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What is B2B? B2B vs. B2C vs. What are the Differences Between C2C?

Updated: Feb 6

B2B or Business-to-Business (business to business) is a trade between businesses as opposed to transactions between a business and the ultimate individual consumer ( B2C ). In other words, the customers of a business are other companies. Originally the term was used to describe any process of selling products between businesses. Today, it is more commonly used to describe online transactions between companies.

All industries have companies that deal with B2B. This is a requirement as all companies require certain supplies and services, and many companies provide these specific supplies and services. It has always been standard for companies to purchase goods and materials, outsource, and source from other companies. For example, automakers never make all the components of their cars from scratch. They purchase from other companies to assemble materials and parts.

Many B2B companies, such as computer companies or office supply companies, are also B2C. For example, a computer company may sell tons of personal computers, but the real sale is by selling thousands of desktops and laptops to companies and offices. Imagine for a moment how many computers could be sold to a conglomerate, and consider how much money was made from that sale compared to selling personal computers.

In summary, while many B2B companies are strictly B2B, there is plenty of overlap between B2B and B2C.

What is Vertical B2B?

Vertical B2B is companies that sell goods and services, especially in a single industry. The auto manufacturing industry is an excellent and easy-to-understand example of vertical B2B. One company produces steel and sells it only to automakers, while others supply the tires or the engine. The reason for existence of all companies involved is to assist in automobile production.

What is Horizontal B2B?

Horizontal B2B serves multiple industries. These companies reach a wider audience and have multiple demographics to serve. Consider a company that sells paper. This company can sell to any type of company, from supplying copy paper to different offices to providing printed paper.

What is B2B E-commerce?

B2B is a massive e-commerce marketplace that outshines B2C (business to customer) by around 260%. Digital B2B is currently one of the most lucrative and creative areas of business. E-commerce has rapidly begun to replace many traditional approaches to the business world.

Many services are sold online, from website development to email tools, information tools, and software. There are many companies that need these services and collaborate with other companies to provide them. For example, every company needs a website and they want it done by professionals, and they find these professionals via the internet.

What is B2B Marketing?

Vertical or horizontal, B2B marketing is a big world and essential for building your brand, building relationships and negotiating. The Internet plays a vital role in B2B marketing. Company websites and blogs, social media, SEO, emails, videos and ebooks are all part of B2B marketing.

B2B marketing starts with research. Researching the market (including competing brands), prospective and current customers, and services puts you in a position to make sound business and financial decisions based on facts.

After the research, it's time to reveal your brand name. When the consumer is searching for a product like yours, you want your product to appear. Having a website is just the tip of the iceberg. To rank high in Google searches, you need your website. A studied SEO strategy is a great start that will get you on the radar fast.

In addition to always having your inbox open via customer service and chats, sending informational emails helps you gain an audience. Likewise, paid ads are also worth your money.

Once you have your customers' attention, the most important thing is to protect it. Keeping up to date with your reviews, followings, customer service and product information will earn you loyal customers.

What Are the Most Popular B2B Types?

  • Engineering and machinery (auto industry, aircraft industry, shipbuilding, etc.)

When an automobile company manufactures its vehicles and sells them to end users (individuals), this process is B2C. But the factory doesn't sell cars directly to people. Usually such businesses do this through an authorized dealer network. So this transaction is B2B. Authorized dealers, on the other hand, sell cars to individuals, and this transfers the situation to B2C. However, if an authorized dealer has sold a vehicle to a shipping company, the transaction is still B2B.

  • Commodity and metalworking companies

When an oil extraction business sells to oil processing facilities, that transaction is B2B. Likewise, when oil refineries sell it to gas stations, the transaction is B2B. Finally, when there is a consumer buying gas from a gas station, the transaction is B2C.

  • Advertising and marketing services

For the most part, individuals do not need marketing and advertising. Therefore, this sector is a B2B representative.

  • chemical industry

  • woodworking

There are many other examples of industries, but they depend on the country, the economy, and many other factors.

What is B2C?

B2C (Business-To-Consumer ) is a business activity between companies and consumers. It could be a large supermarket, online store, or even a small branch of a law firm.

Originally the term was used to describe any process of selling products directly to consumers, including shopping in a store or dining at a restaurant. Today, it is used to describe transactions between online retailers and their customers.

What Are The Most Popular B2C Types?

  • Fixed sales points

Shops large or small near your home, even a neighborhood grocery store, are a B2C business.

  • mobile sales points

Portable hot dog and coffee carts, even street vendors (entrepreneurs), are good examples of mobile outlets.

  • fast food networks

Rasta food chains like McDonald's or Burger King, cafes, restaurants, eateries, bars etc.

  • E-commerce

It is the largest industry that includes all kinds of online stores, from stores like Amazon. It relates to any product or service that targets the end consumer.

What is C2C?

C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) is a business activity between private individuals (consumers). This business model can be implemented directly or through a third party (intermediary).

Originally, the C2C model meant direct selling between individuals. Today it's about online sales between individuals. In this case, the need for a third party arises (marketplaces and classified ad sites such as eBay, Craigslist or Gumtree). So if you buy an iPad on eBay from an individual and not an entrepreneur, it's a classic C2C model. If you sell a chainsaw to your neighbor, this is also an example of C2C, but an offline "old school" type.

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