B2B vs. B2C sites
Recently, financial market and environment of the free enterprise realized an emergence of e-commerce, and specifically organizations providing specific networks, which offer simultaneously distant and instant communication and interaction of a business and a client. The two distinct sites that offer services and information to a client are business-to-business and business-to-client.
Business to business (B2B) sites provides information and available services offered by a specific business to another business. It is intended to offer an enterprise’s own services or maintenance software and networks for other businesses to utilize in order to improve the functioning of a specific business’s segment: marketing campaign implementation, sales forecast or analysis, profits, operations efficiency, best timing, inventory management, supply chains and distributions, etc.
The primary distinctive feature of B2B site is businesses’ attempt to automate the trading and exchange process in order to improve its handling and certain aspects of a company’s operations. The purpose of automating is significant cost reduction as well as improved timing of servicing, better efficiency and quality.
Business-to-business sites are much less attended and get less publicity compared to those of B2C; however, the annual turnover and monetary exchange is much greater from B2B operations than that realized y consumer targeted business. Examples are Microsoft, macromedia, adobe (which is both), etc.
Business to consumer (B2C) site provides available information and services to a specific group or market segment of targeted consumers in order to inform, promote, sell, and distribute specific goods and services to the public.
The primary distinctive feature of B2C site is an attempt of a company to initiate independent relationship with consumers without the involvement of intermediaries such as distributors, wholesalers and dealers. Examples of B2C are Amazon, eBay, any stores online like Wal-Mart, Barns and Noble, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc.
Generally speaking, B2C sites differ from B2B by putting more focus on the transaction process. Business transactions are available in both types, however in B2C they are dominant part of the online service and the intended continuation of people’s research for a specific product. B2C site tries to grab consumers’ attention and persuade to purchase a common good from it, acting like a distributor. Meanwhile, B2B is usually a somewhat unique producer of a specific service or good, focusing its product’s distinctive features as a promotion tool, not on the distribution or transaction benefits like in B2C.
B2 sites show a pattern to be more concerned with client’s investigation of a product or service. The usual scheme of B2Bs is to get clients interested in a specific offer and get them to register in order to receive more specific information on the researched subject. This allows for “human intervention, when applicable”, which can really make an “online business transaction very enjoyable and begin to build a long-term business relationship” (Chakraborty).
Usually, B2B sites are more structurally complicated, as well as informational and technically oriented. The connection establishing between business and a client is more based on reasoning and advantage comparison than on emotional appeal, which is commonly practiced on B2C sites. B2c sites consist more of entertainment, as well as its structure is not complex, but available for a common user, targeting a wider spectra of market segments.
The primary objective of both B2B and B2C sites is to determine the best combination of online promotional programs as well as offline tools that generates maximum sales, thus producing highest profits and cost reductions.
In conclusion, distinction of B2B and B2C is incorporated in the targeted audience, which is intended to receive information. When establishing a B2B network such information as current competition, product alternatives, technology development, costs of implementation, needs of the business and its current situation should be taken into account. Similarly, B2C is about knowing the buyer. Vital information for initiating a network is consumers’ wants and needs, competition complexity, solid establishment of distribution channels, supply chains, logistics, etc. Knowing the buyer is the starting point of providing a service and a way of its implementation.
Chakraborty, G., Vishal Lala, and David Warren. “What Do Customers Consider Important in B2B Websites?” Journal of Advertising Research. 43:1. 2003.
Greco, Alan J., Johnson Ragins. “Customer Relationship Management and E-Business: More Than a Software Solution.” Review of Business. 24:1. 2003.
Ramsdell, Glenn. “The Real Business of B2B.” The McKinsey Quarterly. 2000.
Ritter, Ted. “Enabling Ebusiness.” Business Communications Review. 29:12. December 1999.