B2B eCommerce is the shorthand term coined to refer to sale of goods and services from one business entity to another business using the internet. It is derived from “business to business electronic commerce”.
The sale can be of goods from a manufacturer to a wholesaler or it may be from a wholesaler to a retailer. In another form of B2B eCommerce, manufacturers may sell to retailers directly on the internet without the use of a wholesaler. Retailers go directly to the manufacturer’s website and place their orders. Like traditional B2B trade, B2B eCommerce usually involves negotiated pricing and consists of regular orders for the same or similar items placed on a regular basis.
Where traditional B2B relationships may take months to form, in B2B eCommerce, relationships may form more quickly as the buyer has generally done extensive research before contacting the seller. In much the same way as the price, terms, and conditions such as freight are negotiated on a per customer basis for off-line sales, B2B eCommerce provides the same capabilities, just in an electronic fashion. In addition to internet sales, B2B eCommerce also includes purchases made through electronic data interchange (EDI) and punchout catalogs.