In theory and practice, the term business model is used in a wide range of formal and informal definitions, to convey key aspects of business, including business purpose, product line, strategy, infrastructure, organizational structure, sales techniques, operational processes, and policies.
The most common type of business is the B2C model, which stands for business-to-consumer. Let’s consider what belongs to the B2C segment, what other schemes of work are available, and what are the special features of this business model.
B2C sales - what is it?
B2C (Business-to-Consumer) is a term that refers to the commercial relationship between an organization (Business) and a private, so-called end-consumer. The consumer buys goods from a company to meet their needs. B2С can consider any point of sale or online store, as long as they serve ordinary people. In other words, B2C sales are the principle on which a huge portion of the commodity-money market exists. From the business to the customer - that is how this segment can be briefly characterized.
Telemarketing for B2C
Telemarketing is one of the most effective and strong business strategies. The versatility of phone communication enables direct communication between producer and consumer, promotes profitable contracting, and optimizes the search for new customers. As a result, sales of goods over the phone have increased several times.
There are two types of telephone marketing: incoming (hotlines) and outgoing (surveys, questionnaires, sales of goods and services - telemarketing sales).
Outbound telemarketing involves an operator dialing the customer base to represent and sell products over the phone. By choosing telemarketing sales, you save on the rental of retail space and the number of employees.
We all call to the call centers of banks, power supply companies, non-profit organizations, insurance companies, cabs, food delivery services, etc. They also call us: to sell their services, confirm orders, and others. From time to time all these companies conduct surveys and marketing research among their customers. This can be the determination of satisfaction with services or monitoring the NPS index. Customer Loyalty Index NPS (Net Promoter Score) is an easy-to-calculate metric aimed at assessing the loyalty of a company's customers or buyers of a product.
In general, companies with a large number of B2C and/or B2B clients have very versatile voice and text communication, which they either carry out by their call center or outsource.
For B2C, Internet Marketing and Telemarketing (call centers and cold dialers, websites, webchats, social networks, thematic forums, etc.) are effective means of attracting potential buyers.
Telemarketing for B2C has those key tools:
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- Web push marketing
- Chatbots in messengers and social networks
- Bundle of online chat + scripts by action + chatbot
How to choose the way of lead generation?
Differences in approaches to the selection of telemarketing tools in the B2C and B2B markets are related to the decision-making process and motivation.
Step 1: Tasks for the contact center
To successfully complete the project, the customer must understand its objectives, set clear tasks for the performers, and provide them with the necessary information for this purpose, namely:
- a description of the products/services from which the lead generation will come, their features and positioning;
- the key benefits to be emphasized in communication with the client;
- definition of the target audience and its motivation to start cooperation.
Step 2: Prepare your USP and contact base
The key factors of lead generation success are a quality contact base from the target segment and a unique selling proposition.
The number of contacts depends on:
- the market in which the customer operates (the number of market operators may be large or, conversely, insignificant)
- The goals of the customer (search for partners, a pilot project, r a large-scale campaign)
- The "throughput" of the sales department of the customer (the number of leads per day it can handle).
Step 3: Developing a questionnaire and conversation script
Next, the contact center develops a questionnaire and a script for the conversation with your target contacts. The questionnaire is necessary for diagnostics of potential clients, namely for getting answers to several important questions concerning product and competitors, preferences, and convenient ways of cooperation.
Typically, the script for a conversation with a respondent includes:
- questionnaire survey;
- informing about the customer company;
- proposal of the customer.
Step 4: Project implementation
The implementation of the lead generation project can take from 3 days to 2 weeks - depending on the number of contacts selected for communication. The data from the survey will help in the development of a product portfolio, positioning strategy or marketing communications to form a competitive offer, and so on.
Learn more about telemarketing and telesales tips.
Important nuances in B2C sales
B2C commerce requires segmentation of the target audience. Not every person can become a customer of any company. For example, people with hypolactasia will not take dairy products. For an advertising campaign to be effective, you need to research your target audience, find their pain points, and create a unique value proposition and an advertising call to action for each niche market segment.
Organization of sales involves additional components that are used in the B2C segment.
B2C sales must consider certain points:
- A well-known brand that makes the customer pay much more. If one has to choose between a branded product and a product of an unfamiliar brand, it is more likely that customers will prefer a product they know. Despite the higher price and less convenience.
- Comfort. The design and level of service are important. For online commerce over the Internet, you need the most attractive site, the interface of which is intuitively simple.
- A promotion strategy with an optimal choice of advertising tools: from videos to the banners on the Web.
- Triggers. We tend to make spontaneous purchases on an emotional impulse. By targeting a consumer's feelings through trigger ads, you can nudge them into deciding to make a deal.
