Stop Press. Breaking News! Amazon Launches Business-Dedicated Service in Germany

This morning Amazon announced the launch of Amazon Business, a new, free-to-access service on Gemany's with “everything you love about Amazon, for work.” This new service is aimed at fulfilling the needs of all businesses, whether buyers or sellers.

This is a major step change for business buyers. They can now benefit not only from the existing convenience, selection and ease of use they have come to expect from Amazon in their personal lives, but from features that have been specifically designed and added for business needs: these include free premium shipping options, pay by invoice, VAT-exclusive price display and invoicing for millions of products, multi-user business accounts and the opportunity to reflect internal approval workflows.

Amazon Business provides more than a hundred million products for businesses (from electronic products like laptops to cleaning equipment, from millions of factory-specific tools to catering supplies, from  thousands of types of scientific and lab supplies to industrial specialised equipment). And sellers can benefit from the opportunity to expand their customer reach – from small businesses to large global corporations, as well as third sectors such as universities, hospitals, government agencies and non-profits.

Germany is the first country, after the US (launched April 2015), where Amazon has introduced a service aimed at business buyers. The US business now serves more than 400,000 businesses and has generated more than $1 billion in sales in its first year. Features like pay by invoice, approvals, workflows, and analytics are what will make this attractive for the business buyer and different from the consumer Amazon site. Might we see the same rapid growth for Germany?

Spend Matters founder and CEO, Jason Busch, had this to say: "A new strategic supplier has taken wing in Germany. With this move, Amazon Business is going to be a major force in the pan-European procurement market, perhaps even more so than any technology-centric provider. The combination of Amazon's scale, technology savvy, local fulfillment and distribution, a marketplace model for pricing and supplier participation, tail spend management solutions and enabling technology, including integration with P2P providers for procurement organisations with existing technology, should capture the attention of German firms and public sector procurement organisations alike."

Amazon Germany was founded in 1998, and more than 5.8 billion Euro has been invested in local infrastructure and equipment since 2010. New distribution and logistics centres, and R&D departments, are being set up all over Germany. Sales in Germany stand at about 11 billion Euro (2015), and it is now Amazon's second-largest market segment. We will of course be coming back to this important announcement early next week after the initial buzz has died down, with special insight into what this might mean for the wider purchasing marketplace, its players and tools. And maybe some thoughts behind why Germany was chosen for this highly strategic development.

There’s more information in the official press release.

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