ELI5 (Explain Like I'm 5): What's the Difference between O2O and B2C?

TMO GroupMarch 3, 2016
ELI5 (Explain Like I'm 5): What's the Difference between O2O and B2C?

A few years ago, “O2O” was a brand new term; but today, these three characters are seen everywhere in major Chinese cities as all manner of businesses. From restaurants to taxi to hair salons, every business is offering O2O services to attract customers.

However, some people still get confused with O2O and B2C. While B2C is well understood, O2O seems different, since it does not follow the same logical pattern.


O2O, B2C by definitions

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O2O stands for “online to offline”. It describes eCommerce services that provide information online about other services offline (including discounts).

O2O is connecting traditional business with modern platform, advantages on both sides can be perfectly matched so consumers can enjoy good online price and the same quality offline service. The core part of O2O is online payment, and the ultimate goal is to enhance offline shopping experiences.

Example: Dianping Group Deal

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Meanwhile, B2C is a simple market where you sell goods to the end users. While business-to-consumer activity exists both online and offline, the acronym B2C has primarily been used to describe the online variety. Online market sites like Amazon, Taobao and JD.com are all well-known examples of B2C eCommerce.

Example: JD.com Mobile App

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Differences between O2O & B2C

O2O and B2C both flourish in mobile, and involve mobile payment. But the difference is distinct:

1. B2C relies on actual product (Apparel, food, cosmetics), while O2O provides service (Dining, Movie, Fitness, Car rental).

2. Despite both paid online, by B2C purchase of goods is packed and delivered to the hands of consumers. O2O in the other hand, transaction will be completed when customers visit the offline location.

3. Since O2O is more service-oriented, there will be more unique functions featuring in O2O. For example, LBS (location-based services) has been widely used on O2O platforms. Take WeChat for example: You can purchase movie ticket based on your locations with simply a few clicks.

Ticket Purchased from WeChat Example

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Future of O2O in China

Comparing with B2C eCommerce, O2O is the mode of business that offers a good combination of website traffic, consumer service experience. In nowadays China, O2O will be an opportunity for your business by winning both online presence and offline sales. Furthermore, adapting O2O will improve your brand image and pull your customers closer.

With the assist from strong platform like WeChat, to build up an O2O business strategy has never been easier. If you are looking forward to taking first step towards O2O commerce, contact TMO Group and let us know how we can help!


You May Also Like:


Everything You Need to Know about WeChat O2O Commerce

Top 5 Advantages if You Use WeChat for O2O Commerce

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