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What are B2B and B2C? Similarities and differences between the two business models

The concepts of B2B and B2C are quite popular in the field of business and marketing. B2B and B2C have certain similarities and differences in operations as well as marketing strategies. Join 1C Vietnam in the article below to learn useful knowledge about these two popular business models.

1. Overview of B2B and B2C business models

B2B and B2C are both terms for business forms, helping to direct operations and identify a business's customer group. However, the B2B and B2C models have certain differences, specifically as follows:

1 - B2B (Business to Business)

B2B is a business model, trading between businesses and businesses. Businesses involved in commercial transactions in this model can be suppliers and manufacturers, wholesalers, manufacturers or retailers.

b2b and b2c
B2B is a business model, trading between businesses and businesses

The B2B model is chosen by many businesses because of its outstanding efficiency, especially in today's era of strong development of e-commerce. However, for business operations to run consistently, administrators need to have an effective sales process and good self-scalability. When successfully developing the B2B model, businesses will create a huge competitive advantage.

2 - B2C (Business to Customer)

The B2C concept refers to transactions between businesses and customers, in which customers are individual buyers. Basically, this model can be used in any business that aims to provide services and products directly to consumers.

b2b and b2c
B2C refers to transactions between businesses and individual customers

Compared to the B2B model, decision making in B2C is simpler because transactions only need to be done in a single step and do not involve too many people. Besides, B2C also has a large target market, businesses have to serve millions of customers, so strategies need to be specific and clear in an effort to turn "shoppers" into "buyers".

2. Similarities between B2B and B2C models

B2B and B2C models are both directional strategies that help businesses identify target customer groups. These two models still have certain similarities. Specifically:

  • Human resource management: Regardless of the business model, having human resources with knowledge, understanding, responsibility for work as well as dedication to customers is extremely important for businesses. Therefore, administrators need to have strategies to attract talent to ensure the highest quality human resources.
  • Brand awareness: Brand awareness is an important factor that any business needs to pay attention to in order to grow stronger. To do this, administrators need to be aware of market changes and trends to make timely changes. At the same time, administrators need to come up with competitive strategies to retain customers.
  • Suitable for the brand: Whether it is a marketing strategy for a B2B or B2C business, the marketing content needs to be consistent with the personality and characteristics of the business.
  • Decision-making audience: Customers are the ultimate goal that businesses aim for no matter what business model they follow.
  • Benefits from branding: When a business sells products to any customer, it needs to show them the products and services that the company sells. This helps the company become more reputable and trustworthy in the eyes of customers.
b2b and b2c
Both B2B and B2C models need to pay attention to raising brand awareness

3. Differences between B2B and B2C

Besides the similarities mentioned above, when comparing B2B and B2C there are still clear differences in terms of customer base, business strategy, marketing process as well as sales process. Businesses need to pay attention to making appropriate adjustments to achieve the best business performance. Specifically:

3.1 Target customers

The customers participating in B2B transactions are businesses, while the customers of B2C are individual customers. However, the C in B2C means final consumer. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to businesses that purchase goods for use, for example, businesses that buy tables and chairs for office work.

b2b and b2c
Customers participating in B2B transactions are businesses

3.2 Negotiation and transaction process

The B2B model targets customers who are businesses with large order values, so it requires businesses to have negotiation skills as well as build detailed contracts on goods specifications, delivery, and other services. specifications. Meanwhile, sales desks for B2C end customers do not necessarily include these elements due to the rapid purchasing and decision-making process.

b2b and b2c models
The B2B model requires the ability to negotiate and negotiate in transactions

3.3 Integration issues

Companies following the B2C model often do not have to integrate business systems with customer systems. Meanwhile, companies selling in the B2B model need to ensure that they maintain communication and customer care by integrating the systems of the selling business and the buying business.

b2b and b2c
The B2B model requires system integration for convenient customer care

For example, Company A provides management software solutions for company B as a customer. Company A needs to integrate products and services with company B's data system and make appropriate changes. scale as well as operating method for company B to use in the most convenient way. At the same time, this also ensures that company A can promptly support customers when problems arise.

3.4 Marketing process

One of the most obvious differences between the B2B and B2C models is marketing strategy. When selling to an individual, it will be very different from selling to a company or business, especially in terms of the purchasing journey. A successful B2B sales strategy largely depends on efforts to build and develop relationships. Using an end-user-focused strategy in a B2B model will only cause businesses to waste resources and not create efficiency.

b2b and b2c
Successful B2B sales largely depend on efforts to build relationships

Meanwhile, a successful B2C sales strategy depends on many objective factors such as timing, consumer trends, business environment characteristics,...

Therefore, to quickly capture market share in the B2C model, marketing strategies need to be flexible and adaptable. Especially in the age of digital technology and the rapidly changing market today, administrators must always update the latest trends to meet and attract buyers.

3.5 Sales process

The purchasing process in the B2B model will be much more complicated than in the B2C model due to the large order value and the buyer representing the entire business. Here are 3 key differences between B2B and B2C models :





  • Leading relationships
  • Maximize relationship value
  • The target market is small and focused
  • Multi-step purchasing marketplace
  • Longer sales cycles
  • Brand recognition through personal relationships
  • The decision to buy depends on reason as well as the economic value of the transaction
  • Product led
  • Aim to maximize transaction value
  • Large target market
  • Step-by-step purchasing process
  • Shorter sales cycle
  • Brand recognition through images and repetition
  • Buying decisions depend on desires, emotions and price


Build relationships and convert potential customers

Convert customers to visit your store or become shoppers


  • Focus on building relationships through dynamic activities such as sending emails, building a reputable website, calling, sales staff,...
  • Use a variety of promotional activities such as discounts, communications, and product displays at sales locations to attract customers.
  • Usually programs will take place in a short time

3.6 Order value and number of potential customers

When comparing B2B and B2C , it can be seen that the B2C model has a larger potential market but lower order value. In contrast to the B2B model, the customer file is small and concentrated but the order value is large. Therefore, with the B2B model, creating a source of potential customers is very important.

b2b and b2c models
The B2C model has a larger potential market but lower order value

3.7 Decision-making process

The customer base of the B2B and B2C models is different, so the decision-making process is also different.

  • With the B2C model: Customers will make purchasing decisions as soon as they feel the product is suitable to meet their needs and bring benefits to them.
  • With the B2B model: Business customers are interested in factors such as suitability, seller reputation, product usefulness and especially price. Therefore, the decision-making process will be based on reason, go through many approval steps and be influenced by many parties. Sometimes the person directly doing the transaction is not the one making the purchasing decision.
b2b and b2c
B2C customers will make purchasing decisions as soon as they feel the product is suitable

3.8 Customer needs

The difference in the needs of B2B and B2C customers is how the seller affects the emotions of the buyer. If individual customers buy based on comfort and love for the product, businesses focus on reducing costs and increasing profits.

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Individual customers make purchases based on comfort and interest in the product

Meanwhile, the B2B model focuses on solving special needs of customers, so selling businesses need to prepare marketing documents that show the value the product will bring to the business. In contrast, the B2C model focuses on solving basic customer needs, so businesses need to focus on attractive programs, enhance experience, and improve prices to increase competitive advantage as well as attract more customers.

B2B and B2C models have clear differences in terms of customer base, marketing strategy and sales policy. Hopefully the above article has helped your businesses gain more understanding about this issue as well as have business policies suitable for each model. If you have any questions about business management and operations according to B2B and B2C, please contact 1C Vietnam for answers.

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