- Pre-purchase communication with the potential customer and post-purchase service. This category of advertising includes electronic mailings with new products, promotional offers and discounts, discount cards, and raffles with prizes. These techniques are aimed at increasing the loyalty of the TA and help to expand the base of regular customers.
- B2C sales can decrease because of the huge competition in this market and the lack of wholesale methods of selling goods. That is, it is much easier to deal with retail. After all, large-scale wholesale requires huge investments, is difficult in terms of implementing technological processes of production, and creates a lot of problems with authorization documentation. And in the "business for the consumer" there is none of this.
- For a successful B2C campaign, the business owner must understand the buying habits of potential customers, market trends, and competitor strategies. Also, B2C promotions must be clear, understandable to consumers, and focused on the specific problem the product or service solves. With this information and the right tools, it's easy to create a campaign that will generate the right customer response and drive sales.
The difference between B2B and B2C sales
B2B and B2C sales are different opportunities and prospects for your business. Let's take a look at how they differ from each other.
First, let's understand that B2B - which is "business to business" - refers to the sales you make for other companies, not for individual consumers. As we already know, sales to consumers are called "business to consumer" or B2C sales. An example of B2B sales would be a company that sells manufactured car tires to a car manufacturer. Another example is supermarkets. They purchase products from wholesalers and sell to retail consumers at a higher price. Business-to-business sales can also include services.
Examples of B2B service providers:
- Attorneys who handle cases for business clients;
- Accounting firms that help companies keep records;
- Content studios that provide texts for corporate websites, social media pages, etc.
The biggest difference between sales for business and sales for the retail consumer is the high level of professionalism of your customer. Corporations are much more sophisticated customers, and they demand only a high-end product and level of service. Also, a B2B salesperson must be able to work with all parts of the buying company. Administrators, receptionists, and assistants are your associates in making the sale. You must be well versed in all aspects of your product so that you can quickly and easily answer any questions posed to you. You can't say, "Just a minute, I'll be right back," because your customer has a serious position in the company, and is limited in time.
Let's break down the specifics of both markets by comparing their key features.
Consider the following table:
Number of customers
Insignificant (all attention is focused on individual sales)
A lot (the individual customer is not important)
Product features knowledge
Scale of purchase
Average check size
The role of the emotional component in the purchase
Strong (mutually beneficial)
Main characteristics of goods
The volume of supply, product quality
Trade dress, brand, cost
Targeted (for a specific customer)
Selling techniques and methods
Here are a few techniques and methods for retailers:
- Classic stores are the usual retail outlets for consumers. Their size can be any size - from huge shopping centers to small private stalls.
- Online sale - the sale of goods via the Internet (these are IM, bulletin boards, and other resources).
- Telephone sales, telemarketing - calling the customer base with an offer of a product. Usually, this is done by customer service managers, using special sales scripts.
- Markets and mobile (portable) sales outlets.
In this case, you need to choose one type of distribution intensity of the product. There are three of them:
- Intensive - involve as many outlets as possible to ensure that products are widely available to customers. A significant disadvantage of this method is the weak control of marketing and sales.
- Selective (small number of potential sellers) - reduces distribution costs and allows some control over the company's sales and marketing.
- Exclusive (B2C sales in special stores) - gives products an elitism, increases the level of customer service, helps to establish strong ties with them.
An example of the third option of distribution intensity is well-known companies that sell branded goods only in specialized outlets, the number of which is strictly limited. These are branded stores:
- Ford Motor Company.
The aforementioned manufacturers have opened authorized sales centers and branches in most countries. Exclusive distribution of goods ensures their uniqueness and strengthens the manufacturer's interaction with the end consumer.
Top-3 Golden Rules
In this market segment, products are designed for the personal consumption of citizens. Therefore, the sales strategy is planned based on these goals:
- The main motivator for the purchase is the customer's desire. That is why marketing methods bring great success to the B2C system. It is important to convince people that they want to buy this very product now. Here the emotional factor overcomes common sense. In contrast to the B2B model, the customer's real need for the product is less significant.
- There are several times more consumers, represented by ordinary citizens than companies and organizations, which are the same end users. For this reason, B2C sales are universal and focused on broad demand. Large chain stores with a standard assortment, standard merchandising, and the general principle of staff work can serve as an example. Here they do not adjust to an individual customer, the company's strategy is aimed at consumer groups. Therefore, marketing and products for pensioners differ from the offers, designed for young people.
- The guarantee of high income in the market segment of "B2C" will be skillful advertising and competent pricing, taking into account demand and solvency. At the same time, in the "B2B" more important is the effectiveness of the seller, the properties of the product, or the quality of service.
Steps in building a sale
Let's talk about how a B2C system is formed.
