Discover why there is still a place for B2C direct outside of online. Learn the why behind this business decision and how your company may fit into this category.
- What do Pizza Hut, Sting's 10 Summoner's Tales CD, and Douglas Hofstadter's book, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies, Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought have in common? They were all part of the beginning of the online B2C revolution as we know it today. In early August 1994, 10 Summoner's Tales would become the very first ecommerce transaction. Later that same month, Pizza Hut began selling pizzas online.
And in July of the following year, what I can only assume must have been a scintillating read, Hofstadter's book would become the very first product to be sold by a newly formed company Jeff Bezos was running out of his garage in Bellevue, Washington. He named it Amazon.com. Simply put, business to consumer ecommerce or B2C is just the name we give the electronic online relationship between a business and the final consumer. Now, for those of us who were around back then, a discussion about the different kinds of online B2C transactions we were doing in 1994, would have been a short conversation to say the least.
Back then, the overwhelming majority of all our products and service transactions would have been found in traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. But that was then and this is now. Today virtually any product or service you might buy or sell offline is also available online, virtually. No pun intended. Think about it. Is there a product or service that you offer or use today that you can't find within the endless borders of the World Wide Web? Let's start with the obvious, products.
Amazon has long ceased to be merely an online bookseller and is now a virtual mall selling everything from music to computers, shoes, clothes, software, virtually any consumer good you can name is now only a few clicks away being delivered to your doorstep, maybe even by a drone. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, name your favorite store and you can still be a loyal shopper, all from the comfort of your own home. Today you can still order Pizza Hut online but you can also purchase groceries, toilet paper from your couch or from your smartphone and have them delivered to your doorstep within days or even hours.
You can find cars and homes online. You could plan your vacation by getting your airline ticket, hotel, and your ride to the airport all online. With online legal, financial, and banking services, you can file your taxes, apply for a loan, pay your bills, deposit your paycheck, or even file for a divorce, all online. Even the things that you have to do offline, like get a haircut, an oil change, see a doctor, those can be scheduled online. But the medicine your doctor prescribes, oh, yeah, you can get that online too.
Let's not forget to mention the streaming services and instant downloads for things like movies, music, and software that you can only do online. The simple truth is most products and services can be found and offered online. They are sought after online by consumers because they allow the customer immediate access to information about your product, your pricing, your service, and your company without sacrificing value, customer service, quality, or time.
Chances are more than good that your company can benefit in many ways by offering your product or service online as well.
- Categories of offline and online B2C companies
- Developing personas
- Measuring persona success
- Creating effective website copy
- Measuring the success of your content
- Engaging with social media marketing
- Measuring the success of pay-per-click campaigns