General Characteristics of B2B and B2C eCommerce

E-commerce encompasses the use of technologies, processes and management practices that enhance organisational competitiveness through strategic use of electronic information. E-commerce is, thus, a modem methodology that addresses the need of organisations’ merchants and consumers.

eCommerce Characteristics

a. The business tools are electronic and the application is commerce, i.e. profit motive.

b. Business is externally focused on those with whom business is conducted.

c. Most of the transactions are processed automatically.

d. Uses a gamut of business support services, such as inter-organizational e-mail and on-line directories.

B2B E-commerce

A B2B website’s major concern is about the supply chain management. The main function of the web portal is to allow companies to deal directly with their online suppliers and distributors.

B2B E-commerce deals with other companies, not with the general public. Wholesalers, suppliers and manufacturers are included in this category.

The main characteristics of B2B e-commerce are:

- The creation of a long term partnership
- Small-sized and easy to identify target market
- Longer purchase process
- Decision-making based on the quality of the service rather than the price
- An audience more aware of the industry

As B2B marketing is more focused  on relationships, e-commerce implies more contact points such as e-mails, newsletters, on-line magazines, case studies, white papers and other tools for loyalty development.

B2C E-commerce

A B2C website is more an intermediary portal to connect directly consumers with suppliers. This type of e-commerce is mainly concentrated on the sale to the final consumer via the Internet support.  We can quote as an example websites such as Amazon, lastminute.com or still fritealors.com who present products and services(departments) dedicated to the general public.

The main characteristics of B2C e-commerce are:

- Real price comparison
- Large-sized target market
- Short decision-making process
- Decision-making based on emotion
- A weaker customer loyalty to the retail website

The marketing B2C involves motivating  prospects by preferential rates (special offers, loyalty programs, coupons or exceptional discounts).

In order to reduce the price during the decision-making process, the seller can count on an excellent quality of customer service or on a development of the offer which increases the loyalty of customers.