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What is the Difference Between B2B and B2C Mobile Apps?

Read Time: 3 minutes

It took three Powerpoint presentations and lots of persuading, but you’ve finally convinced your company’s leaders to green light a new mobile app development project. But now you’re tasked with finding a developer, and it seems like these tech people speak an entirely different language! You’re seeing mentions of clouds, hybrids, natives and acronyms like UI, UX, B2B and B2C. You’ve realized you’re unsure precisely what you need! And how do you know which developer can meet your requirements?

When developing an app, it’s important to understand whether you need a business-to-business (B2B) app or a business-to-customer (B2C) app. After all, major elements such as the type of tools and features included within the user interface (UI) will vary depending on the type of mobile app.

What is a B2C App?

B2C apps are perhaps the most well-known type, as they are commonly found in places such as the app store. B2C apps take a few different forms:

  • Loyalty Apps – Customer loyalty and rewards apps fall under the umbrella of B2C apps.
  • eCommerce Apps – If you’re a retailer who creates an app that serves as the exclusive home of your virtual shop, then this would be considered a B2C app.
  • Stand-alone Apps – Stand-alone apps also technically “count” as B2C apps. An example would be an app that is its own brand by itself, such as a game, a utility or a social media platform.

B2C apps tend to be more labor intensive and costlier to implement, in part because they need fairly frequent updates in response to user feedback and issues identified in user analytics. Since you’re relying on regular users and downloads to measure success, it’s vital that you continually maintain and update the application’s user interface (UI). Quite simply, user experience (UX) holds a lot of weight for this app genre.

What’s more, B2C applications must be more competitive since you typically rely on app sales or in-app purchases. This means a greater emphasis on growth and evolution.

What is a B2B App?

Businesses use B2B applications to connect with other businesses, clients or employees within the company. Some B2B apps may be available to the public, while others are exclusively used in-house. Many of the applications that fall into this category are enterprise apps designed to fulfill a specific need, such as in-house inventory management or a portal used to assign and manage projects.

It’s common to see B2B apps that serve as a tool. For example, a wholesale supplier might employ an app through which customers can place orders and pay. Similarly, a land surveying company may develop a mobile application to assign site visits to various surveyors, who would then input data into the app.

Are There Different Types of B2B Apps?

There are two varieties or ways to define B2B apps, and these meanings can be broken down according to the user base and whether you’ll restrict access to app downloads.

  • One type of app is available via download on a company website or through one or both of the app stores, with users (such as clients, customers or employees) entering a login to access the app’s UI.
  • The other type of app is available only to a specific company’s employees, with downloads strictly limited. Access to the app download area usually requires a login. Enterprise apps usually fall into this category.

It’s important to understand which type of mobile app you need, as this may dictate your developer choice. You must also consider whether you’ll distribute the app on a limited basis (as is the case with B2B apps) or make it available to the general public (as is the case with most B2C apps). If you opt for the latter, you’ll be best-served by putting your app on one or both of the app stores. Although app store inclusion does mean you’ll need to meet certain standards and guidelines, which can be rather restrictive. If you’re unsure whether you should include your application in the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store, discuss the subject with your developer.

If you need help developing a B2B mobile app for your company or wish to create a B2C app, the talented team at 7T is happy to assist. Based in the Texas Triangle, we deal with all facets of app development, including predictive analytics, testing, creative UI/UX services and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create a one-of-a-kind app to suit your one-of-a-kind needs


10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Developer

Shane Long

As COO and President of 7T, Shane Long brings experience in mobility that pre-dates the term “smartphone” and the release of the first iPhone. His work has helped revolutionize the growth of mobility by bringing to market one of the first graphics processors used in mobile phones, technology that after being acquired by Qualcomm lived well into the 4th generation of smartphones, as well as helped pioneer the first GPS implementations in the segment. With a strong engineering and business background, Shane understands how the rise of mobility and Predictive Analytics is crucial to greater business strategies geared toward attaining competitive advantage, accelerating revenue, and realizing new efficiencies. As the leader of a B2B mobility solutions provider, he partners with business leaders including marketers and product developers to leverage enterprise mobile applications, big data and analytics, and mobile strategy.

Shane earned a B.S. at Texas A&M (whoop!) and studied mathematics as a graduate student at Southern Methodist University.


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