HubSpot is a fantastic tool - a CRM, fully integrated marketing suite, sales tools, and customer service tools, all in one package (depending on the hubs you choose, that is).
One question that often comes up is whether or not it's suitable for B2C businesses. After all, you may not need the sales enablement and sales automation tools, and those make it look quite B2B focused. So, let's look into what a B2C business can get out of HubSpot.
HubSpot for B2C - does it work?
As is pretty much always the case with this type of question, the answer is, it depends on a couple of things:
- The value and volume of your sales
- Whether or not what you offer is a considered purchase
These elements will affect whether or not HubSpot is a great investment for you, because they affect whether or not inbound marketing is the best strategy.
If inbound isn't a good strategy for your business (and we'll go into more detail on this shortly), then HubSpot might not be the best fit. At least, the paid hubs may not be - the free CRM is still an amazing piece of software and every business should have a CRM.
The value and volume of sales
Where does your product or service fit on the above grid?
If you have a high cost and high volume item, then HubSpot might be just right - you have access to the tools that will help you get in front of even more people, engage with them, and nurture them into becoming your customers.
When you have a smaller market or lower volume of sales, but the value of those sales is high, HubSpot is also a fantastic choice - you might use an approach like Account Based Marketing (ABM), using the ABM tools in the platform, or focus on the engage and delight elements of the inbound journey.
If the answer is "bottom left", then HubSpot might not be the right investment for you, especially at the Professional and Enterprise level. If you sell a small number of low-cost items, achieving ROI might require a different approach. You may evaluate the Starter suite and find that it does enough for what you need. You'd be most likely to run this in-house, as the investment in a marketing retainer might not be viable.
If you're bottom right, low cost and high volume, what you need to look at is your margin and work out if HubSpot makes sense for you. Bear in mind that you now pay for marketing contacts, rather than all contacts, in HubSpot. If you have a very high volume but low-cost product, you may have lots of people in your marketing database - you'll need to evaluate which CRM tool is most cost-effective for you.
A considered purchase is one where people spend time considering before purchasing - simple enough.
The reason it affects whether or not HubSpot is the best approach for you is because whether or not something is a considered purchase will influence whether it makes sense to run an inbound strategy.
With a considered purchase, people will do things like:
- Research their options
- Research different products
- Look for reviews
- Learn about the pros and cons of different solutions
- Read about specifications
- Research pricing
All this means that they're spending time online, researching and learning, at the first stage of the buyer's journey (the Awareness stage). Therefore an inbound approach, which includes creating content to appeal to buyers at different stages in their journey, will be valuable.
Beyond the awareness stage, buyers do more research, again making inbound a good option.
Types of considered purchase include:
- Home improvements - new kitchens, renovations, etc
- Technology products
- Expensive items - high end furniture, bespoke fashion
And can also cover things as varied as plants, holidays, properties, and investments.
For purchases that aren't considered - things that people decide upon without turning to internet research - inbound is much less effective.
If no one is looking for content about your product, because it's an easy decision either way, then there's not a lot of point spending all your time building it out. You might be better focusing your budget on PPC. And while you can manage Ads through HubSpot, the investment in the platform is mostly worth it when you're using a variety of the features rather than just one.
What features are good for B2C
When you've identified that HubSpot is good for B2C, for your specific business, it's worth taking time to look at the specific tools that will be helpful. HubSpot contains a lot of features, but some of them are especially helpful in B2C settings.
You probably know about things like personalising emails with the recipient's name, but did you know that you can pull in any information you store in your CRM into the email? And that you can easily segment and personalise content for specific types of buyer?
Talking of personalisation... if you have your website on HubSpot CMS, you get the benefit of Smart Content, where you can change the content on your pages based on various parameters - like the lifecycle stage of your prospect, or what type of device they're on. If they're already in your database and you've put them in a list based on their purchase history, you can even tailor to that list.
Marketing automation is one of those things that simply makes life easier. When someone does a particular thing, trigger an automation to send them emails, set tasks for your team, or update their contact record. If you're using an external system and want that to trigger actions in HubSpot, you'll need to det up an integration to get the two systems to talk to one another (you can learn more about HubSpot integrations on our recent post).
If you have a full ecommerce B2C business, you might want to look at the Transactional Email add-on for HubSpot, too.
As a B2C company, chances are you're using lots of different channels to generate leads - Google ads, social ads, social media posts, email marketing, website, landing pages, and so on. HubSpot brings all of this together into one place, so you can track the impact of each channel on your marketing and ROI.
You can dive in and see exactly what a customer has seen and done, and identify where your marketing is most successful - all of which is exceptionally powerful data.
B2C HubSpot Integrations
We've posted before about all the things HubSpot integrates with, but let's take a look at some B2C-specific integrations.
Now, there are so many integrations that we can't go into all of them here - we've just picked the top few we know are especially popular with B2C. But you can also find plenty of apps like call reporting, data sync, SMS sends, advertising and remarketing, and social media.
For eCommerce businesses on Shopify, this integration is a must.
- Connect your Shopify store to HubSpot
- Analyse your Shopify data in HubSpot (default reports include average order value, lifetime order value, abandoned cart recovery, and more)
- Automatically sync products, contacts, and orders (seen as “deals” in HubSpot) from Shopify to HubSpot
- Segment contacts based on products (Marketing Hub Starter, Professional, or Enterprise only)
- Automate ecommerce campaigns (Marketing Hub or Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise only)
Similarly, if you use WooCommerce for your online marketplace, this is the integration for you.
- Automatically sync real-time WooCommerce users, orders and products to HubSpot.
- One-click sync of historic customer data to HubSpot.
- The extension automatically creates best-practiced groups, properties, active lists, and workflows.
- Incorporates workflows for HubSpot with automated workflow conversion tactics.
Many, many B2C businesses communicate with clients and prospects through Facebook Messenger - this integration means you can manage those messages through the Conversations inbox. As a result, you can include Messenger in your HubSpot reporting and dashboards, create new contacts, and assign messages to different people in your HubSpot portal.
If you're already using Mailchimp and you don't want to move to HubSpot's email tool, this integration allows you to sync your HubSpot contacts into Mailchimp and see Mailchimp activity within HubSpot.
B2C HubSpot Considerations
If you're an ecommerce business, you may need to invest in the Transactional Email add-on for HubSpot - this doesn't come included in any of the main tiers (Starter, Pro, Enterprise). It's an extra cost, which you need to be prepared for.
You need the add-on for sending emails related to individuals' transactions - receipts, shipping info, etc.
If you have a bespoke commerce platform, you'll also need to integrate that with HubSpot using the APIs (Shopify and WooCommerce, as we see above, have ready-made integrations, but bespoke software won't so you'll need to have development time allocated to setting up those APIs).
If you don't integrate your system, you'll lose a huge amount of the value in HubSpot, your CRM and data won't be up to date, and you'll end up looking in two places every time you need information - not a great use of your time or investment.
Any system like HubSpot needs to be set up correctly so that it does what you need it to. Plus you need to embed it in your organisation so that everyone is using the system properly and consistently. That's not specific to HubSpot, the same would be true if you had any other platform (even ones that aren't as powerfully integrated).
So, is HubSpot good for B2C?
In a nutshell, yes, provided your business is the right fit for inbound marketing, and you get everything set up effectively. And, as with all things, as long as you use it and properly embed it in your business.