You're not alone if the preceding b2b accounts sound too enticing to ignore. But the news gets better. "There will be thousands and thousands of successful b2b sites," says Smith. "There will be many fewer b2c sites that succeed."
A crucial reason: "Customer loyalty will be higher in b2b e-commerce," says Smith. Why? Consumers shopping on the Internet are proving to be price-driven. They'll switch vendors in the click of a mouse to save a few bucks. Businesses won't be so fickle. "Once you lock in a b2b customer, he'll be less likely to switch sites, because, as the b2b site integrates into the customer's way of doing business, it simply becomes difficult to switch."
That's why "first-mover advantage will be very important in b2b," says Phillips. "The players that establish early market dominance will retain it."