What B2B Can Learn from B2C Digital Commerce?


According to Statista estimates, B2B ecommerce will have a net worth of $4 billion by 2020, a clear indication of its rapid growth. Both B2B and B2C players work with a singular goal – enhancing revenue.

However, the B2B sales process is much more complex and takes place over a longer period. 

While B2C players have efficiently integrated digital commerce channels into their marketing and sales strategies, their B2B counterparts have much to learn. Here is how B2B brands can take a page out of the B2C ecommerce book. 

The B2C Way 

Larger Customer Pool – The B2C market has a larger and more flexible customer pool. For instance, the number of people looking for a toothbrush is far greater than the number of people looking for office cabinets. A larger customer pool naturally offers greater revenue potential. 

Acquisition – The expected spending on acquisition per customer is relatively less in the B2C domain. This allows B2C companies to devise smarter and more sophisticated sales and marketing strategies.

B2B companies rely more on physical sales strategies such as phone calls, emails, and the use of sales representatives, which can hike acquisition costs up. 

Smooth Online Experience – B2C companies invest heavily in creating a seamless online purchase experience. B2B platforms, on the other hand, currently do not invest enough resources on websites and mobile applications. Often, the user interface on B2B online websites comes off as an afterthought and doesn’t make for smooth customer experience. 

What B2B Platforms Can Learn

Omnichannel Presence – A holistic and positive customer experience on multiple channels – offline and online – is key to putting together an effective and modern marketing strategy.

B2C brands invest in CRM platforms that analyze customer data to streamline sales and marketing efforts. Investing in platforms like Salesforce can give B2B digital commerce players a 360-degree view of product content, customer data, and social media interaction. 

However, a well-thought-out omnichannel strategy is harder to implement in the B2B space since there are many third parties involved in the sales process. But there remains a significant scope to utilize buyer data using CRMs.

Instead of focusing merely on sales calls and emails, B2B companies can also take into account past transactions and market trends to sell relevant products to the right customers.

This helps instill customer loyalty, which assumes greater importance in the B2B domain where the cost of acquisition is significantly higher.

Search Engine Optimization – SEO helps keep the sales and marketing process customer-centric by making products easily visible to prospective customers.

B2C businesses tend to focus on this aspect to improve their conversion. In the B2B space, on the other hand, the focus of the business is on developing quality content. Although this is important, SEO is often neglected, leading to the loss of several potential sales. 

Personalized Content – Customized customer experience for a targeted and specific audience increases productivity.  CRM platforms allow brands to target their audience based on an analysis of customer groups.

Without the right data to understand customer pain points, it is impossible to offer personalized and relevant content. An overwhelming majority of B2C businesses have successfully implemented a user-friendly interface with the help of CRMs by identifying customer pain points whereas B2B businesses are yet to catch on.

B2B players can improve conversions and promote brand loyalty by successfully implementing CRMs that allow them to create and push personalized content. 

While some strategies that work for B2C may not work for B2B, there is still a lot the latter can learn from the former. The use of CRM has proven extremely successful in the B2C space and there is evidence to suggest that enough B2B organizations have not taken advantage of the technology on hand.

By borrowing B2C ecommerce strategies and implementing effective CRM solutions, B2B customers can set themselves up for success, even in a competitive landscape.