The proliferation of the internet and smart devices has forced us to enter the digital-first economy, where online trade has become the lifeline for most e-commerce companies. And the only way for businesses to sustain and win in the digital-first market is to move the needle on online retailing through advanced e-commerce suites like Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
Among all the other e-commerce tools, the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform is at the forefront of the digital commerce market today. This means that the adoption of two of its strong arms – Salesforce B2C Commerce and Salesforce B2B Commerce is on the rise.
But the question is - which Salesforce Commerce Cloud solution should you count on? It may sound familiar, but it depends on your business requirements. There has been a lot of speculation in recent times around the differences between the two Salesforce e-commerce solutions in terms of functionalities, platform requirements, and capabilities.
However, before understanding the dissimilarities between both these platforms, you must know some crucial things about them.
An Overview of Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud
Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud is a leading enterprise cloud platform that comes with a full set of out-of-the-box features and mighty capabilities to let you transform consumers’ shopping experiences across all digital channels.
Being a B2C retailer, you would expect an e-commerce tool to come with its own scalability for things like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or Thanksgiving sales, and so on. The Salesforce B2C Commerce is a highly scalable tool, which, if used right, would definitely live up to your expectations. This means that in case of increased website traffic, the platform will allow you to scale your website as per your modern business needs.
Not only this, but it will also allow you to control multiple sites from a single location. Let’s say that you have launched a website in the UK, U.S. and Japan, and want to sell goods or services across multiple countries. In this situation, you would ideally require a unique website dedicated to each nation. As the Salesforce B2C Commerce supports different locales, it will enable you to control and run all your websites from a single spot, with minimum configurations.
But what makes the Salesforce B2C Commerce platform an unparalleled B2C e-commerce tool? It’s the platform’s business-ready capabilities that aren’t just limited to websites and mobile apps but stretched out to other digital spaces like social media platforms, emails, etc. to let you interact with your customers – anytime, anywhere.
Recently, the Forrester Report positioned the Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud as a leader in its B2C Commerce Suites Q2 2020 report for receiving top scores in the criteria of AI and machine learning.
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An Overview of Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud
B2C or retail consumers are not the only ones shopping online. In the epoch of technology and the internet, businesses have also begun using Salesforce to make online purchases. Thus, the Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud was introduced. The solution is built within the Salesforce Lightning platform to let you connect all your CRM and commerce data on a centralized platform for 360-degree customer insights.
What’s the best thing about this e-commerce solution? Most of us might say that its ability to create omnichannel, self-service storefronts and make online buying easier for supermassive B2B product shopping. But, that’s not it. Salesforce B2B Commerce is about getting into the cloud-first approach and personalizing your website tailored to the needs of every industry.
Moreover, the tool offers above-par functionalities to its users, including quick reordering, advanced search and faceting, campaigns and promotions, subscription-based models, and more.
Besides all these, it also delivers out-of-the-box capabilities in BI, product configuration, and personalization to enhance the Smarketing (Sales + Marketing) experience as a whole. In fact, many trailblazers in consumer goods and manufacturing like L’Oreal, Univar, Land O’ Lakes, Coca-Cola, Adidas, Ecolab, and many more are already in use of Salesforce B2B Commerce to streamline their buyer’s journey.
Recently, Forrester Research has positioned Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud as a leader in its B2B Commerce Suites Q2 2020 report.
While both the B2C and B2B commerce websites may look pretty much the same, there are a couple of differences between the two. So, let’s see how the Salesforce B2B differs from the B2C Commerce Cloud.
Comparison Between Salesforce B2B and B2C E-commerce Solutions
1. Business Needs
Both the Salesforce B2B and B2C e-commerce solutions vary from each other in various aspects including, the type of vendors, business requirements, and target audience.
For instance, the B2C Salesforce Commerce tool could be an ideal choice for branded manufacturers, direct-sellers, and online retailers willing to sell their products directly to the consumers. Whereas, the Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud can prove to be the best-fit for business manufacturers and CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brands, who are striving to serve their business buyers in a whole new way.
2. Platform Requirements
Why do you need a different platform for B2B and B2C business models? The answer is pretty simple: to meet the diverse needs of your respective audience segments.
