Amazon.com Inc. launched a Prime membership service for businesses, looking to replicate in the workplace the quick delivery of online orders that made it a go-to shopping destination for households.
Business Prime Shipping, available in the U.S. and Germany, offers free two-day delivery to companies paying $499 to $10,999 a year depending on their size, Amazon said. The subscription program is looking to win business from office supply stores such as Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc.
Business-to-business transactions have been slower to shift online than retail, but could be a bigger revenue opportunity in the long term, said Andy Hoar, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. He estimates the U.S. market will reach $1.2 trillion by 2021, up from $889 billion this year.
“I don’t see the same ceiling in business-to-business sales as I do in retail,” Hoar said. “In retail, people want to go to the store to see and touch things. For business sales, people don’t want to have to go to the store.”