The business-to-business and business-to-customer e-commerce platforms are the simple things; where businesses and companies launch their web platforms and wait for their customers and clients to join in. The e-commerce platform offers you the advantage of omnichannel customer experience, personalized communication, and 24/7 user engagement. Today, we’ll discuss what is B2B and B2C e-commerce; its various benefits, differences, and complications.
What is B2B and B2C E-Commerce?
The B2B and B2C are the two types of e-commerce platforms that differ from each other in terms of how they sell goods and services and how they approach customers. Let’s discuss them one by one separately;
- Business-to-business is when the transaction happens between two types of businesses and companies. Business-to-business e-commerce outlines the sale of goods and services over the internet and online store.
- Business-to-consumer is when the transaction occurs between the company and the end consumer. Usually, it describes the business transaction between the retailer and the consumer.
The business-to-business and business-to-consumer e-commerce models have got differences in terms of transactions involved in the purchasing process, meeting the requirements of customers, and the functionality of the web store. However, the differentiating line between the two is becoming easily blurry.
The business-to-consumer companies have established very attractive and pleasing web stores that we’re familiar with it. Traditionally speaking, the business-to-business is a functional tool that has always helped them in fulfilling a specific purpose. The e-commerce platform and online stores are becoming a part of everyday life with the changing demographic of business-to-business buyers. In the business-to-business purchasing process, many business-to-business clients expect the same level of ease and speed.
According to an estimate by Forbes, approximately 88% of business-to-business clients would go to the competitor’s e-commerce platform if their current digital store is not keeping up with their needs. That’s why successful business-to-business online stores provide their user an experience of business-to-consumer experience.
Benefits of B2B E-Commerce
Some of the main benefits and advantages of B2B e-commerce platforms are as follows;
The business-to-business online store makes the order fulfillment process efficient. The online system synchronizes and automates the whole process and updates the inventory after the order placement. However, the speedy system delivers the product quickly to the customers and it makes the customers feel satisfied.
The business-to-business integrates with the ERP (enterprise resource planning) system and it removes the paper-based system and makes the administrative tasks efficient. (What is B2B and B2C E-Commerce?)
Connectivity and data are the main elements of business operations, and the online store offers easy analysis to companies. Customer acquisition and measuring data are the key areas of customer engagement metrics. When you combine analytics with your business system, it offers you actionable insight to improve your understanding of customers.
When you transfer order processing and make it online, it saves a lot of time and cost. Instead of spending their time taking orders, the customer service team would spend the same time adding value. The automation process and self-servicing functionality of a business-to-business web platform would lower the cost to a great extent.
Approaching New Customers
The business-to-business online market is very large and it is much bigger than the business-to-consumer industry. According to an estimate, the B2B revenue would reach roundabout 1.8 trillion dollars by the end of 2023. The business-to-business online platform would follow the promising strategy and amplifies your target market to new geographies.
The business-to-business online store is efficient and speedy. Statistical studies have shown that customers would shop online if it is time efficient. Some of its features like price mapping and promotion functionality would amplify the sale, and it makes sure that the right customers would see the right products at the right time.
Benefits of B2C E-Commerce
Some of the main benefits and advantages of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms are as follows;
Better Customer Experience
The usability of the online store is convenient and easy, and customers usually have a great experience using the online platform. They can communicate with customer service all the time and check out the company’s collection at any time without worrying about the traditional timing.
The business-to-consumer online platform offers great customer insight to the companies, and they can use this data to improve the data of their store. When you’re aware of customer behavior, then you improve the performance of underperforming pages.
The business-to-consumer online stores don’t just sell things online. They look for market opportunities to amplify their online sale by using upselling and cross-selling strategies. However, they send notifications to the potential buyers about the purchases that would work for them best.
The geographic market and store expansion of physical stores are very difficult and not possible in some cases. But the online store allows you to increase your market and product portfolio to a great extent. (What is B2B and B2C E-Commerce?)
The cost of building a brick-and-mortar store is very high, and it also comprises a lot of running costs like rent, operation costs, and other variable costs. Whereas the online store removes all of those running costs and expenses, and you have to worry about running the online store and that’s it.
Differences between B2B and B2C E-Commerce
Some of the key differences between B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms are as follows;
Business-to-consumer is a great online platform for conducting transactions and they’re efficient for placing orders. The business-to-business online platforms are much more than conducting transactions and self-servicing.
Business-to-business transaction doesn’t happen frequently, but it sells things of great value. The cross-selling and upselling of the business-to-consumer transaction are the key to its success. However, the business-to-business online platform allows companies to complete their sales process by offering visibility of complementary products. (What is B2B and B2C E-Commerce?)
Pricing is the key element of the business-to-business e-commerce market, and there’s a wide range of prices offered by companies in various industries. They have to be flexible to meet the pricing demands of different markets.
Often, the product offers of business-to-business e-commerce platforms require authorization protocol, and it makes order processing easier.
Business-to-consumer transactions are very simple and easy and they happen right after placing the orders. However, business-to-business transactions are complex and they go through a process of the chain of command and formal documentation.
Type of Customers
The target customers of business-to-business online platforms are the other businesses; the customers of business-to-consumer online stores are the direct end users.
Complications of B2B E-Commerce
The business-to-business (B2B) online transaction is complex because of the following reasons;
- Requires consultation from various departments before purchasing the products
- Business clients check out the reviews and recommend and focus on building a long-term relationship rather than making an impulsive choice based on the likeness
- The business-to-business purchases are of high value and they can’t afford the errors
- The lifecycle of business-to-business purchases is long and repetitive
- Purchasing decision of business-to-business purchases is on behalf of the entire company
Conclusion: What is B2B and B2C E-Commerce? Benefits, Differences, Complications
After an in-depth study of what is B2B and B2C e-commerce; their benefits and advantages, differences, and complications; we have realized that they’re different in many ways. If you’re learning about business-to-business and business-to-consumer online stores, then you should keep in mind the above-mentioned key points.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.