As consumers, it can be easy to assume that we know enough about business-to-consumer selling to do it ourselves with no problems. But the reality can be very different, and starting out in selling to customers isn’t always easy. Get yourself up to speed with our top tips for B2C selling to give yourself the best possible chance of success when your goods and services hit the market.
Getting started with social
Using social media on a personal level is very different to using it as a B2C channel, and today’s consumers can be found on a wide variety of social platforms. Spreading yourself too thin over all these channels is not an effective approach, especially when you are starting out. Do your research, and find out where your target audience lives online right now. Social media trends move quickly, but Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest tend to be good places to start, with well-established audiences ready to approach. Newer channels such as Instagram and Snapchat may be worth considering, especially if you are targeting a younger, tech-savvy audience.
Trust is key
If most or all of your B2C selling takes place online, it is important that your customers know they can trust you and believe in your brand. When customers can’t walk into a physical shop to see your goods for themselves before they buy, they will often turn to online review websites, where other customers talk about their experience with your business and products. Make sure you regularly monitor these sites, as most of the popular review platforms allow businesses to respond to comments, giving you the chance to rectify any problems in a timely fashion. If you are struggling to collect many reviews, think about incentivising customers to leave them, such as with a prize or a discount, or ask happy customers for testimonials.
Volume, volume, volume
While you should still take care to ensure your customers are happy with quality products, the priority of B2C selling is quantity. With a great e-commerce site, customers mostly look after themselves, so make it as easy as possible for them to find what they need and buy. Think about introducing suggestions to your site (‘Customers who bought X also bought Y’ or ‘This product works well with Z’) to maximise cross-selling opportunities and to help customers explore your product range. Attracting new B2C customers and selling in higher volumes should theoretically be easier than selling to other businesses, so monitor your site analytics closely to see how people are using your site to make the process as smooth as possible. Internationally, we need to consider different customer tastes and shopping habits.
Starting out with marketplaces
Where are you selling your products online? If you are only using your own website as a sales platform, you could be missing a trick. Where are the people you want to target shopping now? Many companies find that placing their products on trusted marketplace websites, such as eBay and Amazon, can be a good way to kick-start sales and get their products seen by new audiences. If you are branching out into new markets, think about getting your products listed on the local versions of marketplaces, such as Amazon.com for US audiences vs. Amazon.co.uk for UK audiences or even consider the Chinese giant Tmall or the growing Mercado Libre in Latin America. This attention to detail can make all the difference for buyers looking to buy from a trusted, familiar source.
B2C selling can be hugely rewarding and enjoyable, especially if you take the time to understand your audience and what they are looking for. For ecommerce businesses, your website is your digital shopfront, so make sure it shows off your brand and your products in the best light and makes the buying process as easy and pleasant for your consumers as possible.
If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in our top tips for B2B selling, top tips for selling to retailers and overview of the difference between B2B selling, B2C selling and selling to retailers articles.