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What is B2C (business to consumer)?

Definition: B2C is a commerce model where businesses sell their products or services directly to consumers through their own websites or intermediaries. In the traditional sense, B2C can refer to restaurants, for example, and in the digital world, it relates to e-commerce.

The advantages of the B2C model include lower prices and quicker sale cycles because there is no presence of a third party, and the customer can contact the seller directly.

Types of B2C business models

There are 5 types of B2C business models:

Direct Sellers

Direct sellers provide their services or sell their products directly to customers through their website. The companies don’t use other platforms or any kind of intermediaries to sell their goods. The direct seller model is the most cost-effective for businesses because they don’t pay extra fees to third parties.

An example of a direct seller is Tesla, a car company that sells directly through its website, not through retailers.


Unlike direct sellers, B2C transactions can occur through intermediaries who connect businesses and end-users. Usually, the company pays a certain monthly/yearly fee to use the intermediary’s platform.

An example of an intermediary is, a site that connects hotels and hostels with consumers.

Advertisers on platforms

Another type of intermediary, but more in an advertising sense, are companies who promote their goods or services by targeting consumers on social media. This type of marketing is called PPC, and the company pays per click.

 All e-commerce brands that target customers through Instagram, Google, or Facebook ads can be examples of this business model.

Community-based sellers

Community-based selling is a business model that sells services or goods to a group gathered around the same interest. Facebook groups or blogs about a specific niche are good platforms that gather people with similar interests or problems.

Subscription-based sellers

This business model is similar to “ direct sellers”. Subscription-based sellers provide access to their services based on a subscription fee, while “direct sellers” provide their services for a one-time transaction fee.

Grammarly is an example of a subscription-based B2C business model, where the company sells the tool by having consumers subscribe on a monthly/yearly basis. This business model is one of the most effective ones for customer retention.

Example of a B2C business

An example of a B2C business is Mindmesh, a virtual desk software. The company offers virtual desk software to busy individuals who want to bring all of their tasks to one place.

Mindmesh is a subscription-based seller, but individuals can get their virtual desk for free directly from the Mindmesh website.

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Article FAQs

What is the difference between B2C and B2B?
The difference between B2C and B2B transactions is the end users. In B2C, the end users are individuals, and in B2B, the end users are companies. Both commerce models have a seller and business entity, but they differ.
Can a business be both B2B and B2C at the same time?
Yes, a business can sell both to other businesses and individuals directly. An example of a B2B and B2C business is Mindmesh, your virtual desk software. Mindmesh is software for busy individuals but also for larger teams in a company.

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