The B2C marketplace requires a robust platform with massive databases to streamline the customer buying experience. So, the Salesforce B2C Commerce platform is designed with relevant tools for customization, user management, advanced analytics, performance, and security. For instance, Einstein AI provides powerful AI capabilities such as spot-on product recommendations, predictive sort, search dictionaries, and intuitive insights.
B2B e-commerce model needs a more scalable platform with rich features like order management systems, test-to-production migration, and user permissions. That’s why the Salesforce B2B Commerce platform is developed using advanced tools for contract pricing, product entitlement, and order management for handling unbounded, complex orders.
3. Multi-channel Support
On the matter of providing multi-channel support to consumers, the Salesforce B2C Commerce platform will allow you to make custom integrations with third-party providers in the following areas:
• Ratings and reviews
• Email services
• Tax processing
• Payment processors
Whereas, the Salesforce B2B Commerce comes with a third-party store integration feature that will enable you to integrate your product catalog with leading online retailers like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, etc. and sell your products or services via acclaimed third-party platforms.
4. Payment Type and Pace
Do you know that the payment option is also one of the differentiating elements of Salesforce B2C and B2B Commerce? Now that you know, let’s see how.
B2C e-commerce requires quick and easy payment processing with a streamlined consumer checkout process. That’s why, the Salesforce B2C Commerce offers rapid payment options like automated clearing house (ACH) transactions, credit/debit card processing, subscriptions, purchase orders, etc.
However, a B2B marketplace comprising of multiple consumer accounts needs multiple payment options, including other options like compliance, budgeting, etc. That’s the reason why Salesforce B2B Commerce supports several payment methods including purchase orders, credit cards, etc.
Now that we know the difference between Salesforce B2B and B2C Commerce, a big question that might be popping into your head right now could be ‘What should I use for my business – Salesforce B2C or B2B Commerce Cloud?’ Admittedly, it’s a tall order. But let us clear the air a little more for you.
Both the B2C shoppers and B2B buyers stand in need of a rich, consolidated digital buying experience. But their shopping pattern largely differs from the other, especially when it comes to the size of the customer base and volume of sales. This means Salesforce isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. So, you will have to pick a tool that spans your market segment.
Check out another amazing blog by Softweb Solutions here: Salesforce Opportunity Management and Lead Management
Why Should You Choose Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud?
If you are a B2C vendor, then what is your core objective? It’s simple: to attract a vast number of shoppers and bring them to your commercial storefront. And the best way to do it is by adopting Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud. It comes with a lot of scalable functionalities to handle heavy traffic on the site.
For instance, if a commercial retail store sells products to a large group of retail shoppers interested in buying smaller or lesser quantities of products from the same site at the same time, then which tool is best suited for the retailer? It would be Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud.
Why Should You Choose Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud?
Now, if you are a B2B seller, then you would have a small set of business buyers who would be interested in making massive product purchases through different digital channels. In this case, all you require is Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud that can handle extremely large purchase orders.
For instance, Salesforce B2B Commerce is perfectly tailored for an industrial manufacturer selling a large number of items to hundreds of factories that may be reordering those items every month. Thus, the platform delivers quick reorder functionalities for frequent, sophisticated product orderings.
What Should You Do In The Case of The B2C2B Business Model?
As the lines between B2B and B2C are blurring, there emerges a new business model– B2C2B i.e. Business-to-Consumer-to-Business, dealing with both B2B and B2C users.
Now, in this situation, merging both - consumer and business buyer’s data on a centralized Salesforce platform seems to be the crucial move. If you are into B2C2B, then Salesforce Commerce Cloud solutions can help you in reaching the end-users without capsizing your existing relationships with suppliers. So, Salesforce has a lot to offer to B2C2B businesses together with the B2C and B2B business owners.
We hope that this information might help you to figure out the best suited Salesforce Commerce business model for your industry.
Softweb Solutions has provided Salesforce implementation services for multiple B2B and B2C brands and helped many enterprises in designing, implementing, and customizing Salesforce-based solutions. If you would like to seek advice or learn more about Salesforce, contacting us can be a great start.