B2B refers to business-to-business transactions where customers are other businesses; where as business-to-consumer transaction refers to businesses dealing with individual consumers or end customers.
B2B transactions are more complex and have a greater need for security than B2C e-commerce. B2B transactions involved many complex issues such as system integration within the firm as well as with its trading partners raising many questions about the security of the information exchanged as well as having to have systems that ensured that the rules and regulations governing the exchange of information were followed. The cost of installing the infrastructure proved to be prohibitory and many businesses and suppliers reverted back to using phones or faxes inhibited by the costs, hardly realizing that in the long run they will be saving tons of money as operating costs are cut drastically as well as ensuring a better control over the supply chain integration. The major hurdle was to get the partners to collaborate in implementing B2B networking, establishing common goals to be achieved hence B2B has not become as popular as it should have been.
Some Differences between B2B and B2C E-Commerce:
o B2C offer spot sourcing contract management that offer a flat rate retail price for each of the goods sold.
o B2B transaction involve direct-sourcing contract management which involves negotiation terms that will establish the price based on which other factors such as warranty coverage, volume-based pricing, carrier, and logistics preferences etc. will be decided.
o B2C does not require the business to spend on expensive, extensive infrastructure.
o B2B requires huge amounts to be involved in spent in integrating the systems of the organization as well as those of its business partners that made the process expensive, time consuming and raising many questions about security etc.
o B2C e-commerce just involves used defined profiles and email promotions.
o B2B e-commerce needs the involvement of complex issues studying order history data, such as the preferences of trading partners, payment records, locations etc.
o B2C requires that sellers update their site regularly regarding product cost and incorporate product catalogue with picture and description of the product.
o B2B involves syndication of catalogues of different suppliers that need to be formatted, priced, and presented to buyers in a consolidated fashion. It has a greater need for Business intelligence systems as well as analytic software.
o B2C is far easier as options like cyber cash enable the business to function easily.
o Payment options are not that easy with B2B, which involves back-office connectivity, invoicing etc.
o B2B have only one major benefit that is good supply chain coordination. B2B e-commerce cannot compromise on time, quality and credibility of its products.
These are just some of the main differences between B2B and business-to-consumer e-commerce.
There are companies that offer services as well as products to help run business successfully.