Whether it’s for business or personal use, consumers are buying online now more than ever before. Today though, we will specifically discuss key differentiators between Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) e-commerce.
B2B e-commerce operates by selling products and services to other businesses, manufacturers and wholesalers on the internet. An example is the Caterpillar® brand. Caterpillar® serves the needs of the construction industry with their equipment by selling to other businesses and manufacturing companies.
Alternatively, B2C companies sell their products and services directly to consumers. Take a fast food company, such as Burger King, for example. Someone drives to their nearby Burger King and orders a cheeseburger and fries. The fast food chain is selling directly to consumers.
Continue reading along as we discuss 5 major differences between B2B and B2C e-commerce.
Buying on a B2B platform is designed for business needs, and it is self-driven. B2B buyers often have various responsibilities and want less hassle and more of a faster and intuitive buying experience. Frankly, B2B customers are on a website to buy, not browse. They are buying for business based on logic and efficiency, not on emotion. That said, implementing a B2B e-commerce site that is streamlined and affective is crucial for these time-constraint buyers.
On the opposite side of the coin are B2C buyers. B2C buyers tend to make more emotional and impulse purchases. B2C e-commerce platforms are designed to generate purchases based off of wants and emotions. Someone sees a pair of shoes on sale on their favorite runners website, or an advertisement pops up for convenient meal delivery kits. In these two instances the buyer is making a purchase based on the desire to save money (shoes) and the convenience factor (meal delivery kit). These two examples would both be considered as more “emotional purchases.”
B2B companies work hard to develop long-lasting business relationships with clients. It’s not unusual for a B2B supplier to have repeat, loyal buyers due to investing time in relationship building. B2B businesses need e-commerce platforms that can be customized to fit their customers’ unique needs, varying by industry, product type, company size and business operation.
B2C websites typically offer a more mass communicated approach, where the customer experience is one to many. Often times B2C sites do not take a personalized approach.
B2B buying is generally less price sensitive than B2C consumers. Most corporations have budgets set aside for business purchases. B2B e-commerce websites allow for sellers to offer specific discounts based on quantities ordered, loyalty, referrals and many other factors.
B2C buyers can be very price sensitive. Plus, unlike B2B, B2C pricing is usually fixed. Previous purchases among B2C consumers do not influence the price of their next purchase. Of course, there might be discount codes or special offers, but those are typically applied to all buyers equally.
B2B buyers are often buying in bulk, with quantities reaching several thousand or more. A restaurant owner could place an order through a B2B company for 3,000 take-out containers. B2C consumers buy much fewer of one item. For example, a consumer will walk into Best Buy and purchase one television.
Due to the high volume associated with B2B orders, it is crucial for B2B e-commerce sites to be built in a way that it can handle those large orders. Custom SKU’s and viewing and managing inventory are just two aspect in which a business can benefit from a B2B e-commerce site.
The B2C world spends millions of dollars to optimize conversions, and that typically becomes a top focus for product/service owners. Marketing plays a vital role and extensive marketing dollars are spent on advertising, shopping analytics, upselling and more. All of these tactics are conducted to motive the individual buyer.
However, that’s not the case in the B2B world because it’s just not necessary. B2B buyers don’t need that extra “fluff”. B2B buyers log into their corporate account to buy the items they need and quickly move on to the checkout process.
Interested in learning more about B2B e-commerce? Expand your knowledge of B2B e-commerce and read about six good examples of custom B2B e-commerce features in action or learn three tips to make your e-commerce business successful in 2020.
WebRevelation has extensive experience working with B2B e-commerce. By choosing to work with WebRevelation your B2B e-commerce website will deliver the efficiency buyers desire. Contact us here or call 817-283-3324 to schedule a complimentary consultation.