What is B2B Business? The Ultimate Guide

Written by on November 21, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page


If you have never heard of it before, B2B Business is simply short for ‘Business to Business’ and relates to business carried out between companies on the internet, rather than between a business and its customers or clients.

This is very much all happening in the virtual world of e-tailing or e-commerce. All transactions and contracts are carried out online rather than in the real world offices and buildings that we usually associate with a business.

When businesses first realised the potential of the internet the focus was very much on using the internet to generate more sales to more customers, using their online business sites as an avenue for retail growth. Over the course of the past few years, perceptions have changed and now the internet is being used for much more than direct selling. In the B2B environment the customer is not part of the business process, it could be goods, services or information that is being sold from one business to another.

Types of B2B Web Sites

B2B web sites can be sorted into the following categories:

  • Company Sites: These sites are very straightforward and easy to understand. They are basically opening a window onto an internet based trade site which shows other businesses exactly what they can do. Think of it like a trade stand advertising for business at a trade show and you get the idea. Companies can deal directly with other businesses from this website by offering a registration option which will allow members only access to the inside of the store as it were.

  • Procurement Sites: This type of site is where buyers and procurement managers will land to request prices for selected items and negotiate deals. These sites can vary from being industry specific through to general merchandising.
  • Specialist Portals: Via a specialist portal a business can seek advice on information related to an industry specific topic. There may also be forums where ideas or problems can be discussed with other businesses. Often they support a procurement site and support the ethos of buying and selling.
  • Brokerage Sites: Put simply this is a form of website that acts as an intermediary service, matching a business looking for a certain product or service with a supplier, for example a company looking to rent office equipment with a company that leases photocopiers and faxes etc.
  • Information Based Sites: These sites hold information about a specific industry sector, with companies and employees involves in that business being able to access it. It may include a specialised search facility and provide information on accepted industry standards.


B2B Business is constantly changing and adapting so a website could well fit into more than one of these categories. B2B also encompasses the building of business websites, database management, and payment handling software. As technology advances there are more opportunities for B2B business coming to the fore and the virtual world of Business to Business commerce is constantly adapting and evolving to match the changes as they happen.

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