Retail Versus B2B Marketing

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  • Post last modified:March 21, 2017

Difference between the B2B and retail marketing strategies

Retail marketing is vastly different from B2B marketing. Both  employ different strategies. In retail marketing the focus is on smart, aggressive and consistent conversion of the customers into shoppers. The retail marketers both online and offline use more of merchandising activities to entice the target market to buy.  This is done through the use of special campaigns that provide offers, discounts and deals to be used online or offline. For example, the email campaigns from the online retailers. These campaigns are aimed at the immediate conversion of the customers into buyers. Usually, the mails contain a deal or discount code and a link.  The link takes the customers to the website where they can immediately make a purchase by using the discount.

These email links are designed in a way to make purchasing easier by integrating it with the shopping and the checkout page.  In the retail marketing environment loyalty has an important value. So, the companies have started combining the merchandising with education to engage the customers and keep them coming back for shopping. Customer service is now a smarter way of purchasing loyalty. It is now an inseparable part of the marketing strategy of the companies. Companies use smarter tools and methods of customer service to market their brand. The better the customer service, the more satisfied are the customers. And satisfied customers, they are the loyal customers.

In case of the B2B environment the marketing strategies are more driven by relationships than the retail environment. Relationships matter because in the B2B environment, the customers are fewer and trust important. Marketers try to preserve the relationship for longer. Purchase is a multi-step process in the B2B environment. Trust is an essential and therefore personal touch is used to add it. The business transactions take place only after proper verification. In the retail environment, the email campaigns are aimed at adding speed to the shopping process. On the other hand, in the case of the B2B businesses, the aim is to educate the customers. The  size of the cart is big in the B2B environment and the purchase process is longer. Final purchases are made after lots of consideration. It is why the B2B marketers add human human touch to speed up the transactions.

The emails educate and rather than driving a purchase, they are aimed at driving relationships. These mails take the prospective customers to the website where they  can learn more about the products or services being marketed. Apart from the information in the mails, there is a link that takes users to the landing page where they can find detailed information to make a decision. The customers can find more information on the product features, process and other necessary information on the website page. The campaigns are also longer in case of the B2B environment and the email campaigns are just a small part of the overall campaign. These are the most important differences between retail and B2B marketing strategies. In retail too trust plays an important role. Customers would like to shop from the brands that they believe are reliable. It is why the retail brands try to create reliability  by  focusing more on excellent  branding strategies. Customer service is also a key part of their branding strategy.

The e-retail websites that have better customer service are more  successful.  This is also the secret formula that Amazon has used. A website that provides poor customer service, is late to handle  customer complaints, is less popular among the customers. Marketing in e-retail is not just a method to attract the customers but also one to create reliability and loyalty. In B2B environment, since businesses are  customers, they make careful purchases. It is why transparency has an important value in the B2B environment.  Customers would like to confirm every small detail before they place the final order. It is why managers play a significant part in the marketing and sales process in B2B. They add the human touch which adds reliability.  The customers can talk to them and clarify before purchasing. In e-retail however, purchases are small and marketers use strategies that drive the marketers immediately to make a purchase.

Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.