The Internet has opened up a new era of business marketing that is revolutionizing the way businesses are carried out. Businesses have become more competitive, and companies are becoming aware of this online sales wave. They are now making huge investments in eCommerce by setting up their own website or by opting to be one among many other marketplaces for buyers and sellers. ‘E’ stands for electronic which actually implies digitization of goods sold via an online platform. The buyer-seller relationship is made possible online where everything is done electronically through various modes of payment options available. Electronic Commerce or E-commerce aims at providing benefits to buyers as well as sellers involved in the trade that helps them achieve maximum profits to stay ahead in competition with each other.
Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C) refers to the marketing strategy being practiced where a company operates through its suppliers for products whereas another company deals directly with consumers, respectively. These two models have their unique set of benefits which the seller may choose according to his will while considering various factors such as future goals, company policies, target audiences etc.
The primary benefit seen in B2C eCommerce like amazon is that it offers companies an opportunity to reach masses. It helps buyers by providing them a platform from which they can buy products from different sellers at one place without having to go out searching for them individually on each seller’s website. Also, it takes time and money both due to elimination of travel time, reduced labor costs and reduced distribution costs for the seller. To sell your product on amazon you first need to do your amazon keyword research.
Data is a huge asset that can be in a company’s hand when they use B2B eCommerce. Efficiently managed data allows a company to build a relationship with its customers and suppliers by staying connected to them through this channel of communication.
The ease in building relationships is one of the biggest benefits of B2C eCommerce since it makes it possible to reach thousands or even millions of people around the world in just a little effort. A business owner can expand his target audience from local markets to international markets easily which can result in an increase in sales earning over time when done over a period of years. The ease in gaining access to different customer groups is seen in B2C eCommerce. The seller only needs to create an account on an existing marketplace or advertise his products/services online through various social media platforms which are easily accessible by people around the world. This makes the process less expensive compared to traditional business models where a company has to spend time and money on advertisements, promotions etc.
Both B2B and B2C provide benefits that are unique but it is up to individual companies to decide which model suits them best depending on their goals, market trends etc. While no one can deny the huge benefits offered by both models, there are downsides of both as well. Even though B2B eCommerce works smoothly for any kind of sale involving high value items, it involves too much effort to sell low value items. When selling expensive items, it becomes difficult for a company to operate through suppliers who usually have their own policies and procedures involved in the process of doing business which makes it time-consuming as well as complicated. The biggest issue with B2B eCommerce is that since the number of decision makers is high (in most cases), it is extremely difficult to make them agree on one option or another, limiting choices for companies and creating numerous rounds of negotiations which is again time-consuming and stressful. Many small businesses fail not because they lack potential skills needed but due to their failure to calculate the amount of time and money spent by making use of newer technologies like B2BCommerce that can simplify their monotonous life to some extent.
One of the biggest disadvantages seen in B2C eCommerce is that since customers are not involved directly with sellers, it becomes difficult to maintain a strong connection between them mainly because of the lack of physical interaction which affects their satisfaction level. The problem is further aggravated by the long delivery cycle that causes problems for both sides despite working flawlessly according to the set standards. With time, due to increased cost of shipment and increased price competition between marketplaces/vendors, shipping costs have started increasing at an exponential rate which has forced many companies to either stop selling products online or raise prices resulting in dissatisfaction among consumers who are now searching for alternatives. Consumers are demanding faster deliveries these days as they have become more conscious about their time and they also want the online seller to add additional features such as drop-shipping mechanism which will help in tracking prices and staying updated on latest developments.
B2B is focused more on product sales while B2C is focused on consumer satisfaction. B2B eCommerce has a lot of potential when it comes to increasing productivity and improving business processes so that companies can thrive in an ever-changing global market. The biggest advantage seen in B2B eCommerce is its ability to automate repetitive tasks making it easier for employees to complete their tasks within the deadline. It provides real-time data updates for managers through various reports, analytics etc. When used properly, this model can improve operations among businesses leading to increased revenue generation while reducing operational costs at the same time.
B2B and B2C both serve different purposes and offer unique benefits to companies. Depending on an individual’s needs, the business model must be chosen carefully by consulting experts or other stakeholders who understand the company’s vision and can suggest possible solutions which will help in achieving set targets within the time frame.