The Meaning of B2B: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you heard the acronym B2B in eCommerce? This article will teach you the meaning of B2B, how it’s used, and more helpful facts!

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There are tons of useful acronyms in eCommerce from D2C to B2B to B2C. Still, if you’re new to online commerce, these strings of numbers and letters may be confusing. Today, we’re breaking down the meaning of B2B, so you can better understand this retail jargon.

What Does B2B Stand For?

B2B stands for business to business. This is a sales method in which one business sells its products to another business rather than an individual consumer. The types of B2B companies include retailers of specific products, distributors, wholesalers, product manufacturers, and other types of companies that provide services to businesses. 

B2B sales are often larger orders than B2C sales since a business will need a higher inventory than a single client or customer. Additionally, marketing efforts toward businesses are often more successful than marketing directly to clients; therefore, a B2B business’ marketing strategies look a little different. Businesses also speak the same language — for the most part —  so there is less translation needed between businesses to determine needs or problems.

B2B companies can provide a number of different services to buyers. They can act as B2B e-commerce platforms, provide raw materials or bulk materials like vendors, act as an intermediary between a business and a client in bids and negotiations, provide content marketing and SEO, provide marketing, act as a sales team or salespeople, and more. It all depends where a B2B company’s expertise lies.

Pros and Cons of the B2B Model

While the B2B business model has its pros in the potential for larger orders, streamlined marketing efforts, and easier communication, a B2B model of commerce can have its drawbacks, too. 

First, the buyer of a B2B product might take a longer time to make a decision. If the product is expensive or involves major changes for the company, then the shareholders or stakeholders may need to meet to make a decision or numerous approvals may need to be gathered. All of this takes time. 

Additionally, B2B companies often have a more niche market than B2C sellers (business to customer or business to consumer). First, they have already cut their market down significantly by only selling to businesses. Therefore, they will likely have fewer clients and rely on the ones that they do have to make ends meet. Every customer is crucial in the B2B model.

Since B2B often has a shorter inventory cycle than something like B2C, this can mean that they overestimate demand and end up with dead stock. While this can happen in a B2C company as well, it happens less often than from a supplier or platform to a buyer in B2B transactions. 

How Do B2B Sales Work?

The B2B sales process is often more direct than the B2C sales process and can lead to a greater amount of revenue per each sales cycle. However, the sales funnel is often smaller and has fewer potential customers. B2B sales sell only to other businesses and not consumers.

How Do B2B Payments Work?

B2B payments are usually different from the type of payments that go from customer to business. Since businesses often pay higher sums of money for the products, they might opt to split up their payment over time. Like other types of purchases in a B2C model, businesses might choose to pay for their services or products with a card, check, mobile payment, or wire transfer.

How Does B2B Marketing Work?

B2B marketing strategy is when one company does the marketing for another company that does not have a marketing department. 

B2B marketing campaigns might include doing research on the target market of a specific industry, posting on social media platforms, coming up with tactics to be the most popular among competitors, building brand awareness, posting an ad, building a rapport with customers on the internet, and more.  

What Are Other Meanings of B2B? 

If you are talking about business models and the business industry and someone uses the term B2B, there is a good chance that they are using it to mean business to business. 

If you are talking about something that is unrelated to business, they might use B2B to stand for one of these other definitions of B2B from The Free Dictionary. If you are confused about what a person might mean by the acronym B2B, ask them to clarify.

  • Bridges to Babylon (Rolling Stones album)
  • Bottom 2 Box (marketing metric)
  • Back-2-Bangalore
  • Back to Bankruptcies
  • Border to Border
  • Back to Back
  • Back to Banking
  • Boundary-Corrected Second Born (for scattering)
  • Brother 2 Brother (greek gaming clan)
  • Baptist 2 Baptist (Southern Baptist Convention)
  • Bay to Breakers (annual footrace; San Francisco, CA)
  • Bottle to Bottle (plastics recycling)
  • Bus to Bus
  • Buffer to Buffer
  • Back to Basics
  • Back to Business
  • Back to Base
  • ‘Bout to Bounce (chat)

What Are Synonyms of B2B?

Sometimes, it is not appropriate to use an acronym like B2B. For example, B2B refers to a very specific business model that might not be what you are trying to reference. In a case like this, opt for a synonym for business to business like one of the below from Power Thesaurus:

  • among businesses
  • among companies
  • among enterprises
  • among firms
  • between business
  • between businesses
  • between companies
  • between corporations
  • between enterprises
  • between entities
  • between firm
  • between firms
  • between holdings
  • between the companies
  • between the undertakings
  • between TNCs
  • between undertakings
  • business to consumer
  • commercial firm
  • company to company
  • inter-carrier
  • inter-company
  • inter-enterprise
  • inter-firm
  • intra firm
  • representatives of business


In summary, B2B stands for business to business. This is a type of business model used by professionals to provide services from one business to another instead of marketing directly toward a customer. 


  1. B2B – What does B2B stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  2. Business to Business Synonyms | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Business-to-Business (B2B) Definition & Example | Investopedia