Find out what the differences between B2B and B2C eCommerce are and how to optimize your online presence. In our expert guide, we examine the key differences between B2B and B2C eCommerce websites, including target audiences, product offerings, pricing, and more. This guide offers actionable advice and insights for B2B or B2C success, regardless of whether you are just starting out or wanting to take your existing business to the next level.
Your website is your most valuable marketing tool if you run (or think about starting) an eCommerce business. Check your website for conversion factors before investing in any other form of advertising.
If you are running a Business-to-Business (B2B) eCommerce website, then your approach to optimizing conversions will vary considerably. What type of eCommerce website are you running? Does your website cater to business consumers or to business-to-business (B2C) customers?
The following 9 differences are rooted in the business models of B2B and B2C eCommerce websites. You can almost certainly increase your sales if you develop an eCommerce website that is tailored to your business model and provide the right ecommerce solutions.
B2C versus B2B eCommerce: what are the differences?
It involves companies (usually manufacturers or wholesalers) selling their products to other businesses (usually retailers). Retailers sell them to consumers in a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) model.
- B2C and B2B: the real differences
- Customer-to-consumer = B2C
- An organization’s employees are the clients of B2B sales.
- Continuing to sell to the public.
- Gerhardt, Dave (@davegerhardt)
Even though they are the source of the goods, a small manufacturer might sell directly to consumers, adopting a B2C model even though they are the source of the goods. Suppose a craftsperson makes beeswax candles and sells them to consumers from their home. Similarly, a large retailer might sell their goods in bulk to businesses, such as selling office chairs by the hundreds to large corporations.
B2B is the model here. In addition to having a B2C and B2B model, some businesses also have a B2B2B or B2B2C model, where the supply chain is managed through several vendors.
You don’t need to be confused anymore. Here are some examples of real-world business models. It’s important to realize that your business model should influence how your website looks and functions, along with your marketing copywriting.
Symantec, an example of B2B eCommerce
As part of Apple’s internal infrastructure security and business data protection, Symantec sells anti-virus software.
For example, Walmart is a B2C eCommerce retailer
As well as holding retail stores, Walmart sells products online to consumers (through its website
eCommerce examples for B2B and B2C: IBM
In the B2C market, IBM sells personal computers directly to consumers, so you are probably familiar with it. In addition, IBM has many teams dedicated to corporate sales, negotiating bulk computer equipment purchases. That is how IBM got its start (hence the name International Business Machine). A PC was an afterthought at IBM.
Apple, a B2B2B company
Interestingly, Apple sells iPhones to AT&T (the B2B component) who then resells those phones along with an AT&T corporate service contract to businesses that distribute iPhones to employees.
Alibaba is an example of a B2B2C company
The online wholesaler Alibaba sells products to online retailers (B2B), who then sell those products to consumers. The majority of eCommerce retailers do not have their own branding and rely on drop-shipping (a non-accurate B2B2C model), but some do. Stainless steel water bottles, for example, are white labeled so that eCommerce companies can add their own branding (packaging, labels, etc.). This is a B2B2C model.
What is the significance of any of this?
In our next post, we’ll talk about how different labels affect how you market your products.
Apple might market its products differently to AT&T, but there’s a cross-over in each model. At AT&T, sales reps are concerned with their clients’ business case for purchasing iPhones and AT&T contracts in bulk, not how the end-user (Steve, the Account Manager) feels about his company-assigned iPhone’s latest features.
As a result, Apple must consider how Apple products can help AT&T close high-value business sales if they want to sell to AT&T.
A different approach will ultimately be taken by Apple when it comes to marketing to businesses, consumers, and companies alike.
The 2XU experience in B2C eCommerce
Its success in the domestic market led 2XU to expand to the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.
The eCommerce solution Revinfotech developed for 2XU helped them expand internationally.
B2B and B2C e-commerce at the moment
In the wake of Covid-19, brick-and-mortar stores entered the online marketplace in droves, transforming Digital Commerce.
B2C and B2B eCommerce are both expected to grow. MarketWatch predicts that the B2B eCommerce market will grow by 8.5% annually from USD 7.6 billion to $13.6 billion by 2027. A ten-year growth rate of 9.5% is projected for the B2C eCommerce market, which is currently valued at $9.6 trillion.
A study by McKinsey found that 70 percent of B2B decision-makers were open to making new, fully self-serve, or remote purchases over $50,000, and 27 percent were open to spending more than $500,000.
Business models based on B2C and B2B
Which model is better?
Models for business-to-business transactions:
- Reduce the number of customers you serve
- Selling low-volume, high-value products
- Price points should be negotiable
- Due to the high stakes, longer sales cycles are a good idea
- Relationships between buyers and sellers should be long-term
Here’s how GWA Group is implementing B2B eCommerce
For over 30 years, GWA has owned and managed popular brands such as Caroma, Methven, Dorf, and Clark. These products are also resold by retailers to end-users.
