B2B Fulfillment vs. B2C Fulfillment:What Is The Difference?

What is B2B fulfillment?

B2B fulfillment transport large and bulk shipments to a receiving company that made the order

Using complex management systems, larger companies integrate their warehousing systems with those of B2B fulfillment service to help the business with order shipping information in real-time.

B2B fulfillment centers often meet specific guidelines like; product description, tax rules, barcode labeling, and shipment details to be illegible for service delivery.

According to Frost & Sullivan, 74% of B2B  buyers research at least one-half of their purchases online. 66% of distribution centers are now used as fulfillment centers, than 55% that plan to operate this model in the next 24 months.

What is B2C fulfillment?

Business to consumers deals with delivering goods directly to the customer’s doorstep.

The process involved is more straightforward and has fewer regulations with its primary focus on customer service satisfaction.

Some of these customer services include; free shipping, same-day delivery, and package tracking to keep the customer informed on the delivery progress. Also, B2C aims at fast delivery time.

What are the differences between B2B fulfillment and B2C fulfillment?

B2C order fulfillment typically follows the retail process of fulfilling orders, but with service providers like third-party, this may be slightly complicated.

So, how do you differentiate B2C order fulfillment from B2B order fulfillment?

Here are the key differences;

  1. Unit volume of orders

B2C orders are fewer items delivered directly to the customer’s address. The orders come in large numbers from many customers.

B2B are bulk orders and large in volume but fewer in numbers of orders made. Business to Business orders are made a few times a month, but purchases are often substantial.

  1. Cost of fulfilling orders

More labor is required to fulfill B2B orders hence more expensive than B2C. The infrastructure needed to handle large quantities of orders is costly, trickling down to the cost of B2B order fulfillment.

B2C  orders  get streamlined with fast and accurate systems cutting down on B2C order


  1. Need for regulations

B2B fulfillment must comply with lengthy supply chain regulations to operate the services.

Some of these services include; international shipping, handling of hazardous materials, and bulky items.

The regulations get even more complicated when dealing with EDI ( Electronic Data Interchange) for data privacy and safety.

B2C order fulfillment does have regulations as well but not as complicated as for B2B fulfillment.

  1. Fulfillment speed

B2C Order fulfillment is all about speed. 2-day shipping is the new normal for domestic shipping. Customers want their orders delivered to them fast that some fulfillment services are doing a same-day delivery.

However, B2B businesses are not concerned about fast shipping but more about the shipping process. A guarantee on delivery dates to keep retailers’ stock constant is a preferable method than speed.

How B2B order fulfillment works

Complex management systems have streamlined order processing of B2B fulfillment services. Most of the machinery gets automated for accuracy and efficiency.

B2B fulfillment service providers build long-term relationships with big-box retailers to do shipping for them periodically, depending on the contract signed.

Again, both retailers and B2B order fulfillment providers exchange valuable data via Electronic Data Interchanges to give them real-time order information like;

  • What is needs restocking?
  • How many orders to ship?
  • When is the shipment likely to arrive?

What to look for in a B2B order fulfillment service

In this modern age, most B2B order fulfillment service providers meet the requirement to do international fulfillments.

However, when looking for a B2B order fulfillment service, you need to double-check some critical factors before signing that contract.

Here some of the major factors;

  1. Order fulfillment dashboard

An up-to-date technology software for order fulfillment will improve the speed and efficiency of service delivery.

With this advanced management system, you can see order packaging, on-loading, and tracking from one screen.

  1. Electronic Data Interchange(EDI) compliance

How will safe your data integration be?

What security measures does the B2B fulfillment company have in place?

When using EDI, you combine your systems and processes with that of your service provider. It gives both of you access to transactions and documentation from suppliers and manufacturers of brands.

Also, you can send digital invoices and other transactional documents via the system. This sensitive information needs a  fully EDI compliant B2B order fulfillment provider.

  1. Customer care response

It would be best if you had a provider who can handle your issues fast. B2B business relies heavily on getting the right products shipped the first time.

Wrong fulfillment and slow customer response are very costly for any B2B business. It’s good to ensure the provider you choose has fast and reliable customer service.

How NextSmartShip fulfillment centers make B2B order fulfillment easy

NextSmartShip is an advanced fulfillment partner with a global presence. We have a cutting-edge inventory management system that seamlessly integrates with any powerful eCommerce platform.

We have global fulfillment centers in all major eCommerce continents. Our headquarters in Shenzen, China, provides an end-to-end order fulfillment process from manufacturers and suppliers to the vendors and customers. So, does out Europe, the United States, and Australia fulfillment centers.

Customer service is at the heart of our business. We provide one-to-one customer service, where each of our clients has a dedicated manager to support them in fulfillment processes.


The advantages of B2B order fulfillment are evident from seamless delivery to reduced logistic complexity. It’s a growing sector for e-commerce, allowing giant e-retailers to scale their business to new untapped markets.

Now is the right time for you to scale your B2B business, take advantage of this competitive landscape, cut costs, and grow your profit margin.

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