The specific model of business when companies sell goods or provide services to each other is called B2B, also called B-to-B (Business-to-business). The transactions between a manufacturer and wholesale or retail companies are possible within it. This model of conducting business stands in contrast to the B2C model when a retailer sells goods to consumers, to the D2C model when a manufacturer sells goods directly to consumers, or the B2G model when some company sells to the government. An example of a b2b business could be the purchase of material and fittings by a company making jeans from another company.
The b2b business: buyers’ specifics
An important characteristic of b2b business is the order size and its value. Some companies tend to believe that there is little difference between b2b and b2c or other business models and the same marketing tools can be applied in both cases. In fact, only some of the b2c marketing tools are efficient in the b2b market because of specific characteristics of b2b consumers. These characteristics are the following:
- The expertise of the product. As a rule, the company’s specialists who are responsible for the procurements know the required goods and their characteristics well.
- Detailed study of the information. Since the product must conform to the requirements, the purchasing managers pay more attention to the characteristics of the product and therefore study the description of the product closely.
- The decision-making time. In b2b trade, it can take up to several weeks to select a supplier, study the goods, discuss the terms of the deal, and sign a contract.
- The number of people who make the decision. As a rule, the procurement decision is a group one: representatives of several departments participate equally to take it.
Marketing strategies of b2b companies should consider all of these features.
The b2b business: the specifics of e-commerce solutions
Any successful e-commerce solution for a b2b business must provide the following features:
- Personalization. Special prices, discounts, catalog assortment, delivery, and payment terms should be personalized. The personalization system needs to be transparent and all this information should be provided in a convenient format.
- Onboarding with customer registration and verification. In b2b business, you need to identify a prospective customer the very first time he visits the site. Therefore, wholesale platforms have to support onboarding with fast customer registration.
- The platform management. The company’s specialists have different roles and perform different tasks. Therefore, they must have the appropriate level of access.
- Integration with external systems. The synchronization of the b2b platform with external solutions considerably facilitates and speeds up the performance of the b2b company. For example, these can be accounting systems, SAP, ERP, billing services, logistics services, and others.
For more details about e-commerce solutions that can significantly improve the performance of b2b businesses follow the link.