C2B e-commerce is also called consumer-to-business. This business model is the complete opposite of regular eCommerce which works in the direction of business-to-consumer, where a company sells to individuals. So in the C2B model, individuals are the ones providing products and services to companies.

Elance (now operated by Upwork) was among the first true C2B e-commerce sites, which changed the paradigm and started employing thousands of freelancers. Rather than advertising a service to potential buyers, customers currently require service for a rate they’re happy to pay and wait on a business (or consultant) to fill the gap. 

Consumers are currently starting to realize the power they have and are looking to take advantage of it for profits. As a brand leverages its reputation, customers can now utilize their impacts in much the same way.

What is c2b e-commerce? #

In the consumer-to-business model, the definition is not so strict in the sense of what the customers offer to businesses.

Customers might provide brand extension services to businesses when acting as affiliates. The voice and following one person has around them became a strong force driving customer decisions and brands became aware of that and use it extensively. Most eCommerce businesses have affiliate programs, starting with Amazon which created a whole ecosystem around it.

Consultancy work of freelance agents is another really popular model of cooperation between companies and professionals who are really deep in their field. With the rise of freelance as a viable way to make a living and even work remotely, there is an increasing number of domain specialists who go really deep in knowledge and are needed by companies to solve specific problems. Without the need to employ those people, everyone benefits from this mode of collaboration. For example, an e-commerce store might have a need for a CRO expert after a redesign of the website. Or an expert in logistics while creating an expansion plan of the warehouse capabilities.

What is the difference between a B2C and a C2B #

A B2C organization offers straight to consumers, while C2B businesses rely upon the actions of an intermediary – the customer – to market their business. The main distinction between B2C and C2B is that the C2B model provides even more control to the customer and depends on them to offer value to the company instead of the opposite. 

Examples of the C2B model #

C2B services offer a wide range of possibilities for consumers to cooperate with businesses. Along with the previously mentioned ones, they can include:

  • Reverse public auctions (Reverse auctions allow customers to name the cost for a service or product they intend to buy)
  • Affiliate advertising (Affiliate marketing enables end-users, frequently influencers, bloggers, or authors, to lend a business their systems to market certain items on a commission basis.)
  • Promotion room (C2B advertisement space enables end-users to obtain the clicks on various firms’ ads that live on their website. Individuals can tailor the advertisements showing up on their page to include services similar to theirs, which boosts the possibility of their audience click-through.)
  • Research data providers might be regular people who will help companies by providing feedback and valuable research data.

C2B benefits #

There are many benefits to a C2B business model, and here are the most important: 

Brand loyalty and awareness: Consumers are more likely to trust other consumers’ words than big businesses. C2B advertising and marketing can widen the company’s reach and boost its customer base. 

Item development: In a C2B business model, customers have more opportunities to respond to which service or products they like. This enables smaller companies and startups to discover what products are best for consumers and develop their items appropriately. 

Automation: Certain functions can be automated for a C2B service, such as direct payments promoting links between consumers and businesses.

C2B disadvantages #

There are several possible disadvantages of the C2B model that need to be considered before embarking on C2B marketing:

  • It can be unpredictable: Traditional business models like B2B and B2C are reliable business models that have been used for years. C2B models are relatively new and can be unstable. Relying entirely on the C2B model can pose a risk in the long run because the company depends on customer marketing efficiency, which a business owner cannot control.
  • Negative consumer responses: Businesses that rely on customer service are open to negative comments. The company should be ready to mitigate any criticism through communication to establish a good relationship with its customers even when they are not the most satisfied.

C2B and C2C #

We covered the cases where the buyer was a business. But what happens when your buyer is another consumer? In that case, we get to another model called Consumer to Consumer which we cover in more depth in our C2C article.

Do you want to learn more about e-commerce? Continue reading about → Dynamic pricing.

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