Online shopping is nothing new these days. In fact, it had been rampant even before 2020 made its way to the world of mankind. With B2B business booming large in 2019 accounting for over 12 trillion dollars, B2C accounted for over $3 trillion. Even if both B2B and B2C eCommerce look the same on the outside, there are still fundamental differences between them. This can stem from a lot of reasons ranging from the types of buyers they both cater to, the expectations of the consumers, their shopping habits to behavioural patterns. Hence, both types must segregate their customers’ needs distinctly before they begin with the task of providing them with a specific service. Both have a customer base making purchases for different reasons, driven by separate motivators, etc.
So, before we dive deeper into what distinguishes a B2B eCommerce from a B2C one, let us first quickly gloss over the similarities between the two:
Apart from these striking major similarities, the commonality between the two types lies in other factors as well which include harbouring a self-serve model that does not really involve any communication with the representative. Another factor includes providing a seamless experience where every action like asking for a refund, placing an order, reordering, etc. is easily taken care of and devoid of any sort of elaboration.
Now that we have delved deeper into the similarities, it is time to know a little about the differences between the two:
As for the B2B customers, the emotional aspect is not that visible as they generally prefer to go through the hassle of researching and locating a product all by themselves. Their decision is well-informed as a result of which the sales cycle tends to be elaborate. What they look for precisely is not just the product but also the ways to strike a long-lasting bond with the vendor.
Whereas in B2C, the decision-making is more influenced by marketing campaigns like an email offer, advertisement, etc. These customers tend to delve into emotion. Again, they are just on-off purchasers who might not really be interested in striking a bond with the vendor.
Since B2B buyers are prone to buying in large quantities, they have a habit of negotiating the price. On the other hand, B2C buyers often buy in small quantities so price negotiation might not be a problem with them.
Apart from this, B2C buyers are mainly impulsive buyers. Hence enriched marketing efforts can be successful in converting interest to a sale right away. Whereas, the B2B buyers are always looking for personalization of their needs like custom catalogues, price lists, etc.
Thus, solutions like CRM integration, robust workflow engine, SKUs, etc, need to be in place to handle both the B2B and B2C eCommerce!