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Before getting into eCommerce, you need to know the differences between B2B vs B2C. To come up with a successful marketing strategy, start by identifying your target audience.
Are you marketing to a business? Or is it a large audience group? B2B vs B2C marketing differs when it comes to audience targeting.
Are you new to B2B and B2C marketing? That’s the reason why we have this comprehensive guide.
Before we look at the differences in the B2B and B2C sales profiles, let’s begin with the definitions first.
What Is B2B vs B2C
B2B, or also called “business to business”, is a form of eCommerce marketing where a business markets to another business. For example, a marketing company that offers marketing services to other businesses.
In B2B, the procurement team or an individual purchases products on behalf of an organization. That is why it is referred to as B2B, as one business offers services and products to another business.
On the other hand, in B2C, or rather “business to customer”, the consumers are individual customers. That is, a business markets to a general audience.
For example, a cosmetics store that sells beauty products to individuals. Therefore, a person buys a product depending on their needs and interests.
What Is The Difference Between B2B vs B2C?
From the two definitions, you can tell the difference is the target audience. B2B markets to a smaller audience, while B2C sells to a large audience.
In B2B, the store owner is specific with the target audience, whereas B2C markets to interested buyers. However, there are instances when B2B and B2C share a similarity.
For instance, a cosmetics store owner can sell the products to a beauty store and individual customers. Another example is Amazon. The online eCommerce store is both B2B and B2C.
So, is there a difference between B2B vs B2C? Check out the main differentiators below:
Return on Investment
Unlike B2C, B2B marketing focuses on the ROI. That is why marketers sell to a small audience group to maximize leads. B2B vs B2C sales have different ROIs.
In B2B, it’s about efficiency and expertise. Businesses want to know how the product or service will help make a difference and improve profits within the organization.
For example, if you’re offering web development services, what is your level of expertise in the field? You will have to demonstrate to the organization why they need a website and how it benefits them.
On the other hand, most consumers do not take time to analyze the efficiency or expertise of a product or service. Consumers check the discount of a product and make the purchase depending on a need.
The B2C consumers are not after the ROI like in B2B. They are attracted to a discount and other attractive deals on a product or service.
B2B looks for a long-term relationship
B2B marketing focuses on a small audience group as compared to B2C. Most B2B marketers are after a long-term relationship. For instance, if you provide multiple services, you want to be a top priority when a business needs service providers.
B2B marketing is after generating leads. Having a professional relationship with your customers attracts referrals and online reviews. It is easier for business customers to convert into repeat clients.
In B2C, it can be hard to maintain a long-term relationship with consumers as you’re marketing to a large audience. Besides, customers are likely to buy from a competitor if they have a discount.
95% of customers check the reviews before buying. To attract more customers who are likely to convert, encourage your customers to leave a review.
Although mentioned severally in this review, the main difference between B2B vs B2C is the target audience. B2B targets other businesses, and the audience size is smaller.
However, for B2C, it targets a larger audience. B2B and B2C marketing strategies slightly vary. In B2B, the marketer targets the decision-makers in the organization.
That is the procurement and salespeople. For instance, if a company is buying laptops for the employees, the IT team, top management, and finance team will be involved in the purchase process.
The rest of the employees are not involved. However, in B2C, marketing is done to all consumers who can use the product. It’s not specific like in B2B.
The consumer does not need to consult friends before making a decision. The consumer makes a personal decision, unlike in B2B that involves several individuals.
B2B vs B2C pricing models are different. Since B2B buys multiple products, the prices are higher as compared to B2C. For example, the price of a single item is not the same as in B2C.
The high pricing in B2B is due to the purchasing quantity, buying frequency, and quality. In B2B, the prices are specific to the buyers.
Another notable difference between B2B vs. B2C is in decision-making. In B2B, several people, about 6-10, have to be involved in buying a product or service in an organization.
In B2C, the consumer does not require to consult another person. The buying decision lies with the consumer. The buying process in B2B is long and takes too much time.
Before making a conclusion, the B2B decision-makers have to consult and make comparisons. The purpose of the long cycle is to ensure that a service or product meets the business goals.
B2B requires education
B2B marketers should have the right information before making buying decisions. Now, this is where content marketing applies.
67.4% of B2B content marketers create top-of-the-funnel content to convert potential leads to customers. Examples of such content are blog posts, videos, and infographics.
For instance, if you’re looking to supply a corporate organization with printers, you need to share detailed information about it. You can have an infographic or a blog with detailed information about the printer.
However, in B2C, content marketing is different. The consumers want information that speaks directly to them and not about the product.
75% of B2C marketers feel that content marketing is a successful marketing strategy. Content marketing for B2C should be customer-centered and also offer value.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that works for both B2B and B2C customers. However, in B2B, you provide detailed information about the product or service for decision-making.
