B to C - Definition, Comparison and Examples

There are different techniques that determine the relationships that businesses have with customers. Today, each of them is trying to find the best way to establish a more reliable customer relationship, despite the health crisis and digitalization, both of which have profoundly transformed the world of consumption.

B to C - Definition, comparison and examples

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 It is about being as competitive as possible without forgetting consumer satisfaction. Customer behavior has changed a lot in the space of ten years. We can thus note the existence of three main strategies, which are B to C (Business to Customer), B to B (Business to Business), and C to C (Customer to Customer).

In this article, we will focus more specifically on B to C.


Definition and characteristics of B to C

B to C is thus generally defined as the acronym of Business to Consumer, namely the direct relationship between companies and consumers or end customers.

This refers to services that are found for the general public; this is the case with supermarkets and other sales areas in all areas.

These are also salespeople employed by companies that did a lot of door-to-door work a few years ago. With digitalization, this is a system that we see less and less but which still exists in certain areas of activity.

B to C companies are much more focused on consumer expectations and the latest trends of the moment. Indeed, they must have the most popular products in stock. Otherwise, consumers will go directly to the competition.

Speaking of competition, B to C matches all industries, which makes competition very strong all over the world for international companies.

Consumers look for the lowest prices but also the best quality in the products they sell. Their bargaining power often exceeds that of the companies themselves because the higher the competition, the more choices customers have, forcing brands to always make more efforts to improve this B to C relationship.

It is indeed for companies to maintain a certain tenacity, which also makes the difference, as we will see later, with other sales techniques. Sales signals have evolved with digitalization. So buying behavior is carefully analyzed by companies so as not to miss an opportunity with buyers.

Companies that work mainly in B to C use new communication channels such as the internet and, more particularly, social networks. Indeed, their brand image is essential in 2021, especially when we talk about consumers who are more and more connected and who also and, above all, have a large amount of information allowing them to compare and choose their products without help from a salesperson most of the time.

The differences between B to C, B to B and C to C

We just talked about B to C, which is the sale of businesses to consumers. B to B describes the relationships between companies, which implies other types of characteristics.

It is also called industrial marketing and also has very varied contexts. Salespeople are bound to be more technical because most of the time, it is about convincing other companies and not customers. In addition, the sales cycles are longer with the number of buyers often limited.

The objective of B2B is to involve the players best positioned in the market to accelerate the number of sales in a given sector. In B to C, the objective is to make a product as competitive and interesting as possible so that it immediately seduces the end customer.

C to C is the exchange of products and/or services between consumers, and it is also something that we tend to find more and more nowadays, especially with the arrival of the internet and social networks.

Examples:

B to C: the consumer who does his shopping at the supermarket is typically B to C.

Ditto when the consumer goes to buy his fruits and vegetables from the producer, it remains B to C.

B to B: we said that these were activities between companies, in the same sector most often, but not necessarily.

Thus, a company can sell computers to customers (B to C), but also to other companies through a more professional network (B to B).

These other businesses can either use the computers for themselves or sell them to consumers.

C to C: Amazon seller or Rakuten is the most telling example today. The sites allow individuals to sell their products quickly.

Ditto for Airbnb, which allows owners to rent their homes for generally a short term.


Companies, before positioning themselves in any market, must know who their products or services are intended for. Indeed, the competition is so vast that carrying out a market study is part of the choice of marketing to be implemented.