We helped GWA Group streamline their B2B eCommerce efforts by modernizing their technology stack.
Models for B2C businesses:
- Increase the number of customers you serve
- Achieve high volumes of sales at low prices
- Coupons are often available, but prices are almost never negotiable
- Coupons are often available, but prices are almost never negotiable
- Especially for cheaper goods, sales cycles are rapid
A B2B customer purchases to improve his or her business, whereas a B2C customer purchases to improve his or her life, needs, or wants.
Differentiating B2C websites from B2B websites
It is often difficult to distinguish B2C from B2B eCommerce websites, but there are differences nonetheless.
It is important for a business website to explain the business model to the buyer. Here are 9 differences between business and consumer websites.
1. Content that supports a product
Content that supports the purchase decision is considered product-supporting content.
a. Content to support B2B products
Despite the fact that B2B sales often involve a lot of handholding, buyers are increasingly able to learn about products on their own. To ensure that the professional buyer can learn as much as possible, it’s critical to add all of the necessary resources and information upfront.
- Guides to comprehensive shopping
- Video demonstrations of our products
- (like this one) Deep-dive articles and blog posts
- When the buyer needs a sales representative, he or she can easily reach them
- Detailed case studies highlighting success stories of our customers (see how our case studies can help buyers make informed decisions)
b. Content that supports B2C products
The decision of B2C customers is less complicated than that of B2B customers. When shopping online, they have fewer complicated factors to consider. As an example, when a shopper is looking for a “Party Dress,” they will consider its reviews, color, price, and whether it complements their style.
Websites that cater to consumers include:
- Images with a high level of clarity and resolution
- Getting a discount
- Ratings and reviews
- Video testimonials and testimonials from customers serve as social proof
- Highlights of the product
E-Commerce from B2B to C: Euro Cart Parts
In mainland Europe and the United Kingdom, Euro Car Parts provides more than 15,000 vehicle parts to mechanics and end-users.
Euro Car Parts was able to thrive with the eCommerce experience Revinfotech designed and built for them.
2. Websites that are customized
As a result of their Google search, buyers often bypass your home page and end up on a particular product page, especially in eCommerce companies. In order to determine if your brand is trustworthy, they will often check out your homepage. Your brand must align with their expectations when they do that.
a. Homepage for business-to-business:
It is usually best to keep a B2B homepage minimalistic and clutter-free.
Websites that cater to businesses include:
- Design with simplicity and clarity
- B2B buyers dig deep into content that is highly informative
- A visual representation of the hero section’s main product or products
- A quick way for buyers to order products using a specific SKU or “product name”
b. Homepage for B2C businesses:
There is usually more flash on B2C homepages. Discounts, special offers, and sales draw the buyer in, encouraging them to make a purchase.
Websites that cater to consumers include:
- Carousels of special offers, sales, and discounts
- Headlines with hooks and creativity
- Homepage with a lot of flash and color
3. This is the CTA (Call-to-Action)
When a buyer clicks a Call-to-Action button, they are directed to take the next step, which is usually purchasing now or booking a demo.
A/B testing different CTAs on a B2C website will show which has the highest conversion rate. It is best to test different CTAs on a B2B eCommerce website to see which gets the greatest conversion rate.
a. The example below shows a CTA for a B2B company
b. Examples of B2C call-to-actions:
4. Support provided to customers
The importance of customer support cannot be overstated in a B2C or B2B business setting.
a. Support level for B2B customers
Support is still needed when selling to B2B prospects and large orders, even though B2B sellers rely mainly on self-service models.
There are several types of B2B websites:
- The checkout process is supported by active customer service
- Answers to business-oriented FAQs via live chat and video chat
- Support for reorders and concerns after the sale
b. Support level for B2C customers
The B2C customer makes quicker decisions since less money is at stake (and no one’s job is on the line). B2B businesses and B2C businesses both depend on customer service. However, inquiries for the latter are often limited, and companies usually try to resolve them in minutes rather than hours, days, or weeks.
The following are examples of B2C websites:
- Answers to common questions are provided by our 24/7 customer service team
- Return/complaint/exchange post-sales system
- Customer service costs can be reduced by using self-serve bots as a first line of defense
5. Process of checking out
B2B and B2C often have very different checkout processes at the end of the customer journey.
a. Process for checking out B2B
The checkout process on B2B websites should combine automated, preprogrammed steps with live human support available at any time. This is essential since there is often a lot at stake with B2B sales.
Websites that sell products and services to businesses include:
- Checkout process involves phone calls, video chats, and product demos
- You can pay with a credit card, an ACH payment, or a check
- Reordering repeat orders with one click
b. Buying from a business to consumer
B2C businesses require minimal steps to complete a purchase. Customers add a product to their cart, apply discount coupons, validate their delivery address, pay, and receive an acknowledgement.
