This study examines B2B and B2C approaches that are used by businesses and other organizations in their day to day operations. The research proposal has suggested interviewing and secondary data methods in identifying the concept and principle behind B2B and B2C websites.
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Consequently, the paper has explored the contribution of social media like Facebook in business expansion, enhancing competition as well as assessing their impacts on successful running of businesses. The study further elaborates the methodology and research design that will be used in the final project as well as the findings and recommendations that need to be put into consideration in future researches.
The use of websites, software and social media has gained momentum as a growing trend in the business world today. Different organization involved in businesses have significantly embraced the use websites for innovation and improving efficiency in operations. Regardless of awareness or location a business, websites connects teams and communities much easier and quickly due to their mode of working, roles and needs.
E-commerce, which involves the use of websites to transact business empowers employees, partners and customers through delivering efficient business results and breakthroughs (Tojib & Sugianto 50). They also engage and connect business professionals with customers by building networks. Different types of commerce require particular websites. It is against this background that this paper will present a project proposal of two types of e-commerce namely Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business to consumers (B2C).
- To investigate the use of B2B and B2C in e-commerce
- To determining sectors of the market that use B2B and B2C to transact business
- To identify present website use in different market segments
- What is the role of technology in underpinning the whole customer experience through social media through B2B and B2C?
- Is the social media marketing platform the right technology for businesses with B2B and B2C websites?
Business-to-Business is a term that is used to refer to business transactions carried out between retailers and wholesalers, or between wholesalers and manufacturers (Balocco, Mogre & Toletti 245). B2B transactions in a supply chain are normally at a higher level and involve raw material or associate components.
For instance, the B2B transactions that would be carried out by BMW, an automobile manufacturer, would include buying rubber hoses, glass for windscreens and tires for vehicles (Rowley 530). Additionally, B2B has is being used by most organizations for collaboration and communications through social media.
B2B Website Company provides a platform for businesses or organizations to improve and promote their interests and that of others. Its target market includes business organizations or limited liability as well as public companies (Alpár 166). It provides them with a platform where they can buy and sell products as well as interact with customers.
Companies may also perform website audits, carry out chart and track changes on search engines and provide access, information and simple navigation to customers. Some of the B2B websites include Alibaba.com in China, Eceurope.com in Europe and Infobank.com in India.
Business-to-consumer in e-commerce refers to communication media that is facilitated by internet for purpose of selling products and services to consumers (Caescu & Dumitru 280).
In e-commerce, B2C has been classified in five models that include community-based, advertising-based, online intermediaries, manufacturers and direct sellers models. Moreover, manufacturers and e-tailers use B2C that offers them enhanced buying experience, real-time changes in price and products and convenience to virtually sell products and services online (Rangone & Renga 340).
As already mentioned, B2C provides to end-user consumers, products and services which may be both offline and online (Zhang & vonDran1257). B2C has a large market target since it provides products to wholesalers, retailers and consumers. It is product driven and has shorter transaction duration.
With the advancement in technology, many businesses have adopted the use of B2B, B2E, C2C and B2C websites as powerful tools for establishing business and market links. This, indeed, is a fact worth considering since many businesses use them to easily pass information to other partners, colleagues and customers. As Huang, Jin & Yang (200) argue, they have enhanced building solid foundation for businesses where people are able to reach out buyers and sellers to get goods and services through relationships built.
Today, the number of B2B and B2E users such as IT management companies and advertising companies has increased with some depending on it to earn income while others using it as a tool of promoting or advertising business online (Zhang & von Dran1257). As a matter of fact, appropriate engagement and better approach to collaborations and communications in the websites has helped brand businesses to make huge profits.
Additionally, B2B and B2E allow two ways communication leading to active marketing where not only businesses but also employees and consumer views are considered. This, as Rangone & Renga “Mobile business research” (330) point out, has made these websites to be the most preferred networks for e-commerce. It has enhanced the manufacturers and marketers to appeal to their consumers with ease.
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According to Groff & Wingender (100), the use of B2C in web marketing has been regarded as one of the most significant marketing tools that have been utilized in the market to reach both potential and actual customers. Website as a marketing tool can be accessed by millions of people across the world.
It has afforded employers and investors opportunities to meet with their clients though a virtual environment (Alpár, 166). The Web as a marketing tool has undergone technological innovation and as a result, entrepreneurs are increasingly switching to website for marketing and advertising their merchandise. It is pertinent to note that some types of algorithms benefit from the large amount of volumes on the Web (Smith & Correa 460).
They have relied on social networks because social business networks offer knowledge to customers about the value of products and services which leads to the increase of both social commerce and social shopping communities. Using e-commerce websites by businesses offers them accessibility and chances to make better sales and improve their benefits.
For the purpose of communication, businesses have been using B2B as a communication tool. Its use has become a global phenomenon among business people (Singh, Gordon & Purchase 40) .B2B has made communication simpler, faster and better by enhancing accessibility in both social and business fields.
