B2C, which stands for business-to-consumer, is a retail model in which goods move directly from a company to the end-user who purchased the product or service for individual use. It is often compared to the B2B (business-to-business) model, which involves exchanging products and services between companies rather than between companies and consumers.
The term B2C is relevant to any business transaction in which the customer receives goods or services directly, such as retail stores, restaurants, and doctor’s offices. It most commonly refers to e-commerce companies, which use online platforms to connect their products with customers.
In recent years, B2C e-commerce has experienced a surge in popularity, accounting for 56.9% of retail sales from 2018 to 2019, with contributions from large companies like Amazon. While some B2C companies use their platforms to market and sell their own products, others make money by connecting buyers to sellers, using content to sell advertising space, or limiting content to paid subscribers.
In addition to e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay, other recognizable B2C businesses include The New York Times, Facebook, Netflix, and Uber.
How does B2C work?
B2C companies sell products and services directly to their customers, who are end-users that buy goods or services for personal use. While many companies sell their own products, this is not a requirement for the B2C model since many firms also sell products purchased from other companies.
A B2C retail experience can be obtained at a local grocery store or by purchasing new headphones from an online store. A B2C service experience can be a visit to the doctor, a trip to a nail or hair salon, dining out at a restaurant, or using the Uber app to order transportation.