Types of ECommerceTypes of ECommerce

The internet has become a primary resource for just about everything. This generality of “everything” can include a wide range of things such as: news, entertainment, advertising, networking, communication, banking, writing, shopping, etc. Because the internet is the go-to place for all of your needs, it’s only natural that businesses would catch on and market their products, goods and services to all who are on the internet. Therefore the genesis of electronic commerce was invented. Electronic commerce, or ECommerce, is one of the fastest growing areas of the internet. It incorporates people and businesses exchanging goods and services over the internet. ECommerce can generally be categorized into three major forms: business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).

• B2B ECommerce: Trade between the company and associated business
• B2C ECommerce: Trade between the company and consumers
• C2C ECommerce: Trade between consumer and consumer

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the most common form of ECommerce. This type of ECommerce involves the consumer buying products or services from an online business. One of the most interesting parts about B2C is that a lot of the online businesses are actually just standard businesses that you can find around your hometown. The benefit to putting that store online though, is that people from all around the world who do not have access to this type of store, goods or service can easily get the products or services from the store by purchasing them online. This has become an extremely handy and efficient way for businesses to reach as many clients as possible with little or no extra cost to them. If you own a small store in a small town, and local people love your product, other people visiting may feel the same and if they tell people when they return home there is a mechanism now for those people to experience the products that they previously would never have access to. In the past you would have had to open up a whole new store in another location. That brings on many other challenges. Now you can start up a website for your store and put all of the products from your store on the website for people to buy. All of those people who live in places too far away can now purchase your products without actually having to come to the only physical store. Your costs are minimal, but it expands your client base many fold. This is what B2C commerce is all about. It’s about expanding the business’ client group without having to build an entirely new business in other places around the world.

The second type of ECommerce is Business-to-Business (B2B). This is not the most common, but certainly one of the most useful type of ECommerce out there. This type of ECommerce involves businesses exchanging goods and services with one another. Most of the time B2B commerce involves online marketing companies doing services for other online companies who are looking to get better results on the search engines. The most popular forms of online marketing are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC). SEO basically means that the online marketing company will help get your website or business to the top of the search engines when people search for that type of service or business in their area. They do this through word optimization, where they place keywords on the website that make the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing recognize your site as one that has valuable information. PPC is when ads are placed and links on various pages and websites that link them back to your site. Every time someone clicks on a link to see your website, you pay the online marketing company a small amount of money for getting your site more traffic. All of the other forms of e-commerce would not be possible without online marketing and B2B ECommerce.

A third type of ECommerce is Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C). This type of ECommerce is typically grouped with online auctions, although not limited to that. eBay and Amazon.com come to mind as most prominent in this space. They are perfect examples of C2C commerce because they involve two consumers (not businesses), exchanging goods and services with one another. This is one of the most popular forms of ECommerce out there as well because it allows people to get access to goods that may not even be available any longer. A couple good examples of C2C ECommerce benefits are: You are looking to find a specific replacement golf club for an old set. You look in many second hand stores and used sporting equipment stores with no luck in hopes of finding the missing pitching wedge that you want so badly. You simply cannot find it anywhere. This is because your range of looking is completely limited. That same club might be in the possession of someone living in England, but you might have no idea. This is where C2C ECommerce really comes in handy. You go on eBay and search for the club after less than a minute, you find that club that matches your set and 4 people are selling it from different parts of the world! Someone in Texas, another in Belgium and 2 people in Australia are selling their club. You have a choice of condition, location, price, etc. all in a matter of minutes online. Amazon.com is great because you can buy, sell and trade books with other people for prices that you simply cannot get in the bookstores. Textbooks for college are priced much lower than normal and so college immediately becomes more affordable.