What Do B2B & B2C mean?

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B2B transactions don't directly provide products and services to consumers.
B2B transactions don't directly provide products and services to consumers. (Image: Robert Churchill/iStock/Getty Images)

B2B and B2C are common acronyms referring to business-to-business and business-to-consumer company formats. A B2B company sells goods or services to other businesses for business use or resale. A B2B company sells goods or services directly to household consumers for personal consumption.

B2B Basics

B2B companies may sell general supplies and services to many types of businesses, or specialize in certain industries. For example, a trucking company sells its services transporting goods to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. A logistics company provides businesses with logistics services. Manufacturers and wholesalers are B2B companies because they make or acquire goods, and then sell them to other businesses for resale.

B2C Basics

Retailers are the largest channel of B2C providers. Brick-and-mortar stores, online retailers and catalog retailers all market goods and services to consumers. Some discount and department stores sell in multiple product categories and appeal to a broad marketplace. Other B2C providers specialize in one product category or one type of customer. Direct-to-consumer sales represents another B2C format. Mary Kay and Tupperware are common examples. In this B2C channel, individual representatives market and sell goods to friends, family and other network contacts.

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