While the traditional distinction between B2B and B2C marketing has been long established, it is worth questioning whether this is still a valid distinction.

It is becoming more common, for instance, for B2B companies to see the benefit of being able to use online channels to sell directly to clients.

At the same time, B2C companies are recognising the strong growth potential of the B2B opportunity.

These issues are covered in a new Magento ebook entitled, “One Platform to Rule Them All: 5 Reasons to Choose a Hybrid Platform That Combines B2B and B2C Capabilities”.

As the title suggests, the authors of the ebook outline five reasons to choose a hybrid ecommerce platform.

1. A user will not end up with two platforms.

According to the authors, running two separate ecommerce platforms — one for B2B and the other for B2C — can lead to duplication of effort and systems.

An ecommerce system will be more complicated and require more work to maintain if two platforms are used.

However, with a hybrid platform, a user can support B2B and B2C models with one system, efficiently manage both with the same team, and get a unified view of their business results.

2. Businesses will get a jump on the competition

Adding a new B2B or B2C model can be time consuming, especially when users need to configure the platform or add customisations to an existing one.

With a hybrid platform, organisations can get to market much faster. The authors note that instead of buying a new platform or building new features, users can “flip a switch” and start configutring products and processes.

3. You will stand out

Few B2B-only platforms are built with B2B in mind, so they will be lacking “consumer” features that B2B and B2C shoppers expect — such as rich content and visual merchandising.

A platform vendor with roots in both B2B and B2C commerce will offer a common architecture with shared content and design elements.

This means you can easily craft your B2B experience to include the consumer-like features B2B buyers want while providing a consistent brand experience across all your sites.

4. Organisations will be prepared for anything

Digital commerce has reduced the barriers to entry to all markets. A number of B2B companies are forming relationships with consumers, and B2C companies are tapping into the large B2B space.

A hybrid platform keeps a company’s options open — making it easier to explore new business strategies whenever they’re ready.

5. Product catalogues will be kept under control

Managing multiple ecommerce platforms results in multiple product catalogues. This means users will have to maintain two sources of product data and keep them synchronised.

A hybrid platform offers unified catalogue management, allowing businesses to keep track of products in one place.

About this author

Athina Mallis is the editor of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which Magento is a corporate member. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply. 

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