Amazon unveils new business marketplace

Amazon unveils new business marketplace
A box from is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado July 23, 2008.

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon announced Tuesday it was launching a new business marketplace, in a move aimed at bringing the online giant's expertise to wholesaling.

The new service called Amazon Business will offer enterprises the opportunity to shop online for productions ranging from computer and lab equipment to education and food service supplies.

It will offer special services for businesses including a dedicated customer support team, Amazon said.

"We've heard from business customers that they love the convenience of shopping online, and want an experience at work that is similar to how they shop at home," said Amazon vice president Prentis Wilson.

"Amazon Business delivers a new and expanded marketplace that brings the selection, convenience and value of Amazon to business customers, manufacturers and sellers with the additional selection, features and back-end integration businesses need to save time and money."

The move comes with businesses increasingly going online for managing their day-to-day supply needs.

Forrester Research estimates that business to business (B2B) ecommerce will top $1.1 trillion and account for 12.1 per cent of all US sales in the segment by 2020.

"B2B buyers are now expecting B2C-like (retail) customer experiences online, and they're growing increasingly impatient with B2B sellers that don't provide it," says Forrester analyst Andy Hoar.

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