B2B vs B2C Ecommerce: What is the Difference?
The world of ecommerce has grown exponentially in the last few years. This means companies need to decide whether they will focus on B2B vs B2C marketing.
It can be difficult to know which type is better because there are many factors involved such as budget, product offerings, and target audience. In this article we will discuss what it takes to be successful in each type of business and help you decide if one is better for your company.
What is B2B marketing?
Business to business marketing is defined as marketing to small and medium-sized businesses. This is a more difficult type of marketing because you have less information about the company than with B2C; for example, they don’t usually publish their contact details online in order to keep track of feedback.
B2B companies often are interested in ecommerce strategies such as affiliate programs and platforms which reach a wider audience.
As well as this, they may also want to use online advertising where possible in order to boost their brand awareness and reach out to new customers for the first time.
Budget must be considered when marketing B2B because there is less competition between businesses than with B2C. If you have a small budget, it is best to spend wisely and dedicate your marketing budget towards a more specific audience.
What is B2C marketing?
Business to consumer marketing is about reaching out to the general public and selling products or services directly.
Budget is not usually too much of a concern as there are many competitors in this market, making it easier for companies to sell their goods without having an overwhelming marketing budget.
As well as advertising on websites such as search engines and social media platforms, B2C companies can also advertise on TV, billboards and streetlights.
Advantages of B2B marketing
B2B marketing is a lot more specific and targeted than B2C, meaning that you can target who your company wants to reach.
This means that it’s best for companies with smaller budgets as they don’t need to spend their budget on advertising themselves into the public eye.
As well as this, if your company has a large variety of products, business to business marketing will allow you to concentrate on selling your more popular items.
For example if your business is an internet service provider and there are also other ISP’s in the area then they would want to focus their efforts on one or two specific areas that suit them best.
This means that they could focus on increasing download speed for residential customers.
Or if a company has lots of different products then it can focus their marketing efforts in one specific category, rather than just being spread out across all the categories.
In this case, companies might want to put more effort into building up brand awareness and trustworthiness among consumers who are looking to buy a specific type of product.
Disadvantages of B2B ecommerce
The disadvantages of a business to business strategy are that it often takes longer to get results since it involves targeting fewer consumers at once. It also requires companies to spend more money on acquiring customers since they need to work harder in order to reach their target market.
It’s more difficult to identify target demographics, because the number of people is much smaller than in B2C situations.
Advantages of B2C ecommerce
B2C strategies are more attractive because they’re generally easier to implement and less costly. It’s also much simpler for companies to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, since it only requires them to focus on one specific demographic at a time.
B2C is the only way to go for companies that want their marketing campaigns to have an immediate effect, both on their products and services as well as revenue. It’s also a great option if they’re looking at building long-term relationships with clients by providing them with content or any other type of value. On top of this, it’s also more likely to have an impact on consumers who are looking for a specific product or service.
Disadvantages of B2C ecommerce
One of the disadvantages of business to consumer ecommerce is that it requires the company to create a brand in order for consumers to know what they’re getting. This is necessary because without branding, every single product or service can be perceived as identical by potential customers and therefore have no impact on them whatsoever.
Another disadvantage of B2C marketing is that when you start catering towards certain groups of people (i.e. younger generations), you might alienate other groups that are not catered to.
Examples of B2B marketing
Here are some examples of B2B marketing:
- Product demonstrations.
- Trade shows and conferences.
- Sales team meetings and presentations.
Examples of B2C marketing
Following are some examples of B2C marketing:
- Targeted advertising.
- Online stores and websites.
- Incentives for consumers to buy products from a specific store or website, like coupons or discounts.
- Online marketing campaigns, such as email and social media.
What does business to business ecommerce need to deal with?
B2B ecommerce needs to deal with:
- Finding and researching suppliers.
- Presenting products to clients.
- Pricing products for different demographics.
- Packaging, branding, shipping logistics, etcetera.
What does business to consumer ecommerce need to deal with?
B2C ecommerce needs to deal with:
- Developing a great product or service.
- Finding and researching customers who want the products/services.
- Presenting offers to consumers, such as coupons or discounts.
- Pricing products for different demographics (even within one store).
Changing nature of B2B marketing
Many businesses have become B2B over the years, so this is a complicated subject to cover with easy answers.
What’s important for a B2B marketers is to understand the changing nature of the industry and how that impacts sales.
For one, there’s an increasing number of businesses who are doing marketing for their own company or on behalf of other companies in turn. This means that you’re going up against more competition than ever before if you try to do B2B marketing on your own.
Changing nature of B2C marketing
A lot of B2C marketing now relies on social media to reach a larger audience. This means that you can post relevant messages, discounts, and updates with the click of a button instead of having to spend money on advertising or other promotional campaigns in order for people to be aware of what your company offers.
In the past, B2C marketing was all about having the right product at the right time. However, now you can have much more flexibility in how to reach your target audience and when.
B2C has also become a lot cheaper because there are less opportunities for companies that want to advertise during prime TV slots or with other methods that are considerably more expensive.
B2B vs B2C: Which is better?
For many, business to business ecommerce is better because it’s more personalized, and allows for more research into the client or customer. You also have an easier time tracking your sales in order to measure your success as a company. Furthermore, you’re able to spend money on marketing campaigns that are specific to your product/service rather than being forced to market to a wider demographic.
Business to business ecommerce is more targeted, which means that you’re able to reach a smaller group of potential customers or buyers with your product/service than if it was marketed at the masses. For this reason, B2B marketing has become increasingly popular because it’s less expensive and much easier for companies who don’t have a lot of resources.
Business to consumer ecommerce is more expensive because it’s relied on advertising and promotion in order to drive sales, as well as being targeted towards the masses. For this reason, you’re able to only really advertise when your product or service is relevant at that time. It’s also difficult for customers because there are often too many choices.
Ideas for B2C and B2B Businesses
Many of the best business ideas involve business to consumer and business to business ecommerce. I Buy I Review, in its article on businesses you can start with $50,000 or less, lists several of the top business and franchise considerations for business to consumer and business to business ecommerce. Check it out here.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.