A typical B2C eCommerce website contains the following features:
- A wishlist can be expanded by adding more products
- Avoid abandoned shopping carts with nudges along the way
- Availability of different payment options (e.g., debit cards, e-wallets, COD)
- Adding coupon codes and referral codes is possible
6. Modelling of the price
There are often no differences in pricing between B2C and B2B businesses, from coupons to special offers, which is why there are different best practices regarding website copy and design.
a. Pricing for B2B transactions
Since B2B prices are often negotiable, many websites don’t display them up front on the page. They are accessible once buyers sign in to their accounts.
- Loyal customers receive customized pricing
- Contact us for a quote by clicking “Request a Quote”
- Calculate pricing changes based on order size with our automated pricing calculator
b. Pricing for B2C products
Discounts, sales, and special offers are the most common forms of pricing customization in the B2C model.
- In addition to discounts, there should be transparency and consistency in pricing
- On checkout pages, you can enter coupons
7. Volume minimums/maximums
It is important to know the minimum and maximum quantities of an item when you place an order. When you place an order with a business, you can buy in bulk, whereas when you purchase with a consumer, you can only order a limited quantity (usually defined by the seller).
a. Quantity minimum for B2B orders
When it comes to B2B eCommerce businesses, the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) parameter determines whether the purchase should be made.
Each product in the search results category includes the MOQ parameter.
- Specify the minimum quantity per product in the “minimum order quantity” parameter
- Specify the “minimum order amount” that must be met in order to complete a purchase
- For products sold in packages, set a “quantity in multiples” requirement
b. Quantity limit for B2C orders
It is vital to define a maximum order quantity threshold in a B2C transaction. An alert message is sent as soon as the order quantity exceeds the threshold.
On Amazon, the maximum quantity is defined by a consistent drop-down menu.
Websites that cater to consumers:
- The maximum quantity per product should be set as a parameter
- The order quantity exceeding the set quantity should generate an alert message
8. Options for making payments
The payment methods used by B2B businesses are typically specialized, whereas those used by B2C businesses are more common (credit cards, PayPal, etc)
a. Paying for goods and services in B2B:
- B2B eCommerce businesses often offer the option of paying later using a credit line. A credit amount is determined by the credit rating of the business and the business’s payment history.
- B2B eCommerce businesses can deposit physical checks into their bank accounts through paper checks, a simple, traditional method.
- Occasionally, B2B companies receive credit card payments from their customers.
- Automated clearing house payments (ACH) allow funds to be transferred directly from one account to another.
b. Methods of payment for B2C transactions:
- Online retailers commonly accept credit cards as a form of payment.
- Personal bank accounts are used to make instant payments with debit cards.
- Apps that allow users to transfer money between accounts via mobile wallets are an advanced form of payment.
- Paying cash upon receiving your order is called Cash on Delivery (COD).
- An alternative to Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) is to spread the payment over multiple installments over a predetermined timeframe.
9. Audiences targeted
Websites targeting B2B customers are typically targeted at other businesses and organizations. Websites targeting B2C customers are typically targeted at individuals.
a. Audience for B2B products:
- As their customers, B2B eCommerce sites serve businesses and organizations who require products and services in order to run their operations.
- It is common for B2B eCommerce websites to require an account registration or login in order to access pricing and place orders. These websites usually have a smaller customer base but a higher average order value and a higher likelihood of repeat purchases.
- There are many specialized features needed for B2B eCommerce websites, including credit terms, volume discounts, and integrations with other business systems, which are often more complex. In addition to handling sensitive business information, such as contracts and pricing, they may also have strict security and compliance requirements.
- Customer acquisition and account management are often required in B2B eCommerce.
b. Audience for B2C products:
- A B2C eCommerce website targets individual consumers, allowing consumers to browse and buy anonymously.
- They are generally simpler and focus on ease of use and an appealing design, but their customers tend to have lower order values. B2C websites have a larger customer base but lower order values.
- The buying process for B2C eCommerce involves a single decision maker and a shorter sales cycle than for B2B eCommerce. Marketing and advertising enable B2C to reach and attract customers.
10. Options for shipping
Business-to-business and business-to-consumer shipping options differ.
a. Options for business-to-business shipping:
It is not possible to deliver one-day orders for B2B because of the higher order size.
- Freight carriers that handle less than truckloads
- Pickup from the warehouse
- Delivery as standard
b. The following methods are used for B2C shipping:
Due to its size, the order qualifies for shipping methods that are common and standard.
- Delivery on the same day
- Purchases can be picked up in-store
- Delivery on the same day
- Deliveries are free
a. Offerings for B2B:
- The products and services on B2B eCommerce websites are typically geared towards other businesses. They include raw materials, manufacturing equipment, office supplies, and consulting services.