Stage 1: Building a strong brand
We like to buy products from famous brands and we mostly agree to overpay for a name. When choosing a product, the buyer prefers a promoted brand to an unfamiliar manufacturer, even if the offer of the latter is much better than the branded model. That is why the creation of a recognizable trademark is the primary task for every manufacturer.
Stage 2: Identification of the target audience and its needs
Deliberate segmentation of customers will allow you to form successful promotion strategies in the future. For this purpose, it is necessary to study the customer audience and create a portrait of your TA (target audience). And as scrupulously as possible. The better you know your end customers, the easier it will be to manage their loyalty.
Stage 3: Brand/company positioning
This is an important period of development, which aims at a long-term perspective, not a momentary benefit. All the ways of positioning your company will affect the attitude of the target audience, the degree of their trust, and their association with the brand. Right now, B2C sales are highly competitive in every market niche.
Don't forget that positioning is not just a time-limited step. It needs to be worked on continuously to draw attention to yourself against the more successful competitors.
Step 4: Determine marketing strategies and tools
The actual strategies and types of promotion of a company depend on its capabilities, objectives, and the portrait of the target consumer. Today the modern market offers a lot of advertising technologies for the realization of different business strategies.
To use the right promotional techniques, you need to have an experienced person on your team who specializes in online promotion and offline advertising.
If you need to boost B2C sales, stimulate your customer audience. Since target consumers are often driven by emotional impulses, you need to go in that direction.
Step 5: The sales system
And at the end of everything you need to organize the sales process. This includes the sales funnel and its effectiveness (the ability to attract and retain customers), CTA (call-to-action), competent merchandising, convenient navigation module in the store - all these techniques are very important to obtain results.
Be that as it may, the specific techniques and methods of advertising will depend on the company's capabilities, its objectives, and the target audience of customers.
What else should be considered in B2C sales
- Incentivizing customers
Once again, we repeat that the emotional stimulus plays a big role in the sale of goods to the consumer. There are two known systems of motivation to purchase - active and passive.
- Ensuring comfort while shopping
Those who plan B2C sales in a traditional store need to think about how to position merchandise (merchandising), create a convenient navigation module in the retail space, ensure the availability of information and develop the right price tags. Without merchant acquiring, it makes no sense to open a retail outlet.
- Additional sales and post-purchase communication
To make a customer a regular customer, it's a good idea to send out an email with information about promotions, new products, discounts on the upcoming purchase, discount offers, etc.
How to segment sales?
To understand what B2C sales mean, it is necessary to consider in more detail the issue of TA segmentation. Great competition in this market forces businesses to develop specific marketing strategies for each consumer group. This approach will increase the sales and efficiency of companies.
What benefits segmentation of the consumer market gives entrepreneurs?
- Interacting with a specific category of customers, which makes sales productive.
- Accurate knowledge of the demands of the target audience.
- Overcoming high competition.
- Creating a customized marketing strategy.
- This marketing move is aimed at direct sales to individuals to meet their own needs.
To divide the target audience into groups, you need to determine the segmentation criteria. Then select the area where B2C sales will be conducted and form a portrait of its TA. After analyzing the selected segment it is necessary to calculate the opportunities of the company. And at the end - to outline their own goals and identify consumer needs. All these components are included in the marketing policy and help to increase sales.
The described business model is based on product positioning. That is, the entire strategy of the company should solve one problem - to meet the needs of customers by selling products. After segmenting the consumer market, it should be studied in detail.
The analysis is performed on several attributes of the potential customer:
- Gender and age;
- Place of residence;
- Family and children;
- Education and occupation;
Focusing on B2C sales, special attention is paid to the following points:
- The scale of the intended segment (to make a profit from the sale of goods, it is necessary to choose a large part of the audience).
- The ability to expand the boundaries of the selected area.
- General availability (there should be several distribution channels for your product).
When segmenting the target audience it is necessary to consider typical consumer problems and needs, which are not constant and change all the time. Since there is a lot of competition in this sphere of business, all marketers should follow the fluctuations of consumer audiences.
Why it's important to do analysis
As mentioned above, the B2C market has several nuances, and one of the important ones is a systematic study of the volume of products sold. In-depth monitoring helps to learn about changes in consumer demand in time to restructure production. It makes it possible to evaluate the effectiveness of marketers' actions and balance sales channels.
Analysis of the amount of revenue and efficiency of B2C sales has several steps:
- Collection of relevant information, which includes the following data: current and past sales volume, sales targets, price fluctuations, advertising campaigns, and promotions for a selected period.
- Selection of indicators for sales analysis (sales volumes, profit, conversion, and other efficiency coefficients).
- Reviews and evaluation of results (sales productivity analysis is carried out using one of the methods to summarize the results).
- Identification of reasons that caused the current result.
The findings will allow you to identify the sources that determine the demand of the consumer audience. All this data will help you to reconfigure production to increase profits through a large increase in target demand.