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Are B2B Buyers and B2C Shoppers Different?

September 1st, 2016 by Marcel Munoz


The blurring lines between B2B and B2C e-commerce continues to be one of the most popular topics of 2016. We know that Amazon has shaped consumer expectations in a big way and B2B consumers have begun to expect a B2C-like experience online.

It’s true that B2B buyers are “consumers with an inbox,” but there’s more to it than that. B2B buyers also have unique needs and behaviors that are very different from the average online shopper looking for the best deal on a new pair of shoes. Generally speaking, B2B buyers are more directed and less likely to “window shop.” Realistically, who browses commercial furniture or appliances just for the fun of it.

The B2B Buyer vs the B2C Shopper

Business buyers are sophisticated and it’s not out of the question that they understand your products better than you do. They:

  • buy products to stay profitable competitive and successful
  • are far less likely to succumb to impulse buying behavior
  • has a high interest in content that educates and informs them about your product/service
  • negotiate pricing contracts
  • place frequent repeat orders (depending on the product line)
  • need access to purchase history and account activity

B2C shoppers are increasingly tech savvy and are usually looking for the best price. They:

  • research the competition prior to making a purchase
  • are heavily influenced by shipping costs
  • often make impulse purchases (especially when there is free shipping available)
  • are less directed and like to spend time browsing their favorite websites as a way to pass the time
  • are less brand loyal and more likely to buy from a competitor based on price alone
  • are likely to choose guest checkout and visibility into order information after the order has shipped is less important

Both buyers are interested in a great online experience and quality customer service, which is where the two worlds are really colliding. When building a B2C like experience to meet the changing demands of the B2B buyer, don’t lose site of the fact that they are motivated by different things and have different needs for pre and post purchase activities.

Next up we’ll talk about the most important features to meet the needs of the B2B buyer.

Marcel Munoz

Marcel Munoz

Greetings! My name is Marcel. I've been heavily involved in ecommerce tools and data automation and curation.

You can learn more about me on our Thanx Media management page.
Let's link up to share great content & ideas: @thanxmedia | G+  

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