Business-to-consumer (B2C)

The term business-to-consumer, often called B2C, refers to transactions between a business and its end consumer. Examples of B2C transactions include individuals shopping for clothes to be given as birthday gifts, diners ordering food and eating in a restaurant, and TV watchers subscribing to satellite TV providers.

The term B2C differs from business-to-business (B2B) in that these transactions are done with no intent on the consumer’s part to use the product or service for commercial purposes.

If, for the example given above, the shopper bought the clothes in order to resell it in her online shop, that transaction would instead fall under B2B. If a person also buys food in bulk from a restaurant, then uses the food to cater to party and charges for the catering services, then the transaction will fall under B2B as well. For the third example above, if a business orders satellite TV pay-per-view programming such as a popular boxing event, and shows it in their bar with the intention of attracting more customers to come in for a drink, then that transaction would fall under B2B instead of B2C.

Though B2C refers to all business-to-consumer transactions the term is most commonly used for online selling of products. The effect of B2C transactions in the online scene is of such magnitude that retailers have become very vigilant in keeping their websites up-to-date and optimized to get the consumer traffic they want.