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What Is C2B?

What Is C2B

C2B is a form of commerce in which a consumer or end-user provides a product/service to an organization.

  • C2B companies are focused on creating value for their customers by crowdsourcing ideas and soliciting feedback.
  • Google AdSense, Shutterstock and other C2B services are real-world examples.
  • C2B businesses need to conduct market research and engage with their audience.
  • This article was written for small business owners who wish to inspire their customers to create new ideas, improve products and build brand loyalty.– Contrary to the business to consumer (B2C), model, consumers-to-business model (C2B), allows businesses to get value from consumers and vice versa. Here are some examples of C2B business models and reasons to consider starting a C2B company.

What are the C2B business models?

Businesses profit from the willingness of consumers to set their own prices or provide data or marketing information to the company. Consumers benefit from flexibility, direct payments, and free or reduced-priced products and services.

Brent Walker, a former executive vice president and CMO at C2B Solutions, stated that C2B’s distinctive feature is the added value customers provide to the company.

Walker explained to Business News Daily that this could be a co-creation of ideas, product, or service concepts by consumers with a company via social media. C2B could also refer to a business providing consumer insight and solutions to another company as its primary service, or value-added offer.

C2B business models also include reverse auctions. In these cases, customers set the price for the product or service they want to purchase. When a customer provides a business with an opportunity to promote its products on their blog, the fee-based opportunity is granted to the business.

Food companies might ask bloggers to review a product and include it in their recipes. YouTube reviews may be rewarded with direct payment or free products. C2B may also offer paid advertising space to the consumer’s site.

Google Ads and AdSense facilitate this relationship by simplifying the process of bloggers getting paid for ads. Amazon Associates allows website owners to make money by linking to products for sale on Amazon.

Digital era: The C2B model

Because of the ease of access to consumers who have been “plugged in”, to brands, the C2B model has thrived in today’s internet age. The business relationship used to be one-directional with companies selling goods and services to consumers. Now, it is bidirectional.

Consumers now have access to communication and promotion tools that were previously only available to large corporations thanks to the decrease in technology costs such as web development services, high-quality printers, and video cameras. Both consumers and businesses will benefit from the C2B model.

The participants need to be clear about their roles in order for the C2B relationship. Any individual with something to offer a business (either a service, or a product) could be considered a consumer.

One example would be a blogger as we have already mentioned, or a photographer who offers stock images to businesses. A consumer could also be someone who participates in a survey or refers someone via referral hiring sites like Upwork.

This model can be used by any business that plans to purchase goods and services directly from individuals or through intermediaries. The intermediary acts as both a buyer and seller portal, connecting the business with the individuals. The intermediary promotes products and services via distribution channels and provides technical, logistical and promotional expertise to individuals.

An intermediary could be a company searching for a job via a referral site, a company trying to advertise online using Google Ads or a company needing individuals to complete market research.

Examples of C2B businesses

The most successful C2B businesses are those that focus on authenticity and flexibility. These models include models in the following areas:

  • Marketing and brand awareness
  • Market research
  • Freelancing, contracting, and gig employment

Marketing and brand awareness C2B models

It’s becoming more important for consumers to have trust in the brands they work with. Advertising on blogs, YouTube videos, and websites increases this trust. This is why affiliate marketing and influencer marketing have gained popularity.

Influencer Marketing

Individuals with large followings, especially on social media but also in traditional media, are called Influencers. It could be someone already well-known, like Ariana Grande, an actor, Dwayne “The Rock”, Johnson, or someone who has built a large following (think: the Kardashians).

Influencers are important to people. If one of their followers mentions your product, or shows an advertisement to their millions, it is bound to bring in sales. Companies often reach out to influencers directly and establish a rapport with them. Influencers are offered free products and services so they can endorse the company. Then, they take action.

  • Offer to contribute content to their blog.
  • Ask them to profile your company or interview company leaders for a podcast.
  • Ask about paid endorsements. While major influencers are not affordable for small businesses, niche influencers might be.

Affiliate Marketing

Influencer marketing is determined by an individual’s appeal. affiliate marketing focuses on a company’s marketing knowledge, audience size, and website’s overall marketing strategy. Affiliate marketers choose the brand or product they want to promote from a list on an affiliate marketing marketplace.

After choosing a product to promote, the affiliate marketer will usually use email marketing or website ads to spread the word. Affiliate marketers receive a commission if a customer clicks the unique affiliate link and buys the product.

These are the top affiliate marketing and advertising channels.

