Online Supply Chain Solutions: Comparison of B2B and B2C Website Structuring

All businesses are consumer oriented. Whether the consumer is an individual or a business entity, defining and meeting their needs is critical.

There are differences and similarities between business-to-business and business-to-consumer user interface platforms. The main differences between the two types of websites can be discussed by looking at their approaches to site structure.



B2B websites offer companies within the supply chain access to much more than what was available in traditional supply chain relationships. Within a particular industry, manufacturers, vendors, distributors, and retailers gain a competitive advantage by joining vertically linked eCommerce supply chains.

Vargas (2000) reviews how vertically structured B2B websites focus on communicating critical information that will enhance the performance of all participating companies for the benefit of the end-consumer. As the party often closest to the customer in many industries, retailers have the chance to provide critical feedback to other parts of the supply chain.

Horizontally structured B2B eCommerce sites allow companies from many different industries to purchase services, products or materials, according to Vargas (2000). These sites may operate by providing auction platforms, which can help dissipate surplus inventory. ekspedisi Jakarta Surabaya

Big Lots is an example of a company that could benefit by purchasing large quantities of surplus items. At the same time, online marketplaces provide an accessible channel for the holders of surplus inventory to reach potential buyers. For everyone involved, the eCommerce platform saves on time and costs associated with traditional procurement methods.


Websites that target the end-consumer (B2C) differ in structure from B2B sites. They are very accessible to the general public, and usually focus on sale transactions and marketing functions.

Selling products to consumers is usually done as a retail transaction, after a product has reached the end of the supply chain. However, many companies and consumers realize the cost effective strategy of direct purchasing.

Retailers online and on the ground offer a wide variety of goods and a one-stop-shop experience. However, consumers can save by buying direct from companies that sell to the public through their B2C sites.

The basic structure for these sites involves the use of a search function, product catalogue, and purchasing function. Some, like the Big Lots site, offer or require membership to access products. Doing this allows companies to track customer orders, thereby collecting valuable data on purchasing behavior.

Looking to the Future

While this article lays out how most companies are currently structuring their sites, it does nothing to predict the innovative next step that will reset trends and expectations. More and more interactive technologies and high value content are setting the bar for performance for both B2B and B2C companies.