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What’s driving the B2B2C evolution?

Date Posted: 3 November, 2022
What’s driving the B2B2C evolution?


Over the last few years, a rarely seen e-commerce model has started to experience rapid growth. In fact, some industry experts are calling it a ‘B2B2C evolution’. But what’s driving this shift towards a B2B2C model?

Let’s start with what B2B2C is.

For the initiated, B2B2C is an e-commerce model where businesses sell to customers through a third party.

There are three parties involved in the relationship – the primary brand, the middleman and the customer. The middleman, or intermediary company, provides direct service at key customer touchpoints.

An example of this kind of model is an estate agent working with a marketing agency to reach their target audience. The customer is still using the service of the estate agent, but they may primarily interact with the marketing agency. The marketing firm sees both the end customer and the estate agent as its clients.

B2B2C can also be seen as a business ecosystem, rather than just a straightforward business model. Multiple different entities are working together to carry out business transactions, for the benefit of all.

Why is the B2B2C model becoming increasingly popular?

There are a few reasons why more B2B businesses are starting to experiment and even wholly shift to the B2B2C model. The first is the rise in remote working following the Covid-19 global pandemic.

This dramatic shift to the way we work was born of necessity, but appears to be a trend that is sticking around. It’s also meant that the way we shop and make use of services, and this is true of businesses too. According to a BigCommerce blog on the topic:

“Because so many customers work from home, the way they access that market has changed. While they may have once been seen as a luxury, home-delivery services have grown significantly in the last few years — presenting a real business opportunity.”

Other key factors behind increased adoption of B2B2C include scalability, accessibility and ease of business transactions. Senior Management Advisor at Capgemini, Faizan M. Sayed, explained in a recent LinkedIn insight piece:

“B2B2C business models create a win-win for both manufacturers and sellers or the platforms where they are selling their products. It increases overall profitability, enhances accessibility, and eases business transactions.

“Wholesalers and manufacturers can now decrease their time to market and focus more on customer success and product quality. Most customer-centric brands now don’t rely on a third party as they can directly sell to the customers. In a sense, they are now skipping B2B for B2B2C because that is where the real profit is.”

He also identified key tools and platforms which are enabling organisations in the manufacturing sector in particular to embrace the B2B2C model. These include advertising and merchant platforms such as Amazon, AliExpress, Alibaba and Rakuten, along with Bing Shopping Ads, WooDropship, Google Merchant and many more.

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