You’ve been doing your thing with your e-commerce business, or maybe even you’re just now looking at getting into the world of e-commerce. Either way, you’ve noticed that there are so many abbreviations used in all of this and you’re feeling confused. That’s certainly understandable, jumping into a new sector is bound to be full of jargon and shorthand that you’re going to have to pick up in order to be able to operate to the best of your ability in that area. That means you need to either pick up what these things mean in context, which is a long and arduous process; or you need someone to tell you what they mean, which is way easier and you’ll appreciate the person who told you just what all these things mean forever. Now, with that said, let me tell you what all of these abbreviations mean and how they operate, it’s honestly really simple.
B2B means business to business activities, so basically just business between businesses. This is the way things like all of the software on your work computer are bought. Your company’s Adobe or AutoCAD or Microsoft Office agreements are examples of engagement in B2B. Originally, this was a term that encompassed all interactions between businesses, but has since migrated to become more of a term that is used specifically for online interactions between businesses (but not the type of interactions where the Wendy’s Twitter account is making fun of McDonald’s or whatever.)
The most common industries where you will see B2B interactions are places like engineering, machinery, software, chemical companies, wood processing, and advertising/marketing. These can be anything from massive multinational corporations selling goods and services to each other, down to a three person team writing software that is used by other companies. There is no differentiation in terms based on the size of the companies at all. In fact, if you’ve incorporated your one man show and you’re selling things to other businesses, that’s still B2B.
B2C is business to consumer, so you’re standard vision of selling things. It’s just a person buying stuff from a business. When you go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk it’s B2C. When you go to your local coffee shop, it’s B2C. Most of what you are doing in your personal, daily life will be B2C interaction because that is how the entirety of our society is set up for individuals. We buy things from businesses the overwhelming majority of the time.
It might seem unnecessary to list some examples of B2C, but I’m going to do it anyway, but we’ll keep it short. Examples include the grocery store, the coffee shop, like I mentioned before, but also food trucks because B2C does not need to be kept in any specific place, and e-commerce of any size. This even includes places like Etsy, where it may seem like it’s buying directly from another person, but since Etsy acts as a storefront it still counts as B2C.
C2C & C2B
There are two more abbreviations left, and I’m just going to include them in one entry because they are small things with few enough examples that they aren’t as necessary to expand on. C2C stands for consumer to consumer, which would be things like buying a used lawnmower from your neighbor, or a used book from some random person on eBay. C2B is the rarest of these things, but an example would be something like an artist selling a piece to a business to put into their lobby.
Hopefully I have been able to make all of these abbreviations that are flying around everywhere make more sense for you and you can carry on using them with the utmost confidence that you know what you’re talking about. They, like many examples of industry jargon, are very simple once you actually learn what they are, and now you know what they are, so go forth and impress people that don’t know what you’re talking about by sounding smart.