Direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce and business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce have much in common. However, the biggest difference comes down to distribution. D2C e-commerce sells directly to consumers through a digital interface (think big bulk retailers that produce goods on-site). Meanwhile, B2C e-commerce uses a middle distribution channel (consider standard retailers like Amazon, where Amazon acts as a middleman for other businesses which produce its goods). 

This article discusses the meaning, the similarities and the differences between these two e-commerce styles. It also covers winning marketing strategies for both business styles, including customer data appending, building a brand identity, and leveraging social media presence. But first, let’s examine how marketing strategies are a crucial part of e-commerce businesses and how these strategies vary between D2C and B2C business models. 

Topics at a Glance

  • D2C E-Commerce Models
  • B2C E-Commerce Models
  • D2C Marketing Strategies for Business Growth
  • B2C Marketing Strategies for Business Growth
  • The Importance of Consumer Data for D2C and B2C Companies

D2C E-Commerce Models

Dollar Shave Club, Blue Apron, and Casper Mattress share one thing: they are examples of D2C e-commerce businesses. These models directly target consumers and provide services or products without an intermediary. Unlike B2C models, which involve a distributor or retail service, D2C e-commerce businesses directly sell to the consumer. This allows them to cut down on costs and also means they must market directly to niche consumers. 

The D2C business model has become popular recently, especially using advertising channels like podcasting and YouTubers. With the rising shipping costs, the complicated delivery issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many other factors, D2C has recently seen a jump in practicality and popularity. In addition, by keeping overhead costs low, D2C businesses can sell their products at a discount while still turning a profit, making them an attractive business model. 

One of the biggest draws of the D2C model is the direct relationship with customers. Because these companies reach their clients directly, they create a strong brand identity and foster customer loyalty. As a result, they have a loyal customer base and can easily interface with their customers on a personalized level through email marketing, direct mail and other channels.

However, many D2C businesses offer specific, incredibly tailored products, limiting the scope of their e-commerce site. While this allows them to laser-target customers, it also puts them at risk should their few products run into production issues, or demand outstrips their ability to deliver. 

B2C E-Commerce Models

Companies like Amazon, Walmart, Books-a-Million, and more are all examples of B2C companies. These companies represent thriving e-commerce sites and, in the case of the latter two, popular retail locations. In addition, because B2C e-commerce sites work with distributors to send goods to their clients, they can offer a wider array of products. This makes targeting one niche difficult but, conversely, diversifies their income source. 

In traditional retail, a customer sees a product in a store and makes a purchase. With B2C e-commerce, the entire experience takes place online. Customers can purchase from a wide range of products and distributors, all through the B2C service. 

While some B2C e-commerce sites focus on a single product or work with one distributor, these sellers don’t deliver the products directly from the factory, setting them apart from D2C products. Instead, these online stores may rely more on targeting several customer niches. However, they can still benefit from a strong brand identity, customer service outreach, and working through social media channels. 

D2C Marketing Strategies for Business Growth

While building a strong brand identity is crucial for any business, with D2C businesses, brand identity is essential to marketing. D2C e-commerce sites don’t always have the diverse inventory and large distributor base that B2C sites do, meaning their marketing comes down to directly leveraging a unique product or service. 

Thankfully, due to the uniqueness of their products, D2C e-commerce sites can use influencer marketing to great effect. By working with influencers to target specific customer niches and spread the word about their services, D2C e-commerce sites can connect with a wider audience, which is crucial to the success of their business. 

Another cornerstone of D2C marketing is personalization. Crafting personalized customer experiences takes advantage of the small-scale, direct model of D2C businesses, allowing them to earn customer loyalty. From unique advertising to subscription models and more, customizing your marketing campaign based on customer insights is crucial to growing your D2C business. 

At its core, D2C e-commerce growth comes down to properly collecting and utilizing consumer insights and data analytics. With the help of data enhancement services, D2C companies can unlock the full potential of their marketing. Using this data to craft marketing campaigns, connect with customers, and more, can all impact D2C e-commerce businesses and help them grow their business to new heights. 

B2C Marketing Strategies for Business Growth

B2C e-commerce marketing is all about drawing in customers. While B2C companies can benefit from targeting niche customers, their goal is to get customers to their site, where their range of products speaks for themselves. By crafting compelling product descriptions and eye-catching, effective visuals, B2C companies can streamline their e-commerce conversion rates and secure more sales. 

Since B2C marketing is all about attracting customers to their e-commerce site, using effective search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing to draw in customers and ensure their business ranks at the top of any customer search is also crucial. Without search engine visibility, B2C businesses lose out on essential customer conversions, leaving them with lower ROI on their marketing strategies.

While targeting advertising remains a cornerstone of the D2C e-commerce business, B2C can also use these strategies. For example, targeting key demographics through email marketing can increase brand awareness and attract new and repeat customers. Other remarketing tactics like abandoned cart reminders or “buy it again” emails can also benefit B2C businesses. 

The Importance of Consumer Data for D2C and B2C Companies

Both business models rely heavily on customer data and accurate leads to grow their companies. By collecting and analyzing consumer data, these companies can identify marketing directions and build more effective marketing campaigns in the future. In addition, using customer interfacing and demographic information can grow customer satisfaction, and data analytics can directly drive decision-making and business growth in the company. 

Despite their unique differences, B2C and D2C marketing rely heavily on customer information and accurate data, making consumer data one of the most valuable resources for B2C and D2C e-commerce businesses. 

You need accurate customer data to grow your business and evolve your marketing strategies. Accurate Append can help boost your existing email marketing lists and provide precise customer data and insights to help your business adapt to meet client needs. To find out more, reach out today.