In the past two decades, digital technologies have experienced massive changes and especially the evolution in Internet usage. It has changed the way we socialize, we interact, and the ecommerce explosion has changed the way we purchase things. In the last two decades, ecommerce marketplaces become the most popular platforms for a vendor to sell their products, consumer to shop, and companies to advertise or feature. Many ecommerce retail stores marketplaces have online shopping available, but players like Amazon, eBay, and others make their significant presence. Ecommerce marketplaces give consumers and small-medium businesses a wide range of stock & products to meet their needs. As a consumer, you can compare prices, brands, reviews, and ratings, and can even purchase at much lower prices.

What is an eCommerce marketplace?

An ecommerce marketplace is a web application where third-party companies can sell their products or services to customers. All the processes and transactions are processed through the website administration. In these platforms, a seller takes all of his inventory & stock information and uploads it to the marketplace. These marketplaces are for both consumers as well as small businesses to purchase products from large distributors. It can turn a small, local business into one with large international reach.

These marketplaces don’t only connect buyers and sellers, but also the processes of payment, deliveries, shipment, and provides an extra security layer of security for consumers and assistance for sellers. Ecommerce marketplaces are divided into two broad categories:

  • B2B ecommerce marketplace
  • B2C ecommerce marketplace

In this article, we are going to know the underlying differences between these two marketplaces in detail…

What is B2B eCommerce marketplace?

“business to business” or “Company to Company”, B2B is an ecommerce marketplace website in which one business sells goods or services to other businesses. The businesses which sell goods in this model are large scale supportive enterprises that offer the equipment which other businesses require to operate and grow. Mostly, these include businesses like industrial suppliers or payroll processors. B2B companies have completely different target audiences: They provide raw materials, services, consultation, finished parts, which other small businesses can sell, operate, grow, and make a profit.

In the B2B multivendor marketplace, the customer has a contract with the seller in which the seller is guaranteed conditions like pricing, discounts, amount, delivery time, payment accrual, installment payment, etc. These things completely depend on the credibility of the customer, his previous purchases, the volume of purchase, payment regularity, years of collaboration, and trust. B2B vendors can also be wholesalers and distributors.

Essential features of the B2B marketplaces:

In a B2B trading platform or marketplace, big companies sell products to other small businesses. Hence, some essential features are required in a B2B marketplace for the smooth functioning of businesses. These are:

  • Customized Pricing, Payment integration, and ordering options
  • Functionality for personalizing the online storefront (e.g., searching site, navigation, branding)
  • Reordering functionality so the customer can order the same order of same quantity easily
  • Discount functionality for bulk orders
  • Feature for setting up Minimum Order Quantity
  • Functionality for restricting access to unregistered users and others.
  • Making groups of customers
  • Integration of user’s CRM or ERP software
  • Payment options, Fast and highly secure checkout

What is B2C eCommerce marketplace?

“Business to customer”, B2C ecommerce marketplace is a business model in which the seller sells products & services directly to the consumers, which are the end-users in this model. B2C became intensely popular in the last decades, where the end-users started buying from the ecommerce stores of the retailers. B2C model has a global reach for the end-users, so even small businesses operating from homes can sell to customers to another side of the world. The traditional stores which are not making a profit can shut their brick & mortar store and spend a fraction of cost on marketing & ecommerce set up to gain huge profit.

B2C is like a mall shopping, eating out at restaurants, pay-per-view movies, or infomercials, where you can get all the details of the products, get delivered to your home, and even have the feature of refund if a product is not as per your expectation. B2C ecommerce marketplace is continuing to dominate over their traditional counterparts’ brick-and-mortar stores.

Essential features of the B2C marketplaces

If you are focusing on business in which the end-users are consumers, then you need to make sure every essential of the consumers. Here are the vital features that your B2C marketplace must have:

  • In-built online store themes or templates
  • The capability of customizing product listings and having multiple variants of products
  • Abandoned cart recovery capabilities
  • Discounts, offers, and promotional features
  • In-built SEO tools
  • Content management system and blog features
  • Highly secure and fast checkout with a wide range of payment options

Major B2B & B2C eCommerce Marketplace Industries

The global B2B B2C marketplace has grown rapidly in the past few years and here are some of the B2C and B2B trade marketplaces categorized on the basis of products and services they offer to sell.

  • Real-estateB2B B2C Marketplace
  • Booking & Reservation Marketplace
  • Automobile B2B B2C Marketplace
  • Electronics Marketplace
  • Food Delivery Marketplace
  • Home Services Marketplace
  • Furniture Marketplace
  • Healthcare B2B B2C Marketplace
  • Textile Marketplace

Top CMS Based B2B & B2C Marketplace Development Services in demand

CMS Based B2B & B2C Marketplace Development Services

Some of the most popular B2B and B2C eCommerce Marketplace Companies

popular B2B and B2C eCommerce Marketplace Companies

  • Alibaba
  • EWorldTrade
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Rakuten
  • Grouponc

Key differences between B2B and B2C ecommerce marketplace

Now that we have clearly understood the concept of B2B and B2C ecommerce marketplaces, let’s focus on differences. Even though both the models are having a lot of similarity in terms of online shopping, there are key differences set each one apart. While B2B focuses only on medium & small-scale businesses, B2C is purely a customer-based segment. The points below focuses on the main B2B and B2C differences:

Order Volumes

The foremost and biggest difference between the two ecommerce models is the size or volume of orders and money flow. It can be clearly understood that in B2B business supplies to businesses, therefore, the goods are always in large quantity whereas, in B2C, the end-user gets the product as per his need, which is, of course, pretty small vis-à-vis B2B. As per the current statistics, the money flow of B2B ecommerce is near twice the B2C capital flow. According to the report of Forbes, the valuation of the B2B ecommerce market will reach $6.7 trillion by 2020.

