The blog dives into the contrasting aspects of B2B and B2C transactions. It highlights their divergent approaches in marketing, sales, and business models. B2B focuses on organisations, long-term relationships, and complex sales cycles, while B2C centres on individual consumers, quick transactions, and direct marketing strategies.
Let’s explore what is B2B and B2C to know the key differences. Both are different transactions depending on the business type and end consumer. The main difference between B2B and B2C is that one sells products or services to organisations/companies, and the other, to individuals. B2B stands for business-to-business, and B2C is business-to-consumer.
Click on the links below to learn what is B2B and B2C in some detail.
B2B vs. B2C: Top Differences
Explore what is B2B and B2C through the following comparison.
|Business to business
|Business to consumer
|Product manufacturers, wholesalers, etc
|Direct sellers, online intermediaries, etc
|Senior management in organisations
|Marketing Intent (s)
|Brand value, nurturing long-term client relationships,etc.
|Entertain, inform, or educate
What is B2B?
B2B refers to any transaction between two businesses. One business is the seller, and the other business is the customer.
There are a few different contexts to consider when understanding B2B.
B2B as a Business Model
As a business model, B2B companies are responsible for creating and providing products or services for other businesses.
For instance, a business may need raw materials to manufacture a product. It will seek out another business that provides raw materials.
B2B companies include product manufacturers, wholesalers, marketing agencies, corporate travel agencies, Software as a Service (SaaS), and similar.
Generally, in B2B marketing, a company would use different means to educate the other business’s decision-makers about the product’s value for their company. They do not market the products for impulse buys, which is common in B2C marketing.
Instead, a B2B business would commonly leverage email marketing, create white papers, etc. Branding, maintaining client relationships, etc., are important in B2B marketing. In B2C marketing, the brand is known through media, meaning it is more public-oriented than personal.
Do explore B2B digital marketing strategies to know more.
One aspect to note in B2B sales is that it takes much longer to generate sales than B2C. The primary reason is that the orders between businesses are in bulk and are generally more expensive.
Another reason a B2B sale takes time is that more decision-makers are involved in buying. These decision-makers are in senior management in the customer’s organisation. They would have to get a go-ahead from different departments, from marketing teams to accounting.
What is B2C?
B2C or business-to-consumer refers to a transaction between a business and a consumer.
Just like above, there are a few contexts to understand B2C.
B2C as a Business Model
The B2C business model is present in eCommerce. Such eCommerce businesses or platforms rely on generating sales through a website. Do refer to the difference between eCommerce and e-business.
Know the types of businesses that use the B2C business model.
- Direct Sellers – These are online businesses or brands that sell their products or services straight to the customer. They do not sell products or services of other brands. Oriflamme, Avon, and Zara are some examples. Check out direct marketing too!
- Advertising-Based – These businesses sell advertisements for products for other businesses. Huffington Post and similar follow this B2C eCommerce model.
- Online Intermediaries – These platforms bring small businesses and customers together. Shopify, Etsy, Zomato, Swiggy, etc., are some examples.
- Fee-based – These are subscription-based platforms that connect businesses with end-users. Medium, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc., are some examples.
- Community-Based – Businesses use forums to sell their products or services in the community-based B2C eCommerce model. Examples include forums on Facebook that sell new or used products for a specific niche.
B2C marketing is done to encourage individual customers. By studying consumer behaviour and conducting customer segmentation, B2C marketers plan a customer journey map. For each stage in the marketing funnel, they would go for an inbound marketing strategy.
In online B2C marketing, marketers leverage different types of digital marketing and promote their products or services across all the digital channels available.
While this type of strategising is common in B2B and B2C firms, the technologies, intent, and medium of communication vary.
For instance, a B2C company will regularly entertain, inform or engage audiences through social media marketing or SEO. But all in all, the focus is not on building client relationships, but creating the need for a transaction in B2C marketing.
It is safe to assume that branding in B2C is the quest for creating a healthy public image online or offline, so that a wider audience is able to relate with the brand. For a B2B company, it is more about maintaining a rapport with the other business, as far as branding is concerned.
In B2C, sales are instant as they are not bought in bulk. The consumer does not take much time to buy once they are made aware that the product or service will solve their pain points. The decision-making is done on a personal level.
So this is the basics of what is B2B and B2C. Hope you are now clear with the difference between B2B and B2C in terms of a business model, marketing and sales purposes.
Do check out some free digital marketing courses too!
What distinguishes B2B from B2C transactions?
B2B (Business-to-Business) involves transactions between businesses, selling products or services to other businesses. B2C (Business-to-Consumer) transactions, however, entail selling products or services directly to individual consumers.
How does B2B marketing differ from B2C marketing?
B2B marketing focuses on building long-term relationships and conveying product value to businesses through content-driven strategies. In contrast, B2C marketing aims for impulse buys, entertaining, informing, or educating individual consumers via diverse digital channels.
What are examples of B2B and B2C businesses?
B2B businesses include wholesalers, SaaS providers, and corporate travel agencies. Examples of B2C businesses encompass online retailers (e.g., Zara), subscription-based platforms (e.g., Netflix), and direct sellers (e.g., Avon).
Why do B2B sales cycles generally take longer?
B2B sales cycles are extended due to higher purchase volumes and the involvement of multiple decision-makers within the buying organisation. Decision-making encompasses various departments, requiring approvals and more complex evaluations, contributing to a lengthier process.
What factors influence decision-making in B2C transactions?
Factors such as personal preferences, emotions, pricing, brand perception, reviews, and immediate needs significantly influence decision-making in B2C transactions. Emphasis is placed on individual consumer behaviours and motivations.