E-commerce B2B vs B2C: what are the main differences? In the vast universe of e-commerce, with the possibility of buying online 24 hours a day, two distinct scenarios are outlined: the trade between companies (B2B) and that aimed at the final consumer (B2C). Although they share the same digital space, these spheres are clearly governed by different dynamics, strategies and approaches.
Una prima differenza essenziale si trova nell’intento d’acquisto. Gli utenti B2C navigano il web talvolta sapendo cosa cercano, ma molto spesso senza una meta, incappando in diverse piattaforme nel proprio tempo libero e senza la certezza di portare a termine la transazione. Al contrario, l’utente che opera in un ambito B2B sa già di cosa ha bisogno e lo cerca in modo molto più specifico, con un intento di acquisto molto più forte.
A first essential difference lies in the intent of purchase. B2C users surf the web sometimes knowing what they are looking for, but very often without a destination, stumbling across different platforms in their free time and without the certainty of completing the transaction. On the contrary, the user who works in a B2B environment already knows what he needs and looks for it in a much more specific way, with a much stronger purchase intent.
This difference is demonstrated by the data: the conversion in B2C is at 3%, compared to a conversion rate of 10% in B2B.
In B2B, the approach focuses on building long-term relationships, highlighting the value of products or services through informative content and case studies. Often, in B2B purchases, buyers make investments with a high budget. Purchases are much more prudent and thoughtful, made by different stakeholders and through various decision-making stages, but if buyers were well they could repeat the order. In the management of a B2B e-commerce, inserted within a broader marketing strategy, you have to pay attention to elements that favor a long-term relationship.
In B2C, the focus is on the buying experience, using more emotional and engaging marketing strategies. The customer is often driven by an emotional impulse, a whim, and e-commerce design must follow this factor. An example? In an e-commerce of clothes, the platform could suggest garments related to the single garment that the user is looking at, providing alternative and different compositions, so as to create new desires.
In both cases it is good to try to establish a relationship with the customer that lasts even in addition to a single purchase, but in the case of B2B is a more relevant element, often being orders of great importance and much healthier.
Substantial differences in the creation of e-commerce B2B vs B2C lie in pricing. In B2B prices are modelled on custom negotiations and long-term contracts. Often, therefore, they are not indicated until the user registers with his account, and are still negotiable, being large figures.
In B2C prevails the simplicity of fixed prices, often accompanied by temporary offers and discounts for those who agree to register or who have already made purchases. The prices are clear from the start, so as to give the customer a precise idea of the expense. Unlike B2B e-commerce, they are not negotiable.
In this context, after-sales services are essential. We speak mainly of mail. In the B2B context, after-sales services often include personalized service, inventory management, and continuing education. In B2C, the focus is on return management and consumer troubleshooting, or sending newsletters if the user has given their consent.
E-commerce B2B vs B2C: the common points
Che si tratti di una piattaforma B2B o B2C, avrà comunque necessità di essere ottimizzata in modo organico. Qui entra in gioco la SEO, la “Search Engine Optimization”. L’ottimizzazione organica passa attraverso vari elementi, come la ricondivisione dell’e-commerce da parte di piattaforme autorevoli esterne, oppure l’uso di determinate parole chiave per posizionare le pagine. Se fatta bene, la SEO porta l’e-commerce a posizionarsi in alto nei risultati quando un utente compie la specifica ricerca del prodotto che desidera.
Whether it is a B2B or B2C platform, it will still need to be organically optimized. Here comes SEO, the "Search Engine Optimization". Organic optimization involves various elements, such as the recondivision of e-commerce by external authoritative platforms, or the use of certain keywords to position pages. If done well, SEO takes e-commerce to the top in the results when a user does the specific product search they want.
Analysis of the results
Another extremely important point is the analysis of the results. E-commerce, like other types of sites, can be monitored with various types of tools, such as Google Analytics. They have measurable performance, which can be improved as appropriate.
Another element that can help an e-commerce to be known, regardless of the industry in which it operates, is the use of social to promote the platform. Depending on the industry and product, different social media, languages and formats can be used, but the use of different communication channels to promote your digital business is essential to intercept potential buyers and increase sales. In the B2C sector, it has been seen that 75% of people buy a product or a service after seeing it on social media, especially on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. The numbers in the B2B sector are lower, but they are still crucial.
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, the important thing is that the platform is customized and adaptable to the needs. E-commerce is the fulcrum around which other elements must turn to improve customer relations, from meeting with it to a focused and useful after-sales treatment.