The Ultimate Guide: What is B2B?

by | Mar 22, 2024 | Ecommerce Tricks

As a significant component of e-commerce, B2B continues to prompt inquiries regarding its nature and its compatibility with B2C. In this article, I aim to address the prevalent questions surrounding B2B.

What does B2B mean

B2B, or Business to Business, pertains to transactions conducted between businesses rather than between businesses and individual consumers.

This encompasses various activities such as procurement, supply chain management, distribution, and wholesale transactions. In contrast to B2C (business-to-consumer) interactions, which involve selling goods or services directly to end users.

B2B transactions often occur at negotiated prices typically lower than those in the regular market for individual purchases.

What types of B2B are there

  • Wholesaler: Wholesale distributors procure products in bulk from manufacturers and vend them to retailers or other businesses at a margin.
  • Distributors: These entities purchase products in bulk from manufacturers and subsequently sell them to end consumers, accruing profits from the transaction.
  • Retailers: Manufacturers find retail channels and directly vend to end consumers through these channels.
  • Subscription services: These encompass services like software, logistics, or marketing consulting provided from one business to another on a subscription basis.

Examples of B2B companies


To be precise, Amazon primarily operates as a B2B company by providing an e-commerce marketplace for global sellers. Sellers can create their stores on Amazon’s platform, paying a monthly fee, and Amazon draws commissions from their sales, akin to providing services to sellers.

However, Amazon’s e-commerce model predominantly functions as B2C, where consumers typically make direct and individual purchases of products on the platform. In contrast, Alibaba operates inversely to this model.


JetPrint operates as both a B2B and a B2C company. Primarily, it offers print-on-demand (POD) services to sellers, positioning itself as a B2B entity. However, JetPrint also extends customized services directly to end consumers, thereby functioning in the B2C domain as well.

B2B can coexist alongside B2C

Although B2B and B2C represent distinct models, they can coexist within the same enterprise. Opting for one doesn’t preclude the possibility of choosing the other.For instance, T-shirt manufacturers may cater to wholesalers’ needs by selling T-shirts in bulk batches, while simultaneously marketing their own designed T-shirts directly to end consumers through online stores.In numerous scenarios, these two models can synergize and foster diversified growth within enterprises.

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