Mobile Study: B2B vs. B2C

Kara Oldford

Who Has the Jump on Mobile Sites:
B2B or B2C companies?

For the last two years, Briteskies has studied how many companies attending the Magento Imagine conference have a customized mobile site (read those here and here). With the increasing popularity of smartphones, apps and tablets, many companies have jumped on the mobile site bandwagon, which has been reflected in the increasing numbers. A mobile site provides a user-friendly experience, making it easier to view products, learn about a company, or make a purchase. While Briteskies excels in helping B2B and B2C companies integrate eCommerce solutions, we were curious to see if one segment had a jump on the other. 

We took our own poll around the office to see what our eCommerce experts predicted based on their current knowledge of the industry. The only previous knowledge was from our preceding studies, which revealed that 35% of all retailers offered mobile sites in 2013, an increase from 17% in 2012.

While mobile sites are extremely important to B2B companies as well, I would expect B2C companies to have more mobile sites. The value of a mobile optimized site is crucial, especially for tablets, as consumers prefer the usability of a tablet to a desktop. - Bill Onion, Managing Director

I would expect B2C to have more mobile sites. I don’t think mobile is the priority for B2B sites that it is for B2C. From what I’ve seen, B2C companies try to tie customers into long-term relationships by integrating systems.  Dave Balser, IBM i /JDE Delivery Manager 


Although there really shouldn’t be a difference, I’d venture a guess that B2C companies will be more mobile-friendly. It seems that the common thought process is that mobile is a more pressing issue in the B2C markets, but at the end of the day, the people shopping for their companies during the day (B2B) are the same people shopping for themselves in the evening (B2C) [after work, of course]. I think that’s an important call-out because although the purchasing vantage point can be slightly different between B2B and B2C shopping, the experience shouldn’t be. - Gian Genovesi, Magento Delivery Lead

When the results were in, Briteskies had studied nearly 400 B2B and B2C Magento Imagine attendees. It was clear that we expected to see B2C companies with significantly more mobile sites than B2B, despite the fact that a mobile optimized site is just as important to both segments. However, the results were surprising. Of all Magento Imagine attendees, 43% currently have mobile optimized sites. While the office enjoyed speculating, the results showed no significant difference between B2B or B2C businesses and their mobile sites. 44% of B2B companies have a mobile optimized site while 43% of B2C customers boast a mobile optimized site.

While there may not be a significant difference between B2B or B2C businesses having a mobile website, the fact remains that consumers of all sorts prefer a mobile optimized site. Having a mobile site not only signals professionalism, but also optimizes the user’s experience. With more than 235 million Americans owning smartphones and significant penetration in every age and income level, having a mobile optimized site has never been more important. While the trend is certainly on the rise, many more B2B and B2C companies have a long way to go in order to provide a user-friendly experience.

To learn more about how B2B eCommerce is becoming more like B2C, and visit Bill’s B2B eCommerce 2.0 Blog



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