What are the differences between B2C and B2B E-commerce?

differences b2b b2c ecommerce
What are the main differences between b2b and b2c e-commerce?

When addressing the B2B projects, it’s very important to determine what are the main differences with B2C projects? All those who are specialized in some way in managing projects B2C E-commerce need a change of mindset, in most cases what works in B2C doesn’t work in B2B.

The most important differences between B2B and B2C (not an exclusive list) can be found are:

Sale processes are completely different:

In most B2B, there is a generation 1 lead, and then one negotiation with special emphasis on all the logistics and payments. The simple B2C funnel will not often work where additional processing and sales processes are much longer.

Importance of the sales team throughout the process:

If your sales team isn’t convinced, they won’t be able to convince your leads, which kills converting them into sales. Your sales team needs to be involved in a 360-degree basis, and anything less just won’t do.


The B2B far more complicated than the B2C: the entire conversation is different and based on the details concerning accounts, and different pricing/sales conditions. It’s important to adapt your strategy when talking to fellow professionals.


For B2C, it’s normal to give promotions during special events or to thank a customer for their business. In the B2B world, promotions are given to help a partnership relationship and as a trial offer.

% Ratios much lower conversion:

While B2C might boom with higher conversion for small price points, B2B conversion is a lot slower, but with a much higher payout.


Pricing policies are not as clear as in the B2C, as promotions and negotiations tend to raise or drop the price based on the relationship.

Search Engine Organic Traffic:

There are fewer transaction searches on google, B2B customers tend to specialize their searches based on different keywords.


The “standard” e-commerce platforms (Magento / Prestashop)  are not necessarily prepared for many of the necessary variables in many cases we go to complex developments to own or third-party platforms.

While the B2B market tends to contrast in a big way with the B2C market, it’s no more complex or difficult. In order to succeed in this market, you have to adapt your strategy in the right way and adapt your goals to account for a longer sale cycle.

Success stories B2C and B2B

Now that you know how these two types of marketing differ, we bring you two examples that demonstrate the effectiveness of strategies when you correctly define the market in which to operate, the type of client and the objectives to be achieved:

B2C Cases

  • Tesco is committed to technological innovation. This supermarket stands out for the introduction of new technologies in its stores. For years they have been concentrating their efforts on making shopping easier for customers and saving costs in this process. They have introduced innovations such as Big Data, augmented reality, e-Commerce, or large virtual screens in their stores to make the purchase from them. Their strategy is based on first testing these innovations in pilot stores and, if they work, implementing them in the rest of the stores. The goal is to become a multi-channel supplier. They also create their own technology products, such as apps or tablets, to improve and facilitate the shopping experience for customers.
  • Bruguer and augmented reality. The paint company developed an application that allows you to “paint” the walls and see how it would look in reality. The goal is that consumers can try all the colours they want without the need to do it on the wall itself. Through the mobile, you can visualize the painted room of the colour that we would like. With this strategy, Bruguer reaches everyone who wants to paint their house and, in this way, increases the possibilities of conversion. The success of this strategy is going to offer a solution to the problem, in this case, to be able to try all possible colours before having to pick up the brush.

B2B Cases

  • IBM celebrates its 60th anniversary. The computer company was 60 years old. To celebrate, IBM Singapore conducted a B2B marketing campaign that summarized the company’s history. What they did was to create a web page where the user could navigate in a simple and interactive way through the history of the company during those 60 years. In addition, the most outstanding projects to date were annexed and the future goals to be achieved were shown, along with employee testimonials. The success of IBM’s marketing strategy resided in taking advantage of the history of the company as a differentiating value, which was intended to generate greater confidence around the brand by highlighting its achievements. In addition, this idea was reinforced with the personal experiences of the employees, which helped to increase the credibility of IBM’s successes.
  • Forbo is committed to originality. The flooring company Forbo wanted to introduce its new “Spirit of Spa” line among architects’ offices and interior designers. To do it in a different and original way, they created a pair of sandals that they distributed among the companies, thus inviting them to “live the experience under their feet”.

What are the biggest differences for your company? Tell us below or tweet us!


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ECN Team
E-Commerce Nation is The 1st B2B Web Media about E-Commerce in Europe. The team of E-Commerce Explorers help businesses to reach new potential market through delivering useful content. Let us know in comment if you enjoyed this content.