Business-to-Consumer (B2C)is defined as a type of commerce or transaction in which companies sell or market products directly to consumers.
This level of interaction involves customers purchasing goods themselves at a store or marketplace, eating in a restaurant, etc.
B2C can involve any industry, including the e-commerce and financial services sector.
Of note, B2C differs from Business-to-Business (B2B), which is defined instead as an interaction in which one business makes a commercial transaction with another.
Instead, B2B also reflect supportive enterprises that offer or exchange elements that businesses need to operate and grow.
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) as a Cornerstone of Our Lives
Today, B2C is virtually everywhere, having evolved into a mainstay in most people’s lives.
While not immediately thought of in this way, B2C can be associated with e-commerce or online selling.
This includes e-commerce venues such as Amazon, which in the United States and Europe has seen its market penetration and usage swell over the past decade.
The rise of such venues has been so prolific and abrupt that their existence has threatened existing “brick-and-mortar” businesses and services.
With regards to online B2C sales, there are generally five business models that encompass these interaction points.
Direct sellers include online retail sites where consumers buy products. These venues can also be manufacturers such as IBM, Apple, or small businesses that create and sell products.
Online Intermediaries are defined as bridges that help put buyers and sellers together without owning the product or service.
The advertising-based model garners high volumes of web traffic to sell advertising which, in turn, sells products or services to the consumer.
Additionally, a community-based model utilizes online communities built around shared interests in a bid to help advertisers market their products directly to site users.
Finally, fee-based model includes direct-to-consumer sites charge a subscription fee for access to their content such as Netflix or HBO.