B2B2C eCommerce businesses can vary greatly, as it involves buying and selling to both businesses and consumers at the same time. Business-to-business-to-consumer eCommerce models can take many different forms, but essentially, it involves selling products or services to a business and consumer simultaneously. As BigCommerce put it one business finds another business to buy something as a sort of third party that passes that thing along to consumers. This is a rather complicated notion as the B2B model is the most popular form of eCommerce which is relatively easy to understand.
The easiest example is UberEats. The company offers a delivery service to restaurants, while also selling its service to consumers. Most major online delivery services including Just Eat fit the B2B2C model. Not surprisingly, many would call Amazon a B2B2C eCommerce business. Amazon stock goods while offering a platform to customers for product manufacturers and some service providers. It hosts eCommerce hosting, delivery services and crucially warehousing facilities to those who have products to sell. It allows businesses to locate each other’s customers. This is usually galvanized with pre-existing relationships harvested to achieve bulk acquisition by customers. This is ultimately the B2B2C eCommerce model. Most customers recognize brands, even when they do not market directly to customers. It allows businesses reaching consumers who are not even actively seeking out the brand. B2B2C streamlines the supply chain and cuts out opportunities for middlemen to come and minimize profits.
A B2B2C benefits the B2B by reaching a wider and dedicated client base, making bulk sales, maintaining credibility by working with trusted brands. They also benefit from low customer acquisition costs. On the other hand the B2C benefits by making sales without backend logistics attracting loyal customers to the online store, having a wide range of high quality products to offer, and selling similar products and services. Below are some of the benefits of B2B2C eCommerce operations.
The goal of B2B2C businesses is to get access to ready to buy customers. If a B2B business switches to a B2C model, they need a consumer-facing brand including building a strong marketing strategy. On the other hand when B2B decides to move to the B2B2C model, the consumer-facing elements are already in place and successful. A B2B2C model also makes sense, for smaller business as a discount store for example can more feasibly partner with bigger brands. Online B2B2C eCommerce is a good avenue for those businesses to expand customer reach. In a B2B2C model, the manufacturer creates and cultivates the customer relationship. The sales process is easier as the business controls the global branding, and the consumer data. This is great for the overall customer experience and simplifies the buying process.
Integrating Supply chain
Since there is no middleman in a B2B2C eCommerce model, a supplier can go past the supply chain, to buy goods for cheaper and sell goods for cheaper. This enables manufacturers to sell goods quicker. Customers want to purchase and return goods as fast as possible. B2B2C mode is more efficient than both B2B and B2C in that way. You can see this in the fast fashion industry which must stock seasonal fabrics and fashion. Integration of the suppliers, retailers and consumers is an advantage for vertical B2B2C eCommerce.
Most B2B2C eCommerce platforms have the support of the companies already in their industry. Products from the company set a standard for the other products on the online platform. On online B2B2C platform, suppliers provide the products through the advanced model, guaranteeing the quality of the products. This makes suppliers responsible for products quality and the consumers interests. Online logistics systems are combined with traditional global logistics to maintain a robust system.B2B2C platforms design and market products, under a centralized management of suppliers on a single display. Retailers can present products according to their needs but cannot change the product specifications. A product quality problem means all the products of the same kind should be immediately recalled. Unified product evaluation is important here.
Wholesale distribution of goods for retailers, simplified operation, low inventory operations, and reduced packaging and labor costs are the objectives of retailers. This makes vertical B2B2C eCommerce more competitive. Consumer integration is a big part of this. B2B2C platform depends more on quality integration service and support service from the likes of DigiCommerce. Platforms like BigCommerce and Elastic Path can meet consumers requirements by custom B2C platform information display, professional marketing activities, professional services, and manufacturers’ guarantee of product quality. B2B2C also has a supplier service advantage. The B2B2C platform gives suppliers with online retail and wholesale capabilities a lower cost, higher efficiency and lower inventory risk.
Likewise there is a purchase service advantage for B2B2C businesses. With the good order management capabilities of B2C and B2B it provides a one-stop shopping experience, with better transparency, good quality assurance, reduced logistics cost, improved efficiency gains. The synergy also allows for more efficient logistics to solve purchaser’s inventory problems. Lastly, there is a consumer service advantage. B2B2C platform gives consumers direct supply products and quality assurance.
B2B2C business need a customer experience that drives brand loyalty and a consumer-facing website needs good page load speed, page structure and overall design. It also needs relevant content and a seamless buying experience. Finally, the security of the site is key since it hosts sensitive customer and payment data. Online stores in general must be more responsive to stay competitive. On the other hand, mobile responsiveness caters to those smartphone shoppers. A lot of whom are young people. An omnichannel approach to B2B2C sales also works in the favor of the business. Millennial and Gen Z customers increasingly prefer mobile shopping because of the convenience. A responsive mobile site can also attract buyers with exclusive discounts or rewards by using branded shopping apps. These types of integration are often complicated and must be done by agencies like DigiCommerce.
Good customer service helps businesses compete as mentioned above, but it’s usually more associated with the B2C model. Good customer service helps customer retention which helps customer service to help clients save money. This is also good in getting clients for feedback. These days that includes answering questions and assisting active or potential clients on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. It is also a great way to help customers, while making it known there is a team available for assistance.
Cross-selling and upselling
An online store should provide the same products to customers in real-time, just as an in-store sales associate. Features familiar to many are “Customers who viewed this product also viewed”. This type of product suggestion is useful if an item requires multiple pieces, such as electronics with proper charging equipment. This is another way to build brand loyalty, as it eases the customer experience and encourages a frictionless buying process. A fully integrated platform caters to B2B customers as well as the end consumer. When B2B customers visit a well integrated B2B2C site, they search for catalogs, ready-to-ship tools and multiple payment options. However, consumers are more sensitive to the presentation and ease of your site as to complete the transactions.
In conclusion, a quality systems integration is the most important thing for a B2B2C eCommerce model. It’s perhaps the only thing that can ensure a quality B2B2C online digital infrastructure capable of competing in 2021 and beyond. For some suppliers interacting with Alibaba and Amazon is a necessity. However, this does not mean they must discount the benefits of the B2B2C eCommerce marketplace. It simply means their own digital infrastructure must be effectively integrated with other platforms.
For example manufacturers can ensure they receive their fair share of their place in the market, by harnessing a range of distribution channels. For instance integrating with apps through SAP technology, B2B2C can allow customers to put out tenders to third party suppliers or service providers. This means to gain access to the customer data, the third party must confirm the sale, which will place a real-time order to the manufacturer’s own store. DigiCommerce plans to go deeper into B2B2C integration and its key feature in next week’s post.