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How to shop for your agency like you shop for yourself

First responders can save time and money and implement greater departmental purchasing transparency with the Amazon First Responders Storefront


Sponsored by Amazon Business

By Courtney Levin, BrandFocus Staff

Many will argue the convenience and simplicity of purchasing through Amazon has made stocking up on everyday items incredibly easy. While Amazon is a popular choice when it comes to personal shopping, first responders often turn to their usual suppliers for departmental needs.

Amazon Business’ new First Responders Storefront provides a wide selection of public safety products from a large array of suppliers.
Amazon Business’ new First Responders Storefront provides a wide selection of public safety products from a large array of suppliers. (Amazon Business)

Amazon Business is aiming to change that with the introduction of their First Responders Storefront. Similar in design to their established site and just as easy to navigate, Amazon Business provides a wide selection of public safety products from a large array of suppliers at business-only pricing with quantity discounts. With the fast and convenient shipping that’s become synonymous with the Amazon name, first responders can place one-time, recurring and bulk orders from this one-stop shop.

“I think what’s going to be surprising is the amount of selection that we have in the public safety arena,” said Austin Burke, national public safety specialist at Amazon Business. “There are a lot of things that you can buy for law enforcement and corrections through Amazon Business.”

The First Responders Storefront aims to provide more than your typical departmental products. Within each shopping section, you’ll find a detailed list of items, including apparel and uniforms, safety supplies and accessories. Products that you wouldn’t necessarily correlate with Amazon, like tactical vests, holsters and PMAG wall mounts, are easy to find and add to your cart.

UNDERSTANDING ORDERING URGENCY

In addition to supplying a department with regularly purchased items, first responders can also use Amazon Business’ First Responders Storefront to purchase public safety specific products delivered through Amazon’s logistics network.

“We have distribution centers all over and are able to quickly respond to customers’ needs with convenient shipping on over 100 million items,” said Warren Scott, leader of the Amazon Business local government team.

Not only are these centralized distribution hubs key in offering fast shipping on eligible orders, but customers can also select Same Day Delivery on eligible products or consolidate purchases by selecting one day of the week to receive deliveries with Amazon Day, the company’s customized shipping program.

STREAMLINING SAVINGS

Every dollar counts when it comes to making departmental purchases, but time is also of the essence –­­ no one wants to spend hours comparing prices, particularly for items that need to be ordered regularly.

The First Responders Storefront helps departments cut wasteful spending by offering volume discounts on eligible products, as well as savings of up to 10% on eligible products after setting up recurring deliveries. Beyond business-only prices, Amazon Business offers detailed analytics reports via Amazon Business Analytics so you can see where your dollars are being spent. These reports help to reveal spending patterns and identify opportunities to reduce costs.

“We provide a lot of controls, and that’s how our Guided Buying feature with Business Prime and Amazon Business Analytics combine,” said Burke. “You have a very good idea of where and how people are buying, both on the front side and the back of the purchasing process.”

First responders can build personalized shopping lists based on previous purchases, transforming the shopping experience into one that can be completed in just a few clicks. Suggested products are also featured as you navigate the site based on your own purchase history, along with items that similar organizations are buying.

Within each shopping section, you’ll find a detailed list of items, including apparel and uniforms, safety supplies and accessories.
Within each shopping section, you’ll find a detailed list of items, including apparel and uniforms, safety supplies and accessories. (Amazon Business)

TARGETED PURCHASING POWER

Beyond offering hundreds of millions of products, Amazon Business considers the unique needs of their shoppers. Through the Guided Buying feature with Business Prime, departments can turn on several filters to tailor the products their organization can purchase.

“You can either restrict certain items from being purchased, or you can prefer items, you can prefer sellers, you can prefer diversity,” said Scott.

Items from small businesses that are veteran or minority-owned, for example, will appear at the top of the page if your department has elected these preferences.

Certain products and sellers can also be restricted at your discretion, allowing departments to observe supplier contracts that are already in place.

Account access can provide guardrails in other ways, as Amazon Business’ integrated approval system prevents unapproved purchases. They accomplish this through a single sign-on process, avoiding the opportunity for unauthorized individuals to place orders.

“From a transparency perspective, being able to report on or investigate what has transpired is sometimes a big deal,” said Scott. “Some institutions don’t necessarily use it or need it, but for those who do need it, it’s an incredible advantage to be able to, down to the single item, understand what was procured, where it was delivered and who purchased it.”

HOW TO GET STARTED

First responders interested in purchasing from the First Responders Storefront need to complete a few simple steps to sign up, and customers can work with one of Amazon Business’ customer account managers nationwide to get started.

With your adviser, you can receive help with setting up the account, including determining how to best structure your settings and reports. Most departments meet with their adviser quarterly or biannually, said Scott, to answer any questions and talk about future growth.

Fill out the form below to connect with an Amazon Business customer adviser to learn more. If you are already an Amazon Business account administrator, simply log into your account to purchase from the First Responders Storefront.

Visit Amazon Business for more information.

Read next: Amazon Prime Day tips for public safety

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