Amazon Business Debuts First Major Campaign In Grab At Office Supplies Category

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Amazon is putting some additional marketing muscle behind its B2B arm as it looks to attract more companies to the platform and tout a positioning as a one-stop destination.

The messaging emphasizes a seamless and streamlined experience, which could appeal to companies dealing with a hectic supply chain. It’s also a bid by Amazon to capture more share of the office supplies category, which has had a rough few years due to the pandemic.   

Amazon Business is intended for businesses of any scale to consolidate their supply purchases, like pencils or face masks, under one roof by utilizing the ecommerce behemoth’s plethora of sellers and Amazon Prime perks, known as Business Prime. While Amazon appeals to a broad base of potential customers, upstarts and small businesses are a key target, as shown in “PetTech.”  

In the debut spot, a quick-witted Alpaca and Ostrich aid a room full of people who just invented a device that translates animal speech while they scramble to purchase all the necessary supplies to get their company off the ground. The solution, of course, is Amazon Business. The humorous take is meant to shy away from typical B2B advertising tropes and may help the platform gain traction, as 91% of global consumers report that they prefer brands to be funny.

Amazon Business is running OOH placements in key cities, including Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, to further market the product. It’s also placed advertisements in airports to reach business travelers. The strategy shows how B2B marketers integrate more business-to-consumer tactics into their playbooks. 

Launched in 2015, Amazon Business today serves over 5 million businesses, including 80 Fortune 100 companies. According to details shared with Marketing Dive, it generated $25 billion in worldwide annualized sales last year. Amazon Business is also hosting its first in-person event, Reshape, to help market its products on Sept. 28-29 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The gathering will focus on the new ad campaign and creating a “Smart Business Buying” category. Two additional spots for the campaign are in the works with no mentioned release date.

Amazon Business isn’t the only one putting more resources behind its enterprise-oriented bets. E-commerce platform Shopify recently launched new features that will allow B2B wholesalers to set up and manage their operations in one place using its planning and analytics tools. Longtime players like Costco and Sam’s Club aren’t as tech-savvy but flex wholesale perks and discounts.