Any business needs to understand the differences between B2B (Business-to-business) and B2C (Business-to-consumer) payments to provide customer satisfaction. B2B is the exchange of goods and services between a business and another business. B2C is the exchange of products and services between a business and a consumer. With this fundamental knowledge, what then are the differences between B2B and B2C payments?
The Purchasing Process
In B2C, consumers buy goods and services for personal use while in B2B, businesses purchase products and services to use in their companies. Therefore, B2B usually has a complicated purchasing process since all the departments must be involved in making decisions. Among the groups involved are the technical, business, financial and operational departments. Before a group can decide to purchase a product, they will need authorization from the board or a department, which has the final purchasing decision. However, in B2C, the process is quite simple since the purchasing decision lies on the consumer who doesn’t have to consult any other group.
Terms of Purchase
In the B2C model, consumers pay for goods and services during the time of purchase or sometimes before they can receive the goods. In B2B, payments are made after products and services have been delivered. Invoices are required. When the business gets the goods and services it had ordered and the terms of the order have been met, then the company goes ahead to make the payment for the goods and services rendered.
Quantity and Frequency
The volume of goods and services ordered makes a significant difference between B2B and B2C. Typically, the number of products ordered in the B2B model are higher compared to the B2C model. This is because, in most cases, B2C goods are usually for subsistence use, while B2B goods are generally for purposes of selling in retail or wholesale. Also, the average size of the company is larger compared to that of a family or a single consumer. On the other hand, in B2B, businesses order goods once and on a large scale while in the B2C model, consumers order products frequently but on a small scale.
The Average Prices of Goods and Services
The average price of goods and services for a B2B model is usually higher compared to those of B2C. The difference between the average prices is substantial. B2B transactions are generally higher, and the range can be from a few euros to thousands of euros. Paying a few euros for B2C payments is simple, and the payment can be made in the form of cash payments. However, paying thousands of euros in the B2B model, the process becomes complex due to the change in the method of payment. It may require the use of a bank to make the payment. Also, since the fees for B2B are often higher, the buyer may not be in a position to pay instantly, attracting other forms of payments such as direct debits, bank transfers and checks.
Terms of Payment
In the B2B model, payments are usually made after 30 days from the end of the month. All the stakeholders are generally aware; hence, they are not prepared to pay in advance. However, in the B2C business, consumers pay for the goods and services they ordered once they receive them. These differences between B2C and B2B are evident in both online and offline purchases. For the B2B model, a business needs to offer its customers the most appropriate terms of payment so that it can succeed in the market. Therefore, proper B2B payments platform can be used as a competition tool against competitors.
For B2B payments, there is a chain of the relationship between the stakeholders. There is a supplier-manufacturer relationship, manufacturer-wholesaler relationship and wholesaler-retailer relationship. This is because, in a B2B model, a customer can order goods from a supplier, manufacturer, or wholesaler. In the B2B model, the end-user is the company. The main focus in this transaction is the relationship between the buyer and the company.
In the B2C model, there is the retailer-consumer relationship. In most cases, a consumer purchases products from the retailer and not from the supplier or manufacturer. Hence, the end-user of the product is the consumer. This model mainly focuses on the quality product and not the relationship.