Shopping the New Old-Fashioned Way

In a move aimed at broadening its appeal, Amazon.com launched a new Corporate
Accounts program that lets business and institutional shoppers buy online
using purchase orders, as well as the traditional business credit card method.


In making the announcement, Amazon (it started out as a bookseller, remember?)
put special emphasis on the institutional buyer from schools and libraries
and government agencies, as institutions reportedly account for more than 40
percent of the $23 billion U.S. book market.


The program lets corporate buyers choose a preferred payment method — online
purchase orders or credit cards – and gives businesses the ability to
designate account managers and authorized purchasers. Organizations that opt
to pay by purchase order can apply for credit online, receive a line of
credit and begin buying within minutes, Amazon said.


The program also features a suite of new account management tools designed
specifically for corporate and institutional buyers.


Corporate account holders will also enjoy access to an online order history
for all account purchases; one consolidated, line-item bill for all account
activity; and the option to receive an e-mail notification every time a
purchase is made, said Seattle-based Amazon .


“Whether it’s local librarians ordering hard-to-find titles, corporate
librarians purchasing training materials or small businesses buying software
and printers, these customers will now be able to use purchase orders as a
method of payment at Amazon.com,” said Jason Kilar, vice president of media
products at Amazon.com.


Oracle Corp., 3Com, Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries, the
Northwestern University Law Library and Stanford University Libraries are
among initial users of the new service.


Amazon is on a roll this week with new initiatives. On
Monday it announced a deal
with the 600-store-plus Circuit City chain of
electronics stores that makes in-store pickup available.

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