What You Need To Know: The 4 Main Types Of E-Commerce


Who would’ve thought that buying and selling online would be as important as it is today? The sheer magnitude of businesses that are online now is astronomical and this will only grow! You certainly can bet now more than ever, businesses have been taking advantage of the tools that technology has to offer, and so should you! The last thing you want is to fall behind everyone else in your industry.


There are four main types of e-commerce to consider when starting up your own online business and odds are you’ll fall into one of these categories.

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BUSINESS TO CONSUMER: B2C


This is when a business sells their products or services directly to the end-users (consumers). This tends to be the most common business model which means that there are many different approaches that can be taken. B2C innovators have utilized apps, native ads and re-marketing techniques to market directly to consumers.


Example: Alibaba allows consumers to easily access services that pertain to electronics, apparel, vehicles, sports, furniture, accessories, etc. There are just ongoing options for consumers to choose from and within every category, there are specific listings meant to  pinpoint any customers need.


BUSINESS TO BUSINESS: B2B


In this type of model, a business sells their product or service to another business, often the buyer resells to the consumer. B2B transactions tend to have a higher order value, more recurring purchases and improved targeting through niche markets. As time goes on, B2B selling has been getting used more frequently and is becoming more important.


Example: Xerox is a company that makes billions of dollars providing print and paper services to businesses everywhere.


CONSUMER TO BUSINESS: C2B


This is when individuals sell goods and services to companies. Affiliate marketing is also considered as a form of C2B selling. This model can be rather competitive when it comes to pricing, it allows consumers to have a say in naming their price or have businesses compete for the service or product that is being sold.


Example: Upwork is a freelancing platform where enterprises and individuals can connect to conduct business together. Formerly known as Elance, this was the fist C2B model e-commerce site.


CONSUMER TO CONSUMER: C2C

This is where consumers can connect with each other to exchange products or services, otherwise known as an online marketplace. Two typical implementations of C2C markets are ads and auctions. This kind of model has risen in the past few years and is now a very popular form of selling.


Example: eBay connects individual buyers and sellers to meet and negotiate dealings through an auction system. eBay has successfully been running for 25 years.

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