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B2B vs B2C: Designing The Right Website

When you are building your website, it is important to identify your target audience. Are you directly selling to businesses or are you dealing with consumers? Whether it is a Business-to-Business (B2B) or a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) website, you need to be distinct and straight to the point. The design and details of the website must depend on who the buyer is.

Planning

B2B vs B2C

Both B2B and B2C websites need to come up with an adequate marketing plan. There are instance when both strategies overlap so being aware with the two kinds of businesses will really help you ensure that your website’s marketing strategy is on the right track.

We are going to compare and contrast B2B and B2C companies. We will look into specific elements that are important in each side.

The Process

  • The buying process in B2C website is simpler compared to a B2B. Anyone can just freely browse a B2C website without any problems. The length from choosing a product to actually buying it is shorter.  Customers are guaranteed an easy and effortless shopping experience.
  • Nowadays, B2C websites do not require their customers to register in order to purchase a product or service. They can just quickly select the items they want and click the check out button. Your website will only stand out among the rest if you give your customers an uncomplicated way ordering items.
  • On the other hand, a B2B process is the exact opposite of B2C. It requires a lot of specific details like you need to meet up with a company representative. You will need to submit your proposed plan and the business will evaluate the proposal.
  • After being approved, usually, companies insert their own set of guidelines to be followed. This is common among B2B businesses. In order for another business to avail a product or service, they need to make sure that you can meet their demands. In B2B, it’s nearly impossible to complete a transaction without an initial meet up or a personal interaction.

The Elements

  • Relationships are important in B2B websites. These online businesses focus on a smaller market than the general population. Concentrating on a specific group of customers will help B2B companies to strengthen every relationship it creates.
  • B2B sales take longer than usual because you should consider the company’s insight. It’s more like a give and take relationship. Companies work with you not so much because of your brand’s identity, but it is mainly because of the personal relationship you both developed.
  • With B2C companies, you are selling to different kinds of people. For instance, you selling vegan cookies to the health conscious and double chocolate chip cookies to the chocoholics. There’s also rainbow cookies for kids! So, you have to deal with different types of consumers.
  • B2C companies focus on products instead of offering services. Usually, a B2C company will a variety of products to a very broad market. B2C purchases are shorter than B2B so you need to capture the consumers’ emotion right away.
  • If B2B value relationships, B2C needs a strong brand identity. In order to successfully entice customers, B2C websites should focus on imagery. Creating a need or desire for the product is important. Price drops and sales should be highlighted to get the attention of the customers.

Being able to distinctly identify the difference between a B2B and B2C website will help you generate a marketing plan that fits your business. Then, you can create useful campaigns that will convert website viewers to buyers. If you need B2B tips, just click here while the B2C tips are on this link.

Designing a B2C (Business to Consumer) Website

On the last article, I posted about helpful B2C marketing tips. You may ask, “What is B2C the model?” The B2C (business to consumer) model is the most common business model. If you bought an item online, that online retailer is an example of a B2C website. Any products and services that are sold online through a website or virtual storefront are all considered B2C businesses.

Woman Shopping

A woman enjoying the convenience of online shopping.

The Beginning

  • The B2C concept started in 1979 and retailers would sell their products on TV. Interested buyers would purchase through the telephone number flashed on screen. English inventor Michael Aldrich called this “teleshopping.” Eventually, when the people discovered the internet, domain names became the new avenue for shopping.
  • During the 1990s, e-commerce websites started to pop up everywhere. Today’s top retailers like Amazon, Zappos and Victoria’s Secret are all considered B2C websites. With having a website, a business does not need an actual store to operate. Moreover, customers can easily shop for products in the convenience of their own homes. The B2C model is ideal for fastfood, bakeries, jewelry stores, shoe stores, flower shops, and other small businesses.

How should you design a B2C website?

