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Everything You Need To Know About B2B2C E-Commerce (A Complete Guide)

One of the most significant decisions you have to make before starting an eCommerce business is deciding which business model you are going to follow. Today, this decision might not be as easy as before due to the increasing number of eCommerce business models. 

To choose the right business model, you have to take into consideration what your business has to offer, your products or services, your target audience, your capabilities, your resources…etc. 

You are probably aware of the two most well-known eCommerce business models: Business-to-business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C). However, it is time that you start familiarizing yourself with some of the new eCommerce business models, such as Buisness-to-Business-to-Consumer (B2B2C).

In this article, we will discuss what B2B2C eCommerce is, and how it works. We will also look at the best marketing tips to follow with this business model and present some inspiring examples of eCommerce brands adopting it. 

Table of content:

What is B2B2C E-Commerce?

B2B2C E-CommerceSource


As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, B2B2C eCommerce, which stands for Business-to-Business-to-Consumer eCommerce, is one of the new smart ideas brought to us by the digital selling age. As the name suggests, it is a business model that combines both B2B and B2C models

  • B2B eCommerce: refers to the direct online commerce activity between two businesses. In other words, it is when a business sells products or services online directly to another business. 
  • B2C eCommerce: refers to the direct online commerce activity between a business and an individual consumer. In other words, it is when a business sells products or services online directly to the end user.

Now to understand B2B2C eCommerce, think of it as a model where businesses reach their customers through a third party or an intermediary. 

How Does B2B2C E-Commerce work?

In B2B2C eCommerce, three parties are involved:

  • Business A - The primary brand or the manufacturer
  • Business B- The intermediary company
  • The end-user or the consumer

In B2B2C, the intermediary company sells a service to the primary brand and sells products to customers. 

The best way to understand how B2B2C works is through an example:

Think of online retailers, such as Amazon. In this equation, Amazon is Business B or the intermediary company. 

Amazon sells a service to primary brands, which represent Business A in the B2B2C equation. This service is represented in Amazon hosting these brands on its eCommerce store.

Amazon (Business B) then delivers the products of these brands (Business A) to customers who shop through its online marketplace. 

Pros and Cons Of B2B2C E-Commerce

Like any other business model, B2B2C has its pros and cons. You should study these advantages and disadvantages and weigh them very carefully to figure out whether such a business model is suitable for you or not. 

- Pros
  • Widens the customer base for the primary eCommerce brands or the manufacturers that represent Business (A). 
  • If implemented properly, a B2B2C model enhances the customer experience.
  • Reduce overhead costs for Business (A), such as logistics costs.
  • Working with another business to reach end users can provide opportunities for both of you to maximize each other’s strengths. 
  • Increases brands’ recognition, credibility, and reliability.
- Cons
  • Working with a partner within the B2B2C model might lower your profits at the beginning.  For example, eCommerce brands usually pay a fee per item for the retailer to feature their products on its online marketplace. This is the cost of the service provided to you by Business (B). Therefore, as Business (A), you have to make sure that it is worth it in the long run.
  • It can be exhausting and time-consuming because, as an eCommerce brand, you are trying to satisfy both your partners and your consumers at the same time.

Best Marketing Tips For B2B2C E-Commerce

The B2B2C model for eCommerce can be a bit challenging for marketers; however, it offers so much room for creativity. Therefore, marketers should be smart in choosing the marketing strategies they follow to leverage all the opportunities for creativity that this business model offers. Here are some of the best marketing strategies that you can use for your B2B2C eCommerce business:

  • Properly Target And Understand Your Customers

Best Marketing Tips For B2B2C E-CommerceSource

In B2B2C eCommerce, doing proper customer segmentation and understanding your customers can be a little tricky. This is because you are dealing with two sets of customers:

In case you are an eCommerce brand representing Business (A) in the equation,

  • The first set of customers is the intermediary companies you are partnering with to reach end users. They are who we refer to as business A in the B2B2C equation. 
  • The second set of customers is the end users who you are trying to reach through the first set of customers. 

In case you are a retailer representing Business (B) in the B2B2C equation, you are still targeting two sets of customers:

  • The first set of customers is the brands for whom you are selling spaces in your online store.
  • The second set of customers is the end users buying directly from your online marketplace.

We are all aware of the crucial significance of customer segmentation for eCommerce businesses dealing with one set of customers. As an eCommerce business dealing with two sets of customers, this significance is doubled for you. Therefore, you should dedicate as many resources as you can to this. 

