You may already be using Amazon’s Dash button to restock your laundry pods, but the company’s stealthy entry into the commercial realm just might change the way every factory, laboratory, and office in the country operates.
Since 2012, Amazon has quietly moved to compete with wholesale distributors. It all began with a subsidiary called Amazon Supply that in 2015 the company folded into a new venture called Amazon Business. Amazon Business sells everything from medical and office supplies to large industrial equipment like industrial deep fryers. As Prentis Wilson, vice president of Amazon Business, explains it, “Amazon Business…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.”
As you’ve probably already guessed, Amazon smells opportunity. Lots of it. Amazon Business targets the $7.2 trillion B2B sector, a world populated by independently run regional distributors each with an online product catalogue averaging 50,000 items—relatively teeny compared with Amazon’s mammoth selection. Amazon Business offers more than nine million business-related items, plus bulk discounts, free two-day shipping, and brand experts trained in highly technical business sectors to offer advice on purchasing and replacements. All this with the capacity of Dash to automate reordering.
You have to wonder if distributors are trembling.
After all, it’s not Amazon Business that could change your working world. At least, not alone. It’s this: The combination of the Internet of Things plus Dash Services plus Amazon Business means with a smart IoT device manager, your devices can restock themselves. Bloated distributors that add little to no value to the buying experience? This new system could make them relics.
The benefits of linking IoT to Dash and Amazon Business
Linking your IoT devices and Amazon Web Services (AWS) with a management system like ThingLogix can help you not only keep track of how your network is doing but now, thanks to Amazon Business, re-order commercial and industrial supplies immediately. Not fast enough? Add Dash, either in button form or built-in to the product as Dash Replenishment Services (DRS), and your IoT devices can automatically order replacement parts or products. The whole system can now circumvent the distributor, which saves you time, money, and hassle.
Auto-replenishment through this symbiotic linking of IoT, AWS, and Amazon Business has the potential to change the business landscape by adding efficiency and increasing productivity. If Amazon Business can alter corporate buying behavior—in other words, cut out the middle man —it stands to add this massive and relatively untapped sector to its list of regular customers. And your business stands to gain from its competitive pricing and wide range of in-stock items.
Is Amazon positioning itself to be the commerce king of IoT?
Amazon is relatively new to the B2B field, a place its Chinese counterpart Alibaba has occupied for years. By adding auto-replenishment with Dash it is smartly positioning itself as a “first mover” in the fledgling commerce layer of IoT, according to e-commerce consultant Profitero.
Time will tell whether Amazon Business takes off as much as its consumer-facing counterpart, but if the strength of AWS, the cloud-computing piece of the Amazon Business network, is any indication, IoT for B2B is set to soar.
“Though most consumers know the Seattle-based company for the deliveries it leaves on their doorsteps or the hours of streaming video it provides,” writes The Washington Post, “the health of Amazon’s business increasingly relies on Amazon Web Services.” Profit from AWS, which was launched in beta in 2002, now accounts for more than half of all of Amazon’s operating profit. When recent Q1 revenue at Amazon spiked $29.1 billion (or more than 28 percent) year-over-year, AWS was the branch of the company analysts tipped their hats to. According to Forbes, this year AWS is on track to gross $10 billion in sales, prompting that publication to call it Amazon’s “money machine.”
This “money machine” is now linked with automatic reordering through Dash and a catalogue of millions of diverse business supplies through Amazon Business. All you need to do is connect your device network to the opportunity.
How do I capitalize on Amazon Business?
An IoT management system designed to work with AWS, like ThingLogix Foundry, can help you set up auto-replenishment through Amazon Business. By combining Amazon Business and Dash with basic Foundry services like real-time device monitoring, rules management, and user-friendly controls, we can help you make good use of the benefits of Amazon Business and Amazon Dash.
Amazon says it created its Business branch because customers wanted to have the Amazon buying experience at work. That wish came true, and if Amazon Business is used smartly with IoT, you and your company stand to gain plenty from the new reality.