Through Facebook and Twitter applications found in the website, businesses have been able to interact with consumers (B2C) online about products and services they offer. Moreover, they have not only been able to do online marketing, but have also conducted several other businesses online (Urbach, Smolnik & Riempp 140).
Generally, these applications have boosted the marketing sector by allowing advertising of products to be done online free of charge. Due to the immense population of Facebook and Twitter users, anything the business community brings into the market gains global audience. Consequently, businesses have been able to develop communication with customer to understand their needs, preferences tastes and behavior.
The information that will be used for this research will be gathered from primary and secondary data. Information from secondary data will be obtained from books, journals, literature materials and magazines. The researcher will use the literature sources to examine B2B and B2C websites, their characteristics and use in daily business operations.
Primary data will be collected from focus groups which included young entrepreneurs, experienced entrepreneurs, business owners and consumers through the use of questionnaires, individual depth interviews, group interviews, field studies and information on business history of individual participants. This will be necessary in order to establish the website used by each of the respondent.
Secondary data will be obtained using two broad methods. They included quantitative and qualitative studies. The former will comprise of various databases which contained information on e- commerce and especially with regard to social media. Some of the resource materials for quantitative analysis of this research study will include published books, peer reviewed journals, newspapers, magazines and credible websites.
On the other hand, primary research data for this study will be gathered through observations, taking field notes, focus groups discussions, transcripts, recording communications as well as structured and semi structured interviews. The information gathered will form the better part of primary data and will be used for qualitative analysis.
In conducting content analysis, CRA methodology will be applied. This is a system that uses Crawdad, a specifically developed analytical software package, to analyse reports gathered from quantitative data, interpret and determine meanings of words and phrases (Barnes, Scornavacca & Innes 173).
It achieves this through representation of concepts, checking position of words and building upon inference based on network theory and a combination of linguistics. The researcher will use CRA methodology as it was important for analyzing and giving meaning to data gathered from primary sources that had phrases or words through bringing out their inter-relationships, their influence and main concepts (Remus 550).
Analysis and comparison of websites
From the research carried out on B2B and B2C websites, the task of identifying intrinsic content quality when using the websites in e-commerce was determined from interviews that were carried out on business and company owners. Some of the issues the interviews sought to find out included investigating the use of B2B and B2C in e-commerce, to determining sectors of the market that use B2B and B2C to transact business and to identify present website used in different market segments.
The study discovered that the knowledge of day-to-day impacts of B2B and B2C on business activities acts as sources of information to many business. In addition, the social media assist them to develop skills, become educated decision makers and effective collaborators (Oliva 43).
As a matter of fact, the continual evolution in functionality of the social media has increased the capabilities of the social media platforms through new features such as video conferencing and internet phone services. According to recent research studies, it was found that social media has been used by an average of 16 online leads or about 60% of business planners each year (Burn & Ash1090).
This number has increased tremendously over the years. Today, financial planners with large clients identified Facebook as a perfect forum to conduct their businesses. Additionally, there are other social media networks that have been designed solely for the purpose of conducting business. B2B website provides opportunities for people or corporations with centers of influence to connect besides the fact that it is designed primarily as a platform for business professionals.
In comparison, the sales process of businesses using B2B or B2C regardless of the environment is aimed at successfully providing consumers with good products and services. Some of the similar characteristics of B2B and B2C websites include the fact that they have technical sophistications of broad ranges (Chun-yan, Kong-lai & Zong-guo 115).
They offer information, services or products to consumers and businesses with diverse and technically sophisticated needs such for basic materials such as raw material, food products or for technical commodities such as scuba divers, car nuts and audiophiles (Mansor & Ali 140).
Additionally, the language used in the aforementioned websites fairly simple. Even though it may be technical and complex to others, it has been crafted to meet the requirements of consumers. In terms of media agnostics, B2B and B2C in e-commerce use all kinds of media with emphasis on social media sites (Lai et al. 457).
Recommendations and conclusion
This study used methodology such as interviewing and secondary data which were limited by such factors like time and biasness. It is recommendable that future studies should be carried out with different kind of methodologies in order to come up with good results. For instance, observation method can be used in future studies in order to come up with raw data on how social media is carried out and how it impacts on expansion of the business and competition.
Furthermore, future studies should be narrowed down to one area of study as this will assist in coming up with finding that are more elaborate. For instance the role of B2B in marketing is a viable research topic. This is because the current research did not have ample time in tackling the topic fully due to broad area of the subject.
To sum up, the opportunities provided by B2B and B2C websites for businesses to succeed in provision of goods and services is a wide research study that cannot be concluded with a single empirical study. It is worthy to note that there are countless factors that are instrumental when deliberating on a topic of this nature.
Even though most businesses have not fully utilized this new development, it is imperative to underscore the fact that many owe their successes in the growth and development these websites. As was discussed in the literature review, it is important to highlight that the use of social media in these websites for purposes of planning, advertising and marketing by businesses cannot be underestimated or ignored.
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