With today’s technology and the encouragement that anyone can do anything they put their mind to, many different entrepreneurs and businesses are creating their own paths and business models. Given the access to technological advancements of today that we all never even imagined before, we are given so many more opportunities to spread our wings and reach distances that we never thought possible. Always geared towards serving the community with our own ideas, creations, and products/services, the internet and all the technological gadgets we have has allowed us to break the barriers and seize the opportunity to serve the world. Uniquely enough, today’s minds have also broken boxes and changed definitions. That is, what has always been the assumption that customers and businesses are two different dimensions has been shattered. The B2B or business-to-business model has introduced us to the fact that businesses can very well be customers too. Keep on reading to find out more, not just about B2B but B2B Ecommerce too!
What is Business-to-Business?
From the name itself, B2B or business-to-business, we can conclude that the two players involved in this play are both businesses. The final consumer or customers are not individuals but rather other businesses that will only sell to individuals. No matter how small a business is, i.e., a single proprietorship startup business run in the garage, they are considered to be the customer, buyer, or consumer in a B2B model if they bought from another business before selling to their target market. On the other hand, the seller in a B2B model is any business that does not directly cater to orders from individuals but exclusively answers to businesses too.
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While not many people are familiar with the whole concept of B2B, it has been a big business model worth millions already. However, it is only due to the pandemic that the B2B eCommerce model actually grew. Because while the business-to-business model in itself already works wonders, the B2B eCommerce platforms have been proven to give you an extra edge to further expand what your business reaches. Here are some advantages of B2B eCommerce:
Expansion Made Easy. The online world has made it so that distance is not an issue during transactions. One of the main benefits of bringing your B2B into the online business world is that you can easily expand your market and, ultimately, your business. This B2B eCommerce platform allows you to join larger communities and markets and reach more potential customers. And if a larger customer base is not one of your goals, then you can improve your business with current customers because online platforms make upselling and cross-selling easier. Digital and online marketing offers you many tools to take your B2B business to a new level.
Easier Management. Because of the technology involved in B2B eCommerce platforms, you give yourself the tool to manage your business more efficiently. You now have the tool and opportunity to easily track transactions, manage your clients list more efficiently, handle your inventory better, and interact with your customers and teams faster. With the different online tools, your business-to-business endeavors - especially regarding communication - can be done faster and more effectively. And while you will surely incur some costs to upgrade your B2B model, it will reap more benefits and save you time, money, and effort in the long run.
More Data Analytics. Upgrading your B2B business to B2B eCommerce also gives you better, faster, and easier access to more information. By bringing your business online, you now have access to tools that will easily tell you how your business is performing. You can easily monitor website statistics, sales performance, and the progress of your marketing campaigns. B2B eCommerce also allows you to more easily track your transactions and get information from your customers. All of these are ingredients for you to better plan your business and marketing strategies to maintain and even grow your business in the near future.
When you read a guide to B2B, you are usually taken to the topic of how you can start one of your own. But see, there is value in knowing and understanding all your options regarding B2B eCommerce. With today’s technology combined with your amazing mind, there is no doubt that you will succeed - the important question is, what type of business-to-business model will take you the farthest? To help you decide that, let’s talk about the models you can use - starting from the three general ones and moving on to much more specific types. The three general types of B2B models are:
Buyer-centric. This B2B eCommerce model involves large companies who have high purchasing power and need a huge percentage of goods/services. Now, with this kind of model, the sellers are the ones that seek out the specific buyer. Usually, using an eCommerce website, the buyer sets up a bidding model for a specific product or service. Then sellers of the product or service they need approach them and send in their quotations. It is then up to the buyer to decide which offer to accept based on its suitability for the business.
Supplier-centric. Now, opposite to the first one, the supplier-centric business-to-business model involves the everyday business transactions and processes we are most familiar with. Herein, the business that sells the products or services creates the opportunity for various businesses to look at what they offer and buy what they need. Like the usual marketplace and eCommerce website we usually take part in, this B2B eCommerce model makes the supplier business the center of attention where buyers go to them directly.
Intermediary-centric. Last but not least, this B2B eCommerce model is one we don’t typically hear about because this one involves an intermediary - a business that connects buyers and sellers. Here, the intermediary business profits from aiding the connections between businesses who need something and businesses who sell that something. With this type of business-to-business model, the intermediary business is usually the one that does the majority of the work because they are the ones that look for the buyers and sellers. However, their growing database gives them the most opportunities to profit because they have access and connections to various businesses.
Now that you’ve learned all about the three general types of B2B eCommerce models let’s discuss further what other B2B models you should know about. Here are the more specific types of business-to-business models that you can explore and take part in:
Wholesale. This type of business-to-business model is one of today's most basic and popular B2B models. This type of model is what most people assume to be what the business-to-business model is all about because this is what most B2B eCommerce businesses go with. This entails that businesses that sell in retail buy in bulk from another business. In essence, the seller acts as the supplier for a retailer, direct seller/user, or intermediary to sell to the final consumers. This is a model that is fairly common in multiple types of industries. Many industries and businesses require bulk products, whether it is for them to use in their own business (medical, construction, food service, etc.) or to re-sell to final consumers (supermarkets, small retail stores, department stores, etc.)
Manufacturing. This B2B model entails one business manufacturing or creating products for another business to buy. With these business-to-business models, the manufacturer or the seller manufactures products in large quantities. The buyers of these products also range from big businesses to small businesses. And you might be thinking that it is somewhat similar to wholesale, and you are right, but with the manufacturing B2B model, everything that is sold to the other businesses is created by the seller. In B2B, the seller's business is exclusively aligned to mass production - whether by manual labor or factories.
Distributors. This last model often involves the business that buys from wholesalers and manufacturers. This B2B model usually works closely with manufacturers and wholesalers; their primary job is to find other businesses they can sell to. Usually, they carry the responsibility of packaging, marketing, and distributing the products they buy from the manufacturers and wholesalers. Thus, this business-to-business type has the closest model to that of a business-to-consumer because its actual focus is on selling - packaging, positioning, and marketing. The supplies they have to smaller distributors or retailers. This is very much the same as what retailers do toward end consumers.
Guide to B2B with Strikingly
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Strikingly is a website builder that can cater to all your business website needs. Strikingly has got you covered no matter what type of B2B eCommerce model you want to follow. From providing you with all the tools to create a website that will best showcase all your business has to offer to provide you with analytics about your website and a fully functional eCommerce section. It also has an easy-to-use layout which can allow even beginner website creators to make a website that wows everyone who visits it. In addition, it also allows you to spread your B2B eCommerce endeavors to other online and social media platforms.
Strikingly has everything you need to make your B2B eCommerce website successful, so what are you waiting for? Sign up now and let Strikingly help you get the back-to-back success you desire and deserve!