What is B2C Commerce?

Eoghan Shanley
Banner image showcasing a woman making purchases through an eCommerce site

B2C commerce, also known as business to consumer commerce, is a term used to describe a commerce-based transaction that occurs between a business and a consumer. Traditionally this term referred to the direct selling of products to consumers in environments such as in-store shopping or restaurant dining. However, in this age of digital, we generally use it to refer to online platforms, generally eCommerce platforms, that sell their goods directly to consumers. 

 

Some well-known examples of B2C eCommerce platforms include Amazon, Walmart, and Adidas. Each caters for different segments of the B2C commerce market, Amazon is a leader in the marketplace sector, while Adidas is a leader in the sports and athletic apparel sector. While these platforms focus on selling directly to us consumers, many of these businesses also have separate B2B platforms to sell their products to other businesses.

Adidas, Shein, and amazon logos as discussed above

What is the difference between B2C and B2B

The main difference between B2C and B2B is that B2B is the selling of goods and services to other businesses, while as we previously mentioned, B2C is the selling of these products directly to consumers. In a more overarching view, we can see some clearer differences between the two types of commerce through the different behaviours and habits of these users.
 

Speed of Purchases

  • In B2C, customers tend to make smaller purchases, however, these are done through quicker purchasing decisions. 
  • In contrast, B2B customers can take weeks to research different sellers comparing prices and offers before making a purchase. These purchases, however, do tend to be larger in volume and cost.

Loyalty

  • Through these initial periods of research, B2B customers tend to form longer-lasting relationships with their seller of choice. Often these B2B platforms require registration, credit checks, and so on and so present a bigger barrier of entry compared to B2C platforms. As such, customers will stick with a seller for longer. 
  • B2C customers, however, have far lower levels of loyalty, partly due to a lower barrier of entry, as well as being more emotive buyers

Emotional Purchases

  • As I just mentioned, B2C customers tend to be more emotional buyers. What this means is that they are far more likely to impulse buy, and make decisions based on how they feel, rather than from a purely rational mindset. 
  • This is far less likely to occur in B2B, as in many companies, they are required to get purchase approval from different people, as such, there are far fewer opportunities for impulse, emotion-based purchases.

Benefits of B2C eCommerce

B2C eCommerce offers businesses a plethora of benefits and new opportunities compared to traditional commerce practices.

There is no need for a brick and mortar store

As eCommerce is a digital-based store, there is no need for companies to pay expensive rent, nor worry about furnishing and designing the space to appeal to their audience. And since transactions occur online, they also don’t need to pay for all of the expensive equipment associated with physical stores such as tills.

You can collate data.

A key benefit of eCommerce is that you can gather data on your users and how they are interacting with your platform. By acquiring such data, you can better optimise your platform and marketing strategies to better appeal and offer a cleaner User Experience. 

You can provide personally tailored experiences.

With the rise of AI, and our ability to offer customer segmentation through the data we gather, we can offer a far more personal, and relevant experience to our users. For example, if your user only shops in the men's categories, you can provide them with an experience that is tailored to this. By implementing personalisation techniques you can increase your ROI and conversion rates.

Marketing for B2C commerce

B2C eCommerce is considered to be the fastest-growing sector within commerce, as such, there is plenty of competition. Most of the companies that have grown and gained recognition have done so through identifying and catering for a niche within the market. Casper, Away luggage, and Shein are some noticeable examples. But what is key to these companies success is that having identified these niches they have managed to market themselves to their target customers. 

With a physical store, you can be found through someone walking down the street you are on, whereas, in the digital realm it is you that needs to find the street that your customers are on. Through SEO, social media, and affiliate marketing businesses can become more visible to their customers and as such drive new users to their platform. 
It is important that a company keeps a unified experience throughout their marketing efforts. Your brand from your visuals, tone of voice, to your colours, should remain consistent regardless if it is a video, social media post, or banner on your eCommerce site. By doing this users can both better recognise your brand, while also feeling that there is an authenticity to you, as you aren’t constantly changing. 

Content is key. With the growing use of digital platforms, your users can come from a plethora of different sites and journeys. As such, it is important that your marketing efforts include content that can transcend different platforms. Users expect different content types on Twitter, TikTok, youtube, Instagram, and so on. By having a wide range of content, you can better meet your users where they are.

And following on from the last point, if you meet your users on these different platforms you can grow a following and a community, which can help to organically grow your commerce through the increasing number of social commerce channels that are emerging. As the younger generations increase in purchasing power it is key to have a social commerce presence, considering that generation z is reported to spend 2-3 times more time shopping on these social commerce platforms compared to your average consumer.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about how to get your B2C platform up and running check out some of our past blog posts on topics such as Mobile Commerce, UI Tips, UX considerations, and PWAs.

Need help to get your eCommerce platform up and running? Then get in touch with our team at alastair.brodie@monsoonconsulting.com or calling us on +353 (0)1 4750066

Eoghan Shanley Profile Picture

Eoghan Shanley,

Junior UI/UX Designer