According to an eMarketer report, in 2023 alone B2C e-commerce sales are expected to exceed over $29 trillion in worldwide spending. This staggering amount can be attributed to the number of retailers in this space; the sheer volume is monstrous.
eMarketer also reported, there were anywhere between 12-24 million e-commerce retailers in the world. In light of this steep trend, B2C e-commerce marketers need to be on top of their game in order to break through the noise.
What Is B2C Marketing and Why Is It Important?
B2C marketing, or business-to-consumer marketing, refers to the tactics and strategies in which companies promote products and services to individuals. B2C marketing focuses on creating, advertising, and selling products or services for customers to use in their daily lives.
In this digital age, B2C marketers need to be data-driven, technology-heavy and focused on meeting the exact needs of the consumers. Because the one-size-fits-all approach won’t work, companies need to have a B2C marketing strategy to adequately engage and connect with their customers so they are willing to purchase their products and services.
What Is the Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing?
Here is a breakdown of the three key differences between B2B and B2C marketing that every marketer needs to know:
For B2B marketing, the decision-making process involves more communication between businesses to determine whether or not it’s a good fit for each other. During this process, B2B customers evaluate the organization or their individual employee’s needs.
While B2C marketing decision-making processes focus on leveraging the conversion funnel to increase ROI. At the top of the conversion funnel, B2C marketers must be able to create advertisements that make the consumer feel like they need the product or service. B2C customers often are more flexible when looking at a specific product to buy. When your checkout process is confusing, customers are more likely to get frustrated and go to your competition. As such, it is essential that marketers optimize the conversion funnels and simplify these processes.
Time of Conversion
Since there are finite budgets and higher pressure to make sure it is the right business decision, B2B customers often have a thorough research process before making a business purchase. Meanwhile, B2C customers are much more likely to purchase a product or service right after seeing an ad. People often make impulsive decisions when it comes to personal purchases.
B2B marketers focus on building personal relationships with their customers because their top priority is to generate leads. Building personal relationships enable B2B companies to connect with their target audience and allow them to separate their business from competitors. Meanwhile, B2C marketers focus on establishing transactional relationships with their customers to drive sales. B2C companies optimize their conversion processes to make sure that their customers have a near-perfect experience with their website. B2C marketing strategy entails focusing on selling the product or service at the quickest rate possible, therefore, it causes the relationship to become very transactional.
5 Examples of Successful B2C Marketing Strategies
Let’s take a look at five B2C marketing strategies that really work, while also examining how to produce highly actionable results for your organization:
1. Hosting Creative and Engaging Contests
The marketing team over at Frito Lay won big by investing in creative contests. Their annual “Do Us A Flavor” contest continues to prove its brilliance and success. The potato chip contest, which started in 2012, asked consumers to submit new flavor ideas for a chance to win $1M. There is a reason that over 4 million flavor submissions are made each year.
The contest proves itself as one of the more successful B2C marketing strategies because it leverages the relationship between Lay’s and their consumers. The contest showcases Lay’s trust in their crowd and the importance the crowd’s opinion has on company decisions.
2. Retargeting Programs
Nordstrom has always been on the frontline in exceptional customer service experiences. They take this focus to the digital realm in the form of their retargeting program. Consumers shopping via digital channels are easily distracted, constantly berated with interruptions including phone calls, pop-ups, texts, emails, chat windows, the list goes on.
These interruptions result in an extremely high number of abandoned shopping carts. B2C e-commerce marketers have the tools to fight these interruptions with great B2C marketing strategies. Nordstrom’s triggered emails and cookie-driven retargeting ad campaigns, injected into the consumer’s social media channels, make the abandoned cart hard to ignore.
3. Membership programs
Sephora, a luxury cosmetic retailer leading the way in the industry, is one of the best examples of B2C marketing strategies. Sephora has an extremely effective membership program dubbed “Beauty Insider”. The membership program is a merit-based program that separates consumers into three different member tiers: Beauty Insider, VIB, and VIB Rouge.
Each tier hosts its own set of exclusive rewards. The reason this B2C marketing strategy is so effective is that they put in place certain yearly-spend-determined thresholds that need to be reached in order to increase a membership status. The rewards in the highest tier (VIB Rouge) are so appealing to consumers that it provides a heightened incentive to spend more so they can breach the price threshold.
4. Social media
Consumers see an average of over 4,000 advertising messages per day. When consumers sit down to watch their favorite TV show and the ad break starts, they head to their phones for a reprieve. Consumers do not want to see a litany of advertising messages on Twitter, but this is where B2C online retailers like NastyGal excel.
NastyGal peppers in humor and pop culture references to soften their ad messages, and a substantial amount of market research is evident as their messaging is spot-on for their target market.
A recent infographic brings to light the true effectiveness of these efforts. Because NastyGal has grown such a highly engaged follower base, they have been able to increase sales by over 500% year-on-year since the brand’s inception.
— NASTY GAL (@NastyGal) August 8, 2016
5. Ambassador programs
The messaging on Lululemon’s Ambassadors page reads: “our athlete programs support a community of driven athletes and inspirational people who harness their passion to elevate their communities.” There are well over 600 individuals highlighted throughout this page, with an extremely wide range of geographic location, concentration, and athletic prowess.
Lululemon has assembled a brand army from all across the nation to preach their practice. Their core philosophy is in “constantly thinking about how we can innovate our process, our gear, and our social impact so we can elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness.”
Lululemon is making a social impact through this ambassador program, and this has brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy (circa 2014). Wall Street had its bets on Lululemon disappearing in 2015, however, it’s now 2019 and the brand is here to stay, thanks to some rearranging in their B2C marketing strategies and the inception of their ambassador program.
The B2C marketing examples shown here have been proven to produce big results. By implementing any one of these strategies, B2C e-commerce marketers can continue to grow their customer base and further cultivate stronger relationships with current customers.
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