November 19, 2012
Professor Jimmie Flores
The evolution in technology has opened up a plethora of opportunities for businesses in our days. It allows businesses to sell their products to customers without having to go through a brick and mortar store which can save them money and effort, and allows the customer the freedom to shop from their own home without having to use gas and time to visit a store in person. In the case of Amazon (www.amazon.com), other sellers are also able to take advantage of e-commerce by selling their own products through a pre-existing website. Amazon has taken the idea of e-commerce to form their whole business and now ranks #1 of all e-commerce websites (Top 500 Guide, 2012).
E-Commerce and Amazon
The advancement of technology has allowed business success to skyrocket over the last few decades. From point-of-sale (POS) technology to payroll to artificial intelligence (AI) and so on, technology has enabled us to eliminate innumerous tasks for employees so that we can focus on a bigger picture and provide faster, more accurate service. Most business could not run without today’s computer programming; this especially applies to those that deal exclusively via internet, such as EBay and Amazon.
What is Amazon?
As a frequent buyer of merchandise from Amazon.com, I have become very familiar with the opportunities that Amazon offers for consumers. The first thing that should be known is that it is an online only store; there is no brick and mortar location where you can buy merchandise from Amazon. All merchandise ships out directly from one of its warehouses.
E-Commerce Business Models
According to Haag & Cummings, there are nine major e-commerce business models: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to business, consumer to consumer, business to government, consumer to government, government to business, government to consumer, and government to government. (Haag & Cummings, 2009) Amazon has successfully taken on four of these business models, which will be discussed through this paper.
Business to Business (B2B) E-Commerce
Just like all the stores we’re familiar with, Amazon sells many different brands of products. It buys products from other manufacturers and then resells them to consumers. This is B2B e-commerce. Merchandise is ordered via internet and shipped to one of Amazon’s many warehouses where it is then distributed to the consumers upon purchase. Amazon also allows independent sellers to ship their merchandise to a warehouse and let the company process the sale for them for a commission fee. This is for sellers who just want to get their product out there or start up their own business. (Layton) This could also be considered consumer to business (C2B) e-commerce, depending on who the original seller is.
Just recently, Amazon launched AmazonSupply.com: a site that deals strictly in B2B sales. The website sells supplies that range from basic, common supplies to the hard-to-find supplies in order to simplify ordering processes for other industries. “Consumers can use existing Amazon accounts or create a new one if they don’t have one. AmazonSupply offers free shipping on eligible orders of $50 or more, corporate lines of credit, a dedicated customer service center and accepts returns up to one year from the purchase date.” (Woodward, 2012) Thus, the already money-saving and efficient Amazon has effectively copied and pasted their tactics to a site that will help other businesses rather than just independent consumers.
Consumer to Business (C2B) E-Commerce
That’s right, Amazon has taken on C2B e-commerce, too. This is when a business buys things from consumers. As you search through the Amazon website, many of the products have an option on the right hand side of the page to “Sell Us Your Item.” Through this link, a consumer can follow steps to selling their product to Amazon for and Amazon.com gift card. There are five