B2C marketing requires emotions
In marketing, both logic and emotions play a crucial role. In B2C, most customers buy a product or service for entertainment. That is, based on emotions.
However, in B2B, it’s about ROI. What are the features of a product? How will the product or service benefit the business? In most cases, emotions do not apply in B2B.
B2B marketers have to tell the story differently than in B2C. The details help to make better decisions for the organizations. On the other hand, B2C customers want a successful story.
Customers want short stories about what is in for them from the products or service. For example, since most customers buy products or request a service based on a personal decision, consider having success stories before you begin selling.
B2B marketing is more expensive as compared to B2C. With B2C, you can easily convert customers through organic posting, word of mouth, reviews, or giving out offers.
With B2B, you have to invest in ads, hiring a content marketer, and LinkedIn ads. Since the decision-making process is long, you may end up spending more money on marketing.
Features of B2B vs B2C
B2B and B2C marketing have different features. B2B sales cycle is longer, as it requires multiple people to make a decision. In B2C, it requires a minimum of one person to make a purchase.
So, as a marketer, here are the features you need to know before getting involved with B2B and B2C marketing. We’ll start with the B2B features.
1. Multiple pricing
In B2B, the customer does not offer a single price like in B2C. Multiple factors contribute to the price. It could be due to the buying capacity, type of product, or order frequency. You can also consider customizing the prices for various vendors. Pricing in B2B is complex as compared to B2C.
2. Flexibility in payments
Let’s take the example of Amazon. You can make payments using your most preferred payment option. The flexibility in payment is crucial in B2B. Your customers may want to pay on delivery, credit cards, and other payment gateways that are convenient to them.
3. eCommerce integration
Integrations such as ERP systems, CRM, and product information systems help to improve user experience. For instance, you can have a real-time inventory system to give accurate updates to the customers.
4. Minimum and maximum order quantities
B2B handles multiple orders, unlike B2C. Therefore, having minimum and maximum order quantities helps you monitor sales and profits for your business.
As more businesses adopt using the internet for marketing, eCommerce businesses need user-friendly websites for their customers.
Ensure you have simple-to-use features that your average customer can use comfortably. What are the features of a B2C?
1. Mobile-responsive design
A mobile responsive feature is a top feature for B2B and B2C websites. As a marketer, ensure that your customers can access your eCommerce website from any device.
The mobile commerce sales will contribute to $432.24 Billion In 2022. A responsive design allows customers to make purchases from anywhere using mobile devices.
2. Search feature
As part of improving the user experience, make sure that you include a search feature on your B2C website. Website users will have an easy time searching for products. If your store offers multiple products, consider including the search feature.
3. Payment options
Having multiple payment options makes it easy for customers to make orders and pay for products with ease. For example, not all customers will be comfortable paying using PayPal or credit cards. Incorporating different payment methods encourages customers to shop from your store.
Similarities of B2B Vs B2C
Although slightly mentioned earlier, both B2B and B2C share some similarities. Although they market to different audience groups, they both are looking to make profits and increase ROI.
Besides the differences, there are similarities as well. Let’s look at some of them:
- In both, you need to improve the customer experience to attract positive reviews and sales. It helps to maintain existing customers and convert new clients into repeat customers.
- Both B2B and B2C require you to have buyer personas. That is, you need to know your target audience.
- In B2B and B2C, you need to identify where your customer lies in the buyer’s journey. It helps you come up with better marketing strategies.
- Content marketing works for B2C and B2B. However, in B2B, the content is more detailed than in B2C.
- In both B2B and B2C, you have to provide a solution to the current problem your customer is facing.
B2B and B2C Example
With the above differences and similarities in mind, we can now compare the examples of B2B vs B2C.
- A marketing agency providing web design, digital marketing, and SEO services;
- A recruitment agency that advertises job openings and conducts interviews on behalf of other businesses;
- A company that supplies office equipment like printers, computers, and printing papers;
- Internet service providers providing connection services to other businesses;
- Amazon, selling products to other businesses for different reasons like dropshipping.
- A beauty space that provides massages and other beauty services to customers;
- A small business selling household products to customers;
- A coffee café selling coffee to coffee lovers;
- A lingerie store selling costumes to individuals;
- Real estate selling or leasing property to prospecting clients.
Which Is Better, B2B or B2C?
Before you get started with B2B and B2C marketing, make sure you understand the differences and similarities between the two. B2B marketing sells products and services to other businesses, while B2C focuses on individual customers.
To realize a return on investment in B2B and B2C, you need to understand your target audience first. Next, identify a marketing strategy that works for each.
In B2B and B2C, delivering a great customer experience helps to create a healthy customer relationship and encourage customer retention.