Analyzing B-to-B Ecommerce
As sales channels become more complex, many business-to-business companies — including brand manufacturers — face the dilemma of whether to sell online directly to their customers.
Likewise, there are many business-to-consumer stores that are large enough to command low inventory prices from manufacturers and thus can consider selling directly to other businesses or even acting as a wholesale distributor.
Does it make sense to try to play both sides? It depends. This article examines a few key differences to consider between B-to-B and B-to-C online stores as you evaluate your strategic plans.
In the past, many observers believed that web design for B-to-B sites was not important. The view was that most sales were to repeat customers who knew what they were looking for. Product reviews were presumably risky. And sales staffs usually did the real selling. In many cases, online B-to-B stores were merely an extension of a printed catalog. The customer experience was minimal. The goals of a B-to-B site were presumably to expose the existing product catalog, provide payment options, and pick up some incremental revenue. In other words, there was little belief that ecommerce was going to add much to the top or bottom line. – href="http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3844-Analyzing-B-to-B-Ecommerce">Analyzing B-to-B Ecommerce by Dale Traxler
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