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I've read a topic called "b2b / b2c website as one or two separate websites". I don't feel like it answered everything I would like to know, so I hope you don't mind me posting a similar question.

What is the best way to integrate both b2b and b2c e-commerce at one domain, and what are the benefits / drawbacks to your method?

To me it seems practical to put the b2b website in a subfolder with its own database and login. Essentially a separate website. In this case, the b2c is the first initial website where everyone would enter, and there would be a trade/retail customer button somewhere on the nav which would push b2b users into the second website (through folder called /trade). But how would this work out for SEO and is there a better way to make this happen within the same domain / website?

The reason I feel like these need to be separate is because everything about the two websites are different except for the branding. By this I mean the way in which users will need to register, as b2c wouldn't even need to register and if they did it would be a simple registration vs. b2b with verification system. Also there are differences in how items are selected, pricing, and a whole range of other things. Also in this case, most b2b customers would not be finding the website from organic search. Most of them are already customers or contacted through a sales team.

Maybe it would even be best to have them at two separate domains (.com and .co.uk?) or (xxxxx.com and xxxxxtrade.com)?

Can anyone shed light on the best way to accomplish this with benefits and drawbacks? Also could you provide an example of a website that is doing this in a way you mention ?

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I feel that recent Digital growth (including freetoplay tools) made the B2B and B2C frontier very thin.

Let's look at how big brands do it. Apple and Google sure have a single main web site, then their products may be used by individuals and/or companies.

  • the more you can share, the better it is for everybody
  • if you see value in verticalizing some sites (for some Products or Services), then you'll need to build a Brand for them (like https://connect.googleforwork.com/ targetted at B2B), which requires big efforts
  • Thanks, yes did some research and found some other sites that do a similar thing too. Vaude (outdoor supplier) is one. Good point about google. Thanks. – B. Scott Nov 29 '16 at 14:31
  • Good that my answer was able to help (for this strategic "let's share" perspective, fostering synergies, blending B2B and B2C). Others will be more qualified than me to explain how to silo – Matt Laurenceau Nov 29 '16 at 15:38
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One approach I have used is to have a question in registration that gets users to self identify their intended purpose (perhaps something like "buying products for my company"). We then split the user paths into different pages of registration questions so that the users with minimal questions have a good experience. Then make the login prominent on the pages and divert the users into the different experiences. This was done on one of the biggest vaccines ordering websites. 15 years experience running user research.

  • Thanks, that would be a good idea but the b2b website i'm working from is mostly under the control of another dev company and there is nothing i can do about it just now. I'm hoping for a solution where we can build our own b2c and just link to the b2b with not a lot of SEO confusion. i'm hoping to either get both of these on the same server, b2b in a sub folder, and let them continue to service it, while i make a b2c version. I really like that idea though and i'll no doubt keep that in mind for the future. – B. Scott Nov 29 '16 at 14:44
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The thing is, there is no "best" in this. It is going to depend on what you're trying to achieve on your website.

One of the biggest benefits to having seperate sites is the fact that you can specify content on the main buying reasons of the customer in question. If you have a website which has to serve both, you're only going to be able to help both a little.

One of the biggest benefits to having one site for both is that you'll be able to cross-sell a lot easier, it's most probably also going to be a lot better for SEO purposes (but that really isn't a UX point).

The solution:

Having a B2B and a B2C section on the same website. Let your visitor choose on the homepage, so you can focus you're content on what the visitor wants. You can have a yourdomain.com/solutions and a yourdomain.com/business-solutions for example.

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