Amazon is reportedly inquiring its business customers as to how they would like to manage their orders and invoicing over the platform, but it is unclear what the eCommerce giant has in mind for the use of that insight. Reports released Thursday (April 2) revealed that Amazon has been polling its sellers, asking them: “How important is it to me as a seller that Amazon manage invoicing and payment on my behalf for those B2B customers, that purchase only via invoicing, so I will know when and how much I will be paid?”
Reports say that sellers have been discussing this poll in several online forums, though the general consensus seems to be bewilderment. One seller reportedly commented, “Unless people are using Amazon Payments to handle their invoices, or they are referring to Vendor Central, I just can’t find a way this applies to most sellers.”
Some experts say that Amazon’s poll suggests it is looking into whether it should manage invoices for sellers through a model that would see sellers waiting to be paid. At present, B2B customers can pay through a revolving credit line, but Amazon collects payments from those business customers for the seller.
When asked about the poll, an Amazon spokesperson told reporters, “We don’t offer invoicing for customers or businesses on Amazon.”
Amazon has boosted its B2B services in recent years, first with the launch of AmazonSupply.com a few years ago. Earlier this year, the company introduced a service that allows businesses to procure goods and services through Amazon with the use of Oracle’s digital procurement tool. But the company, which has led the B2C online shopping game for years, is facing stiff competition from startups emerging on the scene that offer platforms specifically for B2B eCommerce.