B2B is shorthand for business to business. It refers to products and services marketed from one business to other businesses as opposed to consumers. Advertising, web hosting and graphic design are examples of B2B products. Office furniture sales and office or retail space rental also fall under this category.
A typical supply chain involves several business to business transactions. Manufacturing companies purchase raw materials and components for use in their processes. Automobile manufacturing is an example of this process, as many components are manufactured by outside companies and purchased by the car manufacturer. Tires, batteries, electronics, hoses and door locks may all be handled in this manner.
Different methods of advertising are used in business to business sales compared to business to consumer. Advertising, promotion and publicity methods may be the same, but a business does not target its products at other businesses by advertising in consumer mediums, such as magazines or consumer sales websites. The B2B sales cycle is much longer by comparison. Business decision-making may take place at more than one level of purchase management, whereas consumers can make the decision without consulting other departments. A mother looking for a toy may search online, read reviews and purchase the product, but a salesperson may meet with a department manager, who may then need authorization from the business owner or department head to complete the sale.