Businesses and companies employ various marketing and promotional strategies, and their ultimate objective is to increase their sales and profitability. It doesn’t matter whether they’re operating their business in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer category. Today, we’ll discuss what is B2B vs B2C; its 10 key differences.
What is B2B vs B2C?
Business-to-consumer (B2C) is when companies sell their products and services directly to the end-user by using technology and e-commerce platforms. Amazon and Zappos are some of the main examples of leading business-to-consumer platforms.
However, business-to-business (B2B) is when companies sell their goods and services to other companies. The client companies would either use the product in their production process, or they would resell the product to the end consumer. Thomasnet and Alibaba are the leading examples of business-to-business platforms.
B2B vs B2C – 10 Key Differences
When business-to-business and business-to-consumer employ the e-commerce platform to connect with their target customers; they may seem similar to each other. But they’re different in many ways, some of the top 10 differences between B2B vs B2C are as follows;
Intentions of Customers
The intentions and plans of customers are different in both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. Customers make small purchases, and while buying something inexpensive, they don’t spend a lot of thinking about it. However, they put some thought into it by purchasing something expensive. The intention of business-to-business clients is to establish a long-term relationship with the supplier.
Decision Making Process
The decision-making process of business-to-business is very lengthy and the management takes consultation from various departments. In business-to-consumer, the basic need is the main driving force behind their decision, and the end customer makes impulsive decisions. However, ordinary customers check out the reviews and recommendations of other customers and then buy the product.
Size & Volume of Transaction
The worth of the business-to-business marketplace is roundabout 1.5 to 1.7 times more valuable than the business-to-consumer market. The difference in market size is due to the (AOV) average order value. However, the AOV of the business-to-business market is seven times higher than that of business-to-consumer companies. The worth of a single transaction of business-to-business clients comprises millions of dollars; the cost of a business-to-consumer transaction is higher in the category of luxury boats and cars.
Usually, the customer lifecycle comprises spreading awareness, creating interest, making customers buy your product, and making sure that the retention rate is higher. One of the key differences between business-to-business and business-to-consumer purchases is lead nurturing and the amount of support involved in the process. However, the business-to-business purchases comprise higher AOV, and their online store would invest a lot of resources in customer support and direct sale.
Businesses and companies should bring their marketing strategies in proper alignment relevant to their needs and demands while making the decision. The online stores of business-to-business and business-to-consumer follow different types of strategies at different stages of the market funnel. However, some of the main stages in the marketing funnel are as follows;
- Awareness – searching for the relevant information
- Interests – learning about the product
- Consideration – reading reviews of other customers
- Intention – checking out the product
- Eval – reviewing the shopping process
- Buy – completing the sale transaction
Assurance to Customer
The order size of business-to-business clients is very large and it is one of the key differences between B2B and B2C. When the order size is bigger, then they require bigger social proof to make the purchase. For instance, platforms like Amazon and Alibaba have got very comprehensive profiles and the list of products they offer, and their customer reviews list is very long. The business clients would contact the suppliers to verify the sources of the company’s product.
The focus of business-to-consumer online stores is more on branding rather than business-to-business e-commerce platforms. For instance, the light brown and navy blue color of Dollar Shave Club has its own unique corporate identity. You would also notice the color scheme of business-to-business companies in their e-commerce platforms. But B2B companies are more conservative than B2C companies in terms of style and design.
Shipping & Order Fulfillment
The shipping and order fulfillment of business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies have got many similar characteristics and traits like low cost and safe delivery. For instance, Amazon delivers most of its products the next day after your order. Directly or indirectly, every online store has to compete with Amazon and reach its standards.
The conversion time in the business-to-consumer market is short because they make quick decisions after watching the advertisement and reading the reviews. Whereas, business-to-business clients conduct thorough market research and product analysis, and their conversion rate is a bit slow and goes through the formal process. Sometimes, the entire team and various departments analyze the product, and then they decide about making the deal.
The underlying motivation for buying the product for business-to-business and business-to-consumer customers is different. Business clients and end-consumer both see the benefits of the products like comfort level and time-saving. However, the focus of the end consumer is to buy such products that would improve their lives. The goal of business clients is to purchase such products that would improve the bottom line of their business.
Conclusion: What is B2B vs B2C? 10 Key Differences
After an in-depth study of what is B2B vs B2C; its top 10 differences; we have realized that business-to-business and business-to-consumer online platforms have got significant differences. If you’re analyzing the differences between B2B and B2C markets, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned points.
Ahsan Ali Shaw is an accomplished Business Writer, Analyst, and Public Speaker. Other than that, he’s a fun loving person.