In today’s dynamic world, as an eCommerce player, driving sales on your platforms and churning out higher revenues, mandates a clear-cut focus on your customers. And that’s not as straight forward as you might think! To be honest, there are two facets to your target audience.
On one side, there is the business-to-consumer (B2C) setup, where the “consumer” is the target who buys products/services directly from the business. On the other side, there is the business-to-business (B2B) setup, where one business sells to another, which in turn sells to the consumers.
This is where the basic difference between B2B and B2C eCommerce lies, which brings along different sets of target customers and thereby, different sets of target strategies for both platforms.
However, the common thing that unifies as well as differentiates the two business models narrows down to the customer or user experience.
No matter who is the audience of your eCommerce platform, customer experience should be given a priority as customers are the king of every business. How you go about enhancing your platform’s customer experience is another big question and differs prominently depending on your business objectives and your target audience.
Let’s look deeper into the broad aspects that differentiate some of the fundamental features of B2B from B2C eCommerce setups.
7 Major Differences Between B2B & B2C Businesses
The B2B and B2C difference is huge, but only if you notice the little & minute things that make the difference. To start with, there are some factors to take into consideration.
1. The Homepage is What Sets the First Impression Right
B2C: The ultimate aim of B2C websites is to attract visitors who can then be converted into customers. For that, a much-thought-about strategy needs to fall into place that speaks in favor of users.
The features of B2C eCommerce homepage should include:
- Highlights running sales & valid discounts
- Running carousels for different trending products
- Simple “clickable buttons” to product pages
B2B: The ultimate motive of the B2B eCommerce platform is to attract other businesses who can, in turn, form a long term alliance with them. The main focus is on solving business problems. That means the homepage does not need to include ultra-flashy design, and rather should look informative.
A B2B homepage should include:
- Focuses on demonstrating a demo in the center
- Running carousels that represent products with core features
- A “Why Choose Us” section to trigger the target audience’s decision
2. Customer Support at Different Stages of the Interaction
B2C: The end-user does not have much to invest when making a purchase online. Their decision is self-driven without being answerable to anyone. Customer service is essential in B2C eCommerce as well, but here the queries are limited and get solved in a matter of minutes.
Major elements that B2C eCommerce development efforts should include:
- A 24/7 customer support to answer the common queries
- A post-sales system that handles the returns/complaints/exchanges
- Availability of self-service or a knowledge management portal
B2B: In B2B business platforms, larger orders are involved. Talking physiologically, a business investing a larger part of their resources need to be well-informed. That is why; B2C businesses follow “First Contact Resolution”, i.e., providing a satisfactory resolution before hanging up.
Major elements that B2B eCommerce developer should include:
- A 24/7 customer service to answer the business queries
- Live chats and video chats to answer business-oriented FAQs
- After-Sale customer care that handles reorders and concerns
3. Measuring the Complexity of the Checkout Process
B2C: The last step of any transaction is the checkout process. In a B2C setup, the flow is simple, i.e., smoothly navigating a customer from “Add to Cart” to “Thank you for placing the order.” This involves offering a seamless UI and payment gateway system that is secure to the core.
Major elements that a B2C checkout should include:
- Include as few steps as possible so to help customers stay on track
- Include all the payment options, i.e., credit cards, debit cards, wallets, CODs
- The “Apply Coupon” section should be a prominent part of the checkout interface
B2B: In the B2B model in eCommerce, the checkout process should be an amalgamated version of automated pre-programmed checkout steps and live human assistance. This human intervention is essential to make a business believe in your business, which in turn helps convert successfully.
Major elements that help figure out the difference between B2B and B2C checkout should include:
- Demos, phone calls, and video chats should be an active part of the checkout process
- Payment options such as pay on credit, procurement punchout, credit cards, ACH payments, and even paying through cryptocurrencies should be made possible
- A one-click reordering system can be the best feature of all
4. Informational Assets to Keep the Target Groups Involved
B2C: An end user who is buying a product for personal use is the target here. Though the target audience here does not need to have an insight into the factual data, they still need to stay updated as transparency of information is a major parameter that instigates purchases.
