Hoar sees danger in Amazon's foray into this market, but how big that danger is may depend on Amazon. “That's the $64,000 question,” he said. “How serious is Amazon about this space? Are they just playing around or are they really serious?”
Traditional industrial suppliers are already preparing to combat Amazon by organizing their businesses around customer service and strong e-commerce options. And these established players may have the advantage that a wrong decision in buying industrial supplies can have bigger repercussions than buying the wrong book.
“Whereas B2C consumers will be disappointed if a purchase does not work out,” Hoar wrote in a report, “b-to-b customers can lose their jobs with one bad purchase.”