Marketplace eCommerce

Market Development Strategies: B2B vs B2C vs D2C vs C2C

Updated  |  8 min read

Your market development strategy will differ depending on the type of eCommerce marketplace you have, such as whether it's a B2B (business-to-business), B2C (business-to-consumer), C2C (consumer-to-consumer), or D2C (direct-to-consumer) marketplace business model. In this article, we'll go over some examples of each type and best practices for your platform.

Clarity’s Examples of Market Development Strategies

The Clarity team has implemented several market development strategies for marketplace eCommerce clients so they can seamlessly sell products and utilize multiple sales channels, get better customer insights, and cater to the end consumer. By sharing these examples, we hope to give you an idea of what's possible for your business.

The technology and development process for our marketplace eCommerce platform is such that we can modify any aspect for your particular use case and business model, and really cater the platform to your online sales.

Now let's dive into the different use case examples for these marketplace business models.

B2B B2C business models can help deliver personalized service in online stores to sell products.

Dual Marketplace with B2B and B2C

Client Project

Ecommerce marketplace with B2B and B2C business models.

Project Details

The marketplace enables the marketplace owner (the client) to differentiate between the business-to-business and business-to-consumer websites and have two separate web properties. Each website has its own branding, domains, marketing, and workflows. Both connect to the same ERP and other business systems to keep everything updated and manageable.

Business-to-business has fewer customers than B2C.


Custom Discounts:

Differentiating between their B2B and B2C business model websites but still having everything connected to a central database allows the marketplace owner to customize their corporate and account-based discounts. Some discounts are based on the number of credits in an account, which are acquired by buying products in bulk.

The marketplace owner can also set up discounts based on the credit worthiness of a company, and have a net-30, net-60, or net-90 payment schedule. Also possible are advanced APIs and integrations for bulk ordering optimizations.

Tailored Content:

With Clarity's marketplace solution, the marketplace owner can tailor the content, workflows, and approval processes of their business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketplaces to what's most optimal for that business model.

The same product a company sells in both the B2B and B2C online stores can have a different title, description, details, etc., for each website. On the business-to-business website, a bulk package might be more advertised and the details might be more technical, while on the business-to-consumer website, singular products with more written-out details may be used.

In addition, the B2B offerings often show price based on quantity-based discounts and the pricing rules or level for each account. On the other hand, the business-to-consumer offerings typically present more imagery and larger visuals. And when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), the strategies for B2B and B2C can be catered and optimized to each business model.

Analyzing customer data is a vital part of retail e-Commerce models.

Master Content:

The marketplaces also contain a Master Corporate Content Record, or default content or template that can be used. This is especially helpful for marketplace administrators and editors when they don't have time to immediately update or cater every product instance across both sites.

They can use the Master Content to get something there for the product so they can upload it, then go back and cater it to each audience when they have time. The Master Content can have different categories with their own details, formatting, etc., so the content matches the product type.

An International Franchise Corporation

Omni-channel distribution means a company sells more.

Client Project

Multilingual and multicurrency marketplace eCommerce implementation for franchises in different countries.

Project Details

This client has hundreds of franchises spanning across more than 70 different countries, many having their own currencies and languages. A key aspect of this implementation is the ability to cater to the different currencies and languages from a mechanical perspective so the local franchises could use the system easily. To do that, we utilized a popular payment platform and gateway, and offered specific payment gateways to some locations where only those particular gateways were supported.


Franchise-Specific Implementations:

Franchise store owners can each put their credentials and API keys for their B2B payment gateway and shipping account into the administrative user interface, to then inject those into their instance of the franchise site.

Every franchise site has the ability to leverage specific customs, duties, and tax rules, as well as different payment types.

The different franchises can focus on their own organic SEO and marketing, and they all have their own analytics, tracking codes, and software integrations. This lets them cater their offering for their particular location.

Custom Business Logic:

Sometimes there's a different business logic for purchasing certain items. For example, some franchises have fulfillments for classroom chairs, and those are usually bought in bulk. These can also be virtual or in-person. Different checkout processes are needed depending on how that particular franchise wants their environment or interface, notifications, seat reservations, etc.

Consistent Branding:

While many things can be customized for each franchise, it's important for all the franchise stores to adhere to the brand value and have a certain standard and branding that fits the overall corporate franchise, including policies like how they handle return and refund requests.

So, there's an overall corporate content and standard branding that each of the franchises adhere to within a certain level of consistency. They still have their own location-specific content, including their own location name and website domain, but certain things stay consistent across the franchise locations.

Some business model and retail stores allow for direct sales across the world and inspire brand loyalty.

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C2C Marketplace with Lower Income Communities

Client Project

A global C2C marketplace featuring sellers in disadvantaged or lower income communities.

