The business market is huge-, most businesses just sell to other businesses, and sales to businesses far outstrip those to consumers. The reason for this is the number of times that parts of a consumer product are bought, processed and resold before reaching the final consumer. For example, Figure 7.1 shows the large number of business transactions needed to produce and sell a simple pair of shoes. Hide dealers sell to tanners, who sell leather to shoe manufacturers, who sell shoes to wholesalers, who in turn sell shoes to retailers, who finally sell the shoes to consumers. Each party in the chain also buys many other related goods and services. This example shows why there is more business buying than consumer buying - many sets of business purchases were made for only one set of consumer purchases.
In some ways, business markets are similar to consumer markets. Roth involve people who assume buying roles and make purchase decisions to satisfy needs. However, business markets differ in many ways from consumer markets.3 The main differences are in market structure and demand, the nature of the buying unit, and the types of decision and the decision process involved.
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