B2B vs B2C – Difference and Comparison

What is B2B?

B2B is a retail model where both seller and buyer are business entities. Its full meaning is business to business. It is written as B-to-B.

In the B2B model, the transaction or buying is a slow process. It requires research and needs-based purchasing. B2B is very common in a supply chain.

In a B2B transaction, the buyer makes buying decisions for the company itself. And the seller might involve only a department or the company. B2B buyers buy in high volume and value. Which means a mistake can be very costly.

B2B transactions occur under three scenarios. When a company is sourcing materials, when a company is sourcing services, and when a company is sourcing for products to resell.

In a B2B model, both parties gain from the transaction. The seller earns revenue and the buyer collects the materials necessary to run the business.

The B2B retail model isn’t dependent on marketing. Most of its purchase happens between companies that trust each other or are well-reputated. But recently, with the booming of the online marketplace, this situation is changing pretty fast and B2B buyers and sellers are also approaching marketing.

What is B2C?

B2C or Business to Customer retail model is a transaction model where a business directly sells products or services to the end customers.

B2C is a fast process and a shorter sales cycle as the buyer or the consumer only needs to think about himself. Hence, B2C buyers are not repeating customers.

A B2C model is fast and it depends on the customer’s emotions. Marketing plays a key role in customers’ decision-making. That is why B2C sellers pay a lot of time and effort into marketing.

With the advancement of technology, the B2C retail model has changed a lot. Now people can buy products online, which is a form of B2C transaction. There are 5 forms of a B2C model. These are Direct Sellers, Online Intermediaries, Advertising-Based, Community-Based, and Fee-Based.

The B2C market is highly competitive. This makes the B2C market a limited revenue market. The B2C model sells end products and services. So, the B2C market is vast and varied.

Difference Between B2B and B2C

The main difference between the B2B and B2C retail models is the buyer. In B2B retail, the buyer is another business entity. But in the B2C model, the buyer is the consumer.

In the B2B model, buyers buy for their business needs. They prioritize trustworthy and well-reputed companies to buy from. But in B2C, a customer buys on personal opinion and impression of a company.

B2C sellers put in a lot of effort to attract consumers, but this trait is absent in B2B sellers. Instead, they try to maintain a good relationship with buyers internally and personally.

B2B purchases are done in a very high amount and volume. Any mistake can be very impactful. B2C, on the other hand, are small purchases, where mistakes are negligible.

B2B buyers mostly purchase from a company more than once and are repeat purchasers. But B2C customers may buy a product only once.

Comparison Between B2B and B2C

Parameters of ComparisonB2BB2C
DefinitionA retail model where a business sells services or products to another business.A retail model where a business sells services or products to consumers.
BuyerBusiness EntityCustomer
TimeLengthy processShort process
Purchase basisBusiness Needs.Consumer Emotion.
Operational costHigh. Requires qualified employees and organized system.Low. Requires few employees.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0019850112000910
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1470593114552581