B2B Payments

A B2C Merchant's Guide To The B2B Ecosystem

The business-to-business (B2B) market can offer countless opportunities for traditionally business-to-consumer (B2C) merchants to expand their businesses and boost their bottom lines. It is no wonder that businesses as diverse as Best Buy, Timberland, Dell and beyond have begun expanding into the space.

The trouble is that the ins and outs of managing B2B payments can be far more complex than those to which most B2C retailers are accustomed. Longer turnaround times, higher prices and the need to get more parties’ approval can take B2C merchants by surprise, with many finding out too late that they are not equipped to handle the logistics of B2B payments.

What can B2C retailers do to optimize their payments operations in a way that allows them to deliver the payments experiences business customers expect — and to do so in a way that gives them a leg up on their competition?

This is just one of the questions we sought to answer in the Innovating B2B Retail Payments Playbook: Optimizing Payment Solutions For Business Customers edition, in collaboration with MSTS. The Playbook details how B2C retailers can tailor their payments services to enable quick, seamless B2B transactions that suit business clients’ needs.

The first thing that B2C merchants need to know about B2B transactions is that they do not occur in one particular location, nor are they completed in a single second, or even in days. It takes an average of 14.1 days to process a single invoice, in fact, and many take even longer. This means that cash flow managers must plan for longer processing times than they might be used to.

The second and perhaps more difficult factor that B2C businesses looking to break into the B2B market must take into consideration is that the B2B payments process is made longer by the fact that most businesses pay via paper check. This also makes transactions more expensive, with the average paper invoice costing $10.08 and requiring 8.3 days to process.

Despite the countless logistical difficulties in transitioning to a B2B payments process, the benefits can be even more plentiful. This Playbook explains how B2C retailers can seize them.

To learn more about the complexities of navigating the B2B ecosystem, download the report.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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