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Glossary keyword - B2C


B2C (Business-to-Customer) is the term used to describe the process of selling services and products directly to customers or end-users. The end-users, in this case, are the target market the product or service is intended to serve. Usually, companies that engage in direct sales with their end-users are described as B2C companies. The dotcom boom eras contributed immensely to the upsurge of business to customer., which included companies that were involved in online retail through. This business model differs in many ways from the business-to-business model.

Understanding B2C

Today, B2C is one of the most well-known sales models. Traditionally, the term referred to a wide array of commercial activities like mall shopping, infomercials, dining at restaurants, and pay-per-view movies. However, Michael Aldrich introduced this idea in 1979. He did so by using television to market different products and services to the mass population of watchers.

When the internet bubble burst, many B2C companies (and B2B companies too)  took a hit. Investor interest in this business model reduced, and VC funding evaporated. However, leaders in the B2C world like Priceline and Amazon survived the drought and have since moved on to tremendous business success. By striving mainly on good customer relations and lock-in.

B2C Internet Retailers vs. Storefronts

From the onset, most manufacturers engaged in business with their retailers through the physical store. Profits came in through the markup retailers added to the wholesale price paid to the manufacturer. But the internet disrupted this entire system of commerce. New businesses entered the market with the promise to disintermediate retailers - thereby offering lower prices.

During the dotcom bust, businesses struggled to retain internet audiences. The retailers that didn’t join the digital revolution were close shop and went out of business. Years have passed, and B2C companies that have secured a web presence and good landing pages have not only survived but are thriving when compared to their competitors that have largely remained brick-and-mortar establishments.

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