Amazon’s ‘underappreciated’ B2B unit is on pace to become an $80 billion marketplace. And execs from Citi to Uber are praising it this week. (AMZN)

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Amazon’s marketplace for business customers is growing at a rapid pace — fast enough to now merit its own big conference.

Amazon announced this week that its business-to-business marketplace, called Amazon Business, reached $25 billion in worldwide annualized sales. That’s a 2.5-times growth from 2018, when Amazon Business disclosed it reached $10 billion in total sales volume, and comes just five years since it facilitated its first $1 billion worth of product sales.

Underscoring that growth, Amazon is hosting its first major conference for Amazon Business this week. The conference, titled re:Shape, will take place on Thursday virtually, featuring keynote speakers from Uber, Citi, and BP, among others.

Amazon Business, launched in 2015, is a marketplace that sells everything from office supplies to lab equipment to corporate buyers. It’s a separate marketplace from the main Amazon shopping site used by individual consumers. Amazon said over five million business customers use the corporate marketplace, including more than 80 of the Fortune 100 companies.

The fast pace of growth makes Amazon Business an “underappreciated opportunity” by many investors and puts the segment in a position to potentially surpass Amazon’s consumer business, according to a note published by Baird Equity Research on Monday. For comparison, Amazon’s consumer e-commerce business took seven years to get to $10 billion in annual sales volume and ten years to reach $25 billion, the note said. Baird estimates Amazon Business to surpass $80 billion in sales volume by 2025. 

“We believe Amazon B2B, over the very long term, has the potential to equal or surpass the size of the core B2C segment,” Baird Equity Research wrote in the note.

Amazon Business GMV growth

Amazon announced plans for re:Shape in January, calling it a “premier event for procurement leaders.” It’s the first global event for Amazon Business, although a similar event for European customers called Amazon Business Exchange took place for the past two years.

The launch of re:Shape also reflects Amazon’s growing desire to host big conferences to promote its individual businesses. 

Amazon Web Services started re:Invent in 2012 and now attracts more than 40,000 people to Las Vegas every year. The cloud unit also launched re:Inforce in 2019, a separate event focused on cloud security.

Additionally, in 2019, Amazon started re:MARS to showcase its artificial intelligence and robotics products, and AdCon to promote its sprawling advertising business. Last year, the first Amazon Accelerate took place as well, an event focused on its third-party marketplace sellers.

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