b2c in the news

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b2sc™ – The Missing Letter is in the Mail

A concept from @barett consulting

In the dot com age everyone is trying to get their heads around which company will succeed or fail in this 21st century Gold Rush.

The acronyms b2b (business-to-business) and b2c (business-to-consumer) have become part of the language. Principal focus is being placed on the b2c companies where it is thought that most dot com casualties will occur.

The answer is simply and has nothing to do with modern electronics, web pages or WAP phones but everything to do with the mailbox and the humble postman.

b2c = b2ac + b2sc

The b2c sector is split into 2 sectors: synchronous (b2sc) and asynchronous (b2ac). Synchronous products and services have to be delivered to a consumer at a particular time and place. An example of this is the pizza delivery. Within 30 minutes of ordering (by whatever channel: email, phone, fax, web) the consumer expects to receive a piping hot pizza delivered to the door.

Amazon.com = b2ac

Asynchronous products and services are delivered to a known place but at an unspecified time. In an age when the population where not "time-poor" they could wait for the delivery to arrive. It is also becoming increasing difficult with traffic congestion for any delivery company to be able to guarantee a deliver time unless delivery is local. The great thing about asynchronous products is that they can be delivered anytime. Enter the postman who can deliver products to your mailbox anytime; you do not have to wait in to receive the delivery. Now this is great for books and CDs that neatly fit into the mailbox but attempt to deliver large, heavy, temperature sensitive items and the model doesn’t work. Of course this also applies to expensive items that require a signature.

In the world of e-commerce there is the ability to order a product but the reality is that the delivery channel is what will determine success. MP3 can be ordered and delivered on-line as can a variety of products and services that are downloaded. Similarly if products are delivered in an acceptable time-slot (e.g. pizza delivery) then it can be ordered by a variety of means the important issue is the synchronous delivery. Whilst amazon.com are successful in delivering asynchronous products (books and CDs) the delivery of (bulky) kitchens items or gardening equipment might be their downfall.

Dominos.com = b2sc

Similarly b2c sites believe they are in the b2ac when they should be in the b2sc. Try ordering an airline ticket less than 7 days before departure from an on-line travel agent. It is almost impossible and with 3 days to go you struggle to even check availability on-line. Yet online travel booking is what e-commerce is all about but it requires either b2sc by fast delivery of tickets to the door, local travel agent or airport departure desk. Or in the case of e-tickets it should be possible right up to gate closure time to book online.

Similarly there is much hype surrounding WAP phones. Essentially they are an electronic mailbox. Great for delivery of small electronic items such as messages informing you of airport delays, closing stock prices or score updates from your favourite sports team. But as for use as an input terminal forget it. Try typing even the simplest full Internet address http://www.yahoo.com even once on a WAP phone!


b2sc - Synchronous

b2ac - Asynchronous

Mp3 downloaded on Internet

Pizza and fast-food delivery to door

Food products (temperature sensitive)

Jewellery, etc (requiring signature)

Furniture, carpets (bulky)

Clothing, sports equipment (bulky)

Electronic and instant tickets

Computer equipment

On-line computer games

Cash-on-delivery (COD) items

Personal flowers to door

Books (small)

CDs, DVDs, videos etc

Travel tickets, etc (7+ days ahead)

Concert/events tickets (7+ days ahead)

Magazines, literature

Computer games on disk

Closing stock prices to WAP phone

Sports updates and results to cell-phone

Non-urgent Money orders, etc.

Photographic prints

Autos (key can be posted!)

Synchronous commerce – b2sc™ Asynchronous commerce – b2ac™ are trade-marks of Greenwich 2000®


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Last revised: 16 June 2011 12:07 +0100 GMT
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