Most companies can be classified as either business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). However, newer business models are revolutionizing the way B2B companies work. The B2B2C (business-to-business-to-consumer) model is the way of the future, enabling many in the B2B space to engage new customers. This article will explain what B2B2C is, how moving towards a B2B2C model could help your organization grow, and how to get started with B2B2C.
What is B2B2C?
B2B2C is a flexible business model that empowers companies to sell to businesses and consumers alike. The B2B2C model offers new opportunities to B2B companies, as it allows them to expand their reach.
B2B2C companies sell and market directly to business partners and to consumers. Through B2B2C marketing, the B2B name becomes recognizable. Consequently, products are likely to be more desirable, a development that is beneficial to you and to retailers selling your products.
- Shell is a great example of a company that has embraced the B2B2C business model. Shell sells its products to businesses, but is a well-known brand among consumers too.
- Microsoft is another example. It’s likely that as a consumer you’ve heard of this big-name brand, despite the fact that much of its business is B2B.
- Nike also makes this list. Nike markets to the end consumer, and consumers can purchase Nike products from the brand itself, or from stores that Nike has a B2B relationship with.
With the right technology in place, B2B sellers are embracing the opportunity to market and sell to end consumers. At the same time, some B2C companies are also becoming more flexible and growing their customer base by selling to businesses.
The B2B2C Experience
To move from B2B to B2B2C, it is necessary to adapt and provide customers with an experience more akin to that of B2C.
B2B transactions are often completed via phone or fax, and in-person relationships are highly valued. To facilitate a B2B2C business model, it is also necessary to offer an exceptional online experience. A well-organized, easy-to-use ecommerce store can enable you to target more customers and sufficiently meet their needs.
This might mean setting up an ecommerce store or improving the website you already have. Your B2B2C strategy might include enabling customers to order custom products online, improving website navigation, or allowing customers to check out as guests. Depending on your business, there will be many opportunities available for you to create an improved customer experience for everyone that accesses your site.
Some products, for example receipt roll or certain packaging supplies sold by successful B2B companies are unlikely to ever have a great deal of consumer demand, but there may be more opportunity out there than you perceive. For example, timber typically sold via B2B channels may be popular with consumers working on DIY projects. Whether there is a large B2C market out there for you or not, making use of technology designed for B2B2C, or with the functionality and usability of B2C technology, is still essential to progression. All B2B companies can benefit from offering a B2B2C, or B2C-like experience online.
According to Salesforce, almost 70% of buyers expect an Amazon-like experience when purchasing for business purposes. Eventually all industries will need to adapt to meet these demands.
There are many benefits to moving from a B2B business model to B2B2C. Here are just a few B2B2C advantages to consider:
- Improved profits, achieved by shortening the supply chain and cutting out the middleman.
- Reduced costs, which can also make products more affordable for end users.
- Increased B2B sales, with a B2B2C ecommerce store. Technology required for a B2B2C business model can greatly benefit B2B sellers even if they do not succeed in branching out to reach consumers as professional buyers value a B2C-like ecommerce experience. According to Salesforce, 67% of business buyers have changed vendors to receive a more consumer-like experience.
- Elevated sales with a B2B2C mobile experience. Google found that 40% of B2B revenue was driven or influenced by mobile experiences.
- A streamlined sales process, achieved by improving your ecommerce store as part of a B2B2C strategy.
- Access to customer data by moving from a B2B business model to B2B2C. With this data you can start marketing to consumers directly.
- Additional control of your brand, via your own B2B2C ecommerce store.
Ultimately, these B2B2C advantages can help you reach new customers, grow your business and remain relevant for years to come.
How to Get Started with B2B2C and Reach New Customers
Building an ecommerce store that provides a good user experience to all customers should be a key part of your B2B2C strategy. Technology will be essential to the success of your transition from B2B to B2B2C.
Although telephone and fax sales have traditionally been indispensable to the B2B business model, the move towards ecommerce is inevitable. Those resistant to change are less likely to out-sell their competitors. However, as overwhelming as it might seem, once you’ve completed the initial hurdle of setting up your ecommerce store, technology can actually make the sales process easier and more efficient. If you already have an ecommerce store, the next step is to improve it for B2B2C.
When building or upgrading a website for B2B2C, bear in mind the following tips:
- Ensure your ecommerce store is responsive and optimized for mobile users.
- Build your site on a platform that has the ability to integrate with systems and software of all kinds, so your website can support your business as it continues to grow.
- Choose a platform that can boost site speed.
- Use recommended product, cross-selling and up-selling tools.
- Choose a platform with multilingual functionality to reach more customers.
- Make sure your new site will enable you to offer an omni-channel experience to your customers.
- Use personalization to enhance customer experience.
- Prioritize user experience for B2B and B2C customers alike.
- Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and enables your users to serve themselves.
- Use HTTPS and prioritize security.
Choose the Right Platform for Your B2B2C Ecommerce Store
Finding the right platform on which to build you B2B2C ecommerce store is the first step to success. The ROC Commerce platform will enable you to make the most of B2B2C advantages. Here are a few reasons why ROC is right for your business:
- ROC Commerce is the fastest ecommerce platform available.
- Enable personalization and an exceptional user experience.
- Streamline the buying process for business customers with quick reorders and automatic quotes.
- Benefit from a mobile and SEO friendly, omnichannel solution.
- Integrate with virtually any platform, including ERP systems, payment processing systems and more.
- Choose ROC for multilingual and multi-site capabilities.
- Transition to B2B2C at your own pace. With ROC you can move away from your legacy systems gradually.
ROC Commerce can support even the most advanced ecommerce sites and is designed to meet the needs of B2B, B2C and B2B2C businesses. Request a free ROC Commerce Demo today.