B2B is a term used for marketing or sales activities between two businesses. Alternatively, B2C defines activity between a business and a consumer.
Businesses that market to or sell to other businesses face different challenges than those that sell to consumers. B2B examples may include manufacturers and parts suppliers or enterprise organizations and professional service providers. B2C examples include retail, utility companies, and restaurants.
What's different between Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C)?
In general, B2B transactions involve more than one party, may require a contract, and are more complex than B2C.
Sales - As a grocer or restaurant, a sales transaction with a customer is dramatically shorter than building a partnership with another business. B2B decisions require a needs assessment and due diligence of a suitable partner.
Decision-makers - When a customer is the decision-maker, the sales process is far less complex than commercial transactions. B2B sales may include business ownership, management, the board of directors, or more.
Relationships - B2C customer relationships may be entirely transactional or singular. Business relationships are based on a mutual fulfillment of needs and a partnership that benefits both parties. The partnership may last as long as a contract dictates or longer.
Billing and Collections: Because of the complex nature of B2B transactions and contracts, invoicing and obtaining payment are also very different between B2B and B2C. Consumers pay at the time of the transaction or over time. Business billing and payments may involve sales contracts, financing, credit, accounting, and more.
Click to learn more about Commercial Collections vs. Consumer Collections.