The ability to configure a web-2-print platform for B2C or B2B is sometimes referred to with a casual convenience.
The reality is the workflows for a public webshop (B2C) and a branded client microsite (B2B) are fundamentally different, as shown in the diagram below:
Please click on the image for a larger version
This is most apparent in the location of the mandatory login. In a B2B context, this is the first thing the user has to do. Whereas for B2C, the obligation to register should be as late as possible.
Why? Because crucially with a webshop the aim is to transact the order entirely online, and in a B2C scenario we tend to do this with clients with whom we have had no prior dealings.
Registering requires the customer to surrender personal information – and potentially puts them at risk of spam. So it is logical to place this hurdle as late as possible in the order process, once the client has sufficient motivation to proceed.
In the case of B2B branded microsites, the relationship has already been established offline. The microsite has been set up for a specific purpose containing confidential information. This means the password-protected login comes first – before the user can has seen the goodies inside.
It’s these small differences that make a big difference to how well web-2-print projects, whether B2B or B2C, will work.