Amazon Business opened its e-commerce doors in India last week, following its debut earlier last month in Japan.
In India, Amazon Business, at Amazon.in/business, is targeting small and mid-sized businesses and offering more than 100 million products. Its competitors in India include: IndiaMart and TradeIndia and India.Alibaba.com, portals featuring industrial as well as consumer products; and GeM, a marketplace catering to government agencies.
But Amazon says it figures there’s enough demand for online B2B sales to warrant its entry there. Manish Tiwary, a vice president of Amazon India, which operates the retail site Amazon.in, says on the India-based business news site LiveMint.com that Amazon Business has learned from the more than 200,000 sellers on Amazon.in that they also need an online marketplace to buy what they need to operate their businesses. “What we’ve gathered is that lots of small businesses struggle to meet their procurement needs,” Tiwary says.
Buyers on the Amazon Business India site can pay via credit or debit cards, cash on delivery or Amazon.in gift cards. Registered customers can also apply through Amazon Business for credit to finance purchases from India-based ICICI Bank. Registered customers can also access volume price discounts not available to unregistered customers.
Amazon also operates a separate B2B wholesale site in India, at Amazonbusiness.in, for retailers to buy consumer goods for resale.
A spokeswoman for Amazon Business did not immediately return a request for more details on the company’s India and Japan e-commerce sites.
In Japan Amazon Business went live on Sept. 20 at Amazon.co.jp/business. Like its India-based counterpart, the Japan-based Amazon Business offers such features as volume pricing to registered customers, multiple payment options, expedited delivery services and a system for managing a customer’s spending records. Its e-commerce competition in Japan includes Askul, a supplier of office products, Alibaba.com/jp and the office supplies manufacturer Kokuvo.
Amazon operates retail e-commerce sites for 13 markets in addition to the U.S.: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain and the U.K. The company has not said if it plans to launch Amazon Business in more of these countries or in other markets.
In the U.S., Amazon says its B2B unit has more than 1 million customers.
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