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The Digital Business Kit for Retailers

mod-arrow What is B2B?

On the Internet, B2B (Business-to-Business) is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. Forecasts are that B2B revenue will far exceed B2C (Business-to-Consumer) revenue in the near future.

B2B websites are different than B2C websites. They have different goals, as selling to other businesses typically involves higher volume purchases and a greater need to demonstrate expertise. There are a number of different B2B website models to consider based on your operations such as:

Company Websites

The target audience for many company websites is other companies and their employees. Company sites can be thought of as round-the-clock mini-trade exhibits. Sometimes a company website serves as the entrance to an exclusive extranet available only to customers or registered site users. Some company websites sell directly from the site, effectively online retailing to other businesses. For example, a website where business buyers browse and purchase business office products. Often B2B websites exist in large part to build industry presence and trust through blogs, etc.

Product Supply and Procurement Exchanges

There are sites where a company purchasing agent can shop for supplies from vendors, request proposals, and in some cases, bid to make a purchase at a desired price. They are sometimes referred to as eProcurement sites with some serving a range of industries and others focusing on a niche market.

There are also specialised or vertical industry portals which provide a “subWeb” of information, product listings, discussion groups, and other features. These vertical portal sites have a broader purpose than the procurement sites (although, they may also support buying and selling).

Example: a livestock and meat exchange. (example – note this is not an endorsement of the destination site)

Brokering Sites

These act as an intermediary between someone wanting a product or service and potential providers. Equipment leasing is an example.

B2B Platform Providers

There are numerous Software-as-Service providers selling their products to businesses as listed on this example. They sell software for building B2B Web sites, including site-building tools and templates, database, and methodologies as well as transaction software.