Knowing who you are addressing is essential to understand how to set up your communication. Therefore, knowing the difference between B2B and B2C becomes fundamental
Understanding what the B2B and B2C abbreviations mean and what differences there are between them is fundamental, to fully enter the world of marketing and to understand how each type of approach can affect your campaign in a different way.
Business-to-business marketing (B2B) differs from marketing business-to-consumer (B2C). Although you are always selling a product/service to one person, the difference between these two markets is profound. When we talk about B2B, we are talking about selling to companies that implement strategies to simplify the purchasing process, in order to save time and money. It’s why a B2B purchase leverages logic, while a consumer (B2C) purchase is more based on emotion.
It is also true that the cost of selling a product/service through the B2B channel can be higher than the cost of a sale for the B2C market. The simplest way to explain this is that a B2B transaction often involves multiple people: it is hardly a single individual who chooses to make the purchase. This is because every B2B purchase must have a value, a return, a specific intended use. While, in B2C, the person can buy a product/service simply because he feels like it or finds it beautiful.
So let’s try to analyze the two terms, explain the differences, and – above all – how they influence marketing campaigns.
B2B And B2C, What They Are
With the term B2B, we indicate the so-called “business to business” (from activity to activity) while B2C means “business to consumer” (from activity to consumer). In practice, B2B companies sell products and services directly to other companies, while B2C companies sell products and services to individual consumers, to the customer who uses them for personal use.
What Are The Differences Between B2B And B2C?
B2B and B2C marketing campaigns have many points in common, starting with the best practices that are followed to build them at their best. However, there are many differences between one concept and another. Differences are divided into four macro-categories:
- Who decides the purchase
- The process leading to purchase
One of the main differences is that relating to who decides to buy. B2C campaigns are aimed at any customer potentially interested in the product: not necessarily those who see the advertisement/advertisement will make the purchase, but maybe they will recommend that product/service to a close person.
In marketing for shops or B2B e-commerce, on the other hand, you must focus exclusively on who has to make the purchase. Whoever has the ability to make the decision to buy must see that ads.
The Process That Leads To The Purchase
Once you have established who decides to buy, it is important to understand how the process leading to that action is different between B2B and B2C. The companies doing research to see if the purchase is valid and therefore will seek details, reviews, alternative options, and potential competitors. The B2C instead is more direct and immediately wants all the information.
It can be said that B2C customers are much more instinctive and able to make immediate purchases.
The Time Leading Up To The Purchase
As mentioned, therefore, consumers are willing to buy faster than B2B customers. This also arises from the need for the latter to have to deal with a possible pre-established budget, decisions taken by several company levels, and less urgent needs.
Obviously, the two types of purchases have different motivations. The B2B customers have the as main objective to gain profits by improving their business, while consumers want to positively affect their lives through the purchase made, so often in the latter plays a crucial role invest on ‘ emotional marketing.
B2B And B2C, The Examples
The most common example of a modern B2C business is direct sellers or producers who are able to sell to consumers. Many online retailers, such as clothing stores, follow this model: just think of Zara, Zalando, H&M, Asos. Among the most famous B2Cs, we cannot fail to mention Amazon and Facebook Marketplace, and other social commerce platforms.
For B2B, without going into the technical, we can think of the automotive world. Everyone knows the most famous car brands that cater to the consumer, but for every car and truck sold there is a rich production chain. From tires to the smallest engine parts, a vehicle is made up of hundreds of small electronic and non-electronic components that are essential for the final consumer product – the vehicle – to function properly. The manufacturer purchases these products from his various suppliers and assembles them to form the final product.