B2B or B2C

That is the Question

Whether your business is B2C (Business to Consumer), targeting consumers and selling them products or services directly, or B2B (Business to Business), dealing with other businesses in commercial transactions, for example providing accounting services or supplying raw materials to manufacturers, it’s important to ‘read the room’.

This means understanding who you need to communicate with and how, and it is especially critical when devising a product platform that will represent your business optimally. Everyone you talk to needs to hear (and experience) something specific that will make them sit up and listen.

Carot app
For a simple, relatable example, let’s say a carrot grower wants to develop an app to sell their carrots. First, they must decide:
  • Who they are trying to sell to?
  • Is it to stores that will resell their carrots (B2B)?
  • To individual customers who want to purchase them directly (B2C)? Or to both?
The answer will determine different general strategies about how to position their offerings and how to best reach the buyer – as well as different expectations of the product platform they want to build.

The Strategy

The B2C carrot business will target customers more broadly, essentially trying to reach anyone at all who eats (or may eat) carrots. It may provide informative content for the individual that highlights the importance of including carrots in one’s diet; it may offer smaller order sizes at lower prices. It will hope for, but can’t count on, repeat customers – people are just as likely to get their next bunch of wherever /whenever convenient. So, the B2C business will need to work on making loyalty a priority
for current customers through the use of incentives, balancing that with the fact that even the most loyal customer has a limited need for carrots. Instead, the focus must be more on customer acquisition and constantly bringing in new potential business. And it must also keep in mind that individual customers are the decision-makers, so it will need to evolve to meet their ever-changing forms of communication, and shifting carrot needs.

The B2B carrot business will target customers more specifically, for example trying to reach stores within a reasonable shipping distance that carry fresh produce. It will have capacity to fulfill larger orders, and perhaps even offer discounts for orders over a certain volume. The relationship with the buyer will be important too – they want to work with a single, reliable supplier, and if all goes well, they’ll likely stick with them for years – so customer satisfaction is paramount.

The Platform Features

The B2C carrot business needs a simple and straightforward product platform, with personalized content to encourage engagement. It should feature easy search and navigation tools, hassle-free checkout, and an overall experience that is intuitive, seamless, and user-friendly. If everything comes together right, customers will return time and again. Perhaps even more importantly, they will tell others about the business in reviews or social media, spreading the good word. By contrast, the B2B carrot platform must be more
sophisticated, with permissions, management systems, and other business features. It may include options that tailor content and access according to the role of the user within the client company, along with functionality for multiple accounts. Ultimately, this platform should enable and support a smooth business process, perhaps even encouraging other produce retailers to seek it out. And if successful, our carrot farm /grocer relationship will hopefully last for the long haul.

At one end, we are talking about a simple, pleasant, and appealing platform experience that blends seamlessly into the easy swipes of the average customer’s ever-present digital life and entertainment. At the other end is a more formal platform, prioritizing efficiency and business goals, where consistency is the cornerstone.

The Bottom Line

Whichever approach you decide on for your platform, make sure there is a clear sense of purpose behind every element, from the content if offers to the look and feel of it through the screen. Ask yourself who you want to reach and how you want them to experience your business and your brand. Think about your own experience with product platforms, what you admire and enjoy, and what you find annoying, clunky, or off-putting.
You know the inner workings of your business best, of course. But, understanding the platform that optimally suits it can be guided by the experts who will translate the user experience you want to deliver, whether to another business or a consumer, into the right digital dimension.

What have you got to offer?

Contact us to find out how we can help you go live with your new app within a week, without investing millions, using a minimal-code tool

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