Day 5 - Identify different types of ecommerce business classifications/models

Types of eCommerce Models

There are different variables that can make one eCommerce business different from another. You can classify the eCommerce business  following variables :

  • Business model – Who are you and who are your customers?
  • Revenue model – How do you generate revenue?
  • Type of website – How many retailers are selling together?
  • Type of eCommerce platform – What are the characteristics of the software that runs your website?
  • Business details – What do you sell and to what market?

The eCommerce business model is dependent on who is buying and who is selling. Customers are not necessarily individual consumers — they can be other businesses, or even government administrations. Likewise, a seller isn't necessarily a business, as consumers sell items to each other all the time through various means. It's also possible for some businesses to use more than one of these models simultaneously, for example, selling to consumers and other businesses at the same time. 

Major Ecommerce Business Classifications

business to business (B2B): B2B ecommerce is a business that is selling to another business. This could be a physical product, like raw building materials, or a service, like a corporate lawyer. It could also take the form of a digital product or service.

business to consumer (B2C):B2C businesses sell to their end-user. The B2C model is the most common business model, so there are many unique approaches under this umbrella.And B2C doesn’t only include products, but services as well.B2C innovators have leveraged technology like mobile apps, native advertising and remarketing to market directly to their customers and make their lives easier in the process. Anything you buy in an online store as a consumer — think wardrobe, household supplies, entertainment — is done as part of a B2C transaction.

consumer to consumer (C2C): A C2C business — also called an online marketplace — connects consumers to exchange goods and services and typically make their money by charging transaction or listing fees. Online businesses like Craigslist and eBay pioneered this model in the early days of the internet.

consumer to business (C2B): This is a business model in which an individual consumer provides products or services to an organization. Freelance artists, writers, designers, and software developers are good examples, as are lawyers and accountants who serve business needs. Bloggers who sell advertising space on their websites are also engaging in a C2B transaction.

 Government / Public Administration Ecommerce

The models listed above are the primary ecommerce retail structures, but they aren’t the only ones. Other types involve government/public administration conducting transactions with businesses or consumers.

  • B2G (also called B2A): for businesses whose sole clients are governments or type of public administration.
  • C2G (also called C2A): typically individuals paying the government for taxes or tuition to universities.

 Two sectors that are closed for entrepreneur owners but are growing include G2B for government sales to private businesses, and G2C, for government sales to the general public.


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