Salesforce B2C Commerce vs. B2B Commerce – What Are the Differences?

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Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based commerce platform that supports online retailers in marketing, merchandising, shopping experience, fulfillment, customer service, and beyond. In my opinion, Commerce Cloud is one of the most difficult Salesforce products to learn. There are multiple concepts you need to understand when working with Commerce Cloud, and one of these is the difference between B2C and B2B Commerce.

Comparing Salesforce B2C Commerce with B2B Commerce is like looking at apples versus oranges – they are built on completely different tech stacks, supporting different use cases and shoppers’ needs.

What Is the Difference Between B2C and B2B Commerce?

  • B2C Commerce: Focused on “Business to Consumer”. It’s a separate technology stack, using JavaScript and web technologies, which has gone through multiple architecture iterations including SiteGenesis, the Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), Headless Commerce, and progressive web app development (PWA).
  • B2B Commerce: Focused on “Business to Business”, B2B Commerce is native to the Salesforce platform (follows the core multi-tenant architecture of the Salesforce platform).
READ MORE: How to Learn Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Use Cases

 Salesforce B2C CommerceSalesforce B2B Commerce
Main differentiator:Targeted at end consumers across different verticals including retail, Telecom, healthcare, transportation, and more.Best suited to business buyers such as distributors and dealers across different verticals.
Typical order volume:Large order volume, with small order sizes (< 10 items per order). Small order volume, with large order sizes (> 100 items per order).
Products hosted via Commerce Cloud:Typically a vast number of products, with different variations (e.g. colors, sizes, models etc). Typically a limited number of products, with some variations.
Orders:Often a simple process, low-value purchases for mostly “off the shelf” products/services. Some repeat customers.Complex, high-value purchases. Some “off the shelf”, others are often customized before delivery. A higher percentage of repeat customers.
Payment Methods and Frequency:Multiple options, including credit card, online wallets, etc. Often one-time. Through purchase orders and invoicing, EFT, ACH, cheque. Often recurring payments for repeat orders (Most of these are not available for B2C).
Support options for your customers:Chat, Phone.Chat, Phone, 24x7 Support for high-value orders.
How pricing and licensing work:Order-based pricing.Order-based pricing with costs also based on extra storage and API calls.

Skills Required

 Salesforce B2C CommerceSalesforce B2B Commerce
Skills required:Web technologies, i.e. HTML, JavaScript, CSS (and relevant frameworks).Lightning Web Components (LWC), Apex.
Ideal knowledge foundation:Front-end developers, full stack developers.Salesforce Developers.

Technology

 Salesforce B2C CommerceSalesforce B2B Commerce
Technology stack:Separate technology stack from the Salesforce platform (non-native), using JavaScript and web technologies (which have gone through multiple architecture iterations).Native to the Salesforce platform. Leverages the Lightning Experience (UI) and follows Salesforce’s multi-tenant architecture.
Architecture:Follows multiple modern architecture paradigms like Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA), Headless Commerce, and PWA (Progressive Web Apps).Follows the Salesforce multitenant architecture (built on Experience Cloud). Each experience can host multiple storefronts.
Integration with Salesforce:Typically via connectors (pre-built integrations you can “plug-in”).Being native to the Salesforce platform, no connectors/integration is required.
No-code support?Provides a Page Designer tool to build out pages using drag and drop.Uses Experience Builder as part of the Experience Cloud offering.
App marketplace:Has its own marketplace for third-party solutions.Leverages the Salesforce AppExchange.

Extending Commerce Cloud with Apps

While B2B Commerce Cloud has third-party solutions on the AppExchange, because B2C Commerce Cloud is not on core, it has its own app marketplace called the Commerce Cloud Partner Marketspace. The typical integrations these apps offer are connectors (pre-built integrations you can plug in).

Commerce Cloud Marketplace

It was earlier known as the LINK Marketplace and has been rebranded to be better aligned with the overall Commerce Cloud conventions.

It provides a number of integrations and utilities for Commerce Cloud customers and partners tackling common eCommerce use cases such as:

  • Inventory Management
  • Order Management
  • Shipping and Fulfillment
  • Loyalty and Gifting
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • And several others…

When building an eCommerce site, it’s very common to leverage one or more of these third-party offerings for specific use cases.

Summary

Both B2B and B2C Commerce fall under the same umbrella of Commerce Cloud, but there are many more differences than similarities. Although they both support online retailers, the key differences between B2C Commerce and B2B Commerce are as follows:

  • Your audience
  • Nature of orders
  • Payment types
  • Use cases
  • Verticals

Understanding these will clearly guide you towards which Salesforce Commerce offering you need to use.

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