When it comes to B2B vs. B2C payments, there are a few significant differences between each commerce model. It is important for B2B businesses to understand these differences in order to provide a better client/customer experience during the B2B payment process.
The most notable difference between B2B vs. B2C payment models are the parties receiving payment. In business to business (B2B) commerce, a business sells a product or service directly to another business. In business to consumer (B2C) commerce, a business sells a product or service directly to a consumer. Since each model has different parties involved, a different payment process is required for each. These models differ drastically when it comes to the average price of goods and services, the quantity ordered and frequency of the order, payment terms, and the simplicity of the process itself.
To put business owners in a better position to service their clients and customers, we took a look at four significant differences between B2B and B2C transactions.
The average price of goods and services is typically far higher in B2B businesses than it is in B2C businesses. According to The Federal Reserve Payments Study (2016), for B2B transactions, the average ACH debit transaction was $31,118, and the average ACH credit transaction was $9,349. In comparison, according to Federal Reserve Bank services, in 2018, the average consumer debit card and credit card transactions were $44 and $57, respectively.
The quantity of items ordered as well as the frequency of making orders is another significant difference when it comes to B2C vs. B2B buying behavior. In B2B transactions, the quantity of goods ordered is typically larger than it is for a B2C purchase.
One reason that B2B might beat out B2C commerce when it comes to the average quantity of goods and services purchased is that a business is buying items and services to be used by their entire company. The average size of a company is likely to be much larger than the average size of a household (3.14 persons), so businesses will need to purchase items in larger quantities when they are buying items for their business.
In addition, businesses typically place orders more frequently compared to households. This may be because some of the businesses involved in B2B commerce will need supplies/resources repeatedly, so it is not out of the ordinary for businesses to purchase the same goods and services from another business supplier frequently.
B2B and B2C payments differ when it comes to the terms of the purchase. In the business to consumer model, consumers pay for their goods or services either at the initial point of sale, or in some cases, before they receive the good or service.
When it comes to B2B transactions, payments are not made in advance, and invoices are typically required. Once the business receives the good or service that they ordered (once the payment terms of the order are fulfilled), then the business will settle the invoice with the supplier.
And lastly, there is a difference between the B2B and B2C decision-making process. In B2C commerce, a consumer is typically buying items for themselves or their household, therefore, there are only a few steps or people involved. The decision-making process is thus relatively simple.
On the other hand, when it comes to B2B purchases, the decision-making process is usually much longer and involves several different people and opinions. Decisions regarding whether a business needs a good or service or what vendor to choose will sometimes need to pass through several departments within a company before they are approved or denied. Each party might have different criteria when evaluating the product or vendor, and so B2B businesses must be able to answer all of their questions in order to be considered.
Our list does not encompass all of the differences when it comes to B2B vs. B2C payments. However, with the four differences between B2B and B2C transactions that we have laid out today, you should be better able to create the best client/consumer experience during every stage of a B2B purchase cycle.