15 differences of B2B and B2C marketplaces
While B2B marketplaces adopt certain B2C practices UX-wise, making the procurement process more natural and familiar, there are certain important underlying differences multi-vendor B2B marketplaces ignore. In short, B2B marketplaces have a more complex back end functionality that allows seamless integration with existing business ecosystems and processes.
This post will describe 15 differences that must be considered when planning the opening of a B2B marketplace.
1. Order volume
2. Flexible pricing models
3. Detailed product taxonomy
Business procurers usually have very detailed specifications for the goods they want to purchase, and B2B sellers have extensive catalogs of similar products to meet such requests. In B2C marketplaces, such fine details are generally reserved for the 'description' field; in B2B marketplaces, all must have separate fields to allow comparison in the database. This means a B2B marketplace catalog structure is much more complex and detailed, and this also explains why B2B marketplaces tend to be vertical, as it is easier to create such detailed data structures for a particular market segment.
4. Payment model
5. Customer credibility
6. Delivery timing
7. Checkout process and document flow
8. Buyer lifecycle
9. Complex relations
10. Vertical and regional
11. Usually, no logistics
12. Multi-user accounts
13. Software services for both supply and demand
14. Extensive API usage
15. Higher risk of failure
The list above is by no means exhaustive, but it does indicate the main point: a multi-vendor B2B marketplace is a much more complex affair under the hood than a B2C one. While it is definitely possible to run a B2C (or a B2X) marketplace on a B2B marketplace's back end, a reverse approach (that is, creating a B2B marketplace on a B2C one's back end) will certainly result in failure.
When creating a multi-vendor B2B marketplace, it is essential to select a B2B ecommerce platform specifically designed for such a task. Virto Commerce is one such platform, being tailored for B2B needs right from its inception and trusted by multiple enterprises around the world; be sure to check out the advantages and reserve a demo.
And stay tuned for future posts on the topic of multi-vendor B2B marketplaces!