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B2B eCommerce: How B2C Retailers Can Ride the Wave

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It’s been an amazing trajectory: “The number of B2B digital commerce initiatives now surpasses that of B2C,” according to Gartner.®1 In fact, Gartner® recently predicted that by 2025, “75% of B2B manufacturers will sell directly to their customers via digital commerce.” In other words, B2B sales will look a whole lot more like B2C purchases, at least on the surface.

For retailers who have established eCommerce businesses, this market growth presents an opportunity to expand into B2B sales. But it’s not enough to say you’re open for B2B business—you also have to be prepared to handle their orders and payments.

Here is an overview of our new eBook, The Hidden B2B Potential in Your B2C Checkout, which includes actionable insights to help you successfully expand into B2B eCommerce.

Don’t count on credit cards to handle B2B sales

Think about your own shopping habits when you need to make a purchase for your company. Do you use a corporate credit card? Probably. But if you’re like 9 out of 10 decision-makers we surveyed, you research the payment options before buying from a new vendor, especially if you’re expecting to be offered trade credit and negotiate special pricing for large or repeat purchases.

And that’s the big difference between B2C and B2B payments: behind the scenes, B2B payments are complicated. Here are just a few of the insights you’ll find in this eBook:

  • Half of business buyers are looking for net terms invoicing, automated onboarding, discounted pricing, credit offerings for repeat purchases, and purchase controls.

If B2C retailers can’t support the processes and payment methods preferred by B2B eCommerce buyers, they run the risk of losing the opportunity to serve this audience. Sellers that only accept credit cards may lose significant wallet share and customers to competitors that offer more favorable payment terms.

Invest in the payments and invoicing network that B2B eCommerce requires

That’s why it’s time for B2C retailers to invest in the payments and invoicing technology that enables B2B customers to buy more easily and more often. Merchants have an immense opportunity to add or expand a B2B channel to get their share of worldwide retail sales; B2B sales are poised to grow 5% year-over-year to exceed $27.33 trillion, according to a 2022 analysis by Insider Intelligence.

Fast, imperceptible risk decisioning secures more buyers by offering the right payment terms and the right credit lines in a split second. Ultimately, retailers can establish a loyal B2B buyer network; total order values and stickiness naturally increase when these customers know they have omnichannel access to financing any time they need to place an order.

It’s also essential to get invoicing terms and data right because invoices need to integrate with the buyer’s Procure-to-Pay and Enterprise Resource Planning platforms. Consider important buyer preferences, such as choosing to receive invoices daily, weekly, or monthly, and their other required details, including PO numbers, that can stimulate trade and reduce costs, friction and disputes.

Be prepared for B2B eCommerce fraud

As global B2B eCommerce increases, fraud is likely to increase. There is a growing risk of business identity theft, shell companies, stolen employee identities, account takeovers, and other forms of digital fraud. These days, sophisticated payment fraud detection and prevention processes are absolutely mandatory for companies of all sizes.

The good news is that today’s best B2B payment and invoicing networks can help mitigate fraud. These partners offer machine-learning processes and should be able to boast a strong track record for risk decisioning. Expect absorption of fraud risk and rich data to identify when to accelerate or pump the brakes, too.

Read all the details in our eBook before you start

When done right, it isn’t just adding B2B payments, it’s connecting B2B buyers to your brand in a closed-loop network where trade is empowered, and both friction and the costs of doing business are drastically reduced.

Request a copy of The Hidden B2B Potential in Your B2C Checkout, to get all of the details. You’ll even find a quiz, “Is Your Business Ready to Capitalize on B2B Opportunities,” at the end of the eBook to help you identify your “hidden” business buyers.

1Gartner, Survey Analysis: Digital Commerce Revenue Skyrockets With B2B Surpassing B2C, Penny Gillespie, Aditya Vasudevan, 27 August 2021


Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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