Amazon Business: An Opportunity for MSMEs in 2022

In the face of changing needs of B2B marketplace, Amazon Business is proactively adapting new trends and new features which can add value in today's MSME Business, this was pointed out by Mr Suchit Subhas, Director, Amazon Business in conversation with SMEStreet.

SMEStreet Edit Desk
New Update
Suchit Subhas, Director, Amazon Business

During the festive season in 2021, Amazon Business curated amazing deals on the widest selection of products from top brands across categories including smartphones, appliances, TVs, consumer electronics, laptops, PCs, home & kitchen, and more. for our business customers. In addition, our customers also had access to new launches can get special offers on business-relevant selection for both gifting and own usage by logging in to their Amazon Business account. With over 15 Cr GST enabled selection, businesses could save up to 28% more. Businesses buying in bulk could avail up to 40% in quantity discounts. They could also avail a special 5% cashback on a purchase of above INR 50,000.

Along with the deals during the Great Indian Festival, Amazon Business had also introduced ‘Corporate Gifting Store’ to cater to business gifting needs.  Through this store, customers could bulk purchase corporate gifts with ease and convenience. Businesses also had the option to customize and personalize corporate gifts according to their needs.

The response from Amazon Business customers during the 2021's Diwali sale registered:

  • Participation from over 360K MSME buyers
  • More than 46% increase in new MSMEs who created a business account with Amazon Business during the Great Indian Festival as compared to 2020.
  • Over 10K bulk orders placed during the event, 47% increase over 2020.
  • Overwhelming response from businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets with 132% jump in orders as compared to 2020.
  • Customers bought over 15K products exclusively from the specially curated stores like Corporate Gifting, Work From Home, Back to Work stores designed to meet the various needs of business customers.

In a conversation with Mr. Suchit Subhas, Director, Amazon Business it is found that how Amazon Business is evolving as an opportunity for the growth of MSME vendors.

  • How has Amazon Business’s journey been in the last four years in India?

Since its launch in 2017, Amazon Business has aimed to empower MSMEs as a one-stop destination with over 15 Cr GST enabled products across top categories to cater to their distinct business needs. It has become a one-stop shop for all business needs owing to the vast selection available to MSMEs, competitive pricing and vast delivery network. With presence in 99.5% pin codes pan-India, businesses from the remotest parts of the country can rely on Amazon Business for their purchase needs. 

We are India’s largest GST store and in the last four years, we have added host of features through which businesses can avail GST invoice with ease and sophisticated business analytics tools through which they can calculate extra savings with a GST invoice every time they make a business purchase.  

Additionally, we have continued to add products to cater to changing needs of businesses. To share a few examples, we launched Commercial Store with thousands of products across top categories such as business laptops, networking devices, industrial adhesives, tools and equipment and safety and security across top brands such as Lenovo, Cisco, Pidilite, Kimberly Clark, Stanley Black and Decker, Kirloskar. Similarly, we have focused on adding host of supplies for workplace sanitization by creating a dedicated COVID Supply Store through which businesses can buy range of essential products like PPE kits, masks, face shields and sanitisers. 

Over and above the wide selection and strong delivery network, one of our endeavours has also been to add host of business relevant features to help customers make their purchases more efficiently and save further. We have witnessed quick adoption of features such as multi-user account feature through which one can add multiple users in a single business account to enhance account security and compliance, bulk purchase features to avail quantity discounts and save up to 40% more and business relevant payment features such as credit. 

For our seller partners, Amazon Business provides an additional opportunity on to scale their B2B business by catering to requirements from lakhs of business customers and grow their revenues. In addition to catering to requirements from MSME customers, our sellers have catered to orders from businesses from across the country including the likes of large enterprises such as Mahindra, GE, Tata Group. Through features such as ‘Request for Quantity Discount’, our sellers have catered to lakhs of bulk orders from businesses across the country. We are humbled that our selling partners view Amazon Business as an important lever to grow their revenues and have seen the number of sellers selling on our platform grow from 14K in 2017 to 4lacs+ in 2021. 

  • How has Amazon Business performed in 2021? What do you foresee in 2022?

In 2021, Amazon Business has registered millions of small businesses as customers in India and has continued to see an exponential growth of over 70% Y-o-Y in customer base, making the Indian marketplace of Amazon Business the second biggest after the US. Tier 2 and tier 3 markets have also played a significant role in this growth, with over 30% buying customers and 25% orders coming from smaller cities.   

Amazon Business has played a crucial role in supporting millions of small businesses in India to get back on their feet.  Over the past year, we have been closely working with our selling partners to help businesses cater to their work from home needs by adding thousands of products across categories such as WFH furniture, electronic essentials like routers, headphones, keyboards, and office stationery. In order to help our customers, save more, we launched “Business Value Days”, a monthly sale event on the last week of the month through which our customers have availed more than INR 7.5 Cr additional savings on business exclusive deals and promotions.

This year, Amazon Business will continue to remain customer-obsessed to build the right customer experience. Our customers, no matter which segment they are from, will choose us as long as we are the best option to serve their needs. We will continue to provide convenient and innovative technology-led purchasing solutions to our business customers and strive to be a one-stop shop for businesses for their needs. Additionally, the aim is to serve the demands by connecting sellers in a seamless manner. Amazon Business will continue to build on our three strategic pillars of growth – Selection, Pricing, and Convenience.

Our focus will remain on increasing our selection bringing in top brand launches, exciting business deals for bulk purchases, and new innovations for customers.

  • According to you which are the initiatives of 2021 launched by Amazon Business that you would like to emphasize here?

In 2021, we have continued our focus on simplifying the overall purchase experience for our customers and launched features to help them adjust to the post-pandemic normal. 

An example of simplifying the experience for businesses has been the innovations we have launched this year to simplify the registration experience for new customers. Businesses can now register on our platform in less than 2 minutes and get verified real-time, so that they can immediately start accessing Amazon Business benefits and start saving.  To cater to MSMEs with an annual turnover of less than INR 20L, Education Institutions, and NGOs who do not have a GST certificate, we launched Business PAN as an additional license type through which they can register and avail Amazon Business benefits. These businesses are now able to access an array of benefits like business exclusive deals, bulk discounts, and other business-relevant features which were not available to them earlier.  

To help businesses adjust to the new normal and run their businesses remotely in the work from home setup, we launched the ‘Bill to Ship to’ feature. Through this feature, Amazon Business has taken a lead in solving this unique customer problem and offered a solution that allows them to claim GST credit on their billing address for their pan-India shipments. This convenient feature allows customers to consolidate the tax credit to one state and make use of GST credit more effectively. 

MSMEs Amazon Amazon Business Faiz Askari Suchit Subhas