Project Details

Sellers often make beautiful, hand-crafted items, and through the marketplace can sell their products to end consumers all over the world, often to those in wealthy countries. Focusing on these sellers (who are also consumers) helps some in bridging the wealth gap, since they are benefiting much more through the consumer-to-consumer online sales than selling these locally.


Logistics Optimization:

One of the big challenges for this C2C, eBay-type sales channel is the logistics of getting the items from the seller to the buyer. That's why we integrate with so many shipping providers, so businesses can connect with the ones they need in any given location or region.

Payment and Verification:

Governance, payment management, and fulfillment verification are also major aspects of this marketplace.

To ensure the marketplace is successful and to keep any fraudulent activities to a minimum, we set up an escrow model with a payment provider that takes the funds from the buyer and puts them into an Escrow account. Then, when the items are shipped, a portion of the funds is paid to the seller, and they get the rest of the funds when the item is verified that it was delivered.

Further security and verification methods include multi-factor authentication, robust address verification, and entity verification for when the seller was an organization.

C2C Marketplace authentication for selling products and services directly.

Manufacturer D2C Market Development

When it comes to D2C, or direct-to-consumer business model, many of our clients are manufacturers who provide items to distributors or a distributor network, and there may be groups of manufacturers providing their items to distributors. Some companies sell into a B2B space or have a B2D, business-to-distributor, sales model. (DTC or D2C is where manufacturers or suppliers sell directly to the final consumer, which can be the end consumer or other businesses).

Cutting out the middle person, for which there are multiple layers of intermediate steps, and creating a direct business model can be really powerful in improving the bottom line. The money saved can be reinvested to provide more value to the end consumer or final customer. Doing this digitally through a direct-to-consumer marketplace is an effective solution to allow the business or manufacturer to scale up and provide higher quality overall as the DTC company sells products.

A company sells through a B2B, B2C, D2C,  sales channel better with valuable data.

Client Project

D2C marketplace for manufacturers who sell directly to the end consumer.

Project Details

To make the direct-to-consumer marketplace successful, the eCommerce marketplace software needs to be effective in bringing in site traffic for their particular set of products. The manufacturer needs to be able to rely on the marketplace to consistently sell their products so they don't take a hit to their top-line revenue.


Vetting Sellers and Products:

Making sure there's enough traffic to meet the manufacturer's demand includes a combination of things. Number one is showing the marketplace is trustworthy and credible, which means vetting the manufacturers selling on the platform and the quality of their products before incorporating them into the marketplace.

Digital Marketing:

Digital marketing helps bring a lot of traffic to the site and establishes a certain amount of credibility to the marketplace platform. It helps to work with a marketplace development company who really understands the market.

Key marketing strategies include long-tail SEO, newsletters, transactional-based emails to marketplace members, product promotions, branding, and customer behavior analysis. Delivering a creative approach that highlights the value the marketplace brings is key to staying top-of-mind with potential customers.

Logistics Support:

A lot of the manufacturers aren't equipped to execute the logistics at scale and with timeliness and attention to customer service. This is something the marketplace eCommerce platform can help guide.

It can even include training and tutorials in the onboarding process, and give constant administrative support that's available through the marketplace platform. It could also have recommendations based on their performance with customer reviews and feedback.

Connect with Consumers:

In a D2C business, it's important that the marketplace enables the manufacturers to connect with the consumers and fulfill their expectations.

Customer preferences can be simple, but they're important to ensuring the marketplace remains credible and highly ranked, giving the manufacturer every opportunity to grow their footprint within the market.

This is something marketplace analytics, that are integrated and built right into the platform, can give valuable customer insights on.

The marketplace business model lets consumers sell products to consumers.

What Will Your Marketplace Provide?

No matter your marketplace business model, it's vital that your marketplace provides value to the sellers and buyers on your platform. Catering the marketplace to the audience is key to success. With the right market development strategy, your B2B, B2C, C2C, or D2C marketplace can become a popular and lively hub.

When starting a marketplace platform, you'll want to ask yourself: What's the value my marketplace will bring to platform users? How will my marketplace stand out from the others? How will I go about implementing the features and functionality required for success?

When it comes to providing value, Clarity's marketplace eCommerce platform is one of the best. We can get you up to speed on the latest best practices, software, and integrations.

Market Development Strategies for Your Business

If you're looking to develop your marketplace—or any of the business models we've discussed— we encourage you to reach out to the experts on our team. We have years of experience working with companies in various industries and developing eCommerce marketplace platforms.

We're happy to go over your current projects and goals and give you a free consultation, a no-pressure call where we can help you understand any of these business models even more. We'll help you create a plan to increase your online shopping sales.

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Autumn Spriggle is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures who stays up to date on the latest trends in eCommerce, software development, and related topics to provide readers with the latest and greatest. She strives to help people like you realize the full potential for their eCommerce business.