B2B and B2C have a lot in common. There are also some important characteristics that set them apart. B2B deals are more complicated than B2C deals. The stakes are higher, the length of the sales cycle is longer, and there are a greater number of decision makers.
Differences Between B2B and B2C
- Breadth of Audience
The primary difference between B2B and B2C is the scale of the audience. B2C brands strive to reach a broader defined group of people (millennials into music, fitness-minded moms, sports fans, and kids).
These are large psychographic and demographic groups that have their very own individual customer journey map. The map helps in keeping it all straight.
The customer journey map will tell you where the users are coming from and how many visits or days it takes for the user to move from one stage to the other.
The goal of the user at each stage is ascertained. You will be able to identify how each segment behaves. The customer journey maps are adjusted on a monthly or quarterly basis.
The audiences for B2B e-commerce are a lot narrower. There is usually a set number of buyers. The profile is also quite straightforward.
For instance, a B2B brand may choose to target only finance VPs at tech startups or ad agency owners. You will be surprised to know that this doesn’t limit the potential of B2B.
The map will enable you to understand the psychology behind buyer behavior. Buying is not complex. The number of channels, platforms, options, and alternatives has increased substantially and this has made the buying decision competitive and difficult.
- Average Price Point
A B2C brand will have to reach and sell to thousands of customers to get to their first million in sales. This is because they are selling products at a lower rate.
In B2B e-commerce, brands may only sell to a couple of hundred customers and yet manage to make millions in revenue. One of the reasons that B2B is taking off in a big way is the average order value.
The average order for a B2C is $147 whereas for B2B it averages $491. This is more than triple the value. There are also exceptions to this. There are B2B goods that cost only $25 and B2C goods with a hefty price tag of $20,000.
In most industries, you will find B2B e-commerce purchases are higher in price.
B2B buyers report a higher spend online. The number of work purchases that are made online are also higher. Understanding the average price point of B2B and B2C purchases will help in developing strategies that connect with the audience.
- The Decision-Making Process
The decision-making process in a B2C e-commerce purchase is simple and straightforward. There are many decision makers involved in the B2B buying process. You will often find a correlation between the size of the buying team and the possibility of the sale being successful.
B2B brands will need to invest time in creating an optimal user experience as B2C brands do. This means when a user visits your website they should trust and believe that your brand offers the best solution to their problems.
B2B brands need to clearly communicate their story and optimize the user experience to ensure a successful sale.
Shopify B2B vs B2C Strategies
There are a few B2B and B2C strategies that every eCommerce brand needs:
- Educational Content
Nowadays B2B buyers don’t look for sales professionals to guide them through the buying process. B2B buyers often look for content that is available online.
B2B brands need to invest in creating content that will help B2B buyers make the important decision of buying. The content that is created should add value to the targeted audience.
The content should educate potential buyers and solve their problems. If the content is not interesting and educational, it will not be able to attract existing and potential buyers to the website.
- Quality Site Search
Most B2B and B2C buyers do online research. Enhanced search functionality is something that most B2B and B2C buyers look for during their online shopping experience.
If it is difficult to find your website and discover products, you will be losing quality leads and revenue. You will be able to attract more B2B and B2C buyers if the website and products are easy to find.
Websites that are able to give visitors instant results for their search queries are able to connect better with their users. Sites that enhance browsing experience will be able to generate leads and close sales.
- Maintaining A Presence Beyond the Website
Most potential B2B buyers look beyond the website when they do their online research. This is why your online presence should be consistent.
The online reviews and social media pages should reinforce the message that is conveyed by the website. If the social media presence of the brand doesn’t match the website, users will lose trust in the brand.
- Strengthen the Relationship with Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for B2B sales. B2B brands often make use of email marketing to connect with their buyers. There are many email marketing strategies that B2B brands can use to build a mailing list.
Offering value up front is one of the most successful strategies that can be used by B2B brands. Providing an interesting case study and educating visitors to the website about your product are easy ways to generate potential leads and capture emails.
B2B brands should invest in content that is downloadable. They should follow up with users by providing content that is educational in nature. Most B2B brands want to educate their buyers. They can make use of this opportunity to position the brand. It will help in establishing a relationship that is built on value and trust.
Email marketing strategies can be used by both B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms to increase sales. It is also one of the most cost-effective ways to connect with the buyers.
Similarities Between B2B and B2C
- Multiple Channels Are Important
A large percentage of buyers prefer to do online research instead of interacting with a sales representative. Buying habits and multi-channel browsing are similar for both B2B and B2C buyers.
Most B2B and B2C buyers spend time on similar channels. They rely on channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for social engagement. This means you should not ignore Instagram and Facebook even if your audience is only B2B.
B2B brands that embrace these different channels are most likely to be successful than their competitors. Multiple social media channels provide B2B and B2C brands a far wider reach to connect with their buyers.
Buyers are always people at the other end of the transaction. This is similar for both B2B and B2C buyers. Most often organizations make the mistake of assuming that buyers are different for B2B and B2C e-commerce purchases.
B2B and B2C e-commerce websites are fundamentally different and yet similar in many ways. The best marketing strategies for both these segments begins with extensive market research.
B2B and B2C e-commerce businesses should know who their customers are and what are their preferences. This will allow businesses to connect with their audience and make profits.