Digital Trends In B2C Business

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) marketing refers to the tactics and strategies in which an organisation promotes its products and services directly to the consumers.A classic example of a B2C business model is that adopted by Amazon, a household name to reckon with! In the case of Amazon, the end users of a product are the individuals themselves. Over the years, the B2C model has undergone sea change in terms of the marketing strategies adopted to ensure better reach and maximisation of conversion ratios. A large part of this transformation has come about as a result of companies opening up to tech-savvy ideas and methods of marketing.

Businesses today target customers digitally by smartly incorporating 6 second plug-in ads in between 2 minute, online videos instead of displaying a 3 minute ad interspacing a 30 minute daily soap episode. The digitalisation of businesses is all the more important in the present pandemic scenario when people are forced to refrain from engaging in physical communication and are resorting to availing net based products and services. B2C business houses are hugely capitalising on this shift in the consumers' mindsets and coming up with marketing strategies that are completely based on digital platforms. Let's take a look at some of the trends in the digitalisation of the B2C businesses, in modern times.

1. Wholesome experiences - for any business, it is the customer experience that ultimately matters. The primary focus, thus, for any B2C business is the level of engagement that it can create with its customers. In the digital space, one excellent way of creating this lasting impact is to inculcate the use of 360 degree videos or virtual tours to make the communication more realistic and exciting. Imagine before buying your dream house, you are allowed to take a digital tour of the property sitting in the comfort of your home!

2. Use of AI strategies - have you realised that these days, most communications pertaining to after sales service or any query about a product and service is being handled by Artificial Intelligence or Chatbots. These engage with the consumers in actual conversations. This ensures that the customer query is answered promptly reducing the waiting time that is associated with human interventions. Further, the chatbots, unlike physical customer service, are available 24*7. Apart from providing after sales service, these AI systems can also assume the roles of coaches or mentors, giving whole new digital solutions to various aspects that otherwise require human intervention.

3. Captivating Attention spans - with the world coming to a standstill owing to the recent pandemic, people are resorting to using the internet like never before. Be it education or shopping, be it party invitations or yoga sessions, it's all on the digital platform today. On the other hand, businesses are using digitalisation as an opportunity to enhance their businesses. One key mantra while opting for B2C digital business is ensure that the product or service catches the customer's attention. Unlike in old days, the methodology behind advertisements has changed a lot, deviating from the traditional billboards, print ads or for that matter even long commercials aired on TV or radio to 30 seconds pitching in between your favourite YouTube bites. The trick to drive the communication home effectively and ensure a good recall value with the probable buyer while he/she is leisurely scrolling through the phone!

4. Customised offerings - Gone are the days when businesses would make products with the concept of one-for- all. Today's consumers are so much more aware about their exact requirements from a product or service. In order to make a mark in this cut throat market competition, B2C models must adopt the practice of providing customised products and solutions that are unique to each buyer. Here digital platforms are of great help as it allows the businesses to showcase their offerings easily allowing the buyers to pick and choose from the various ranges of offerings, once again just a mobile click away and thus hassle-free!

5. Service orientation - The customer orientation that goes with B2C business is no longer that of obligation in that the business house does not wait for the customer to raise a hue and cry before pitching in with a solution. The trend these days is rather to offer a customer delight by acing the service quality. Companies are focusing on customer centricity, and digital platforms are making this achievable eg., round the clock service desks or one on one contact made possible by social media handles etc.

6. Gaming techniques - B2C businesses are rapidly turning to the gaming way to enhance their customer connect. Companies these days are launching cool apps of their products which connect with the buyers with the help of gaming techniques. This makes the whole gamut of communication fun, interactive and ensures a good conversion ratio by getting the customers hooked on to the product or service. Common gaming genres employed by smart B2C business houses are quiz, surveys or simple games.

7. Going vocal - Although migration to the digital platform gives good returns to the B2C business models, it is anytime more effective to connect with the buyer audience through the audio visual mode instead of only putting up written content on the web. Common methods of connecting and engaging with the customers include live interactive sessions, podcasts, webinars, educational and informative videos etc. It has been proven that business owners who employ this methodology are able to reach out to larger audiences and the likely conversions are higher as against putting up only reading materials online.

8. Silo concept - Companies these days encourage their professionals to engage with buyers through channels of social media or website in a personalised manner. This allows niche marketing to specific segments and brings about the reality marketing genre to the customers. This works well for them as they can better connect with the claims and information about a product or service rather than a celebrity promoting the same.

9. Instant / direct messaging - Another very simple and effective mode of reaching out to customers is through messaging. Since people are anyway on their phones most of the times - for work as well as for leisure- messages are likely to catch their attention faster than written or verbal content on the web. It also ensures that the regular schedule of a customer is not disrupted whereby he does not have to block his time to attend a webinar etc. Messaging phone to phone is common; however, messaging can take place between social media sites eg. Instagram or Twitter messages.

10. Amalgamation - While digital marketing appeals a great deal to generation Z, there is still roughly 20% of the customer base who relies and prefers physical interaction with the product seller or service provider to get a first hand touch and feel of the commodity that they are buying. Keeping in mind this mixture of preferences, B2C businesses can continue operating by amalgamating the traditional marketing ways with digital platforms.

Keeping in view the digital revolution that has gripped the world, it is the smart thing to move your business on the digital base to reap the benefits of exponential returns.

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