Major elements that B2C informative assets should include:
- Product availability and delivery information
- The price and discount based information should be communicated on the go
- The details of the products in the form of features and related pictures
B2B: Getting a lead and nurturing it till it gets converted is the aim of any B2B business. And, that is why having effective informative assets in place is essential to guide the lead through. Such a representation of factual data further helps trigger quick buying decisions.
Major elements that a B2B eCommerce developer should focus on:
- Explainer videos & demos that highlight the main features of the products/services
- Links to download white papers and eBooks that showcases the details solutions that the products/services offers
- Raw sheets and data that talk about the stats and figures related to the product/services
5. The Catalog & Pricing Model Differs at Various Levels
B2C: In a B2C eCommerce platform, the pricing is consistent across the catalog without being bias to any target group. The only variance in the pricing model comes in the form of first-time purchase offers, discount coupons, seasonal sales, and clearance sales.
Basic features for a successful B2C website:
- Maintain transparency when communicating the price on the product page and the shopping cart
- All the discounts and offers should be listed along with the underlining T&C.
B2B: If the difference between B2B and B2C is analyzed, a B2B eCommerce business happens to offer a personalized shopping experience to its customers for they need to keep them engaged over a long time. That is why; B2B eCommerce platforms rely on special pricing based on quantity, volume, and frequency of orders made.
Basic features for adjusting a dynamic pricing model:
- Work on offering a customer-specific product catalog
- Focus on listing a completely personalized product inventory for larger clients
6. Abiding By the Minimum/Maximum Order Quantity Norm
B2C: There is no minimum order quantity parameter that needs to be taken into account when placing an order on a B2C eCommerce platform. However, there is this maximum order quantity that comes into play in retail eCommerce websites. As soon as the order exceeds a set value, an alert message appears stating that the order value has been exceeded.
Requirements for designing MOQ for a B2C platform:
- Set a parameter for “Maximum order quantity” per product
- Generate an alert message once the order quantity exceeds the set quantity
B2B: Minimum order quantity (MOQ) is the main requirement that any B2B eCommerce platform needs to cover. Because placing a “single item” order is simply not allowed in this wholesale oriented business. In other words, a minimum quantity setting is mandatory when designing a B2B website.
Requirements for designing MOQ for a B2B platform:
- Set a parameter for “Minimum order quantity” per product
- Include “Minimum order amount” parameter required to complete an order
- Set quantity multiple requirements for products sold in packages
7.Having an understanding of the Buyer’s Psychology
B2C: A buyer who is purchasing on an individual basis is independent enough to take his own decisions. They are the masters of their own decisions where they do not have to seek permission to make a purchase. The decision to buy and make a purchase is thus quick.
What to consider while designing for a B2C buyer:
- Keep the product/services features to-the-point
- Do mention discount offers running on individual products to quicken the buying process
B2B: Here the buyer is a sales representative of a business! But, the decision to buy does not depend on that individual alone. There are multiple parties involved: product/service users and the decision-makers of the business. The final decision is often the result of dialogue and discussions between the involved parties.
What to consider while designing for a B2B buyer:
- Focus on listing detailed descriptions of the products/services that you are selling
- eBooks, user manuals, and genuine client reviews would help make a well-thought-of decision
A Concluding Table
No matter whether the website under consideration is B2B or B2C, you ought to work well on the fundamental elements to be included in your platform in order to engage your targeted customers efficiently.
You just can’t afford to build similar platforms for there is a huge difference between the B2B and the B2C platforms. And it is these fundamental elements that will set the overall customer experience of the platforms apart from each other. Comprehending these main differences in B2B & B2C eCommerce Platforms is not only crucial but the need of the hour too.
All you need to do is find experienced and reputable eCommerce development experts to help you build a seamless foundation for your eCommerce platform.