There is a great difference between B2B and B2C, including product audience, sales funnel, sales cycle, purchase decision process, marketing campaigns, communication channels, business operations, customer approach, and strategies. To understand what a Business to Consumer model is, you need to know the specifics of this business.
In this article, we will cover the following:
- what does B2C mean;
- what are the special features of B2C marketing and B2C sales;
- what are the crucial differences between B2B and B2C sales.
Also, we will consider some business-to-consumer examples, as well as other important and exciting points.
What is B2C Sales?
B2C (or business to consumer) is all about B2C sales. It is a traditional sales model, a system of business relations between a selling company (business) and individual consumers. In the B2C market, companies sell products and services to the end-users for their personal needs.
The B2C sector may include:
- online stores;
- cafes and restaurants;
- entertainment centers and companies that serve end-users;
- accounting firms and other examples.
What Does B2C Mean: Understanding Important Peculiarities
What does B2C mean? This business model has its peculiarities, for example:
- B2C is the perfect business model for small businesses due to minimal start-up costs;
- since the customers of B2C companies are ordinary people, sales reps should pay maximum attention to the customer touchpoints where the sales process takes place, such as sales office, retail space or a separate sales floor, or an online storefront;
- B to C business is characterized by mass production. Most often, the final target customers buy in small batches, so making a unique product for each client isn’t profitable for these companies. It is much more efficient to come up with a bunch of several options to choose from;
- despite that B to C companies sell goods and services directly to the end-users, they, unlike the so-called D2C firms (direct to consumer), can involve intermediaries such as retailers, wholesalers, or 3rd-party online stores to offer products to the customers, influencing their personal buying decisions.
B2C marketing and B2C sales peculiarities
B2C marketing focuses on many customers, so mass but fast communications play a huge role here. This results in discovering a unique approach to the customer that has some peculiarities, for example:
- relatively low importance of one client in favor of the significance of the mass sales. This does not mean that the sales reps shouldn’t take care of all buyers, but the number of clients is still the most important factor;
- the consumer purchases goods for personal use, so they make their purchasing decisions on their own;
- B2C marketing is based on emotional impact — consumers aren’t professional buyers and often rely on the brand image when comparing goods and prices. Since consumer sales are made on impulse, marketers need to get an emotional response;
- unlike B2B, where decisions are made slowly by several decision-makers, B2C is characterized by a short sales cycle. The whole buying process, from the moment of customer’s awareness and ending at closing the deal, can take just a few minutes;
- sales scripts help to get clear answers to the most popular questions and provide the shortest customer journey;
- if your B2C marketing campaign is set up correctly, sales reps get a chance to get leads at a much lower cost.
- B2C Storefronts against Online Retailers
Initially, manufacturers distributed their products through retailers with a specific physical location, selling face to face. These sellers bought goods at a particular price to sell them for a little more, with a markup, making a profit from their activities.
But everything changed when the Internet emerged and online retail stores appeared. Just think of it: each of these stores successfully sells directly around the globe, needing no intermediaries. And this means that they can offer their products to the end consumer at a much lower price, while the customers can instantly compare the goods right from their homes. Businesses then desperately fought for survival, and many offline enterprises had to leave the market or embrace the adaptation.
Decades later, B to C online companies continue to dominate their offline competitors. Modern giants such as Amazon, Priceline, and eBay successfully survived the dot-com boom, after which they continued to grow, succeeded, and became industry revolutionaries.
B2C on the Web
What does B2C mean in the digital world?
There are several categories of online business-to-consumer sales models that companies use to engage consumers most often:
- Direct sellers. Prominent manufacturers of goods or small businesses can own these online stores. Also, they can be digital storefronts of offline stores. It is the most popular model.
- Intermediaries. These companies act as intermediaries that find consumers without offering their own products or services. Online retailers like Etsy or Expedia are the best business-to-consumer examples in this category.
- Ad-based models. Good advertising perfectly sells products and services! In the case of this model, potential customers are attracted through effective content marketing, namely through free content that customers are interested in, in exchange for showing them online ads. For instance, HuffPost has plenty of such ads in addition to its content.
- Community-based models. Such projects create huge communities. Businesses sell products to community members, engaging them with targeted ads and making them exciting offers based on their interests, target demographic data, and physical locations.
