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B2b and B2c Marketing Differences

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B2B and B2C Marketing Differences

One the first steps in all marketing is to determine niche-market, a defined group of potential customers sharing common characteristics that delineates their interest in specific products or services (Schneider, 2007). This commonality is universal in Web site ecommerce to both B2B and B2C. Although both are similar in many ways, each is both distinguishably different. The differences create a need to review and research the platforms of how their functional differences affect ecommerce.

Different basic Web site models are used in ecommerce. They range from the simple static pages of a brochureware site to the elaborate interactive online store; many Web sites combine several of the basic models. However, each model has its own unique characteristics that distinguish if from the others and importance should be placed on these differences.

A brochureware site is a marketing site that electronically aids in the buying and selling process. A traditional business will often build and maintain a brochureware site as a marketing tool wit the objective of promoting the business and business products and services (Search SOA, 2008). A brochureware Web site usually provides business technical support providing online documentation, software downloads and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sections. The Web site also provides annual reports, press releases, employment opportunities as well as details concerning the business entity, such as the business address, phone numbers, and e-mail address. Revenues are generated indirectly by creating an awareness of a business products and services (Schneider, 2007). U.S. Steel Web site, www.ussteel.com demonstrates this type of business; an informative Web site and one of the most distinguishing features is that purchases are made offline. Understanding this type of Web site assists in explaining a true B2C, businesses to customer, site.

An online Web site where consumers buy product and services direct from the Web site of a business is known as a true B2C. The online store displays products or services along with detailed information such as specifications and pricing, usually from a database with search features and purchases can be made online or customers also have the option to call a toll free number to place an order and make a purchase. The extensive information provided at a B2C web site assist in attracting consumers to the online store and giving them the confidence to make a purchase (Schneider, 2007).

When a customer chooses to make a purchase online they are usually presented with the option to purchase, with credit card, debit card, and occasionally with a check from a checking account. To protect the identity and credit of the purchaser the B2C should provide as secure, reliable cost effective system for authorizing payments and managing the transactions (Numotion-E-Commerce, 2008). Typically, the payment transactions are processed through a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and or Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) encryption technology that provides an encrypted process resulting in a result page to the consumer that the consumer can either save or print for purchase receipt (Search SOA, 2008).

Once the purchase has been completed, the B2C Web site customarily stores the orders in a database so the data can be imported into an invoicing system. Afterward the site should be able to process the encrypted information via an information system such as e-mail to the order department to fill the order and ship the order (Schneider, 2007). A good example of a B2C would be Barnes and Noble, a book store online, www.bn.com.

An additional type of B2C is a subscription site that targets niche markets that place value on expert information, service, or a digital product delivered timely (Numotion-E-Commerce, 2008). Technical news letters, access to research information, graphics, music, and computer downloads are all examples of subscriptions sites. Typically, this type of site charges a monthly or annual subscription fee or a small transaction fee. A subscription site can process payments online or off line. Once processed the subscriber gains access through user names and passwords for future access to subscription information, services, or products. Examples of subscription sites are, SHRM, www.shrm.org, a human resource management information site, which provides up to date employment issues information and white sheet papers, www.itunes.com provides music for a fee, and www.iencentral.com is a worldwide game and entertainment site, which offers a few free games and a variety of monthly subscriptions.

Online cyber malls are Web sites that provide business the option to sell products or services online by opening a shop in a cyber mall. Most cyber malls offer template for implementing a catalog of products, a shopping cart application

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