Everyone’s familiar with the two traditional ways to sell products into markets, either to another business (B2B) or to the consumer (B2C). Yet the landscape is changing. New opportunities are sliding into view. The terms B2B2C and D2C are becoming more common. But what are they, and what’s the difference between B2B2C and D2C?
In the post-pandemic world, e-commerce has become accepted like never before. Technology has progressed, accelerating to provide better customer experiences and to craft a more enjoyable online journey.
More importantly, people have become attuned to shopping online. Although customers were already familiar with the convenience of e-commerce, it has now become habitual. And this is creating opportunities for new business models. Enter B2B2C and D2C.
D2C is a relatively simple concept. As the name suggests, a direct-to-consumer business model involves a manufacturer selling its products directly to the end consumer. There are no intermediaries. Those wholesalers, retailers and agents are all stripped away, leaving more profit for the manufacturer, or allowing the business to reduce its prices to build competitive advantage.
With D2C, and the help of e-commerce, not only do manufacturers improve their profits, they can improve their reputations, build better products and decrease their time to market. There are many great reasons to jump on the D2C bandwagon.
B2B2C combines the concepts of B2B and B2C, blending them to create a new partnership-based business model. But it’s much more than a channel partnership. B2B2C isn’t just about a manufacturer, wholesaling its products to another company to sell on to the end user.
B2B2C allows a manufacturer to reach its end users by selling them with the help of a partner business. Although this partner makes the connection, the manufacturer still interacts directly with the end user, who is fully aware that they are buying from the manufacturer. What’s more, the manufacturer has access to the customer’s information, along with all the data generated by the sale.
It’s a tricky relationship to balance, and each partner needs to see tangible benefits that warrant the formation and continuation of the partnership. For the manufacturer, a D2C strategy will provide higher profit margins, but a B2B2C arrangement may result in more sales. For the partner, it has to be sure that promoting the manufacturer, and allowing customers to go direct, isn’t damaging sales of other products.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. For some businesses, D2C will be the obvious choice. For others, B2B2C could be the right route forward. And then there are businesses that thrive on using both options, applying different strategies based on the geographical region or the product line.
If you’re considering your D2C and B2B2C options, we have plenty of online resources to help you along the way. Why not take a look at our post on taking your business from B2B to D2C? Good luck on your journey, and we’re always here if you need us.