B2B vs. B2C: The B2B Meaning, B2C Meaning, and Examples

B2B (business-to-business) refers to companies selling to other companies. Whereas B2C (business-to-consumer) describes businesses selling directly to consumers.

 min read
March 26, 2024
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As an aspiring e-commerce entrepreneur, you might have encountered the terms B2B and B2C. But you might need clarification on what they mean and how choosing one affects your business.

Honestly, I was in the same situation when I started. But once I got the hang of B2B and B2C, I could pick the strategy that worked best for me.

Now, I want to help you choose wisely by breaking down B2B and B2C meaning. I'll talk about the benefits of each and why one might suit your business better.

Read on to learn:

  • What is the meaning of B2B and B2C 
  • How B2B and B2C differ
  • Pros and cons of B2B vs. B2C
    Examples of B2B vs. B2C
  • How B2B and B2C differ in ecommerce
  • B2B and B2C marketing funnels
  • Platforms for creating B2B and B2C sites

Let’s get started.

Key takeaways

  • B2B deals with business customers while B2C sells to individual shoppers.
  • B2B purchases involve many people but B2C decisions are often made by one.
  • Selling in B2B takes longer while B2C aims for quick sales.
  • B2B websites offer detailed info and B2C sites focus on ease and visual appeal.
  • Choosing the right platform is key for both B2B and B2C strategies.

What is B2B meaning?

B2B stands for "business to business." It's a business model where companies sell directly to other companies.

B2B companies approach ecommerce differently than traditional businesses. They focus on facilitating the business buyer with comprehensive product information.

You'll also find them using social proof such as customer reviews to build trust with potential customers.

What is B2C meaning?

B2C stands for "business to consumer." It's a business model where companies sell directly to individuals.

B2C ecommerce involves a wide range of products, easy online payments, and quick delivery options.

The focus is on making buying as easy and enjoyable as possible for the everyday consumer.

B2B vs. B2C: What’s The Difference?

While both B2B and B2C allow you to sell products, there are a few key differences to keep in mind:

Product type

B2B often deals with raw materials or parts. For instance, selling steel for car manufacturing.

Sometimes, B2B also sells final products. An example is office furniture sold to businesses.

B2C focuses on selling directly to consumers. This includes everyday items like food or household goods.

This shows B2B supplies for production, while B2C meets personal needs.

Purchase decision

In B2B, decision-making often involves many people. For example, when a company decides to buy software, the decision might include the C-suite, IT department, and other key staff. They all look at the cost, effectiveness, and overall benefit to the company.

In B2C, the decision is usually made by just one person. This individual decides whether to buy something based on their own needs or desires.

So, in B2B, a collective of people checks if a purchase is good for the business. In B2C, an individual makes the choice based on personal interest.

Sales cycle time

The time to make a sale varies a lot between B2B and B2C.

In B2B, the sales cycle is longer. Businesses take their time before buying. They check many details and compare options. Often, they need approval from several people.

But, B2C purchases are quick. People shopping for themselves decide fast. For example, seeing a shirt you like online can lead to an immediate buy.

This shows how differently businesses and individual customers make purchase decisions.

Marketing tone and messaging

B2B and B2C take different approaches in their communication.

B2B is formal and data-driven. It highlights how products can improve business operations. 

B2C is more engaging and emotional. It focuses on how products can enhance personal life

The takeaway? B2B uses logical information, whereas B2C relies on emotional appeal to connect with customers.

Customer trust

People today question marketing more than ever. So both B2B and B2C businesses need to prove they're trustworthy.

But the way they do this can be quite different.

B2B companies win trust with facts. They use real success stories and in-depth guides to show how they help businesses grow.

B2C companies, meanwhile, earn trust with opinions. They use reviews from customers and shoutouts from influencers to show people love their products.


For B2C, customers prefer to solve problems on their own. They like easy and fast solutions to get help or ask questions.

But in B2B, because deals are bigger and more complex, companies offer a team to support their clients. This makes solving problems smoother and keeps track of everything in one system.

So, B2C focuses on quick self-help, while B2B provides detailed support through a team.

B2B vs. B2C: Benefits and Drawbacks

Both B2B and B2C have their advantages and drawbacks. Here’s a quick overview:

Pros of B2B

  • More profits: B2B businesses often enjoy bigger profits due to higher margins from wholesaling.
  • Repeat buyers: B2B often means the same customers keep buying from you.

Cons of B2B

  • Small market: There aren't as many customers in B2B, so some businesses also sell to regular customers (B2C).
  • Slow to sell: Selling can take time because you have to agree on many things with the buyer.

Pros of B2C

  • Easy to start: Starting a business that sells to customers is easier and doesn't cost as much.
  • Quick feedback: You can quickly learn if customers like your product and make it better.

Cons of B2C

  • Lots of competition: There are many businesses trying to sell to customers, making it tough.
  • Small orders: Selling to customers usually means smaller amounts of money at a time.
  • Need for ads: To be seen by customers, you have to spend a lot on ads

What are examples B2B and B2C?

If you're not sure what B2B and B2C mean, here's an easy way to understand them with an example. Let's say you create beauty products, like face creams and lotions.

Choosing B2B: You decide to sell your beauty products in big amounts to businesses. This might be a store that sells beauty products, a spa, or an online shop. You sell many products at once for a lower price. This is called wholesale. You do this because businesses buy a lot to sell to their own customers.

Choosing B2C: You choose to sell your products directly to people who use them. You might sell them through your own website or a small shop. Here, you sell products one by one or in small amounts for a higher price. You charge more because you're not selling in big bulk like in B2B.

Here’s a comparison to explain better:

So, B2B is when you sell large quantities of products at once to other businesses at a lower price. B2C is when you sell products directly to the people, usually at a higher price due to retail markups.

