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A Quick Guide To B2B Operations


What is B2B e-Commerce?


B2B is an acronym for Business to Business. Putting it simply, it is the phenomenon of trading of goods or services in between businesses. In the B2B business world, transactions are carried out digitally, which saves a lot of overhead costs. In other words, one business targets another business with its product or service instead of directly targeting the consumer market. 


Who Makes the Purchasing Decisions in B2B Deals?


It requires some detective work to figure out how exactly we finalize a B2B deal and who is responsible for making purchase decisions. Let’s find the background factors that play a major role in sealing the B2B deals. Think of the clothes that you buy from a store. Who is responsible for making the decision? Who approves of that certain clothing article to be purchased? Does the vendor send you an email? Within a B2B business, the manufacturer or wholesaler targets the people who are responsible for making purchase decisions. B2B sellers concentrate their efforts on appeasing the decision-makers who will eventually import the goods. They know that the true revenue can only be generated by the real brains behind the buying decision. 


Who are B2B buyers?


We have to keep in mind that the B2B buyers and importers are different from the B2C ones. Strategies are similar for both of them, but they differ in magnitude. Humans heavily rely on their emotions to make a decision. B2B and B2C purchase decisions both have a human brain behind them. They both apply strategies that will keep the end-user happy, as the buyer is also a human. Hence, B2B buyers are more likely to make a business purchase if they feel emotionally connected with the seller on some level. 


C2C buying is impulsive, whereas B2B buying is logic-driven. Finding a B2B buyer is hard, but once you have found the one, you have found a business partner for life. That too, only if you satisfy and meet the demands of the client. Marketing to a B2B buyer isn’t child’s play either, as they are business people themselves and can’t be fooled with gimmicks. 


The number of people involved in making a B2B purchase decision has grown in recent years. The B2B buyer is informed, connected, is well aware of the market trends, and acknowledges the other channels. He researches like no other, and being informed is in its second nature. The duration of the sales cycle is expanding, but that shouldn’t falter the hopes. To help you get a better idea of the different kinds of buyers in B2B markets, we’ve put them into four categories: producers, resellers, governments, and institutions.


Producers are the companies that purchase goods and transform them into other products. Producers can be manufacturers and service providers. General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Dell, McDonald’s, and Delta Airlines are examples. All these giant businesses have to buy certain products to produce the goods and services they sell.


Resellers are the companies that sell goods and services after acquiring them from the manufacturers without materially changing them. Resellers include wholesalers, brokers, and retailers. Walmart, Target, grocery stores, department stores, pet supply stores are examples of resellers. Their market power is huge; this is why they can resell with a good profit margin. 


Governments are perhaps the biggest clients of the B2B industry. For example, the government of the USA is a big purchaser of goods and services from various industries. They procure paper and fax machines to tanks and weapons, buildings, toilets for NASA, highway construction services, and medical and security services.


Institutions are nonprofit organizations like American Red Cross, hospitals, charities, private educational institutions, clubs, churches, and so on. Just like govts, institutions buy a large number of products. They are not looking for profits; hence they consider it important to keep the cost down.


Who are B2B sellers?


B2B sellers are the ones who sell raw materials, incomplete goods, or finished goods to the wholesalers, retailers, producers, and resellers. For B2B sellers, finding a buyer is the main task. Bulk sellers are drawn to B2B marketplaces like for their ability to generate revenue by reaching the international audience they might otherwise miss. Once they find a buyer, it is in their control to appease the client as much as possible. These buyers become lifetime partners once the seller has met the expectations.


A B2B seller is proactive and aware of the technology, as finding buyers over the internet is the most profitable and cost-saving method of sealing a business deal. Since the buyers have become smart and well aware of the world, a B2B seller cannot lack in any department. From branding, customer service, and marketing, everything should be on point. In total, the worldwide B2B business market is over twice as bigger as the B2C market because a B2B transaction takes place before B2C sales are made.


In the case of a business deal, a B2B seller has to convince many different stakeholders. Often these decision-makers have contradicting priorities. The person representing the marketing department wants the products to be from a well-known brand, and the person representing the purchasing team wants to make sure they are as cheap as possible. The B2B seller can be a wholesaler, retailer, and distributor as well. They are defined as follows:


Wholesalers are the companies who sell goods in large quantities to retailers at low prices. For example, a Christmas-tree wholesaler who buys trees from growers and sells them to retail outlets and Clothing wholesalers who sell to retailers.


Distributors are the businesses that supply goods to a retailer. He is the only source in that specific area for the retailers and dealers to purchase a particular product. Usually, a company appoints a distributor to sell the products on its behalf.


Suppliers are the agents or businesses that are the source for goods or services that the other business needs to produce their product. An example of a supplier is a business that provides microprocessors to a major computer business.

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