Business-to-consumer (B2C)

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is a situation where a business sells products or services directly to end-consumers. Traditionally, B2B described transactions like eating out and shopping at a mall. Now it is more used in connection with e-commerce.

There are different types of online B2C business models.

  • Direct seller model is the most common. It refers to online retailers who sell their own products or products from different manufacturers (e.g., Amazon).
  • Online intermediaries mediate the sale of products or services, but do not own any themselves (e.g., Expedia).
  • Advertising-based B2C model leverages high traffic on a site to sell advertising which promotes products and services to the customer. The sites themselves offer free content to the visitor and earn a profit by showing them ads (e.g., Youtube).
  • Community-based B2C model uses online communities built on shared interest or demographics to help companies advertise their products or services to the people most likely to buy them i.e., the sites offer targeted ads (e.g., Facebook).
  • Fee-based B2C model refers to sites which charge a fee for accessing their content (e.g., Netflix).

Since selling products and services on the internet has become so easy, selling directly to the consumer, without a middleman, has become the norm.