B2C companies are facing a dilemma – how can they more easily reach their audiences? Consumers want easier access to what they want more than ever, and businesses are rapidly trying to stay up to date on the simplest ways to deliver goods as fast as possible. As new innovations create more opportunities, though, B2C is more direct than ever thought possible, and it's only improving too. Here are three trends that have changed B2C forever.

1. Improved Data Means Improved Outreach

One of the biggest shifts to keep an eye on over the coming years is the growing prominence of Big Data. It's not as glamorous as, say, the ad revolution of the sixties, but it's arguably more important. It allows companies access to unprecedented amounts of information, with which they can more accurately reach customers. Poorly targeted ads are the easiest way to ensure customers never buy your product, but when a strategic suggestion is made in an unobtrusive manner, customers don't quite feel like they're seen as mindless objects. Of course, it all depends on how an individual company uses this information; handling it poorly is a surefire way to lose sales.

2. Customers Are Sick Of Middlemen

Now that everything is becoming digital and information is more accessible for consumers, B2C companies that utilize another third party to sell their product are suffering. Why? Customers are absolutely sick of middlemen and see them as an unnecessary obstacle. If more platforms are popping up that put the product directly in front of them, why bother hurdling more annoying barriers that stand between them and what they want? Matthew Horn, Founder of Legal Services Link, tells me, “People today have the ability to quickly obtain and process information like never before. As a result, they don’t want want their choices of who to hire or what to buy limited by a middleman. People today want to know what ALL of their options are, and they want to make their informed selection from those options. Using us as an example, we think hiring an attorney is no different, nor does it need to be.” More businesses are trying to adapt to this model, and they're turning heads and angering all the right people. Look at how Elon Musk structures Tesla sales – there's no third party sales medium; customers buy cars directly from the source. Unsurprisingly, it's working, thanks to Musk's desire to give customers what they want – a well-targeted product that's easy to access.

3. Startup Culture Is Bigger Than Ever

Startup culture is a powerhouse in today's world. Entrepreneurs and customers alike are attracted to the DIY mindset that's so common amongst younger generations. As such, the future is appearing to lie in this realm. Plus, as the two converge, entrepreneurs and customers become increasingly in-tune with one another, making it easy for the two to understand one another. As this relationship grows, barriers in the way become increasingly obsolete. That's the beauty of startup culture; it's all about being down-to-earth and understanding their audience. Startups are constantly finding new ways to get closer, and it's making B2C more direct than ever.

Published on: Aug 2, 2015