B2C or B2B online store?

Veronika Krasteva
3 min
B2C or B2B online store?

We already presented to you the reasons to have an online store. You can be reminded of them here. Now we will present to you the two main types of online stores – B2C and B2B. Generally speaking, the term B2C (Business to Clients)  encompasses the relationship between a given business and the consumers, while B2B (Business to Business) is meant for the relationship between business partners or between a given business and the corporate clients.

If you think about it, you would realize that there are many differences between the B2C and B2B processes. The clients in the two cases want different things and quantities, they have different business interests, they buy at different prices.

This is the reason why if you are a seller you can’t offer online sales by using the same platform for both types of clients.

What do the consumers want (B2C)?

The consumers want:

  •  to see an online store with good looking (modern, interesting, colorful) design:
  •  several photos of each product in the catalog, so they could look at them and assess them better;
  • detailed descriptions, including the benefits the consumers, would receive from the products;
  • consumer price, discount, bonus, gift;
  • various payment methods;
  • shipping and free delivery terms;
  • social media sharing options – for a given product, picture, or article.

What do the corporate clients want (B2B)?

The corporate clients want:

  • an online store with a clean, simple design that is easy to navigate and use;
  • if possible – a  photo of the products in the online store catalog;
  •  the main characteristics to be included in the product descriptions (size, color, the material it’s made of, country of origin, etc)
  •  wholesale prices for buying different quantities;
  • purchase documents – goods receipt, invoice;
  • various payment methods;
  • shipping and free delivery terms option of choosing to have the order delivered to a specified location or to take the prepared order (packaged, with an issued invoice) directly from the store or the warehouse of the seller – the goal is to save time;
  • deferred payment.
  • Due to the requirements of the corporate clients, it would be to your advantage if your online store targeting this group, supports more functions like the following:
  •  integration with an inventory management program, which is used for tracking sales, stocks, and number of orders per client;
  •  invoicing – to be able to issue an invoice for each order;
  •   client differentiation – this is an option that allows you to offer a different discount to each client (in business, discounts are often agreed upon after negotiations, many meetings, and calculations, etc, thus it’s logical for the B2B online stores do not have a fixed discount that is valid for all clients).

When you start selling, think carefully about who you want to sell to – consumers or corporate clients. Retail or wholesale? If you think that both markets are within the range of your interests, use two online store platforms – B2C and B2B, with clearly outlined differences. That way, your investments would be bigger, but you would be spared unpleasant orders-related moments, you would show respect to both of your target groups, you would make the ordering process easier and you would have more differentiated databases, which are particularly valuable from a marketing point of view.

No business can sell everything to everyone. Start with the following questions: “To who do I want to sell my products? To whom can I sell them? Why?”. After you reach the answers, you will be halfway through to the goal. For the other half, you can rely on Composity.