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What is B2B?

B2B or BtoB is the abbreviation for Business to business. It corresponds to business-to-business commercial relations. Although sometimes difficult to disentangle from other commercial relationships, business to business includes all the means used by companies to enter into contact and exchange products, services and information. According to European statistics, BtoB represents two thirds of the total commercial exchanges between the countries of the European Union.

In short, BtoB can be explained as the business market. Products and services produced by and for companies are exchanged according to different rules than in other markets.

The specificities of business-to-business trade:

The BtoB market differs from the BtoC (business to consumer) market, firstly by its size. Indeed, the BtoB market has a smaller number of players than the consumer market. Also, the personalization of products and services is not the same since it is stronger in BtoB. These products are used to produce goods and services that are then found on the BtoC market. Consequently, the products are more adapted to the demand and therefore more technical than on the retail market.

How does BtoB work?

The objective of BtoB is to connect companies with each other and even to allow partnerships between certain companies. To do this, companies connect through different means such as during events like trade shows or by setting up an extranet. The latter allows a company to be connected to its suppliers or partners and subcontractors and thus facilitates the connection between companies.   

The BtoB sector implements specific marketing strategies. Unlike BtoC, the negotiation is done between companies and they have specific needs for services and products. In fact, BtoB marketing is characterized by personalization; the customer relationship is not the same, the company is privileged and this is visible in the specific marketing prospecting techniques and in the content marketing which is part of a particular strategy.  

For example, the wholesaler Metro is specialized in BtoB business. The platform therefore provides an offer adapted to companies with larger quantities of products or invoices written in exclusive of tax to avoid their customer to make the conversion. Also, a card system is set up so that private individuals cannot have access to it.