7 Reasons Why Business-to-Consumer E-commerce is Booming in 2023
Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce is the process of selling products or services directly to individual customers through online platforms, such as websites, mobile apps, or social media. B2C e-commerce has been growing rapidly in recent years, thanks to the advances in technology, consumer behavior, and market conditions.
Here are some of the reasons why B2C e-commerce is booming in 2023:
Increased internet penetration and smartphone usage. According to Statista, the number of internet users worldwide reached 4.66 billion in 2020, accounting for 59.5% of the global population. Moreover, the number of smartphone users reached 3.8 billion in 2021, representing 48.5% of the world’s population. These numbers are expected to grow further in the coming years, as more people gain access to affordable and reliable internet and mobile devices. This means that more potential customers can browse, compare, and buy products or services online anytime and anywhere.
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Improved online shopping experience and customer service. B2C e-commerce platforms have been investing in enhancing their online shopping experience and customer service to attract and retain customers. For example, they have been offering features such as fast and free shipping, easy returns and refunds, secure payment methods, personalized recommendations, loyalty programs, live chat support, and social proof. These features help to increase customer satisfaction, trust, and loyalty, as well as to reduce cart abandonment and bounce rates.
Diversified product and service offerings. B2C e-commerce platforms have been expanding their product and service offerings to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of customers. For example, they have been selling not only physical goods, such as clothing, electronics, books, and groceries, but also digital goods, such as music, movies, games, and software. Moreover, they have been offering services such as travel booking, food delivery, online education, health care, entertainment, and financial services. These offerings help to increase customer convenience, choice, and value.
Increased social media influence and online reviews. Social media has become a powerful tool for B2C e-commerce platforms to reach and engage customers. According to eMarketer, the number of social commerce buyers worldwide reached 1.17 billion in 2020, accounting for 25.9% of all digital buyers. Social media platforms allow B2C e-commerce platforms to showcase their products or services, interact with customers, collect feedback, generate referrals, and drive traffic and sales. Moreover, online reviews have become a crucial factor for customers to make purchase decisions. According to BrightLocal, 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2020, and 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Increased demand for niche and customized products or services. B2C e-commerce platforms have been tapping into the demand for niche and customized products or services that cater to specific customer segments or needs. For example, they have been offering products or services that are organic, vegan, gluten-free, eco-friendly, personalized, or tailored. These products or services help to differentiate B2C e-commerce platforms from their competitors and create loyal customer bases.
Increased competition and innovation. B2C e-commerce platforms have been facing increased competition from both local and global players who are vying for market share and customer attention. This has led to increased innovation and experimentation in terms of product or service development, pricing strategies, marketing campaigns, delivery methods, and business models. For example, some B2C e-commerce platforms have adopted subscription-based models that offer customers recurring deliveries of products or services at a discounted price. Some have adopted consumer-to-business (C2B) models that allow customers to offer products or services to businesses in exchange for payment or other benefits . Some have adopted hybrid models that combine online and offline channels to provide customers with an omnichannel shopping experience.
7. Increased environmental awareness and social responsibility. B2C e-commerce platforms have been responding to the increased environmental awareness and social responsibility of customers who are concerned about the impact of their consumption on the planet and society. For example,
some B2C e-commerce platforms have been adopting green practices such as using renewable energy sources, reducing packaging waste, recycling materials, offsetting carbon emissions, and donating to environmental causes. Some have been supporting social causes such as fighting poverty, promoting education, empowering women, and protecting human rights. These practices help to enhance the reputation and image of B2C e-commerce platforms and attract customers who share their values.
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B2C e-commerce is a dynamic and thriving industry that offers many opportunities and challenges for both businesses and consumers. By understanding the reasons behind its growth and the trends that shape its future, B2C e-commerce platforms can leverage their strengths and overcome their weaknesses to succeed in the online marketplace.
Global Trends in B2C E-commerce
Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce is the online exchange of goods and services between businesses and individual customers. It is one of the fastest-growing segments of the global economy, driven by the widespread adoption of digital technologies, especially the internet and mobile devices. According to Statista, retail e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to exceed 5.7 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022, accounting for more than 20% of total retail sales. However, the size, growth and distribution of B2C e-commerce vary significantly across regions and countries, depending on factors such as internet access, consumer preferences, payment methods and regulatory frameworks.
B2C E-commerce by Region and Country
The largest regional market for B2C e-commerce is Asia-Pacific, which is projected to generate over 3.1 trillion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2022, representing more than half of the global total. Within Asia-Pacific, China is the dominant player, with an estimated 1.9 trillion U.S. dollars in B2C e-commerce sales in 2020, followed by Japan, South Korea and India. North America is the second-largest regional market, with over 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2022, mainly driven by the United States. Europe is the third-largest regional market, with over 900 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2022, led by the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
The growth rates of B2C e-commerce also differ across regions and countries. According to Statista, the fastest-growing retail e-commerce market by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2027 is Brazil, with a CAGR of 17.8%, followed by India, Mexico and China. The OECD reports that some of the factors that influence the growth of B2C e-commerce include internet penetration, broadband speed, mobile commerce, online trust, consumer protection and cross-border transactions.
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