B2B Vs B2C E-Commerce Businesses

E-commerce is often viewed as a single big market as all it deals with is the online sale of products and services. Even though that is true, there are significant differences between different types of ecommerce businesses.

B2B and B2C are two important types of ecommerce businesses. B2B business deals with business to business sales, whereas B2C businesses deal with business to customer interactions.  In this session, we compare B2B businesses and B2C businesses.

Property B2B ecommerce B2C ecommerce
Buying decisions Involves thorough planning Based on impulses
Revenue High Low
Pricing Negotiable Fixed
Decision making Involves a group Involves an individual
Focus of marketing Feature based marketing Benefit based marketing

Overall Buying Experience

The personnel involved in B2B ecommerce are businesses, where one company gets products or services from the other. A whole lot of planning is involved in making a buying decision and the buying schedules are decided according to the departmental needs.

The customer experience is much different in B2C stores because customers buy a product because it fulfills an emotional need as purchases are driven by motivation and desire. Your B2C website has to be designed in a way that the points of friction like difficulties in adding products to cart are avoided.

The purchasing methodology of B2B customers is entirely different from that of B2C customers because the decisions are entirely based on facts, product value and logic. Buying decisions are not influenced by impulses.

Decision Making

As B2B ecommerce sales involve business entities at both ends, the orders are placed by a team and not just by an individual. The sales require the approval of multiple people which is less common in the case of B2C sales. To take the best sale choice, make sure that the team which is involved in decision-making is given relevant materials essential to make an educated decision.

In B2C sales, you do have to worry much about the purchasing approval, as the purchase is a one-on-one decision. The ease of selection of products and payment simplifies B2C ecommerce operations. The fact that a single individual is involved in B2C ecommerce explains why ecommerce websites focus more on persuasion techniques.

 Buyer Lifecycle

Once businesses find out a supplier that fulfills all of their business needs, they mostly prefer depending the supplier for a long time. As long as there isn’t a need to switch the supplier due to changes in the business environment, businesses continue buying from the same supplier.

Although finding customers is not an easy process like in the case of B2C ecommerce, businesses can expect higher revenues. Average B2B order amounts to about $400 whereas B2C order average is less than this. As B2B buyers often expect lifetime partnerships, the lifetime value of B2B buyers will be higher than that of B2C buyers.

Repeat orders are usually made in B2B ecommerce and the website should be designed by keeping this in mind. Customers should be able to login and place orders repeatedly. Although the chance of getting bulk orders is less in B2C ecommerce, keeping a user account that contains information about past orders is still important.

Focus of Marketing

The primary focus in B2B ecommerce is on the need that a product meets. The product features will be given more importance than the benefits that the businesses will possibly receive.B2B buyers consider various factors like expected ROI, time and money that will be saved by the product and the product’s role as a financial investment for the business.

 B2C businesses, on the other hand, focuses more on benefits as emotions can influence the purchase more. Keep your product message clear and simple as you will be focusing on the end result of the product. A time-tested approach that sets benefits as the key focus is what the B2C ecommerce stores use.

Pricing

Pricing system of B2B ecommerce sites and B2C sites is different from each other. The prices in B2B markets are usually kept hidden until the potential customer creates a user account. The prices are usually based on agreement and are negotiable, with the customers receiving different prices based on buying history, future purchase agreements etc.

B2C ecommerce sites always display the prices clearly, indicating that you pay the exact amount displayed in the website. Stores may offer discounts and coupons during festive seasons to attract more customers and persuade them to shop from the store. Unlike in the case of B2B ecommerce there is no provision for negotiating for the price of the products on sale.

Pricing is a bit complex in B2B sales as it differs according to the relationship with the buyer.

Final Thoughts

Multiple factors like the ones discussed in this session differentiate B2B and B2C ecommerce. Whatever be the type of your ecommerce site, make sure you deploy the best ecommerce SEO strategies to assist the growth of your ecommerce store.

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