B2B eCommerce Markets
B2C ecommerce platforms are designed for broad and often very general markets. Consider the variety of consumers who purchase goods through Amazon.com. There are many niche B2C ecommerce sites but despite their targeted audiences, they still have a general appeal to a vast majority of the consumer market. Even sites like Zappos.com that sell shoes are popular destinations for a wide variety of consumers.
In contrast, most B2B ecommerce sites are designed for a very small and targeted audience. There are of course exceptions to this rule as some consumer-based e-tailers like Amazon.com ramp up sales of business products such as Amazon’s recent launch of Amazon Supply targeting the general business community.
Businesses who sell to other businesses typically know who their niche customers and targeted prospective customers are. Consider a company that manufactures automotive products that are installed on vehicles by the automotive manufacturer or a company that distributes products to funeral homes. In both of these cases the manufacturer and distributor knows their prospective customers and is simply working toward adding new accounts while retaining and growing their existing accounts.
Most people think of consumer storefronts when they start talking about ecommerce. But few realize that the true kings of ecommerce are businesses who sell to other businesses. Consider that Forester Research estimates that B2B ecommerce will grow to $559 billion in 2013 compared to eMarketer’s projections of the B2C ecommerce market at just $252 billion in 2013. Smaller yet is the business to government ecommerce market which was estimated at just $6.2 billion by Gartner in their last available market analysis in 2005.