B2C Marketing

18/08/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

The term business-to-consumer (B2C) refers to the process of selling products and services directly between consumers who are the end-users of its products or services. Most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies.

B2C became immensely popular during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s when it was mainly used to refer to online retailers who sold products and services to consumers through the Internet.

As a business model, business-to-consumer differs significantly from the business-to-business model, which refers to commerce between two or more businesses.

Understanding Business-to-Consumer

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is among the most popular and widely known of sales models. The idea of B2C was first utilized by Michael Aldrich in 1979, who used television as the primary medium to reach out to consumers.

B2C traditionally referred to mall shopping, eating out at restaurants, pay-per-view movies, and infomercials. However, the rise of the Internet created a whole new B2C business channel in the form of e-commerce or selling of goods and services over the Internet.

Although many B2C companies fell victim to the subsequent dot-com bust as investor interest in the sector dwindled and venture capital funding dried up, B2C leaders such as Amazon and Priceline survived the shakeout and have since seen great success.

Any business that relies on B2C sales must maintain good relations with their customers to ensure they return. Unlike business-to-business (B2B), whose marketing campaigns are geared to demonstrate the value of a product or service, companies that rely on B2C must elicit an emotional response to their marketing in their customers.

B2C Business Models in the Digital World

There are typically five types of online B2C business models that most companies use online to target consumers.

  1. Direct sellers. This is the most common model, in which people buy goods from online retailers. These may include manufacturers or small businesses, or simply online versions of department stores that sell products from different manufacturers. 
  2. Online intermediaries. These are liaisons or go-betweens who don’t actually own products or services that put buyers and sellers together. Sites like Expedia, Trivago, and Etsy fall into this category.
  3. Advertising-based B2C. This model uses free content to get visitors to a website. Those visitors, in turn, come across digital or online ads. Basically, large volumes of web traffic are used to sell advertising, which sells goods and services. Media sites like the Huffington Post, a high-traffic site that mixes in advertising with its native content is one example. 
  4. Community-based. Sites like Facebook, which builds online communities based on shared interests, help marketers and advertisers promote their products directly to consumers. Websites will target ads based on users’ demographics and geographical location.
  5. Fee-based. Direct-to-consumer sites like Netflix charge a fee so consumers can access their content. The site may also offer free, but limited, content while charging for most of it. The New York Times and other large newspapers often use a fee-based B2C business model.

Advantages:

Catalog Inflexibility: The direct ‘link’ has enough potential to showcase content information and other visual images that already prevail on websites belonging to multiple clients.

Quite interestingly, we’ve been given the liberty to adjust our e-catalog whenever it’s feasible, it includes the addition of the new products and making amendments in their prices accordingly. Unlike, traditional print catalogues, it consumes less amount of time.

It possesses various searching options to assort the items, corporate and division names, partners and even the manufacturer’s label to fulfill the desired needs.

Shrinks The Competition Gap: Minimal marketing and advertisement expense along with openings through which we can compete with high-profile companies in terms of price, quality and availability of the products

Unlimited Market Place: It exhibits unlimited marketplace by enabling the customers to explore and shop as per their convenience. It should be in our best interest that we can check on the desired services from home, offices and anywhere else without the stress of following a restricted timeframe.

We can purchase the products at a global level from every corner of the world. It means that the internet has broken the international barriers and has given us the opportunity to stash various items and equipment without the need of being at the shops in person.

24 Hours Store Reduced Sale Cycle: No need to make excessive amount of phone calls and descriptive e-mail messages.

Lower Cost of Doing Business: The B2C has reduced a number of business components including, employees, purchasing cost, mailing confirmations, phone calls, data entry and the requirement for opening up stores with physical existence. It has influenced and declined the transaction costs for the customers.

Removing Third Party Clients: We have the liberty to sell our products directly to the customers without the need of involving third party clients in the middle of the process.

Business Administration Made Easier: It has made it easier to record store inventory, shipment, logs and overall business transactions compared with the traditional ways of business administration.
These aspects of business are now being calculated automatically with utmost accuracy for the online entrepreneurs. Moreover, it provides real-time update feature through which we can explore all the latest happenings in our business.

Frees Your Staff: Runs our business setup without having the customer service and sales support department.

Customers Appreciate It: The sales process is handed over to the customers. Enhances customer-base and their loyalty level.

More Efficient Business Relationships: Building new and improved associations with the dealers and suppliers.

Work flow Automation: This process gives us an edge over shipping products in a timely manner. Furthermore, it automatically adjusts the stock levels and figures out location availability with a ballistic speed. Highly reliable security system with step by step verification, account entry and admiration mode to look after the business transactions.

The third party direct sales are backed up with familiar banking and accounting features that enable us to reach out to our vendors and perform internal business transactions accordingly.

Disadvantages:

Catalog Inflexibility: However, it is important to reorganize the catalog upon adding new information and products respectively.

Infrastructure: Even though, it provides a massive customer reach and breaks the international barriers by calling people out on the same platform, but the fact remains unchanged. According to a research, a total number of 26 million people in the world are deprived of using a stable internet connection. It should be in our best interest that some portion of the world is still unable to witness our value added services and this issue will take some time to resolve.

Competition: Indeed, the competition is severe since there are millions of online brands and services that can put our business at a stake in terms of customer base. There are certain companies that have managed to maintain a great market share giving them a chance to survive in the long run. We must understand the importance of introducing new and improved products in the world of internet to acquire the best response from the customers.

Limited Product Exposure: It is worth mentioning that in spite of rewarding the customers with ease of access and a unique level of flexibility for choosing products, the e-commerce has restricted the product exposure for the buyers over the internet. Most websites wouldn’t allow customers to go beyond the glamorous product images and their descriptions at the time of purchasing the product. It gives us an ideal that e-commerce is supporting ‘limited product exposure’, which is why some products disappoint the customers at the time of shipment and are sent back to the companies immediately.