Amazon Business, the ecommerce platform for companies to buy office supplies and services such as invoicing, has expanded into Italy and Spain in a sign of the tech group’s ambitions in the corporate services market.
Following the trade platform’s entry into the UK market last year, the push into Italy and Spain means Amazon Business now operates across the five European markets in which it also offers a consumer service.
The company did not indicate growth projections for the two new regions. However, it said it had hundreds of thousands of business customers across Europe, from sole traders to listed companies.
Products, from power tools to staplers, are not available to ordinary consumers, and customers must register as verifiable businesses — because vendors often use the sites to offer special corporate deals.
The company is “off to a fast start,” said Steve Frazier, global vice-president for Amazon Business. One year after its UK launch, Amazon Business had more than 100,000 customers, and in the US, where the service began, it hit $1bn in revenue within a year.
In addition to the US and European markets, Amazon Business is available in India and Japan. Despite their geographical diversity, said Mr Frazier, business customers across these markets often have similar problems and “pain points” they look to the company to solve, and “everybody wants invoicing”.
Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business UK, said the service “enables multinational businesses with entities in Europe to continue to streamline their purchasing, whilst also providing new exporting opportunities for smaller UK businesses who sell on the Amazon Business Marketplace”.
Amazon Business, which has a separate website for each country in which it operates, sells more than 250m products, as well as tailored products, such as business analytics and invoicing services. It aims to help businesses buy and sell to each other as well as help multi-country businesses access local vendors. Half of all units sold are from independent, third-party sellers.