eCommerce Merchandising for B2B vs. B2C: 3 Key Differences

eCommerce merchandising plays a significant role in both B2B and B2C businesses but there are distinctions. Below we explore the key differences.

Ali Shah - Writer for Fast Simon
By Ali Shah
Michelle Meyer - Editor for Fast Simon
Edited by Michelle Meyer
Oli Kashti - Writer and Fact-Checker for Fast Simon
Fact-check by Oli Kashti

Updated May 15, 2024.

Whether you're operating in a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-customer) environment, eCommerce merchandising is critical to your success. In the US alone, B2B eCommerce sales will exceed $3 trillion by 2027, while B2C eCommerce sales will top $1.6 trillion. With such significant development in both sectors, we explore what automated eCommerce merchandising entails for B2B and B2C, plus the differences between them.

3 Key Differences Between B2B vs. B2C eCommerce Merchandising

  1. Target audience and buying behavior
  2. Product catalog complexity
  3. Relationship building and trust

B2B eCommerce Merchandising

B2B solutions aim to solve a specific problem for a business. So, a B2B seller needs detailed information about how their client's business works to give them a custom solution. This means that a B2B eCommerce merchandising strategy involves a lot of personalization, including:

  • Personalized interactions
  • Account-based pricing
  • Customized catalogs

For example, a software provider may offer a product demo, documentation, and dedicated support to organizations looking for corporate solutions.

» Personalization isn't just for B2B: Explore the differences between B2B vs. B2C personalization

B2C eCommerce Merchandising

B2C eCommerce merchandising is focused on establishing an emotional connection with individual customers and satisfying their immediate needs. That's why these visual elements play an important role in connecting with customers and encouraging them to buy:

For example, a clothing shop can display lifestyle images, including user reviews, and provide personalized product suggestions based on individual tastes.

» Follow these tips to create an engaging visual merchandising experience for your customers

3 Key Differences Between B2B vs B2C Merchandising

1. Target Audience and Buying Behavior

By understanding your customers' needs and behavior, you can merchandise your offers in a way that resonates with them.

  • B2B emphasizes the efficiency of the product or service, its competitive price, and the possibility of tailoring the offering to the client's specific needs.
  • B2C appeals to individual customers through emotions, convenience, and personal preferences.

2. Product Catalog Complexity

How your product catalogs are structured and how much information they contain depends on your target audience.

  • B2B has more complicated product catalogs because they have to consider different product variants, requirements, and price tiers to respond to various client demands.
  • B2C has a simpler product selection because the point is to make browsing and searching as easy and direct as possible for customers.

3. Relationship Building and Trust

Strong customer relationships are important for both B2B and B2C. The right merchandising strategy can help customers trust your store.

  • B2B emphasizes developing long-term partnerships through clear pricing, personalization, and continuing assistance for their business clients.
  • B2C focuses on satisfying customers' immediate needs while also establishing themselves as trusted authorities through social proof and user-generated content.

» Create long-lasting customer relationships and keep your customers coming back for more

Tailor Your Merchandising Strategies for Success

Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C can help you succeed in eCommerce merchandising. Try to adapt and optimize your strategies to engage B2B buyers through personalization while fostering emotional connections with B2C customers. The right eCommerce merchandising approach can enhance customer satisfaction, increase conversions, and keep you competitive in the evolving eCommerce landscape.

» Need more info? Here's how to optimize your eCommerce merchandising management