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Top Key Differences Between B2B and B2C eCommerce Websites

  • By Rohan Roy
  • November 2, 2022
  • 361 Views

Despite the recent success of eCommerce websites, more and more businesses are embracing the digital transformation. This also indicates that conventional techniques of conducting business and making sales are undergoing a profound transformation. In today’s business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) markets, sales are no longer limited to traditional shops. There are substantial variations between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce, and merchants must be aware of these variances in order to design an appropriate eCommerce strategy. It is highly probable that it will affect your sales.

What Do the Terms “B2B” and “B2C” Mean?

A business operating in the business-to-consumer market delivers its products directly to customers. To setting up E-commerce businesses like Amazon and Zappos are some of the most well-known instances of online business-to-customer companies.

Businesses-to-business (B2B) refers to the practise of a company selling its products or services to other businesses. Either the corporation will use the products for its own operations or it will resell them to the final consumer. Examples of well-known B2B ecommerce websites include Alibaba and Thomasnet, which are both online marketplaces.

Obviously, there is not always a clear method to differentiate one industry from another. The great majority of B2B internet stores will sell to individual consumers upon request. Some businesses purchase goods from businesses that sell directly to customers (B2C enterprises), then mark them up and resell them or use them in their own operations. Now that we’ve established this, let’s examine the differences.

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Enhancing your B2B and B2C Ecommerce Platforms

Create a Seamless Experience Across all Channels.

Today’s sophisticated client has learned to expect a uniform and uninterrupted experience across all touchpoints. According to 75% of corporate purchasers, they require providers to have integrated procedures in place. Approximately 70% of purchasers, according to the same eBook, “Transforming the B2B Sales Function,” now expect their purchasing experience to be “like Amazon.”

The construction of an omnichannel experience is advantageous for both parties. It enables customers to communicate on any channel and offers businesses with an abundance of data that can be utilised to acquire a deeper knowledge of their customers.

Mobile Optimization

The average time an adult in the United States spent using a smartphone in 2019 was 2 hours and 55 minutes, a 9-minute increase from 2018. Due to the increase in time spent browsing on mobile devices, your organisation must make its mobile platform as intuitive as feasible.

57% of mobile device users will not recommend a company with an undeveloped mobile platform.

Your business-to-consumer website should not only be able to give the information that your customers seek, but also be translated across all devices (mobiles, desktops, and tablets). Potential customers can move away to a competitor’s website if they encounter barriers or disparities in their experiences.

Your mobile-optimized website should not only have product-related information, but it should also be responsive and equipped with a mobile payment system or chatbot function that functions flawlessly to assist you with more questions and answers.

Make your Presence known Through the Use of Unique Images, Graphics, and Symbols

Stock photos and images are monotonous and overused, and they do not provide visitors with an original or personalised experience. Consider employing images that have been custom-created for your website and are both appealing and speedy to load. Change the hues, lighting, and arrangement of a stock image so that it more closely resembles the brand of the business for which you are providing the service.

Do not even consider using the provided default icons. In order to deliver a more engaging experience, create personalised icons that are particular to the customer’s brand.

Create Dynamic Page Layouts by Merging Various Content Element Kinds

When you construct web pages with content blocks, you are effectively assembling building pieces. These may be image sliders, text blocks, or videos, or they may be content blocks from a newsletter or Twitter feed.

In order to provide e-commerce clients with a good buying experience, you will need to merge and reorganise the content blocks on your website. Customers are prone to lose interest in pages that are predominately white, colourless, and devoid of images. Providing contrast between the two helps your customers differentiate between the various page categories. In addition, it gives your pages to life, which in turn improves the perception of your products and business.

Improve your SEO

Having high-quality content on your business-to-consumer eCommerce website is one of the best ways to attract traffic and increase your website’s ranking in Google’s search results. You need to find keywords that people search for, select high-value keywords, and publish content that Google users want to read.

If you are not visible in search results, fewer customers will be aware of your firm, resulting in fewer sales and a slower rate of business growth. In contrast, your competitors will experience gains in both sales and profits.

Client Account

You may demonstrate your concern for your consumers and learn more about them by inviting them to register a user account on your B2C eCommerce website while they are purchasing online.

You and your customers will have access to a comprehensive view of orders, previous purchases, discounts, and special offers, and will be able to interact in a more personal manner.

It is imperative that you do not require customers to create their own accounts. In lieu of recommending the creation of an account, you should offer unique incentives to users in exchange for their engagement.

