"B2B" is contemporary shorthand for a longtime sales practice called business-to-business. B2B transactions primarily target companies and other wholesale buyers, while transactions targeting individuals are called B2C, or business-to-customer.
Many organizations have both B2B and B2C components, but it's not unusual for a company to specialize in B2B services or sales. In fact, the vast majority of products and services sold are considered to be B2B in nature.
One major reason for the popularity of B2B sales and services is sheer volume. An individual customer may visit a clothing manufacturer's website catalog and order two pairs of shoes or a sweater(B2C txn). The buyer for a national chain of clothing stores, however, may order 5,000 pairs of shoes and 2,000 sweaters. Without a B2B component, the manufacturer would have lost out on a very lucrative sale. This is why many companies provide B2B options alongside the B2C offerings at their websites and other outlets.
E-business is normally divided into five groups:
Consumer to Consumer(C2C).
The business-to-business (B2B) group includes all applications intended to enable or improve relationships within firms and between two or more companies. In the past this has largely been based on the use of private networks and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Examples from the business-business category are the use of the Internet for searching product catalogues, ordering from suppliers, receiving invoices and making electronic payments. This category also includes collaborative design and engineering, and managing the logistics of supply and delivery.
The business-to-consumer (B2C) group is a much newer area and largely equates to electronic retailing over the Internet. This category has expanded greatly in the late 1990s with the growth of public access to the Internet. The business-to-consumer category includes electronic shopping, information searching (e.g. railway timetables) but also interactive games delivered over the Internet. Popular items purchased via electronic retailing are airline tickets, books, computers, videotapes, and music CDs.
The business-to-public administration group covers transactions between companies and governmental organisations, such as city, local, regional, national governments and governmental agencies such as the European Commission. Activities in this area include transactions to publicise public procurement opportunities and the filling of tax returns and payment of taxes.
The consumer-to-public administration area is similar to business-to-public administration, except that the focus is on provision of government information brochures, forms etc., greater openness, public consultations, as well as submission of tax returns. This area will grow once the business-to-consumer and business-to-public administration areas start to develop.
The Consumer to Consumer are is similar to B2C, but the difference here lies that any person registered on the site can sell/buy or exchange any product or product information as per his convenience by using a common platform.