  • Capture their emotions.
    • This is the main target of a B2C website because it is the emotions that triggers the consumers to buy a product. For example, in the mobile phone market, there are a multitude of options. Still, majority of the customers choose to buy an iPhone even though it has the same features as an LG, OPPO, Nokia, and Samsung phone. Why is this? It’s the feeling of owning an iPhone. Apple’s branding exudes class and elegance.
    • This common in most B2C businesses than in B2B. Customers don’t care of the features and technical specifications. They usually go for the trendier and the popular product.
  • Upselling and cross-selling products.
    • The prices, in B2C, are straightforward. Everyone is offered the same price and the only difference is the shipping fee.
    • To generate more profit, websites upsell and cross-sell their products. Upselling happens when a customer is offered a series upgrades. For example, when you customize a jewelry and engrave a message, that is considered upselling. Wrapping your gift in a box and adding a note. These customizations are not given for free and websites earn more through these methods.
    • Cross-selling is offering more options to customers so that he can add more items to his cart. When you shop online, websites usually recommend you other products that go with your existing purchase. It encourages customers to buy in bundles to avail the free shipping incentive.
  • Talk directly to the customer.
    • When creating a business-to-consumer website, remember that you are only transacting to one person and that is the buyer. This potential buyer does not need justify his decision or need to ask permission. When a consumer is purchasing a product, it is most likely out of impulse. So, take advantage of this by creating marketing strategies that will make them click that BUY NOW button. Provide limited-time offers that are hard to resist like a free shipping option or a discount code.

 

Four Helpful B2C Marketing Tips

Woman Holding Card While Operating Silver Laptop

Previously, I have discussed about B2B web design guidelines that are helpful for your e-commerce website. This is time around, I will share four useful B2C tips. In 2015,  B2C websites all over the world earned over $24 trillion. As a retailer that caters to specific consumers, you need to step up your game and apply these guidelines. Your target audience is huge so you need a mix of internet marketing techniques to entice a specific group.

  • Engage Through Contests.
    • Ask your audience about their opinion and in turn, they get to win a prize. Have a creative contest. For example, to win a million dollars, your customers can their new flavor ideas for your potato fries. They can also submit their own dance video showcasing your apparel. There are more ideas on how to know your audience’s opinion and at the same time, generate buzz for your business.
    • To this day, contests are the most effective B2C strategy to attract audiences because you will be able to showcase that you trust and value the importance of your audience’s opinions. It gives them a sense of pride that a company values what they have to say.
  • Know Your Audience.
    • If you know that your followers are mostly teenagers, then provide solutions for teens. You can blog about the “Top 10 Holiday Destinations That Teens Will Surely Love,” or “Top 10 Beauty Products that Less Than $10.”
    • Provide useful how-to’s for your products. If you are selling makeup products, then post a video on how to achieve a certain look. Provide tutorials for audience so they will constantly visit your website for more exclusive tips and tricks.
  • Make Social media Your Best Friend.
    • Whether your business is B2B or B2C, social media is relevant. This is how you will interact with your audience. It provides a real-time communication between you and your customers. Thus, you will be able to personalize their shopping experience and give more of what they actually want.
    • Your customers are bombarded with advertising messages everywhere. The key to be able successfully apply social media to your advantage is to have a clear target. Interact and do not just broadcast your messages. Post creative videos and blogs that will be useful to them. Add humor and pop culture references to your advertisements.
    • You might ask about the social media platform to use. Facebook is undoubtedly the most popular choice today. However, there are also websites like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram that has a lot of followers. Know where there are more followers and focus on that!
  • Lure Them Back.
    • In the digital world, there are a lot of distractions. Your customers’ shopping experience can get derailed by the constant pop-ups and notifications on their mobile phone. It is important to be able to redirect these customers back on track. You can send them a follow-up email regarding their abandoned shopping cart. B2C websites need to come up with unique ideas on how to make the abandoned carts hard to resist. You can insert a sense of urgency like the it’s almost out of stock or the discount code is about to expire.

Effective B2C marketing requires intense research and content creation. Some B2C websites focus on their app and mobile content while there are others that focus on social media engagements. It’s really up to you decide on strategies that work for your online business.