Regarding customer and user accounts, your goal should be to get your clients to create an account on your eCommerce platforms; however, this should not be required in order to make a purchase.

Differences Between B2B and B2C Ecommerce Websites

DetailsB2BB2C
Product Supporting ContentInformative ContentFocused Content
VisualsIn-depth videosTestimonials & reviews
Check-out ProcessSmooth, simple, and automatedStrategic with live human support
OrdersMinimum order quantity is essentialGenerally focus on maximum order quantity
MarketingSales based via a contact formPaid ads and social media
Price RangeDiverse PricesFixed Prices

Product Content

“Product supporting content” refers to any information that supports purchasers (whether company reps or consumers) in making a selection.

In spite of the fact that B2B sales typically involve a large amount of handholding, there has been a recent trend toward letting clients to research things independently. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to supply the professional buyer with all necessary resources and information from the outset, so they may learn as much as possible independently.

Customers who buy from enterprises that sell directly to consumers are typically individuals whose purchases do not greatly influence or depend on the decisions of others. When searching for a product online, there are fewer complex factors to consider. For example, a shopper searching for a “Party Dress” will analyse the dress’ reviews, colour, price, and whether or not it complements their personal fashion sense.

Target Customers

B2B customers are frequently more complex than B2C customers since they are organisations making large purchases and because of the nature of their transactions. Customers who purchase from businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B) must be able to have several accounts and frequently require items to be shipped to and from numerous warehouses. In the great majority of B2C transactions, the buyer purchases directly from the merchant, at which point the commercial connection concludes. This approach is far simpler than it would be for a B2B customer, who may have to conduct product research, manage shipments, and consider various combinations of multi-ship-to and multi-bill-to addresses. Therefore, an eCommerce platform developed for business-to-business transactions must be able to manage the additional requirements and complexities of corporate purchasing.

Top of the Funnel Actions

The purpose of “Top Of The Funnel” (TOFU) activities is to increase the customer’s awareness and stimulate their interest. Content marketing is useful for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer web marketing strategies because it increases brand recognition and piques client interest. TOFU’s actions are targeted around raising the site’s organic search engine ranks in order to increase its visibility to potential clients.

Organizations that cater to end users spend in aesthetically engaging landing pages and squeeze pages, content for social networking platforms, and blog content, among other things, in order to generate leads. Numerous business-to-consumer online retailers spend on television and other forms of mass advertising. The Amazon advertisements you see on television are a great example of this.

In order to increase their visibility, corporations that cater to other enterprises also engage in social media marketing, blog content development, the introduction of podcasts, and online reviews. In addition to the activities outlined above, B2B enterprises are more likely to enhance knowledge and interest in their products and services through offline activities such as trade shows, offline advertising, and onsite demonstrations.

Price

A further contrast between business-to-consumer and business-to-business e-commerce is the establishment of prices. Initial pricing is based on the type of customer and overall order volume. On the B2B market, there is a wide range of pricing options. The price may increase or decrease due to the fact that different merchants provide varying discounts based on the quantity of products purchased, the delivery time, or customer loyalty programmes. Consequently, the pricing approach for B2B transactions is established by the individual agreements between a store owner and a particular business.

All prices are set permanently within the B2C environment. Every customer receives the same product catalogue with each item’s price specified. The history of the customer’s purchases with the business has no bearing on the price. There may be discounts or special offers, but I would like to emphasise that they are provided equally to all customers.

Checkout Process

During the purchasing process, a second distinction between websites serving consumers and those catering to corporations is evident. Customers often have a good purchasing experience with a B2C company since the flow is simple, allowing for easy access to shopping carts and dependable payment methods. 

The great majority of business-to-consumer (B2C) platforms should either improve or integrate their connected websites with trustworthy checkouts. These checkouts are limited to payment options and feature measures to prohibit clients from abandoning their carts, altering the items in the basket, and more. The entire checkout process has been combined with intuitive navigational elements.

Business-to-business (B2B) websites, on the other hand, should have a thorough procedure for establishing whether they offer reliable, timely, and real human customer care. Incorporating trustworthy social projects is one of the most significant things you can do to develop confidence in your organisation. Differentiating qualities between the two include the flexibility of the products, the activity level of the checkout procedure, the payment method, and the possibility to repurchase in a timely manner.

Minimum and Maximum Order Quantity

The Minimum Order Quantity is a crucial addressable criterion for e-commerce platforms that facilitate business-to-business transactions. In contrast to business-to-consumer (B2C) websites, it should never be possible to purchase a single item. Setting per-product minimum order quantity criteria is one of the requirements for establishing a minimum order quantity for a B2B website. 

