In its ongoing bid to appeal to small business owners, Amazon is making business accounts free for sole operators who already have a personal Prime membership.
Amazon Business Prime Duo — the lowest tier of Amazon Business account, designed specifically as an add-on to normal Prime membership for customers that also run their own company — previously cost $69 a year but will now be free. The price of other Amazon Business account tiers will remain the same.
“We’re very focused Amazon-wide on being an ally of the small business customer. You see that in our third-party seller business, and with Amazon Business,” said Todd Heimes, Director of Amazon Business Worldwide in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We also know from the SBA [Small Business Association] that there are more than 33 million small businesses in the U.S., and 80% of those are solo operators with no employees — and that is exactly who Business Prime Duo is set up to help. Now, small business owners can access Business Prime Duo as part of their Prime membership at no additional cost.”
One of the biggest benefits of the Prime Duo membership is the ability for small business owners to keep their personal and business expenses separate. Prime Duo members also receive:
- Fast, free delivery and the other benefits of a personal Prime membership;
- Convenient business delivery for members who select an “Amazon Day” to receive eligible orders on the same day each week;
- Consolidated shipping on eligible large orders to receive items in the fewest packages and deliveries possible;
- Access to business buying tools and business-only pricing on select items;
- Free survey and analytics tools provided by Delighted to uncover insights on customer loyalty and drive business growth with survey tools; and
- 5% back or 90-day terms with the Amazon Business Prime American Express card.
Prime members can sign up for Business Prime Duo by creating a free Amazon Business account using a different email address than their Amazon.com account and verifying their status as a business. They can then link their existing Prime membership to their new Amazon Business account to begin using Business Prime Duo for free. Current Business Prime Duo members will be reimbursed for the remainder of their pre-paid yearly membership, with the refund calculated based on the months elapsed since their last renewal.
The change to the Business Prime Duo pricing comes as Amazon finds itself under fire from the FTC for what the agency calls “deceptive practices” around the enrollment and cancellation of Prime memberships, charges that Amazon denies and said it will fight.