The Internet has completely reshaped customer relationships. The transformation began with the dot-com boom which spawned a new type of company whose entire business model was predicated on Web acceptance and usage These companies - Yahoo, Amazon, eBay and Google - took advantage of the Web in all aspects of their business. Soon, traditional "brick-and-mortar" enterprises realized that to survive, they too had to satisfy customer expectations to procure goods and services over the Internet.

Out of this, the traditional differentiation between B2C and B2B emerged. B2B sales models were complex. They needed to incorporate negotiated contracts, special pricing and distribution or channel partners and typically involved multiple buyers from the same company. B2C companies, on the other hand, were more consumer or end-user focused. They had to offer features such as ratings, reviews, communities of interest and promotions.

For some time, the differentiation existed. Today, however, in this new Internet world, the line between B2C and B2B e-Business is blurring. Influenced by the emergence of Web 2.0, where people collaborate and share information online in ways previously unavailable, B2B buyers increasingly expect B2C-like personalized experiences, creating a whole new challenge for B2B providers.

Faced with the demand for greater personalization, B2B e-Business initiatives must now offer features in their customer and partner transactions that were once the domain of B2C offerings.

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