Tips For You:

  • Figure out the best ways to communicate with each set of customers. 
  • Develop a separate marketing plan for each set of customers because marketing techniques that target businesses differ from marketing techniques that target end users. 
  • Make sure you get feedback from both parties. can help you with that because it offers you a great marketing automation tool that will easily segment your customers for you without you going out of your way, wasting your time, or exerting any extra effort. 

  •  Cross-Selling And Upselling

B2B2C eCommerce provides great opportunities for cross-selling, which involves convincing customers to purchase additional products that are relevant to the products they are about to purchase. It also provides opportunities for upselling, which involves persuading customers to purchase a more expensive version of the product they are about to purchase. 

The party implementing this marketing strategy is mainly business B in the B2B2C equation. 

For example, let’s imagine you are an eCommerce brand that sells sportswear, and you work with an online retailer that sells sportswear, sports equipment, and other products related to sports. 

Cross-selling might happen when a customer buys a baseball bat, and then the online retailer suggests that he or she buy some sportswear from your brand that they can wear while playing baseball. 

As for upselling, it might happen when a customer decides to purchase last year’s model of running shoes, and the online retailer suggests that he or she buys this year’s upgraded and more expensive model. 

Discover the best upselling and cross-selling tactics to boost sales in eCommerce. 

  • Provide Omnichannel Experience

Providing an omnichannel experience is always important for eCommerce businesses regardless of the business model they’re following. However, in B2B2C eCommerce, omnichannel marketing is an indispensable prerequisite for success. 

Primary eCommerce brands that represent business (A) in the B2B2C equation have to attach special importance to their omnichannel marketing efforts. To better illustrate, Business (A) must consider the online marketplace of Business (B) as one of its main channels. In other words, this online marketplace should be regarded as a channel that must be connected to and synchronized with all other channels, platforms, and devices.

As Business (A), you have to make sure that Business (B) is properly transmitting your brand’s message to the end users in the same way that your other channels do. This is the only way you can guarantee a seamless shopping experience. 

  • Leverage All The Available Data

Working within a B2B2C model for eCommerce provides you with a huge amount of customer data. Therefore, it would be a shame not to take advantage of this data in formulating your marketing strategies. 

Tips For You:

  • As Business (A), you have to communicate with Business (B) about their method of collecting data and try to strike a deal with them that allows you to benefit from this data. 
  • Use all the additional data you get from Business (B) to understand better your end users, their buying behavior, and buying motivations
  • Make use of all the available data in improving your eCommerce personalization techniques. 

Speaking of data, the marketing automation tool offered by can help you gather all your data in one place like a hub, with a 360-degree customer view. 

  • Coordinate Your Marketing Strategies With Your Partners

As an eCommerce brand (Business A), in addition to having your separate marketing campaigns, you can also benefit from the marketing campaigns of your partner (Business B).

For Example:

  • Benefit from retail media, which is considered one of the strongest retail trends in 2023. The advertisement placed on your partner’s media network can expose you to new audiences. 
  • Participate in joint marketing campaigns that involve other eCommerce brands working with the same retailer as you. 
Examples of B2B2C E-Commerce

After understanding what B2B2C eCommerce is and how it works, it is time to look at some inspiring and successful examples of businesses following the B2B2C model.

  • Amazon

Examples of B2B2C E-Commerce Amazon

Amazon should always be the first example that comes to your mind whenever you are thinking of an inspiring B2B2C eCommerce business because it is one of the most successful ones. 

Amazon here represents Business (B) in the B2B2C equation. To demonstrate, it sells eCommerce hosting to several eCommerce brands and manufacturers representing Business (A). Then it delivers the products of these brands to the end user through its extraordinarily successful online marketplace.

  • Alibaba

Examples of B2B2C E-Commerce Alibaba

Alibaba is another example of B2B2C eCommerce. It is a wholesale marketplace (Business B) that works with so many manufacturers (Business A), and where buyers (end users) purchase large quantities of products at the lowest prices. 

  • eBay

Examples of B2B2C E-Commerce Ebay

Our third B2B2C eCommerce example is eBay. It is an American multinational e-commerce business that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. It does that by being an intermediary between brands and end users and also between the end users and each other. 

Final Thoughts:

To sum up, the B2B2C model for eCommerce is getting more attractive with time. However, as we discussed in this article, it requires thorough planning and careful implementation. 

You might also need some help in facilitating the complicated process of engaging in such a business model and, as we mentioned earlier, got you covered with its marketing automation tool. Book your Demo now