The B2B2C approach of companies consists in bringing together companies and customers. It combines B2B and B2C players to develop marketing operations with multiple advantages. Brands use this method to create value, increase their notoriety or carry out economies of scale. For this reason, many companies have already adopted B2B2C to reach a larger audience and increase their profits. This article aims to explain how this marketing strategy works before explaining its benefits and listing 5 cases of companies that have adopted this model. Among them, we find Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
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- What is B2B2C?
- 5 major advantages of B2B2C
- 5 concrete cases of B2B2C strategies
What is B2B2C?
B2B2C, or business-to-business-to-consumer, allows a brand to become an intermediary between companies and customers. This brand provides products/services to consumers and generates revenue from the stakeholders of its B2B2C digital platform. Ultimately, this approach refers to a strong collaboration between stakeholders to co-create value (Mingione, M. & Leoni, L., 2019). It acts on different axes that are:
- direct approach
- trust between partners
- strategic alignment
- scalability of operational marketing
- knowledge sharing.
Many companies use this type of platform. Indeed, these platforms allow us to continue to operate as B2B or B2C while simultaneously adopting a B2B2C approach. This simplification of the contact between customers and companies is done in several ways:
- Marketing a B2B/B2C offering: e-commerce platforms like Amazon or Shopify are good examples. Companies can create online stores and sell their items directly to customers.
- B2B2C platform-specific tools: in most cases, these services speed up the contact with target marketing. CRM, marketing automation, and payment processing systems are examples.
- Better information transmission: companies can now collect customer feedback more easily; it is also the perfect opportunity to conduct their market research online. On the other hand, customers are more easily informed about the details of the offers of the companies in which they are interested.
5 major advantages of B2B2C
Below, we review the main benefits proposed by B2B2C approaches. There are 5 of them, and they allow, among other things:
- Clean up finances
- Propose a better customer experience
- Increase brand notoriety
- Simplify the diversification of a company
- Have a more interesting value proposition
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Cleaning up a company’s finances
Small companies have a lot to gain with B2B2C! They can sell through a marketplace. This way, they can avoid the creation of a digital sales outlet. In doing so, B2B2C strategies help a company’s finances. This happens in several ways:
- Increased revenue: the larger customer base proposed by B2B2C platforms is the cause
- More revenue streams: brands multiply their sales channels and can reach a previously unreachable target market
- Increased profitability: is enabled by the economies of scale previously carried out. Also, the low marketing and sales prospecting costs are significant profitability factors
Improve the customer experience with B2B2C
B2B2C markets benefit the final customer, faced with the competitive field usually found between similar offers. Indeed, the expenses involved are lower than in traditional e-commerce companies. We then observe an improvement in the customer experience, which is also manifested by:
- The presence of a one-stop shop
- A seamless integration of the new features of the B2B2C platform
- The personalization of customer service.
- The focus on web design to better meet user needs (Cai, L. et al., 2018).
Low expenses mean lower final prices for the customer!
Increasing brand notoriety
Let’s take the case of B2B2C marketplaces. They accumulate many customers and provide numerous commercial opportunities for brands wishing to establish themselves online. As a result, B2B and B2C companies can benefit from a stronger brand notoriety than before. Therefore, adopting a B2B2C strategy means benefiting from significant competitive advantages, among which we find:
- Exposure to new potential markets: a wider audience and new collaborations with other brands present on these platforms
- Online word of mouth: its positive effects are amplified by targeted advertising when it is multi-channel and intelligently thought out.
Simplifying diversification strategies
Second, the diversification of a brand’s business benefits from the boost that B2B2C processes provide. That’s when the bottom line improves yearly, thanks to higher revenues and systematic economies of scale (Gou L. et al., 2018). In other words, this marketing approach has several strings to its bow to reach more customers:
- Diversification and increasing development of the customer database
- Expansion into new areas of online business
- Participation in digital marketing initiatives (again improving brand notoriety in the process)
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B2B2C enriches the value proposition
Finally, the ultimate advantage of B2B2C is its propensity to improve a brand’s value proposition. This marketing approach gives companies a wider range of products/services better adapted to their audience. This differentiation factor is all the more effective when it includes the following elements:
- A seamless and integrated customer experience
- Enhanced value through additional products/services
- Strong and frequent relationships with customers to enhance a brand’s relationship marketing
5 concrete examples of B2B2C strategies
Finally, this article concludes by presenting 5 examples of large companies with successful B2B2C strategies. Here are the specific approaches of Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb, Google, and Slack.
Cielo and Facebook
In 2012, the collaboration between Cielo and Facebook visa connected the social network with payment terminals. The Brazilian company is the intermediary of this B2B2C move. The goal is clear: propose promotions to customers renewing their purchases at participating retailers. With an interesting value proposition for companies and customers, the brand’s notoriety has grown. Therefore, the secure payment channel embodied by Cielo is a good example of a B2B2C strategy.
The B2B2C strategy of Amazon’s Marketplace
On the other hand, another example to follow in B2B2C: Amazon. We are interested here in its Marketplace. This platform acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers. Thus, this type of platform meets the requirements of this marketing approach. Indeed, Amazon generates revenue through product sales and seller fees. Today, this Marketplace is the most popular B2B2C shopping destination on the Internet.
Airbnb and its B2B2C worldwide success
Next, the customer experience is an unparalleled success factor for Airbnb’s B2B2C approach. Fluid and accessible to all, the platform enjoys global success in digital hospitality. The firm derives its current success from its wide range of travelers and many accommodations available on the platform. Now, the American company connects individuals and companies through rental properties. Lately, Airbnb has even been able to expand its range by selecting unique accommodations. In the end, efficient customer service is the reason for a high trust rate from consumers and owners.
The tool stamped Google puts advertising space on the Google search engine and other websites for sale. So, companies take advantage of this platform to better reach their marketing target and, thus, reach their typical audience more easily. In addition, Google Ads is a benchmark because it proposes tracking tools to measure the effectiveness of everyone’s campaigns. In addition, the delivery of personalized ads to search engine users shapes a unique advertising experience.
Finally, let’s look at the collaborative messaging services proposed by Slack. Its B2B2C strategy differs from its counterparts in several ways intended for both companies and individuals:
- Its multiple uses: connecting on the platform and interacting with colleagues or customers is possible. Individuals can communicate with their contacts.
- The organization of conversations: The various messaging choices and tools for organizing conversations make Slack the right arm for connected and well-organized companies.
- Its smart design: the design is user-friendly, while its customer service is solid. All this promotes the positive word-of-mouth that can be found in advocacy marketing campaigns.