- Customized or bulk products and services may also be available on B2B eCommerce websites.
b. Offerings for B2C:
- A B2C eCommerce website is generally designed to cater to individual consumers, offering goods and services including clothing, electronics, household goods, and travel and entertainment.
- Consumer-facing eCommerce websites focus on convenience and personalization, offering a wider selection of products and services.
12. Advertisement and marketing
Methods for doing business with businesses:
- Digital advertising, email marketing, and social media campaigns are all frequently used by B2B eCommerce websites to reach other businesses and organizations.
- In addition to creating informative blog posts and whitepapers, B2B eCommerce websites may also participate in tradeshows and industry events.
- Networking and personal interactions are key to building relationships on B2B eCommerce websites.
Methods for doing business with consumers:
- Social media marketing, Google advertising, influencer marketing, and email marketing are a few of the marketing and advertising strategies used by B2C eCommerce websites.
- Customers who show interest in B2C eCommerce products or services can be reached using retargeting and remarketing techniques.
- A B2C website often provides a seamless shopping experience throughout the purchase journey, including an appealing design and easy-to-use navigation.
Adapting B2C marketing strategies for B2B
As a result, B2B marketing strategies (business-to-business) are now drawing inspiration from B2C marketing strategies (business-to-consumer marketing) to enhance their marketing efforts. Omnichannel marketing, selling with a mobile-first strategy, personalization, storytelling, and emotional appeals are common B2C marketing tactics.
Social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing are just a few of the digital marketing techniques B2B marketers can use. By creating a marketing strategy that resonates with business decision-makers, companies will be able to develop an effective and engaging marketing campaign.
13. Developing and maintaining a website
a. Methods for doing business with businesses:
- As compared to B2C eCommerce websites that prioritize users’ experience, B2B eCommerce websites are often designed more professionally and straightforward.
- In addition to requiring specialized features such as account management, order tracking, and inventory management, B2B eCommerce websites often have more complex navigation. In order to help other businesses make decisions, they provide detailed product information, specifications, and case studies.
- There are often several pricing options and bulk ordering options on B2B eCommerce websites.
b. Methods for doing business with consumers:
- An immersive and engaging customer experience is often the focus of B2C eCommerce websites.
- Products and services are often displayed on B2C eCommerce websites through images, videos, and interactive elements.
- A customer’s decision-making process is facilitated through the use of wishlists, reviews, and ratings on B2C eCommerce websites.
Sites for business-to-business and business-to-consumer transactions:
An example of how B2B and B2C eCommerce websites differ can be found in the following table.
|1. Target Audience
|2. Decision-makers (and Decision-influencers)
|Researchers, managers, sales reps, brokers
|3. Purchase Quantity
|Dynamic and negotiable (price drops as order size increases)
|5. Customer Service Assistance
|Throughout the stages of the customer journey
|After-sales or pre-sales assistance. Usually one-time
|6. Product Supporting Content
|Case studies, product videos, explainer videos, buying guides
|High-resolution images, Product videos, features, discounts
|7. Call to Action (CTA)
|Simple, straight-forward, and Business-centric (how the product will benefit the business on the whole)
|Engaging and user-centric (how the product will benefit the individual)
Frequently Asked Questions
Our testing processes place a high priority on data security. To ensure the security of sensitive information, we adhere to a number of protocols, including the anonymization, encryption, and control of access to data. During testing, we use secure environments and data that mimic real-world scenarios without exposing sensitive information. We adhere to best practices for data protection and comply with industry standards and regulations including GDPR and HIPAA. As part of our security testing process, we employ a variety of tools and methodologies to identify and rectify security vulnerabilities.
To ensure the quality and reliability of your software solutions, we employ a comprehensive range of testing methodologies and cutting-edge tools. Our testing approach includes:
- Manual Testing: We use structured test cases to identify usability, functionality, and design issues.
- Automated Testing: Automated testing streamlines processes, improves efficiency, and ensures consistency.
- Unit Testing: JUnit, NUnit, and PyUnit are unit testing frameworks we use to validate the functionality of code units.
- Integration Testing: We verify the seamless interaction of various system components using tools such as Selenium, Appium, and Postman.
- Performance Testing: To assess system responsiveness and scalability, we employ tools like JMeter, LoadRunner, and Gatling.
- Security Testing: Our security testing includes vulnerability assessments and penetration testing using tools like OWASP ZAP and Nessus.
- User Acceptance Testing (UAT): We collaborate closely with your team to ensure that the software aligns with your end-users’ expectations.
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Saloni, a skilled software tester with a passion for ensuring top-notch quality in every project. With a keen eye for detail, Saloni excels in crafting and executing comprehensive test plans. Her commitment to delivering bug-free software is evident ... read more