12 November 2021

B2B and B2C: Packaging In Two Sectors


In 2019 the global B2B eCommerce market size was valued at $5.7 trillion and is expected to rise by 17.5% annually until 2027. The global eCommerce market for B2C is expected to reach $6.2 trillion by 2027. The global packaging market is growing annually at a rate of 7.5% meaning that in 2027 it will be valued at $1652.28 billion

The B2B buyer demographic is changing and – thanks to the success of Amazon Business  – the move to eCommerce, while slow, is being achieved for this market. This is also due to almost 50% of all B2B buyers being millennials – nearly double the amount from 2012, due to this the experience wanted by B2B buyers mirrors the online method favoured in the B2C market. 61% of the B2B market has already gone online and a B2B buyer will conduct a minimum of 12 searches before making a purchase.  

How does this impact the packaging market? Well, humans are highly visual creatures, 90% of the data transferred to our brains is visual, we can process an image in just 13 milliseconds and we can process images a lot faster than we can process text, (60,000 times faster). The average amount of time humans give a first impression is 7 seconds – in the B2C world that means you have 7 seconds to make your customer decide that they want to buy your product without seeing it. But you’ll only get that 7 seconds if you stand out from the crowd on the shelves. In the B2B world that means the packaging companies have to offer completely tailor-made design services, otherwise brands won’t get the attention they need to sell their products to new customers. Market demands such as alternative materials also play a big part in B2B packaging – if there’s a lot of coverage on for example the use of non-recyclable polystyrene then packaging companies will need to come up with a sustainable alternative that keeps aligned with the trends of the commercial packaging markets. 

The packaging of commercial products versus corporate products are very different. Commercial packaging is designed to sell a product that is wanted, corporate packaging is designed to securely ship a product that is needed. The B2B market responds to the demands and changes seen in the B2C sector – both are moulded by the demographic that is driving the economy. However in the B2B sector the set of requirements packaging has to meet are different. They revolve around practical rather than aesthetic purposes – safety of the products that they are containing is the first priority; next comes ease of utilisation, the visual design and then the branding for the business that the packaging is being produced for. B2B packaging companies can no longer rely on the old methods of marketing and manufacturing to secure customers. They must now also be creative and provide innovative solutions for businesses that are looking for a different sale. 

As the differences between the B2B and the B2C markets get smaller, in theory if not even in practice. B2B packaging companies will find themselves catering – increasingly – to aesthetics and social issues that businesses are finding more important due to the level of transparency their customers are asking for. 


For more information on B2B and B2C packaging, keep an eye on our blog and social media pages. Our next blog will be looking at some of the renewable material options available on the market.