Comparing B2B vs. B2C ecommerce

If you plan on starting an ecommerce business, here's what you need to know about taking the B2B vs. B2C route:

Website navigation 

For B2C websites, attractiveness and user-friendliness are priorities. These sites aim to catch and hold a consumer's attention quickly.

B2B websites, however, focus more on functionality. They cater to the needs of business clients. This includes providing detailed product information and efficient ordering processes.

Product catalog

In B2C ecommerce, catalogs are bright and inviting. They show pictures, give details, and sometimes have reviews. This helps people choose what to buy.

In B2B ecommerce, catalogs are more about information that businesses need. They show prices for buying a lot, how much is available, and product details. This helps businesses decide on big orders.

Even though both B2C and B2B show products online, they focus on different things. B2C is about attracting individual buyers. B2B is about giving businesses the details they need for buying more.

Checkout process

The checkout process in B2C is designed to be as fast and frictionless as possible. This is to prevent cart abandonment. Every extra click or second of loading time can lose a sale.

For B2B transactions, the checkout process is more complex. It often involves extra steps. These might include setting up payment terms or arranging for bulk deliveries. The process reflects the larger scale and specificity of business purchases.

Accounts and registration

In B2C ecommerce, customers usually register an account or check out as a guest quickly. The pages are designed to make shopping easy and fast. They want you to see something you like and buy it without thinking too hard.

B2B sites act as dedicated portals for businesses. They usually ask companies to give detailed information when signing up. This information helps them tailor their offerings to each business customer's specific needs.

Payment options and terms

In B2C ecommerce, people usually pay right away with a credit card or online. Now, there's a new way called "buy now, pay later." This lets people spread out their payments over time, a bit like paying in parts. 

For B2B ecommerce, it's a bit like this too, but for companies. When companies buy things, they often agree to pay 30 to 60 days later. This helps them keep cash handy and stay on good terms with the people they buy from.

B2B vs. B2C: marketing channels and funnel

B2B and B2C companies differ in their marketing approaches:

Online platforms vs. directories

B2C companies often use traditional channels like social media to reach consumers.

In contrast, B2B companies focus on platforms specifically tailored to their needs. They also depend on business directories for reaching their target audience.

So you might find a B2C company advertising on Facebook and Amazon. But for a B2B firm, you will have to visit directories like Maker's Row and ThomasNet to check out their catalog.

Simple vs. complex marketing funnel

Both B2C and B2B companies use marketing funnels. But there's a big difference in the way it's set up for each.

B2C Funnel:

In B2C, people learn about a product, decide if they want it, then buy it. Afterwards, they might share feedback.

Example: Buying a phone—you see ads, compare, buy, maybe leave a review.

B2B Funnel:

For businesses, it's more complex. They identify a need, research options, analyze with many people, negotiate, then decide. After, they integrate it, give feedback, and might buy more.

Example: Choosing software—they look at options, involve many teams, negotiate terms, implement it, then share how it works.

Bottom line: B2C funnels are simple, but B2B funnels involve more people and steps.

Platforms for B2C websites

If you’re interested in building a B2C website, here are some of the platforms to explore:


Shopify helps you build an online store without needing to know code. 

With Shopify, you can build a recognizable brand by pairing your store with a custom domain. 

Shopify also comes with plenty of marketing features. Plus, you can add more through thousands of apps in the Shopify App Store. 

Overall, it is an all-in-one platform for creating, launching, and managing your B2C site.


Wix eCommerce is a B2C platform that lets you create a single-vendor website for free.

But if you want to sell products, you'll need to opt for one of their plans, which start at $199/month.

Wix is user-friendly, with an intuitive drag-and-drop CMS for easy setup. 

It also comes with customizable templates, mobile-responsive designs, and social media selling capabilities.


Zyro is a great choice for businesses making a B2C website. It's affordable and comes with useful features for online shops.

You can quickly set up your site with Zyro's easy design tools and templates. This is great for anyone new to building websites.

also has smart AI tools. These can help you come up with business names and create content.

Overall, Zyro gives small businesses what they need to start a B2C site. It's simple to use and helps you sell online.

Platforms for B2B websites

For building a B2B site, you would need access to platforms like:

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is perfect for businesses that sell to other businesses.

With Shopify Plus, you can create personalized buying experiences. This includes special pricing and products for B2B customers.

Big brands use Shopify Plus for both consumer and business sales. It integrates with tools you already use, like ERP and CMS systems. A customer portal lets B2B buyers place orders anytime.

Adobe Commerce

Adobe Commerce is great for firms that sell online to people and other businesses.

It puts everything you need in one place. You can manage your products, keep track of your stock, and set special prices from a single dashboard.

A key feature of this platform is headless commerce. This lets you provide consistent shopping experiences across various devices.

Lastly, Adobe Commerce makes it easy to see how your store is doing with reports and dashboards. You can see important info quickly and make informed decisions.


BigCommerce helps businesses sell online. It's easy to use, fitting for both small and large companies.

With BigCommerce, setting up your store to sell to other businesses is simple. You get tools for everything from pricing to orders.

It also lets you handle big orders easily. You can set special prices and manage all your sales in one place.

Plus, it improves how your customers shop. They get features like shared lists and a way to pay invoices online. This makes buying and selling better for everyone.

Final verdict

With all that information, you're now equipped with the insights needed to make an informed choice.

Choose your path: B2B for long-term partnerships and tailored solutions, or B2C for quick, emotion-driven consumer sales.

Act on your decision by building an ecommerce site that speaks directly to your target audience's needs.

For more ecommerce tips and advice, visit the blog.

Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify $1/month for 3 months.
Try Dropship
Discover winning products to sell today.
Shopify Offer
Start and sell with Shopify for $1 for one month.

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