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Franklin Creative expands at home and abroad

How a growing office supply company from Huntsville, Alabama leveraged Amazon Business to grow their company.

Franklin Creative Solutions is a fast-growing office supply company that expanded online sales of its private-label brand Blue Summit Supplies using Amazon Business, boosting revenue and gaining new domestic and global customers.

Owen Franklin started Franklin Creative as a side business in 2016. Working for years as a thermal engineer Franklin was trained to seek efficiencies in systems. Looking at the office supply business he knew there was room for improvement, so he set out to do just that.

“I wanted a little more control of my own destiny, and to know that my output has a direct impact on my customers by providing outstanding products and services,” says Franklin.

Based in Huntsville, Alabama, Franklin Creative now sells a wide range of branded office products, such as envelopes and folders – via its own website, on other consumer marketplaces, on Amazon.com and now on Amazon Business.

Selling to business customers where they live online

Early on, Franklin Creative realized there was greater revenue potential selling to business customers, so when Owen Franklin learned about Amazon Business in late 2016, he signed up immediately.

“Order volumes are certainly higher for business customers, and I suspect conversion rates are, too,” says Franklin. “I saw selling on Amazon Business as a huge opportunity to access new customers and grow within its marketplace, so of course I utilized it.”

Since Franklin Creative was already a Professional Seller on Amazon, creating an Amazon Business Seller account was seamless. “Even though Amazon Business is designed for B2B customers, it’s very similar to using Amazon.com,” he says. “They both have similar interfaces, so it was easy to make the switch.”

Access to a world-class fulfillment network and dynamic pricing control

While still in bootstrap mode, Franklin Creative wasn’t in a position to devote the significant resources needed to develop its own fulfillment infrastructure. However, when Franklin began selling on Amazon.com it was able to leverage Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon’s advanced fulfillment network; another efficiency that Owen Franklin recognized immediately and one that soon began to pay even greater dividends.

When the company began selling on Amazon Business, it continued to use FBA to meet the needs of its business customers. With FBA, Franklin Creative’s products are now stored, picked, packed and shipped directly to customers from Amazon fulfillment centers, which also provides customer service for the products as needed.

Franklin Creative is also able to control its own pricing on Amazon Business to make its products as competitive as possible and can offer bulk discounts to Amazon Business customers.

“For our company, it’s more efficient to get products to our customers in the most affordable manner possible by using Fulfillment by Amazon,” says Franklin. “And we have the operational efficiency and flexibility to provide discounts to Amazon Business customers.”

Leveraging Amazon Business to fuel ‘tremendous growth,’ at home and abroad

In addition to efficiencies like FBA and easy pricing control, Franklin Creative has found that selling on Amazon Business provides access to the millions of business customers already shopping on the B2B marketplace.

In fact, selling on Amazon Business has not only helped the company to expand its customer base in the United States, it has allowed them to reach new international buyers. Now, Franklin Creative is able to sell to buyers in five markets in Europe served by localized versions of Amazon Business: The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Says Franklin, “With Amazon Business, we saw an opportunity to expand into international markets, and the account management team supported us with that transition. All the growth that we’ve had globally has been solely through Amazon.”

With industry-leading fulfillment options and access to more domestic and international customers, Franklin Creative has grown its revenue significantly. Today Amazon Business makes up 28% of the company’s total Amazon revenue. To sustain its B2B growth, Franklin Creative increased headcount from one employee to nine within the last year. And since joining Amazon Business, average month-over-month sales growth of the company’s line of Blue Summit Supplies branded goods has spiked 445%.

“The tremendous growth of Franklin Creative wouldn’t have been possible without Amazon and Amazon Business,” he says. “It was access to that enormous business customer base and a scalable fulfillment network that allowed our growth to happen.”

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