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What do customers want in a purchasing solution? (part one)

Identify top benefits that organisations seek from a purchasing solution and learn how Amazon Business addresses those needs.

Whether you’re running a small business or buying for a large organisation, it’s important to find the right procurement solution to give you time to focus on your company’s goals. Amazon conducted a survey to discover the key features business customers want from a purchasing system.


In the first of a two-part series, four of the eight most important features1 are detailed here, helping you to identify the key elements to drive your business forward.


1. Make it easy to buy products our organisation needs


Whether you’re a teacher buying supplies for your classroom, or you’re purchasing IT equipment for a large corporation, you have one common requirement: to simplify buying. By combining the familiar shopping experience of Amazon.co.uk with features specifically for organisations, an Amazon Business account makes buying for work as easy as buying for your personal needs.


The University of Leicester successfully simplified procurement by bringing all purchases into one consolidated, central account. This meant spend across the organisation could be efficiently monitored, managed and audited.


“Being able to see clearly what has been ordered in real time with the system, instead of spending time chasing records at the end of the month allows us to use our time more wisely, making sure the university procurement function is running as smoothly as possible.”- Anthony Midgley, Category Manager and Procurement Systems Lead, University of Leicester


2. Offer access to products that are relevant to our organisation’s needs


It’s important to be able to quickly and easily find the products your business needs, so you can move your organisation forward. Whether it is a one-time purchase, or a list of items your company frequently buys, business customers can find a wide selection of items across a large range of categories.


Comprising four educational establishments with 1,700 students, employees with purchasing responsibilities at Stephenson Multi-Academy Trust often bought hundreds of different items across numerous product categories every day. An Amazon Business account gave the team access to a wide array of items, saving time and money, which could be spent providing additional opportunities and materials for students.


“Some days, the finance team placed hundreds of orders – from stationery to software for departments, to furniture… Over a three-year period, the Trust estimates that they will have saved £30,000 through using Amazon Business. Any savings they make is more in their budget, so they can buy more for their departments and consequently, more for the students the schools serve.”Rob Owens, Chief Operating Officer, Stephenson Multi-Academy Trust


3. Create a user-friendly online experience


As procurement undergoes a digital transformation, a seamless online experience can give you time to focus on your organisation’s priorities. Uber found the transition to a business account was simple and efficient, thanks to employees’ familiarity with Amazon.


ExxonMobil sees this ease-of-use as a key benefit of their ongoing digital transformation. It noticed an increase in Amazon Business users from zero to many thousands in a short span of time. According to one of its procurement advisors Nassim Kefi, users gravitated towards Amazon Business as a purchasing channel because of their familiarity with the Amazon experience in their personal lives.


“We didn’t have to push too hard for adoption within the company—the growth was organic." - Nassim Kefi, Procurement Advisor


4. Enable our organisation to consolidate spend across fewer purchasing solutions


It can be cumbersome and expensive for organisations to manage different purchasing solutions, so streamlining all spend into one system can save your business time and money. A solution which marries a wide product selection with powerful procurement features can help achieve your company goals.


Amazon Business can be easily accessed through both desktop and mobile, so employees can make purchases when they're in the office or on the move. You can also easily enable single sign-on (SSO), so buyers can securely access Amazon Business with one click. You may also be able to integrate your existing purchasing system with Amazon Business to help consolidate all purchases


“You now have access to hundreds of thousands of suppliers, all in one place, and that provides great convenience, but also because of dynamic pricing, it provides huge cost benefits to the procurer.” said Phil Vokins, Cloud Services Director, Intel Canada


The second installment of this series is coming soon. Visit the Amazon Business homepage to learn more about the key features of a Business account, and read more customer success stories here.


[1] 2019 Brand Foundations Quantitative Research conducted by Amazon Business: 15-minute online survey among purchasing decision makers in the US belonging to the healthcare, commercial, education, and government verticals. Sample = 867. In a trade-off exercise consisting of 16 benefits, the eight benefits listed in this two-blog series were relatively more important in evaluating a new purchasing solution. These benefits were defined as being relatively more important because their importance scores exceeded the average importance score of all the attributes. The average importance score was 100. The eight benefits we have described have a score equal to or greater than 100 resulting in them being more important than the other benefits that we tested. Survey question: Which of the following benefits are most and least important to you when evaluating new purchasing solutions for your organization?

About the Author

Sanjeev Sridharan

About the Author

Sanjeev Sridharan

Sanjeev Sridharan is Senior Product Marketing Manager responsible for driving the go-to-market strategy for Amazon Business products and features.

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