- Fee-based models. Such sites charge for unlimited user access to content. This model is used by Netflix or The New York Times.
The transition of the business to consumer firms to the virtual world has led to the development of new, innovative tools that help any online store plan, make forecasts, generate leads, close deals faster, and increase revenue more efficiently.
Regardless of the differences between business to consumer and business to business, today, there are plenty of specialized tools for various sales models to help enterprises to achieve better results. While modern solutions such as, for example, Belkins are perfect for growing your B2B business, you can also find your ideal platform to skyrocket your B2C sales!
Main Differences Between B2B vs. B2C Sales
As we said, B2B and B2C models may vary by different factors. They are:
- prices. Compared to business to business sales, a B2C sales model usually offers goods at higher price points. Also, in B2B sales, everything depends on the standard price. If a competitor comes up with a lower rate, stakeholders switch to it. With B2C companies, product and customer service quality often forms a great customer loyalty;
- relationship with clients. In the B2B sphere, where one business sells to another, it is necessary to build long-term partnerships. In the business-to-consumer sphere, the product quality, affordable price, and delivery terms are the top priorities for the buyer, while relations with the seller aren’t that important;
- decision-making. In the business-to-business market, decisions are most often made by multiple decision makers, and this process is more conscious, rational, and consistently takes all the details into account. On the other hand, quick emotional purchases are the calling card of the B2C market: if the product or service meets customers’ expectations, they can make an order right away;
- sales cycle. Typically, B2B sales have longer sales cycles (from several weeks to six months). The sales cycle in the B2C sector is much shorter (a few days at the most);
- branding. At this point, the difference between business to business and business to consumer is that for B2B companies, lead generation is always the priority. For the B2C sector, branding is one of the main tools that allow companies to increase customer loyalty, build an emotional connection with the audience, and motivate them to make an order;
- advertising proposal format. A business-to-business deal is approached as carefully as possible, so a commercial offer should contain maximum figures, facts, and accurate statistics. In the B2C, there’s no need for such detailing, while creative and catchy advertising is quite effective. Moreover, a business to consumer (B2C) buyer may have a poor understanding of products and often trust the recommendations of their friends and influencers;
- the principle of selling goods. B2C business uses common approaches to the sales process that the consumers got used to. B2B companies have to create marketing solutions on the go, working with each potential customer separately;
- volumes and frequency of sales. As a rule, sales volumes in the business-to-business sector are significantly higher, but sales occur less frequently, while B2C sales volumes are smaller but occur more repeatedly.
Want to know more? Check out the other differences between B2B and B2C sales!
Considering Some Business to Consumer Examples
Amazon, Walmart, Google, Target, Meta, Starbucks, Tencent, Priceline Group, Alibaba, and many other businesses are classic business-to-consumer examples. Speaking of services, good business to consumer examples are ateliers, beauty salons, dry cleaners, restaurants, clothing stores, and e-commerce (companies that sell retail products).
Best B2C Sales Advice
Check out some business to consumer tips that will help you to pave your way to success quickly:
- clearly define your target audience and its needs, do market research and create a consumer profile. Thoughtful customer segmentation will allow you to form successful promotion strategies and manage consumer loyalty;
- build brand loyalty. It will give you a better understanding of what kind of content your potential customers would like to see and share;
- create a database. Save the contact details of your potential customers: this will help you quickly find information about them and current interactions. This, for example, will help you turn customer questions into compelling messages and offer them more attractive, personalized solutions in the future. To succeed, consider implementing CRM solutions;
- collect and analyze data. In the mass sectors of the B2C market, the number of site visitors, number of consumers, conversion, average check value, the effect of promotions, and fluency of demand can be essential performance indicators. They can help you to develop an optimal business model, which will take into account the specifics of a particular business;
- think over an effective system of motivation and rewards for your sales reps: this is one of the most important factors for a seller to achieve success in the B2C market;
- set up after-sales service support — this will help you retain existing customers and attract new ones, increasing their loyalty.
B2C relationships are one of the links that make up the chain of business processes in today’s commercial environment. The essence of B2C is to build direct, personalized relationships between various businesses and their existing customers.
This type of relationship involves direct sales and reducing the number of intermediaries. The fewer mediators, the easier organizations can secure local competitive prices and control price fluctuations, which help to increase sales margins.