As the name implies, B2C (Business-to-Customer) transactions have business firms at one end and its customers on the other end. Although, what comes to one’s mind instantaneously is online shopping, it must be appreciated that ‘selling’ is the outcome of the marketing process. And, marketing begins well before a product is offered for sale and continues even after the product has been sold. B2C commerce, therefore, entails wide marketing activities such as identifying activities, promotion and sometimes even delivery of products (e.g., music or films) that are carried out online. E-commerce permits conduct of these activities at a much lower cost but high speed. For example, ATM speeds up withdrawal of money. Customers today are becoming very choosy and desire individual attention to be given to them. Not only do they require the product features to be tailor-made to suit their requirements, but also the convenience of delivery and payment of their pleasure. With the onset of e-commerce, all this has become a reality.
Further, B2C variant of e-commerce enables a business to be in touch with its customers on round- the-clock basis. Companies can conduct online surveys to ascertain as to who is buying what and what the customer satisfaction level is. By now, you might have formed the opinion that B2C is one-way traffic, i.e., from business to customers. But do remember that its corollary, C2B commerce is very much a reality which provides the consumers with the freedom of shopping at will. Customers can also make use of call centres ask set up by companies to make toll free calls, ask queries and lodge complaints round the clock at no extra cost to them. The beauty of the process is that one need not set up these call centres or help lines, they may be outsourced.