Times put Amazon in frame to build Crown Marketplace

By Chris Dawson December 12, 2017 - 11:47 am

The government are in the process of building (or intending to build) a marketplace enabling government departments and local councils to purchase goods and services. It will be known as the Crown Marketplace.

This weekend there was an interesting titbit in The Times Business Supplement suggesting that Amazon could be the front runner to build and run the marketplace for the government. The Times’ justification for their supposition is that “Amazon attended a supplier day held by the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) — an executive agency of the Cabinet Office — in the summer, according to a list of delegates seen by The Sunday Times. Apple, Microsoft, eBay and Salesforce were among others present at the event — an introduction for potential commercial partners to the marketplace“.

The Times seem to be making a massive assumption that the attendees at the meeting were in the market of bidding to run a marketplace and that Amazon are likely to win the contract – Why not Apple, Microsoft, eBay or Salesforce who they also cite?

I have no doubt that should Amazon wish to turn their hand at running the Crown Marketplace they’d be more than capable of stringing a few lines of code together but the question is why would they? Would it add to their core competencies or would they do what they’ve done with a ton of failed projects which is write them off and consider it a lesson learnt and move on?

What appears more likely is that the Crown Commercial Service invited a load of tech companies including eBay and Amazon in to pick their brains. Amazon are likely to be much more interested in having their brains picked in exchange for insider knowledge enabling them to assess if Amazon for Business could be plugged into Government procurement. Why would they be interested in running the Crown Marketplace if they could get the second prize (with much less effort) of Amazon for Business hooked up to the new government procurement process?

There is an outside chance that Amazon might bid for the contract to build the Crown Marketplace and possibly even win it, however it would seem much more likely they just want to get the Government and Local Councils buying on Amazon.

  • james
    3 months ago

    why would they need to “build” a marketplace?
    take the amazon marketplace source code, which they already have, strip out all the irrelevent fluff (prime tv, amazon fresh, kindle), job done.
    – or even simpler still, add a sub-domain for government services to the usual that they have already.

    for that matter why would the government need amazon & co to tender for it? this is nothing that couldn’t be achieved with a basic shopify account.
    that would however be an efficient and cost-effective use of taxpayers money, so no doubt a 3-billion quid taxpayer funded contract to some giant US company will be the government’s answer, as always.

  • 3 months ago

    Chris, I think the latter.
    Amazon are really pushing Amazon for business and why not? Sales to Commercial or Trade buyers are far more profitable and a huge sector but do they really need a new platform? Or do they need some new features which benefit the overall business buyer base?

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