What do B2C and B2B mean?
B2C stands for business-to-consumer and means that goods or services are sold by a company to an end consumer. B2B, on the other hand, stands for business-to-business and means the sale of goods from one company to another.
B2B buyers usually buy with the aim of strengthening their own company or business through the purchase, while B2C buyers buy for personal purposes.
Differences between B2B and B2C E-Commerce Platforms
In E-Commerce, the first thing potential customers see is usually the homepage of the E-Commerce platform. It must therefore be designed appropriately to keep buyers on the platform and encourage them to buy.
In B2C business, it is important to make product highlights, discounts and current products as well as new releases visible to customers at best at first glance.
The homepage of a B2B E-Commerce business, on the other hand, is geared towards offering companies solutions from which they can profit in the long term. A long-term business relationship is to be established. Therefore, the homepage does not necessarily have to be flashy and gaudy, but rather informative. B2B buyers should be able to see the benefits for their company. A "Why choose us?" section, where advantages of exactly this B2B platform are highlighted, can be very beneficial here to positively influence the decision of potential customers.
Product descriptions and information
B2C and B2B buyers differ in their buying behaviour - while B2C buyers sometimes make decisions based on gut instinct, a B2B purchase is usually the result of an informed decision. Also, in companies there are often several people involved in this decision-making process. This makes the buying process a little more complicated.
This makes it imperative in the B2B sector to provide potential buyers with sufficiently detailed information about products. B2B buyers need this in order to make an informed buying decision.
In B2C business, it is also necessary to provide customers with product information. This includes product availability, delivery information, prices and discounts as well as product details and images.
In B2B business, technical details of the products are even more important. Explainer videos & demos that highlight the key features of the products/services help with this. Also downloads of data sheets that contain raw data, details of the solutions and statistics & figures of the product or service.
Another difference is in the form of the so-called call-to-action. This is about making a product or service appealing to potential buyers by highlighting the advantages.
In B2C business, the call-to-action revolves around showing the buyer what personal benefits he or she can gain from the purchase. Here, it is often advantageous to appeal to the emotions as well.
B2B buyers, on the other hand, tend to stick to the facts. Therefore, you should adapt the marketing of your products and services to this. Nevertheless, the call-to-action should express what advantage people who are stakeholders of the company (such as employees or customers) can derive from it.
In B2B business, the wholesaler principle is usually applied. This means that goods are sold in large quantities, whereby the unit price per good becomes cheaper. The larger the quantity sold, the lower the unit price usually is.
A dynamic B2B model should calculate prices automatically according to the number of units. In addition, special prices should be offered to loyal customers in order to retain them in the long term.
In contrast, prices in B2C business are uniform. They therefore do not change as the quantity increases. However, special prices also exist in the B2C sector. Examples are first-time purchase offers, discount coupons, seasonal sales and clearance sales.
Minimum / Maximum order sizes
Order volumes in B2B business also differ from B2C business. While in B2C business there are usually maximum order volumes, in B2B business it is rather minimum order volumes that should be taken into account. In B2B business, it is usually not possible to buy individual goods, therefore ordering is only possible above a certain volume.
The last step of an order is the checkout. In B2C business, it is important to guide the buyer to payment through as few steps as possible so that they do not leave the checkout process and complete the purchase.
B2B business is about more volume and a longer-term focus of the business relationship. Therefore, it is beneficial to accompany the checkout process with demos, phone calls and/or video chats in order to provide the customer with the best possible service and support their informed purchase decision.
Fundamentally, both B2C and B2B platforms must be attractively designed and contain the most important elements to efficiently address the desired target group.
However, it is important to note that the platforms have different target groups and pursue a different business model. Therefore, understanding the differences between B2C and B2B is necessary.
Some elements of a B2B platform are fundamentally different from those of a B2C platform. The customer experience differs because of these different elements. In order to build a successful online B2B business, you need to offer your products or services on a B2B-specific platform that targets businesses and includes certain B2B elements that are distinct from the B2C business.