In addition, the minimum order amount setting is a wonderful feature. However, it is essential to realise that the order placement process on B2C websites does not require any minimum order quantity (MOQ) specifications. The obligation to take into account the maximum order quantity limit is of the utmost importance. After placing an order that exceeds a predetermined threshold, the user is always prompted to adhere to the limitations. 

Two of the most important requirements for designing a B2C website are establishing maximum order quantities for each product and displaying a warning message when these restrictions are disregarded.

Marketing Methodology

In terms of marketing methods, B2B and B2C eCommerce may diverge significantly. In B2C, conversion is the most crucial measure. In order to maximise the number of conversions on their website, B2C eCommerce enterprises recognise the need of making substantial investments in sponsored adverts, content marketing, and even influencer marketing.

However, the major objective of business-to-business marketing is the production of leads. In order for the company’s sales team to contact the visitor at an appropriate time, B2B eCommerce websites will often request contact information from site users. This is particularly the case because pricing in the B2B market is substantially more complex and it is not always viable to give the same price to all customers. Before companies can agree on a satisfactory pricing, there may be extensive back-and-forth negotiations.

Timing of the Shipment

When selling directly to consumers, delivery speed is crucial for building and sustaining a positive reputation. The faster you are, the greater your standing will be. In contrast, the business-to-business (B2B) industry displays a totally different image. In order to keep up with the ever-increasing output and demands, the deliveries are finished. In this circumstance, timely delivery execution is more crucial than speed. This is likely the fundamental reason why businesses that cater to other businesses seek out compliant, longer-term business relationships. Deliveries that are late can lead to issues with the items and the supply chain, as well as financial losses.

Shipping Choices

The delivery method and duration are decided by the available shipping options. Businesses that sell to consumers and businesses that sell to other businesses provide distinct opportunities.

Because B2B transactions often include bigger order sizes, same-day delivery is not an option.

Shipping Methods for B2B Transactions

  • Less-Than-Truckload Freight Transport Company
  • Warehouse Pickup
  • Standard Delivery

Because the order quantity is so little, it can be delivered utilising widely available, traditional delivery methods.

Methods of shipping for B2C businesses

  • One-day delivery
  • Local Store Pickup
  • Same-day delivery
  • Shipping to the Residence

The Following Criteria are Necessary for B2B Marketplaces

Using a B2B trading platform or marketplace, large organisations can frequently offer their products to other small enterprises. Therefore, a B2B marketplace must possess certain key characteristics to allow the efficient operation of businesses. These consist of:

  • Pricing, payment integration, and ordering choices according to the requirements of the customer
  • Customization options for the online storefront’s design (e.g., searching site, navigation, branding)
  • Reordering options that make it simple for recurring consumers to reorder identical products and quantities.
  • Functionality for calculating volume discounts
  • Functionality for configuring Minimum Order Quantity
  • In addition to other users, the capability to restrict access for those who have not registered.
  • Organizing individual customers into groups
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software integration for the user.
  • Payment options, Checkout that is both expedient and highly secure

Important Aspects of Online Business-to-Consumer Marketplaces

If you are focusing on a line of work in which the final customers are consumers, you have a duty to satisfy them in every significant way. The following is a list of the necessary components for your B2C marketplace:

  • Themes and layouts that are unique to a certain online store
  • Personalisable product listings and the availability of multiple product variants
  • Abandoned shopping carts can be reclaimed.
  • Elements of promotion such as discounts, incentives, and attributes
  • Internal SEO resource kits
  • Content administration system and blog capabilities
  • The checkout procedure is swift and secure, and there are numerous payment options available.

Wrapping up

This article discusses some of the key distinctions between firms that sell to other businesses and those that sell directly to customers. Despite the fact that the purchase behaviours of customers and enterprises are vastly varied, the elements stay the same. The great majority of customers and businesses are interested in purchasing dependable goods at the lowest available cost. Companies, like humans, devote substantial time to contemplating major acquisitions. Moreover, there is normally a procedure that must be followed to authorise purchases.

Whether you are in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer sector, your objective should be to provide your clients with the greatest quality products and services. Utilizing a proper eCommerce platform will facilitate your progress toward this objective.

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Rohan Roy

Rohan is a rare mix of technologist and CMO at Sterling technolabs. His passion lies in helping companies to grow revenues by delivering top-notch software development services and build value-based partnerships. When not driving high-impact go-to-market strategies, Rohan scrolls twitter and often reads.
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