  • Google AdSense. Website owners with high traffic can take advantage of the Google AdSense program. This allows them to make money by showing ads for related products through Google.
  • CJ affiliate. The CJ Affiliate marketplace works in the same way as Google AdSense. If you want to make more money with your website traffic and email lists, browse the affiliate offers. You can choose which one to promote and then earn a percentage when a visitor makes a purchase through that link.
  • Amazon Associates. Influencers and publishers can earn money through the Amazon Associates program. The publisher or influencer gets paid if a visitor visits the site of the influencer and purchases an Amazon product using the unique link.

Market research C2B models

Companies are always looking for additional data to help them develop new products and market strategies. Conducting customer surveys is a great way to get that data. Businesses get more data when consumers are incentivised to take part in these surveys.

Some companies also pay customers to test their software or websites before they are released to the public.

These are just a few examples of C2B market-research models:

  • American Consumer Opinion. Visitors to the American Consumer Opinion website can take surveys and earn points that they can use for PayPal Cash, sweepstake entries, or charitable donations.
  • Kashkick. Customers can make money by taking surveys and also watching videos and playing video games. The Kashkick website usually pays around 20 cents per task. Once users reach $10, they can withdraw their earnings.
  • UserTesting. Users are asked to complete specific tasks online, while recording themselves and providing a narration of their experience. By watching testers’ faces and listening to their comments, companies can identify frustrations and confusion points.

Freelance contractor, gig worker and C2B model

These C2B models connect freelancers, contractors and gig workers with businesses looking for an independent contractor to perform a short-term task. Companies provide job and project listings to consumers. They can also post products or bid on them.

Marketplace receives a commission for providing businesses with a large network of people who are interested in working with them. This service is beneficial for both businesses and freelance contractors .

These C2B services are designed to help freelancers and gig workers connect with businesses.

  • Fiverr. Fiverr started as a website that offered services for $5. However, it has since expanded to include more expensive options. A company is more likely to hire a contractor for a low-cost task than they are for future projects if it has already hired them.
  • Shutterstock. Uploading photos to Shutterstock can help amateur and professional photographers make extra money. The photographer is paid when a company downloads the photo. Companies get royalty-free images at a low cost.
  • Upwork. This Upwork marketplace functions similarly to Fiverr but instead of posting tasks at a fixed price, freelancers can compete against each other by bidding for projects posted by companies.

Why should you start a C2B company?

It makes sense for your company to use the consumer as a resource in an age where technology has made it possible to create creative content more accessible and empowered consumers. Your company can benefit from the insights, suggestions, and recommendations of your customers, since they are always right.

Two huge advantages come with starting a C2B company:

  • Competitive advantage. Engaging with customers and consumers to understand their needs and perceptions will allow you to tailor your products and services more specifically to their needs. Customer feedback can be used to improve your marketing. This will give your marketing a distinct advantage over competitors who only speculate about customer needs and do not have access to market research.
  • A collaborative platform. Customers who give input and then act on it, are more loyal customers. These customers will become your brand ambassadors. Amateurs can source content at a lower cost than professionals. This results in significant cost savings.

How to start and grow a C2B company

C2Bs are still relatively new and there are many legal issues, such as billing and receiving funds. While a traditional company may pay wages to a small number of employees, C2B businesses may process credit cards for thousands.

Intermediaries are often able to handle the legal and financial aspects of C2B transactions. Google Pay and PayPal make it easier to pay. Google AdSense pays webmasters with checks in U.S. Dollars. Google charges shipping fees and currency conversion fees for international customers.

Tools to grow your C2B business

You will need to be dedicated and have some unique skills in order to grow your C2B company. Walker stated that B2B relies heavily on its sales function and account manager team to build and strengthen client relationships.

Walker says that companies who want to extend their models to reach C2B audiences should look at these marketing tools.

  • Market research (quantitative and qualitative surveys, interviews, and segmentation).
  • Customer feedback channels include rating and reviews, customer service lines and avenues for comments or suggestions.
  • Social media such as Facebook pages, online user communities and Twitter followers are all examples of social media

Walker stated that marketing could include advertising in trade journals and being present at trade conferences and conventions, as well as digital marketing (online presence and SEO, email outreach), or other traditional awareness efforts.

C2B Approach

C2B, a rapidly growing segment of the market, can be used to supplement an existing business model or as an entire business model. Your company’s success depends on how well you understand the market and how willing you are to explore new technologies that will make it easier for your customers.

Walker stated that pursuing a C2B strategy is a strategic decision and requires commitment to including the consumer in business decisions. This requires extra effort, resources, and discipline in order to avoid being too internal-focused, but is crucial for businesses to thrive in a consumer-driven market.

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