B2B sales on Amazon have come as a pleasant surprise and continue to increase

Stephan Harpeng
Assistant CEO and Quality Manager, TIGA-MED
TIGA-MED, based in East Thuringia (Germany), is a company that started off selling medical products and disposable items offline to hospitals and facilities for the elderly. It now wants to offer these products at affordable prices to a larger and more diverse customer base in order to meet the strong demand for items such as catering gloves etc. from private buyers in the sector. Its online channel has grown a lot in recent years and now accounts for about 50% of the business. Amazon is the main online store it uses.

The Covid pandemic presented a major challenge for the medical products sector. Supply chains struggled due to interruptions and delivery times were significantly extended in the face of an unexpected spike in demand that could not be met. It was especially difficult to retain B2B customers who wanted products to be available at all times but didn't want to source them from other companies. Now the industry is back to normal and the supply chain is stable again.

How we attract new customers on Amazon Business

At first, the company thought that Amazon was solely a B2C marketplace, but then it "noticed, with some surprise, that even B2B customers such as medical offices, home services and facilities for the elderly were buying on Amazon". TIGA-MED is now active on Amazon Business, where it has numerous B2B customers in the catering and facility management sector. Stephan Harpeng, CEO Assistant and Quality Manager of TIGA-MED, points out that B2B customers account for 20% of his company's overall activities on Amazon: "20% is more than we expected and the B2B segment continues to grow rapidly".

Stephan said he particularly appreciates the fact that Amazon Business B2B customers can buy products "with the same convenience they are used to and at an excellent price-performance ratio. By taking advantage of business offers, B2B customers can meet their needs as easily as those who shop privately on Amazon. This makes the offers very attractive to customers and they are an excellent market for us". He also explained that it's easier to retain business customers on Amazon Business: "The majority of our products are disposable items. This means that, if we have good offers and customers are satisfied with the product, they're very likely to buy it again straight after the first delivery".

Starting from offline B2B sales, TIGA-MED has expanded its customer base by selling on Amazon to B2C customers and new B2B customers.
Thanks to Amazon, we've been able to reach a lot of new customers. We've been selling on Amazon for 11 years and we're still gaining a lot of new customers every day.
Stephan HarpengAssistant CEO and Quality Manager, TIGA-MED

Amazon Business tools help us increase B2B orders

"Manage quotes" was the first Amazon Business tool that TIGA-MED used and this enabled the company to receive an increasing number of requests from potential customers. "As soon as we started adding business pricing and quantity discounts, we saw an increase in B2B sales". Stephan maintains that B2B orders have increased by at least 40% since he started using quantity discounts. "If I were to order a product, I would probably do the same: I know the quantities I need and I know my needs, so it goes without saying that I would opt for a quantity purchase to get a better price. I believe that business pricing and quantity discounts are the most effective tools for attracting B2B customers because everyone loves a discount, whether they're a B2B customer or an individual", he says. Stephan maintains that quantity discounts are particularly important for the medical sector because the volumes sold are very high given the huge consumption of disposable products. Large packages are very useful in the medical sector for the same reason.

TIGA-MED enjoys the benefits of the VAT Calculation Service that it uses with an external partner (VCS Lite version):
Being a B2B customer on Amazon ourselves, we understand how important it is to receive an invoice as soon as a product is sent. Seeing prices excluding VAT is also very useful for B2B customers because it helps them avoid making lengthy calculations.
Stephan HarpengAssistant CEO and Quality Manager, TIGA-MED

Experiences working with B2B customers

TIGA-MED has chosen to share some of its experiences with B2B customers: "Working relationships are easier with B2B customers than with B2C customers. They know the products very well, they know what they need and how to use them. This is a great advantage because the return rates are very low". Stephan noted that couriers appreciate the smooth and easy delivery to business customers thanks to the completeness of the contact details and the accuracy of the delivery instructions. "Couriers prefer B2B customers!"

Tip for sellers: Unlock your company's full B2B potential on Amazon

"I recommend offering generous discounts to B2B customers, as this will lead to an increase in B2B sales and, as a result, B2B customers will buy the same items again very quickly because demand in this segment is higher and more constant than in B2C. When it comes to quantity discounts, obviously you need to align them with the number of products in a packet or package to save on shipping costs. For their part, customers will have peace of mind that they will always receive the number of items they ordered, without the risk of damage during shipping. They're a win-win for both parties: the seller saves on packaging and the buyer pays lower shipping costs", says Stephan,

adding: "I urge everyone not to make the mistake of underestimating the potential number of B2B customers on Amazon like we did. The very rapid growth of the B2B segment has left us speechless. B2B customers want a fast and convenient shopping experience, just like the rest of us. If you have a good product and can satisfy the needs of B2B customers, I recommend trying because there's nothing to lose and a lot to gain".

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