Business to Consumer (B2C)

Joran Hofman
April 3, 2021

What is Business to Consumer? (B2C)

B2C is the acronym for Business-to-Consumer that defines the business model in which companies sell a product or service directly to end consumers, i.e., without going through intermediaries.

Companies that carry out this type of B2C transactions are usually called "B2C companies".

Characteristics of Business to Consumer.

  • A single person makes the purchase decision, and in most cases, the product or service is purchased for personal use.
  • Payment transactions are simple and fast, with the possibility of paying based on credit and personal finances.
  • There is a high degree of competition, so companies tend to offer different attractions to improve the customer experience.
  • Higher-priced products tend to have lower purchase volume.
  • Companies can make higher profits by eliminating wholesalers.
  • This business model is advantageous for smaller companies because end consumers do not look so much at the company’s prestige as they do at getting a better price.

What are the types of B2C online business models?

There are several types of B2C online business models used by companies to make direct contact with consumers. Among the best known are:

  • Direct sellers.

This model is the most widely used and consists of end consumers buying products or services from retailers.

  • Online intermediaries.

In this case, there are intermediaries that do not have direct possession of the products or services that link buyers and sellers; an example is Trivago, Booking, etc.

  • B2C based on advertising.

Companies that use  this online B2C model use free content to attract visitors to a website and thus take advantage of the high traffic to sell advertising.

  • Community-based.

Online communities on sites like Facebook, grouped together to share common interests, are a great help for marketers to promote products or services directly to consumers. This is because ads can be targeted based on users' geographic location and other factors.

  • Rate-based.

In this case, we can see sites that offer content directly to the consumer and charge a fee to access it. An example would be Netflix or The New York Times who may also make free but limited content available to users.

What is an example of Business to Consumer?

Some examples of companies that use the business to consumer (B2C) business model are the following:

  • Marketplaces that market online such as Amazon, Walmart, Costco, among many others.
  • Clothing or beauty businesses such as NYX Professional Makeup, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.
  • Technology segments such as HP, Apple.
  • Auction and sales sites such as eBay.
  • Food vending companies such as Taco Bell, Starbucks, McDonald's.
  • Other B2C service companies such as Airbnb, Netflix, Zoom.

It should be noted that it is also common for the same company to use different types of business models (B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B, etc.). A clear example is the case of Amazon.

We often come across the question Is Amazon a B2B or B2C?, the answer is simple, Amazon uses, among others, these business models because it markets products or services directly to companies or customers, we can also see that it uses the C2C scheme when it makes it easier for users to sell products or services to other users.

Best marketing strategies for B2C

Currently, the main objective of marketing for B2C business models is to achieve personalized interaction with consumers. If you want to be successful in marketing, it is important to reach consumers at the right time and accurately.

To achieve this, here are some strategies that can be used:

Use Emails.

Using emails as a reminder to consumers is the most effective way to reach them because it provides a continuous communication channel and allows them to make a purchase decision when they want to.

VIP programs.

VIP programs can be offered to encourage customer loyalty and increase customer participation, allowing them to obtain additional benefits and offers.

This can help in increasing sales; for example, if the VIP program is offered for the purchase of a specific amount, consumers tend to spend more to get it. Also, VIP customers tend to become brand advocates by sharing their experiences with others. 

Doing retargeting.

When it comes to B2C marketing, an effective tactic to retarget a customer to a website is retargeting.

One way to regain consumers' interest is to use CRM ads because they have the information from their social networks and how they behave online.

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