Georgia-Pacific’s approach to selling through Amazon Business

Balancing the pros and cons of selling on Amazon Business can be difficult for B2B sellers. While many sellers realize that they need a presence on Amazon Business for the high traffic volume it attracts and the customer experience it provides, they also know there are drawbacks. Those drawbacks include fierce competition from other sellers, including Amazon itself for commodity goods such as batteries, and transaction fees.

Amazon has data that benefits your business; talk to them about what kind of data you’re looking for and what they are willing to share.

One way sellers can get the most out of the Amazon Business marketplace is to change their perception of Amazon from a third-party sales channel to a provider of ecommerce technology and services, Shalin Shah, vice president of ecommerce and digital strategy for Georgia-Pacific, told an audience earlier this month at the B2B Next Conference and Exhibition. By doing so, suppliers can better leverage their relationship with Amazon Business to get the tools they need to successfully sell through the marketplace, he said. Georgia-Pacific, a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of paper products, dispensers, building products and related chemicals. It sells a range of paper and other products on Amazon.

“Amazon cares about the services it provides its customers, so the mindset a supplier should take is: How can Amazon help me, as a customer, improve the services I am delivering through its marketplace or develop new ones?” Shah said.

How to talk B2B ecommerce with Amazon

A key first step in the process is not assigning a company’s own sales representatives to manage an Amazon Business account. Instead, have the ecommerce team be the liaison to Amazon because they understand the strategic goals of selling through that channel, Shah said.

“Sales representatives don’t understand the technology needed to sell through Amazon or how to strategically manage the relationship with Amazon,” Shah said. “You want to able to talk use-case studies with Amazon because that is their language. Becoming a customer of Amazon Web Services, for example, allows you to dictate what functionality your store needs.”

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