Business to Customer (B2C) websites are the main focus for many etailers. Despite this in the United States (US) and globally, Business to Business (B2B) ecommerce creates the most revenue. B2B buyers expect a customer experience similar to those delivered on B2C websites. Ecommerce giant Amazon has recognized this. Amazon’s B2B portal closely mirrors their B2C website.
The commonalities between B2C and B2B ecommerce sites are many:
- Detailed Product Descriptions
- Detailed Specifications
- Discounted Delivery
- Product review facility
- Interactive catalogue
- Real time inventory
In the US B2B ecommerce sales are already double B2C ecommerce revenues. This trend is likely to increase according to industry experts with 9.3% of B2B sales being in the ecommerce market by the end of this year. Ecommerce attracts cost conscious businesses. Selling online means less staff and reduces the need for costly showrooms making them more competitive. The trend is towards B2B ecommerce using the self service shopping model.
There are two main models of B2B selling:
The ‘one-to-many’ model requires an established supply network, marketing expertise and a market presence that enables products to be bought at the best price. The ‘many-to-many’ model is where groups of smaller business act cohesively in a marketplace scenario; with a recognized commercial organization providing the marketing and logistic know-how. These business models mirror the B2C models.
The development of mobile applications of products, allowing businesses to buy from businesses in the field on smartphones and tablets is likely to further increase the B2B ecommerce market.
The main differences between the B2B and B2C markets are:
- customer specific discounts
- volume based discounts
- lack of impulse buying
So if you are looking for diversification and a way to increase your revenue, consider the introduction of a B2B portal on your ecommerce site.