B2B and B2C transactions between supplier and customer play an important role in e-commerce. Both processes are characterized by different requirements, not only in the analogue world, but also in the digital world. Different e-commerce strategies are therefore essential for successful implementation. If you know the difference, you can tailor your strategy perfectly to various target groups and transactions.

B2B and B2C – where are the differences?

  • The B2B customer is usually not an individual, but often a team of buyers. This is why so-called “buying centres” exist in companies. Those consist of experts from different departments. During a purchasing process they discuss with each other and finally decide on the purchase together.
  • Transport volumes also differ. In B2C, the transport volume of goods is usually lower than in B2B. As a result, higher costs arise, because although a truck has to load less, it has to travel to several unloading points.
  • Certain business processes of important frequent customers are often integrated in order to operate more efficiently. If the supplier is integrated into a supply chain, he becomes an important element of the chain as an intermediary or as a manufacturer.
  • The delivery to B2B customers is easier. Usually a recipient is provided to collect the transport goods at the drop-off location. In contrast to B2B, end consumers in the B2C sector are mostly not reachable, which is why deliveries often end up in a package centres at the end of the day, thus most deliveries are delayed.

Planning capability and reliability for B2B supply chains

More and more B2B customers are expecting the same offer and convenience as private B2C customers online. Speed of delivery and knowing exactly when the goods will arrive are particularly important for both types of customer. In addition, it is possible for B2C customers to receive orders on the same day. The online giant Amazon is leading the way.  Amazon Prime members can therefore receive their order on the same day from 18:00 to 21:00. The B2B logistics sector must face up to this trend.

Deliveries via courier services can now be roughly tracked, from individual stations to local delivery. The arrival of the shipment is announced for a certain period, but may be postponed by a few days for capacity reasons. In the B2B supply chain, such a shift can have serious consequences.

According to SAP expert Andreas Worms, further digitization of wholesale logistics can only be achieved with an improved customer approach. A lot of data is still no used optimally. In addition, lack of speed and process accuracy are slowing down business. The implementation of various supply chain scenarios is also much more complicated in B2B e-commerce. Logistic experts then need to adapt warehouse concepts and distribution to these individual profiles.

How does this affect digital processes now?

On the one hand, digitization means standardization, on the other hand, customized solutions are in demand. Many wholesalers have significantly improved their supply chains in recent years. Digitized logistics services such as digital forwarding agents make a decisive contribution, fitting the supply chain to the requirements of e-commerce, be it B2C or B2B.

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