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Things to Learn Before You Switch from B2B to B2C

A business usually chooses one of two paths when they are in the products creation industry. Some will go the business to business route, which is oftentimes shortened to B2B, and it means that they sell their products to other businesses. An example here would be a manufacturer who makes a specific car part that they then sell to automakers.

The other way of selling is via the business to customer route, which is more commonly referred to as B2C. This is the model that most consumers are familiar with.

If you have been running a B2B business and now want to make the switch to B2C, you might think that the move is going to be an easy one. However, that simply isn’t true. The reality is that how you sell to an individual is completely different from the process that you would need to use to engage other businesses. There is a little bit of a learning curve that needs to be addressed before you make the B2B to B2C transition, so let’s take some time to discuss what that might entail.

There are several things that you need to know when trying to find the difference between B2B and B2C, but we have narrowed it down to 7 specific details that should serve as your starting point when making the transition.

  1. The Customer

The first thing that you need to figure out is who your target audience is going to be.  That is usually the easy part of a B2C, but things start to get a little tougher when you start trying to get your products and services in front of the consumer. Not only do you need to find a way to bring them in, you also need to employ a level of customer service and engagement that keeps them coming back for more.

In the B2B community, it is often trade shows and expos where new customers are found, while B2C businesses are usually found through Google or social media. That latter option often relies heavily on word of mouth, which can be tricky at first.

  1. Marketing

In a B2C, your relationship with the people buying your products is going to be different than what you see in a B2B. When marketing in a B2B, it’s often smart to talk about the known companies that you partner with, as this is seen as a sign that you can be trusted.  You also need to be able to show the quality of your work and the ability to handle larger production numbers, which can be displayed via production videos.

Using videos in a B2C is also a good idea, although it’s usually a how-to or instructional video that is deemed as more important. Marketing to individual consumers also means telling a story that plays on the emotions, while great reviews from previous customers are very often your best selling point. B2B marketing strategies are simply not the same as B2C marketing strategies.

Related: The Best Social Media Platforms for Business

  1. Branding Identity

When you take the time to create your brand, you will want to focus on exactly what you can bring to your customer and audience. Everything that you create should have value, and that value should be obvious, so that everyone knows that they must purchase this product.

When you are operating as a B2B, you will find that your focus is more on the trust and relationships that you build over the years. However, with a B2C, you will find that your products and service are top priority to those who are considering your products. Every B2C needs to value its customers, as well as each individual’s story, while a B2B is always going to value the culture, as well as the consistency and quality that are from that culture.

Related: Branding Strategies for Business

  1. Website

Every business needs a website, so it doesn’t matter whether you focus on B2B or B2C.  However, the design of your website will need to be different depending on which business model you are following. When you have a B2B, your website will not have too much in the way of design, but you will need to keep all your information updated. The good thing about a B2B website is that you will not need too much support with your website, because once you have everything in place, the only changes that need to be made is when your information changes.

A B2C website is much more involved, because you need to have a responsive design that includes intricate details of all your products. Your website should also have professional business videos and images, a search bar, secure payment options, and a chat box for instant customer support. This type of website would need to be updated more frequently, so that all your customers have the most up to date information.

Related: 10 Things to Consider before Launching an eCommerce Website for your Online Business

  1. Pricing Strategy

Competitive pricing is necessary for both a B2B and a B2C business, as most consumers are going to want to choose the product that fits their needs for the lowest cost. However, more money normally changes hands in a B2B business when compared to a B2C business due to the nature of the consumer. You will need to determine your pricing for your products and services. It will be necessary for you to reassess your pricing often so that you can keep them in line with all your pricing objectives. It is also imperative that you compare your pricing with your major competitors so that you can make sure that your products and services are relatively the same as the rest of the marketplace.

It is never easy to put a price on a product. However, once you have determined the cost of your product, know your customer base, determine your targeted revenue, find where to sell your product, and understand your competition and the current market, and you will have a better idea of what price tag to put on each of the products that you sell.

  1. Selling

Sales in a B2B business are much different than sales in a B2C business. Every B2B business entails a longer decision-making process, a larger number of people involved, longer relationships, a tiny lead pool, and even a completely different knowledge of the products being offered. B2C businesses have thousands, if not millions, of people that could potentially be interested in their products, plus there is less time needed in the decision-making part of the process. There are fewer people involved in a B2C business relationship, although that relationship may end up being shorter than a B2C business would like.

Related: How to Sell Your Product to an International Market Successfully

  1. Analytics

When you run an e-commerce B2C business, you are going to have access to a whole slew of data that can help you grow your business. Analytics can help you see who is coming to your website, how long they stay, and what they look at while they are there. It is through these analytics that you can learn more about your customers, including their location, the things that they are interested in, when they make their purchases, what they purchase, and much more.

It is quite easy to track ad campaigns that you run, because you can easily see how many likes, views, and methods of engagements that you are seeing on your website. It is always best to use those numbers to continuously improve your marketing plan and the budget that you are using.

Even if you have had some real success with your B2B business, there is no guarantee that the transition to a B2C model will be a smooth one. It pays to make sure that you know the differences in the two business models, as using the same strategies in each will likely lead to failure in one of the other. Take some time to learn what it takes to succeed in the B2C world, and you may just discover that your previous successes carry over into your new e-commerce venture.

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