Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) websites have different audiences but they are both designed to generate sales. B2B websites focus on selling to other businesses while B2C websites sell directly to the consumers.
Since they are to target different audiences, they each have different features and functions. Here we examine some of the differences.
The difference between B2B and B2C business models
B2B businesses generally:
– Serve fewer purchasers
– Deal in high-value, low-volume goods
– Have prices that are negotiable
– Feature longer sales funnels
– Focus on long-term buyer-seller relationships
B2C businesses on the other hand:
– Serve many more purchasers
– Deal in low-value, high-volume goods
– Prices are rarely negotiable, but coupons and offers are sometimes available
– Quick sales funnel, especially for cheaper goods
The differences between their websites
B2C websites are often brighter and flashier than their B2B counterparts. They are aimed at consumers and want to engage them immediately and tempt them in, so they go for eye-catching graphics and images. There may be a lot of product images to entice consumers to buy.
B2B websites may want to present a more serious, business oriented façade. Rather than displaying images of their products on their homepage they are likely to have something that represents the company or industry. Many want to foster trust in purchasers and build on relationships so may have images of people.
Products on offer
B2C websites will generally list many offerings on their homepage to tempt you to buy something. They will make it straight-forward to buy the products quickly online through the website and display the prices clearly.
B2B websites are generally designed to nurture the buyer through the sales funnel. There will be multiple stakeholders involved so the sales are unlikely to happen immediately thorough the website. With a business buyer, often the person initially looking has to get sign-off from a manager, so the sales process is longer.
They may not list all the products they sell on their website but just have pages of information about their offering. The website may often not display prices as these can vary depending on quantities bought and negotiation.
Such personalisation isn’t used on B2B websites, it would be a little strange if you were searching for website design and were presented with all the pages you had previously visited.
Personalisation takes a different form with B2B websites, B2C websites are often the only form of contact. Whereas on a B2B website the customer might have to fill in a form, then receive calls from a sales representative, then sign a contract before the purchase is complete.
B2C purchasers are individuals who can make up their mind instantly. The decision making process isn’t complicated by other people. B2C websites often include the following content:
– High-resolution images
– Reviews and ratings
– Customer testimonials
– Product features and highlights
– Shopping carts
A B2B website involves a longer nurturing process so the website contains lengthy product information pages and blogs with further information. You are hard-put to find blogs on many B2C websites, they often do have them, but they don’t feature prominently. B2B websites generally contain the following:
– In-depth buying guides
– Product videos
– Blog posts and articles
– Clear contact details for further information
– Case studies demonstrating customer success stories
The call-to-action on a B2C website will usually be ‘Buy Now’ and take you straight to the shopping cart then checkout. A B2B website will not generally have this, their call-to-action will be ‘Request Further Information’ or ‘Contact Us’ to lead to speaking with a sales representative to complete the sale.
B2C websites will feature a payment gateway that will take a variety of payment methods such as debit/credit cards, Apple Pay and Paypal.
B2B companies more commonly invoice the customer, allowing them to buy on credit and pay later. Payment may then take the form of a bank transfer or credit card.
For B2C websites, the quantity is generally quite small, so shipping is done by Royal Mail or courier.
B2B websites will generally feature larger amounts, in which case a freight carrier will be used. If they are more service oriented, so delivery happens in person.
B2C websites differ from B2B in that they are focused on immediate sales so include images and graphics all designed to get the consumer to purchase there and then. In terms of function they make purchasing straight-forward so there is no requirement for personal contact.
B2B websites are more focused on building relationships and trust with the purchaser. The sales funnel is generally longer and involves multiple individuals. Because of this they feature more in-depth information and calls-to-action that involve personal contact from the company rather than expecting an immediate sale.Back to blog home