B2B commerce definition by Investopedia is, “a type of commerce transaction that exists between businesses, such as those involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer.” Let's look at B2B eCommerce definition:
B2B eCommerce stands for business to business electronic commerce and refers to online transactions between businesses, often involving brand, distributors selling products to wholesale customers or retailers rather than individual customers.
Transactions at the wholesale level are usually business-to-business while those at the retail level are most often business-to-consumer (B2C). B2B commerce is quite different from B2C commerce. It functions in a layered system where a business is doing transactions with many other businesses. It is not just about selling the product, but far more than that. Selling the product is a very small part, as most of the sales happen with the existing customers.
To get a handle on what B2B eCommerce is, it’s helpful to break the concept down into its two component parts: the B2B or business-to-business component, and the eCommerce or online transaction component. When you think of it this way, the definition of B2B eCommerce can be quite broad.
The automotive industry is a great example of an ecosystem of complex B2B relationships. Within automotive, there is a huge supply chain that represents companies that do everything from supply the initial raw materials (metals, glass, rubber, etc.), to the manufacturing of not just the car itself but all the components of the car, from radios to headlamps, computer systems and more.
The supply chain can include hundreds of businesses and B2B customer relationships to produce a single car that will then be sold to the end consumer. The eCommerce component speaks to how all these different types of businesses may use the Internet to transact and manage relationships with one another.
A B2B eCommerce platform is quite different from B2C one. Some reasons that make B2B eCommerce different from B2C are:
There are many other factors involved that make B2B commerce far more complex than B2C. Both ways are good, having their own advantages as well as disadvantages. If you are a small business, registering on an eCommerce marketplace like Amazon is a good idea. This saves the resources invested on handling an entire website of your own. On the other hand, having your own B2B ordering portal for your wholesale customers ensures that whosoever visits your online portal will buy only what you want to sell and you get own the customers to build long lasting relationship.
52% of the B2B buyers research about the product on their mobile devices and then proceed with further purchasing as well as other related steps, according to Forrester. Mobile phones have made the process far easier, fast, and convenient. Buyers also expect omni-channel engagement and sales strategy. They want the experience equivalent to any B2C eCommerce. From the sleek design to ease of scrolling down the products to seamless customer service and many more.
50% of the B2B buyers expressed that they would prefer a seller who can provide more customised and personalised service. Furthermore, 40% of the buyers expressed that better back-end integration with accounting, finance, OMS (Order Management Systems), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) will be preferred.
In short, buyers expect more comfort, ease, and convenience.
Believe it or not, B2B eCommerce is growing at pace that it will soon dwarf the B2C market. B2B eCommerce solutions are comparatively complex, but offer a great deal of benefits over offline. So, if you are into B2B business, bring your distribution online as soon as possible. There is always an advantage of staying ahead of your competitors. The earlier you will make your presence, the earlier you will build your reputation online.