What are B2B companies


B2B is an abbreviation for the English term that is particularly used in marketing "Business-to-Business", in German "company to company" or "business to business". Companies that enter into business relationships with other companies and whose business activities are limited to business with other companies are therefore often also called B2B company designated.

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Examples of these companies are wholesalers who sell their goods only to retailers or importers and manufacturers who sell their products or services only to other companies. Another notation often used for this abbreviation is B-to-B. According to official statistics, the trading volume in the B-to-B sector in Germany in 2018 was more than 1,000 billion euros, far exceeding the trading volume between companies and end consumers.

B2B, B2C and other classifications for companies

Corresponding to the designation B2B companies, companies that do business with end users are referred to as B2C companies. The abbreviation B2C stands for “Business-to-Consumer” in German for “company to end consumer”. All retailers who sell their goods to end users are B2C companies.

Another classification for companies is the abbreviation B2E. This abbreviation stands for "Business-to-Employee" and describes business relationships between a company and its employees. The abbreviation B2A stands for "Business-to-Administration". This abbreviation is used to designate companies that enter into business relationships with public administrations.

Special features for B2B companies

B-to-B companies are always one Part of a value chain. You can find them in every industry. For example, there is at least one wholesaler behind every retailer who sells outerwear, who in turn can purchase the goods from an importer. The importer has a business relationship either with an export company or directly with a manufacturer.

This means, In B2B marketing, consumers are not addressed, but other companies or the decision-makers in these companies. The purchasing processes in the Be-to-Be area also differ significantly from those in the B2C area. While end consumers often make their purchase decision spontaneously and quickly, buyers in companies need much longer and usually much more information to make a purchase decision. In order to distinguish these very different marketing areas from each other, the terms B2B marketing and B2C marketing were coined. A few years ago, B-to-B marketing was still referred to as industrial goods or capital goods marketing.

No right of withdrawal for B2B companies

Another specialty is that, unlike consumers, companies have no right of withdrawal. This means that if a company orders, for example, a pallet with 20,000 screws for a specific order from another company, it has to purchase these screws and pay for them. The company cannot cancel the purchase, for example because the order has been canceled or the screws are no longer needed for some other reason.

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