Products Categories

In the B2B marketplace, companies deal with specific products for MSME and have a niche in their customer segment for meeting their needs. E.g., an automobile hardware company will prepare all types of nuts & bolts for meeting the requirements of their electrical, automobile, industrial customers. The orders are also in bulk quantity.

On the other side, in the B2C marketplace, companies deal with a broad market of consumer products. They have a wide range of products that a consumer may require. The best example of this category is ecommerce giant Amazon which offers its users, toothbrushes, computers, mobiles, furniture, etc. In B2C, the orders are in small quantities.


There are a lot of differences in the pricing of these two marketplaces. In the B2B marketplace, the prices are quite diverse for different customers. The offered price varied with the size of the order, delivery time, and previous relationship with the customer, or loyalty programs. B2B pricing is based on a mutual agreement between the supplier and buyer.

In the B2C environment, prices are fixed for every customer. Every customer gets the same price with the same catalog. You may get loyalty points, but the price wouldn’t influence your previous purchasing.

Payments & Order Cycle

In B2B business, the orders are made of bulk quantity, so the customers prefer to pay on credit. Also, the supplier needs to provide the option of generating an invoice because business customers often make multiple purchases within a short period. The supplier must provide various payment solutions to the buyers, along with credit limits, payment history, etc. In B2B, post-delivery payment is a norm for businesses. While in B2C, ecommerce payments are quite straightforward. Customers pay the payment directly, either using online payment method options or cash on delivery.

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Delivery time

In B2C, the delivery speed plays a very important role in gaining a reputation. Faster the speed, more will be reputation. However, there is quite a different scenario in the B2B marketplace. The deliveries are done to meet the ongoing demands and productions. What matters more is on-time delivery execution rather than speed. This is probably the main reason why B2B businesses seek long-term, more compliant business relationships. Delayed deliveries can disrupt product, supply chain, and can inflict operational losses.

Customer Relations

When we talk about B2C in customer relations, it is more reliant on acquisition i.e., getting more and more customers and selling as much as possible. The seller has an inventory to market to as many potential buyers as he can. Contrary to this, in the B2B segment, the priorities are of building long-term relations with clients. In B2B, the company is selling higher volumes of goods to the same buyer; hence the main priority is to retain the buyer. The buyer will re-order if he is satisfied with the services provided by the seller.

Checkout Process

In a B2B transaction, the checkout process is quite complicated because of the multiple orders, particular payment methods, and delivery methods. The business owner can’t rely on a chatbot live communication between the sales team, and the dealer is required for all details. Business clients prefer long-term relations and may repeat their orders, so having a unique account with saved details is likely to improve user experience and make reordering quick and easy.

In B2C, the buyers prefer a simple checkout process to provide their customers with a hassle-free experience. They capture the basic information with the address details and delivery time.

Also Read: How to Develop a B2B B2C eCommerce Marketplace?

Website Design and Marketing Strategy

B2C web applications aim to attract more and more customers to make a profit. Hence, they need to focus on the captivating user interface and design of the website for appealing users. Also, competition in the consumer goods marketplace is tremendous. However, there is no such need for B2B web applications to focus on design, rather on the useful information their clients need.

Decision-Making Process

In B2B, the decision to buy a product or service has commercial purposes, so the sale needs a rational analysis, a longer consideration time, and ongoing assistance by the seller. The decision involves many areas of the enterprise. While in B2C, the sale is usually less rational and more based on impulse. The process is shorter in time and individual in the decision-making.

Buyer Lifecycle

In B2B buying, professionals are required for the purchasing process. The buying decision won’t be a spur of the moment but instead planned for. B2B buying schedules are often synced up with departmental needs. In B2C stores, customer experience is much different. They will be buying because your product fulfills an emotional need. B2C purchases are going to be driven by desire and motivation. Fulfill a pressing need, and people will buy your product.

Customer Relationship Management

The CRMs in B2B aim to help salespeople manage long, relatively predictable sales cycles and one-to-one communications, and they often pair with marketing tools to nurture leads across the course of a lengthy sales funnel. A B2C CRM helps marketers keep track of where their contacts are in the customer journey, based on granular behavioral data—something B2B CRMs can’t effectively do. B2C CRMs are built to measure individuals, not accounts.

Sales Executive & Representative

In today’s time, it would be correct to say that the end-users or consumers prefer to order directly online rather than first talking to a sales representative. Hence, there is no such need for direct sales professionals or executives in the B2C ecommerce marketplace model. However, in B2B, highly professional sales representatives are required to build and maintaining business relations. For complex transactions or bigger orders, B2B buyers would still want to talk to a salesperson.

Wrapping Up

B2B and B2C ecommerce marketplaces, apparently both seem the same in basic contextual. However, there is not just one difference between B2B and B2C. There are several factors that differentiate these business models. But there is always a core thing of every successful business i.e., meeting its customer requirements and always trying to serve him better.

We, at Emizentech, have vast expertise in developing and maintaining these marketplaces and ecommerce development to help every scale retailer to expand its business. Our ecommerce marketplace team has skills in leading ecommerce platforms to serve your requirements.

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CTO at Emizentech and a member of the Forbes technology council, Amit Samsukha, is acknowledged by the Indian tech world as an innovator and community builder. He has a well-established vocation with 12+ years of progressive experience in the technology industry. He directs all product initiatives, worldwide sales and marketing, and business enablement. He has spearheaded the journey in the e-commerce landscape for various businesses in India and the U.S.