What is B2C?

B2C is an acronym for business-to-consumer, a retail model where businesses sell directly to consumers. B2C commerce is used by a wide range of companies, including both small businesses and large brands, as well as both brick-and-mortar and online retailers.

Because B2C businesses serve as direct sellers to their end customers, these brands have greater control over the customer experience. Their direct access to customer data enables them to target customers with highly customized marketing campaigns, and even can allow them to hone their approach to product development. When B2C brands practice online selling, they have the opportunity to strengthen brand loyalty by creating online communities around their products and services. They can also use marketing efforts like search engine optimization to reach a wider pool of potential customers, increasing brand awareness. 

Business-to-consumer vs business-to-business vs direct-to-consumer

Many people use B2C and DTC (direct-to-consumer) interchangeably, though some consider direct-to-consumer selling to be a subcategory of the B2C business model. B2C ecommerce should not be confused with B2B (business-to-business) ecommerce, where businesses sell directly to other businesses—for example, software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies.