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What is B2C E-Commerce?

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What is B2C eCommerce?

B2C E-commerce is an abbreviation of the term Business to Consumer electronic commerce. It is the digital replica of the traditional brick-and-mortar retail store as we have always known it. The term describes the process that involves selling products and services from business to consumers via online platforms. The products sold in the B2C E-commerce market are finished goods that are ready for final consumption.

Business to Consumers electronic commerce is one point on the spectrum of electronic commerce. Another is the Business to Business electronic commerce. The B2B online trade targets businesses on different levels of the production value chain.

Businesses that fall within this category of commerce (B2C e-commerce) are usually keen about customer relations, effective branding, customer engagement, and experience. They pay attention to emotional methods of gaining customer loyalty while marketing. They do this because it is more difficult for a B2C e-commerce company to get an increased return rate of customers than their B2B e-commerce counterparts. B2C must provoke an emotional response to their customers.

B2C e-commerce exists in different forms. While some are purely online B2C stores, some others are a mix of types and sometimes referred to with terms like bricks-and-clicks, and click-and-mortar.

When did it start?

The B2C e-commerce movement started during the dotcom rave in the late 1990s. Although it is one of the most recent forms of doing business, it has grown to be one of the most popular.

The dotcom boom of the late 1990s ushered in the structured system of the B2C e-commerce, although the concept of online retailing had been existent before then. The idea was first used in 1979 by Michael Aldrich. His was more of an advertisement than sales. And he used the television, not the internet.

Ever since it came into use, it has continued to grow, although it experienced a significant setback during the ‘dotcom bust.’ Brands like Amazon and Priceline had always been in the scene of B2C e-commerce ever since.

How well has the market grown

The online B2C market has gained worldwide acceptance and relevance. It is one of the most popular, recent business models, and 89% of retail businesses around the world are leveraging the B2C structure. And from all indications, the B2C e-commerce has come to stay. It looks like it is still at a very early stage in its development as it will again go through different evolution stages with the changing technology and trends.

Types of B2C E-commerce

There are four basic types of online B2C business models, and they are:

  • Direct sellers. This sect of online retailers is the most common. They sell a wide variety of products from different manufacturers. Examples are Jumia and Konga.
  • Online intermediaries. They exist as links between buyers and sellers. They do not sell goods; they only provide platforms or a meet point for buyers and sellers to trade. Examples of online intermediaries are Expedia and Etsy.
  • Advertising-based B2C. This form of B2C e-commerce help sellers to put out news about their businesses by creating traffic around online content. They are most times online influencers, or bloggers. Platforms like the Huffington Post are great examples too.
  • Community-based. Community-based stores are online communities with large user-base, which sellers can leverage on the sales of their wares or services. E.g., Facebook.

How can I own a B2C online business?

  • To start with, research how B2B e-commerce business.
  • Research the niche you are picking, the target audience, and its behavioral pattern.
  • Create a brand that works.
  • Create an Online Store.
  • Make digital marketing moves.
  • Start making sales.
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