Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing
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Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing

Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal

This insightful Handbook provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of business-to-business marketing. It supplies an overview and pioneers new ideas relating to the activity of building mutually value-generating relationships between organizations – from businesses to government agencies to not-for-profit organizations – and the many individuals within them.
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Chapter 33: B2B e-Commerce

Venkatesh Shankar


Venkatesh Shankar There is growing interest among academics and managers in B2B electronic commerce (e-commerce). Broadly speaking B2B e-commerce is commerce between companies over an electronic medium or network, which could be based on proprietary information technology or the ubiquitous Internet. Thus B2B commerce includes transactions and relationships between business entities. The US Census Bureau estimates that approximately 94 per cent of all e-commerce is B2B e-commerce and that B2B e-commerce is worth $3.4 trillion (http://www.census. gov/econ/estats/faqs.html). Many US B2B markets or industries are big. For example the chemical industry is worth $1.6 trillion, the telecom industry $900 billion and the construction industry $800 billion. The sizes of these industries and markets offer tremendous opportunities for electronic commerce. These opportunities coexist, however, with challenges inherent to B2B e-commerce, due to its differences with B2C e-commerce. B2B e-commerce differs from B2C e-commerce in three important ways. First, it is bigger in value and more complex than is B2C. Second, it is more relationship-oriented than is B2C. Although e-commerce is not done through a face-to-face human interface, it can be facilitated, enhanced and supplemented by human interactions. Moreover frequent electronic interchanges create a long-term orientation in interchanges between business entities. Thus, B2B e-commerce is more relationship-oriented than is B2C e-commerce. Third, unlike B2C e-commerce, B2B e-commerce involves industry or domain expertise and entails fundamental buyer behavior shifts (Mantrala and Albers 2011). Given these differences, researchers and practitioners are interested in a better understanding of several important topics relating to B2B e-commerce....

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