Business-to-customer transactions (often abbreviated as B2C) is a sales model wherein a business targets individual consumers as the end-user of their products. More commonly known as “retailing”, business-to-customer transactions specialize in using high-visibility marketing and direct distribution channels to make their products accessible to a large population.
In contrast to business-to-business (B2B) sale of products, the B2C model attempts to engage customers on a personal level, which greatly shortens decision-making time and, therefore, increases conversion of potential customers to paying ones.
Shop-based B2C: The Classic Approach to Selling
Generally, B2C aims to sell low-ticket items, which include basic necessities such as food, clothes, and amenities, among others. Due to having low price points and widespread distribution, individuals automatically engage them on their own with little to no difficulty. Because of this, traditional B2C is often called “shop-based” selling, wherein consumers flock to a stationary distribution channel, i.e. a shop, to purchase products or acquire services.
However, constraints on the side of potential buyers can lead to lower conversions for shop-based sellers. These constraints might include physical disabilities, geographic barriers, or time-based limitations.
In recent decades, the idea of bringing the product to customers has become a viable market. The adoption of telephones in residential homes is widely credited for this: products and services can now be delivered to the end user at a convenient time and/or place. In addition, businesses were able to take the initiative via telemarketing, or selling a product by placing a call to potential consumers.
Currently, electronic-based commerce (“e-commerce”) allowed consumers to study the products before closing a purchase by using information available online. Likewise, sellers are able to study their target markets more closely and are able to tailor-fit their products and services to a personal level, increasing engagement and conversion.
In recent years, the B2C sales model has evolved greatly in that businesses can sell — and consumers can buy — more specialized products such as content (i.e. music, movies, news) and business information (i.e. stock market data, bookmaker odds) on demand. In addition, highly specialized distribution channels ranging from express delivery to download-by-demand to eventually deliver-by-drone increase consumer engagement from a retail standpoint.
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