7 differences between B2C and B2B e-Commerce

B2B and B2C differ radically from each other – everyone who has had the opportunity to sell on both of these markets knows about it. The situation looks the same when it comes to eCommerce. What are the differences between online sales for the B2B and B2C segments? About this in the article below.

1. The shopping process

Both the client’s decision-making process and the purchasing process itself are much more complicated in the B2B industry. Everyone who worked in this sector knows that there is no reason to expect that a B2B customer will buy something impulsively. The purchasing process in the B2B sector usually requires the involvement of more people from different departments. Unlike B2C, there is no place for spontaneous decisions.

2. The value of the market

Do you need a strong argument for sales in the B2B model? Last year, the value of this market was as much as 257% higher than B2C. B2B customers are also usually buying more. No wonder, since they often buy in bulk. However, this does not necessarily mean that you will need to expect a less income when starting a B2C business. Prices in B2C are usually lower, which can convince a larger number of customers to buy and, as a result, give you in higher sales.

3. Customer lifecycle

Obtaining loyal B2C clients is a challenge. Consumers often place orders due to a specific product, but do not attach to the brand and do not return regularly to the store. This is a big problem in the B2C sector.

Speaking of a B2B customer, the case looks completely different. After finding a partner who satisfies his business needs, the company usually sticks to it until there is someone who offers even better conditions. In practice, therefore, the B2B customer cycle is much longer than B2C.

4. Needs and style of ordering

B2B clients order a lot, in bulk and for many departments. To meet the needs of this sector, it is worth providing customers with access to order history, the ability to create shopping lists, multi-accounts and negotiate prices in the shopping cart. In the case of B2C, the standard ordering process will often be enough.

5. Shipping process

Shipping, tracking, returns – all this requires a well-organized system. This is even more important in the case of the B2B market, where orders are often much larger than in B2C and standard logistics solutions are not enough.

6. More complex transitions

While B2C clients usually place orders according to the same template, in B2B this is much more complicated. Systems dedicated to B2B online stores must accept orders in various formats, eg document, form, e-mail. Integration with invoicing and accounting systems will also be useful.

7. Loyalty programs and pricing policies

Different price lists for individual customers are a standard in the B2B sector. Sometimes prices change dynamically depending on the value of the order. It is important that the e-Commerce system can cope with this task.

The extensive promotion system will also work in B2C but in a slightly different way. If you run an online store dedicated to retail customers, make sure you offer then discount coupons, promotions for a given occasion and discounts for loyal clients.

To sum up

Both sectors – B2B and B2C, are demanding, but differ in many areas. For this reason, it’s hard to talk about solutions that will work in every case. When deciding to implement the e-Commerce platform, always put the needs of your clients first. If you properly identify them and meet them, you will gain a group of satisfied consumers, regardless of the sector in which you operate.