Thinking of offering your product or service to directly to consumers and increasing B2C sales? According to Statista, global B2C e-commerce sales reached more than 2.35 trillion U.S dollars so you may be onto something!
Understanding the differences between B2B and B2C sales will give you a good understanding of how to executive your marketing strategy and in this article, we will highlight the main differences and give you some practical examples you can use for success.
Marketing to a business and marketing to an individual are similar in terms of the fundamental principles of marketing. However, there is a core difference – before we point that out, what are B2C sales?
What Is B2C Sales?
At a basic level, one definition for B2C sales are any purchases that a consumer makes where they pay for their own transactions. This is different from b2b sales which happen when individuals pay for products or services on behalf of an organization.
B2C sales are made to individuals who are the final decision makers, though they may be influenced by family members or friends.
Regardless of whom you target you have to think about product differentiation strategies because the marketing process you use to generate B2B and B2C sales are very similar.
Differences Between B2B and B2C Sales
At the core of the difference between marketing to businesses and consumers is one factor – making the decision based on logic (businesses) vs. based on emotion (consumers).
A B2B purchase is based more on logic while a consumer’s purchase is based more on emotion. The B2B audience is seeking efficiency and expertise, while the consumer audience is more likely to be seeking deals and entertainment.
Accordingly, the B2B purchase process tends to be rationally and logically driven, while consumer choices are typically emotionally triggered (whether by hunger, desire, status or cost).
B2B – Logic
When you are marketing to a B2B you want to focus on the logic of the product.
- Features. You do this by focusing on the features of the product. There is little to no personal emotion involved in the purchasing decision. You want to focus on understanding the organizational buyers and how they operate within the confines of their organization’s procedures. What’s their role? What’s important to them?
- Helping the Buyer. It is not about the product, it’s about the people using the product and/or service. If you are struggling with your messaging try to focus more on what your product or service does to what it means for their business.
B2C – Emotion
When you are marketing to a consumer you want to focus on the benefits of the product. Their decision is more emotional.
- Short and Sweet. Consumers are less likely to be interested in a lengthy marketing message. They will want you to get right to the point. Consumers don’t want to work to understand your benefits, instead, they will want you to clearly point out the benefits to them. With consumers, your message must be simple, easy to understand. You will also tend to find that consumers have a much shorter purchasing process than businesses. They can purchase within a few minutes to within a few days.
- Focus on Results. Your most effective marketing strategies will focus on the results and the benefits that your product or service will bring to them. Your business-to-consumer market purchase more on emotion. They are more interested in the benefit of the product. They will want to hear more about how their product or service helps them and what benefits it brings to them personally. Focus on the problem or pain point that you solve.
B2B Sales Techniques
Here are a few techniques to keep in mind when trying to sell to consumers:
Understand The Buying Process
B2B marketers have a much longer chain of command to deal with since procurement, accounting and their superiors often need to approve purchases.
On the other hand, an individual typically makes their own speedy B2C purchase choices — possibly with the slight influence of others via recommendations or suggestions. You could make use of influencers on Instagram or by asking bloggers to join your affiliate program.
Lengthy content tends to work for B2B since a brand or business has to prove its expertise and give its target audience a reason to buy in. Consumers tend to prefer something short and snappy, especially for lower-priced B2C products.
Nature of Relationship.
A B2C consumer following your brand isn’t necessarily looking to build a close relationship with it. Inversely, the B2B crowd wants information and the ability to build a close relationship with brands.
Understanding B2C Sales
There is plenty of common ground between B2B and B2C marketing, but these key disparities are essential for professionals who work on either (or both) sides to understand to be as successful as possible. However, at the end of the day, no matter which side of the B2B or B2C divide a marketer works on, all marketing is P2P — person to person — despite the external differences.
For more insight into the sales process, check out our entrepreneur training program.