You've Heard of Both B2B and B2C, But What's B2B2C?

b2b2c business to business to consumer marketing model

There are well over five million employer firms in the U.S. That adds up to a lot of businesses competing for attention. However, not all of those businesses are the same -- they include B2B, B2C, and B2B2C companies. 

You've likely heard of B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) brands before.

These straightforward business models differentiate between businesses that sell to other businesses and those that sell directly to consumers. But have you heard of B2B2C businesses yet? 

Understanding B2B2C companies will help you stay on top of the latest business developments. Let's take a look at what these companies are, and how they work. 


The B2B2C Definition

As you might be able to guess from the acronym, B2B2C means "business to business to consumer." In other words, these businesses sell to other businesses, which then sell to consumers.

This might sound the same as B2B, at first glance. However, B2B2C functions differently from the traditional B2B model (although there can always be some overlap since businesses can be complex). 

Basically, a B2B2C company interacts with both consumers and businesses, to improve the experiences of both. Many consumers have never heard of most B2B businesses because they don't interact with them directly. But a B2B2C business plays a role in both the business's and the customer's experience.

One good B2B2C example is a platform that lets consumers order food delivery from local restaurants. These platforms work directly with businesses (restaurants), but also with consumers, providing benefits to both. Without the businesses, the platform wouldn't exist, but consumers still interact with it. 

In another example, an online CBD vendor might update its CBD B2B strategy with a B2B2C model. In this case, the vendor would bring together CBD wares from many different businesses, then connect consumers with this range of options. 


Why B2B2C Companies Work

B2B2C companies have popped up in large numbers recently, and for good reason: it's a highly effective business model.

Let's use the food delivery platform example above. The company's model allows it to tap into lots of customers, by relying on the customer bases of existing businesses (restaurants). This keeps customer acquisition costs low and gives consumers a reason to keep coming back. 

The restaurants get involved in order to provide the value of convenience to their customers, helping customers stay loyal. They might make more sales by being on the platform.

Finally, the consumer reaps the rewards of this convenience: the ability to order from local restaurants with just a few clicks. 

Basically, this business model uses pre-existing business-to-consumer relationships in order to succeed. While B2B2C companies aren't guaranteed success, the business model does make success more likely. 


The Future of B2B2C Business

Thanks to the digitization of commerce, today's consumers expect more choice and convenience than ever before. B2B2C companies offer one path to that choice and convenience, making this a powerful business model.

The future will likely see more B2B2C companies, as the concept catches on. Existing B2B companies may switch to this new model, while brand-new B2B2C brands will also arise. 

Looking for more news about how to build successful future businesses? Make sure to come back to our Startups section for the latest tips!

Bootstrap Business Blog Newest Posts From Mike Schiemer, Partners, & Blog Outreach Services