The eCommerce industry is growing rapidly, leading us into a realm of digital transactions for both consumers and businesses alike. Business-to-consumer transactions, otherwise known as B2C, is the common term used when goods or services are sold directly to the consumer. Conversely, business-to-business transactions, or B2B, is the interaction between two businesses when goods are sold to one another.
A closer look at B2B
At the core, the most defining feature of B2B is that procurement is part of the B2B buyer’s job; they are hired to make purchases. B2B buyers are using eCommerce to shop with intent. They are not perusing the internet looking for a one-off pair of brown leather cowboy boots. They are looking for goods or materials because of a business motivation to do so. They are spending company money and are often looking for items in large quantities.
This means B2B buyers are often using eCommerce platforms to shop on deadlines. They will compare prices and quantities and look for the most competitive deal for their business. If you are part of the B2B eCommerce industry, it is imperative that your online inventory management tools can provide real-time inventory updates to B2B buyers. They need to know what’s in stock and how quickly they can receive it. These can be large, profitable orders and business sellers don’t want to miss out on account of poor inventory information.
Essentially, B2B eCommerce needs to be exactly that, business. It needs to be efficient, straight-forward and responsive to large demand requests. If your B2B eCommerce site is user-friendly and intuitive, then you’ll be providing a streamlined experience to keep your B2B buyers coming back.
B2C customers are often shopping for leisure. Although they may need or want the items they are looking for, their motives are not backed with business needs. They may only buy one item at a time, but they may do more research about this item. eCommerce platforms that have a variety of features for customer interaction are well received. Multiple photos or video angles of the product and product reviews are popular amongst many B2C buyers. It’s necessary to adapt your site to your B2C audience to keep them engaged and interested in your products and services.
Although both processes can be undertaken through eCommerce solutions, there are varying factors to how each of them operate. Depending on what you are selling and who you are selling it to, your communications, online inventory management systems and sales tactics need to be adjusted to your market. For example, the scale of orders may be completely different for a large business, rather than just one consumer. There needs to be an online inventory management system that can cope with the varying scope of inventory. Depending on what you’re selling, you may need to implement a catered system to your B2B or B2C needs.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.