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BtoB vs BtoC: Don’t gouge me at work and expect me to buy at home

I use Peapod for grocery delivery at home.  It's a great service, and the $5 charge is worth it for the time I save.

So we started stocking the fridge at work. We're spending $100/week. 

Then I found out that they charge $17 for a business delivery. Feels like a rip-off.

Now I'm pissed and I canceled my home and office delivery. They just lost a $10,000 customer.

The reverse is true for the office supply giants who are not nearly as helpful or friendly when making home-office deliveries. Our office supply vendor lost a lot of money because they hassled me about a delivery to my home office. We get it all from Amazon now.

Lesson: Your business and consumer customers are the same people. You have to treat them well anywhere they feel like buying. 

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  1. Tish Grier May 30, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    Very good point, Andy. And the thing is, when running a *small* business, you may need the service but not have the money to pay the extra. It’s not “just a writeoff” on business expense–as some might thing. It’s money. Period. And whether it’s being saved at home or at work matters.

  2. Walter Thompson May 30, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    The fee is definitely too high, but office deliveries can be harder to pull off than home delivery, particularly the turnaround time.
    In San Francisco, FedEx and UPS pay the city tens of thousands/month just in parking fines. A van that pulls into your driveway is less likely to get in an accident, receive a ticket, be broken into or be tagged with graffiti.

  3. Simple Simon May 30, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Oh yeah, isn’t that funny how they have two different sets of prices for business and home, and businesses always get the short end of the stick. That is the same (in my area) for phone bills, houses are a fraction cheaper than businesses — what gives?
    Anyway, I agree whether we are acting as individuals or business entity’s we are the same people, don’t treat us differently.

  4. Leo Piccioli May 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Hi Andy.
    I run an Office Supplies company in Argentina (Officenet Staples) and faced a dilemma a couple of years ago: we put so many hurdles for a “C” customer to buy from us than slowly, most smaller “B” customers stopped buying.
    At the same time we found a great opportunity selling to those “C” customers some electronics…
    Now we are reversing the process (e.g. with a USD17 minimum order for free delivery, asking for less paperwork to give credit, etc.) but some harm has already been done.

  5. Peg Merzbacher June 1, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    I am sorry you were disappointed to find that Peapod charges different delivery fees for home and office deliveries. As Walter points out in his comment, it typically costs us significantly more to deliver to businesses, particularly with the security that many office buildings have institituted since 9/11. Longer delivery times, parking tickets, etc. all make it more expensive than delivering to homes.

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