their client base and product portfolio. “Since we started using Amazon Business, our business has expanded tremendously and our average order value is 6.5x larger on the business end versus the consumer end this year, where last year it was 3x larger,” says Kyle speaking about their performance in 2021-22.
School Supply Boxes found that they were able to grow their business massively in a short amount of time by using the B2B features on Amazon Business. Their expanded reach has resulted in a significant expansion plan for next year’s back-to-school season.
Based on his experience, Kyle suggests that other Amazon Business sellers “put your business pricing and quantity discounts in and you will see an uptick in sales almost immediately.” He also suggests to participate in Custom Quotes as soon as possible: “Being able to provide a customized quote for a customer that makes them feel your business can be their one-stop shop for a product is important, and builds a connection for repeat custom.”
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