Distribution and Channel Management
B2B, B2C, C2C configuration and distribution examples
Business-to-business (B2B) basically describes commerce transactions and interactions between different businesses, for example, between a wholesaler and a manufacturer, or a retailer and a wholesaler and is generally the selling process of goods and services between businesses. B2B transactions usually involve large sum? of money, and normally take more time to be conducted than, for example, business-to-consumers (B2C) transactions.
B2B also involves and employs various distribution channels, such as physical stores or e-commerce. However, there are also different channels, since in B2B, as mentioned before, often large amounts of money are involved it is normal to have a representative from the selling company in developing and maintaining relationships that lead to sales, and also help the purchaser use and set up a B2B product. Furthermore, there are also trade shows, which serve as platforms for companies to display their products for other companies to buy, meaning that it is also an important channel of distribution of B2B products and services.
An example of B2B is Apple and Samsung, which are considered to be competitors. However, Samsung manufactures processors for Apple’s iPhones, and they have business to business deals, suggesting that they are not only rivals on the market. Also, American Express owns a website that gives advice to small business owners. Thus, companies can give feedback and learn new things from the website, making it a B2B interaction in general.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) involves business or transactions conducted directly between companies and consumers (end-users) of its goods and services, usually sold at a higher price than a wholesale one. It is significantly different to B2B, because that usually involves two or more businesses. Distribution channels for B2C include: physical stores (shopping malls, restaurants), e-commerce, when people purchase what they need via internet. There are many examples of B2C, because it is the most common
configuration. A perfect example of B2C is ordering a sim card from Free.fr or buying a ticket for train in SNCF store.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) involves transactions between consumers that are electronically facilitated through a certain third party. Common examples include online auctions, where consumers can post products they would like to sell and other people make bids, resulting into a transaction between two or more consumers. In such cases, auctions and other similar websites act like an intermediary that allows for such transaction. A well-known example ebay, which is exactly an online auction that allows consumers to sell and buy products that they do not need or no longer need. Another example is www.avito.ru which is a Russian website that allows consumers to post products for sale and buy them. However, unlike ebay, the price is set and is sometimes up for consideration. Yet, no bidding occurs.
As we can see, differet configurations have different distribution channels, which is completely logical, since they are different at its core.