Home Digital Marketing What are the three types of e-commerce?

What are the three types of e-commerce?


In today’s digital era, everything you could possibly want can be bought online. From eggs to cake, from an android phone to an e-car, everything can be found on an online store. These stores, called e-commerce stores, cater to a large number of businesses.

E-commerce facilitates the transfer of goods and products online. One of the crucial reasons why e-commerce facilities have become popular is convenience. E-commerce stores allow you to buy and sell products at an international status. This ensures variety, competition and high quality.

What are the types of e-commerce websites?

Each e-commerce website is unique. Even though an e-commerce store sells products, its customer base defines its operation. There are three primary types of e-commerce websites:

  1. B2B websites: Business to business websites cater specifically to other businesses. The primary example of this is Shopify.
  2. B2C websites: Business to customer websites cater to individuals and direct customers. The primary example of this is Amazon.
  3. C2C websites: Customer to customer websites sell products made by individuals to other individuals. The primary example of this is e-Bay.

This article discusses these three types of e-commerce websites and how you can choose one.

Three types of e-commerce websites

B2B e-commerce websites

Business to business e-commerce websites allow a business to sell their products to other businesses. The website acts as a middleman between two businesses. Therefore, a lot of the sellers on this website sell products wholesale or in large quantities. These websites often have a minimum order feature and it isn’t possible to buy a single item of the product.

The website is often used by manufacturers that produce goods on a large scale. These goods are often not used by the customer directly. Instead, they are used to make other products or for services. Therefore, the business does not have any interaction directly with the customer.

B2C e-commerce websites

Business customer e-commerce websites allow a business to reach a customer directly. These websites are often called retail websites. They sell smaller quantities of products. You can use the website to buy a single item of the product. These websites often list multiple options for the same product. You get the option to compare and contrast to find the perfect product for your requirement.

There can be two types of sales on a B2C e-commerce website.

1.    Agent to customer:

In this type of sale, the order you place is received by a representative of the business. The agent then ships the product to you based on availability. This method is often used for international shipping. For example, if you order an iPhone. The phone will be shipped from the nearest local warehouse of the business. In this case, you will receive the correct product, but it won’t be shipped directly from Apple’s factory.

2.    Business to customer:

In this type of sale, the order you place is received by the business directly. The business ships the product directly from its warehouse. This method is often used if you order locally. For example, if you place an order for a product from a business based in your location. The product will be shipped directly from the business’ manufacturing or marketing facility.

C2C e-commerce websites

Customer to customer e-commerce websites are made for the customers by the customers. There are two types of C2C e-commerce services.

1.    Resale services

These are often used to buy reused, second-hand products. The C2C website can be used to sell any type of product. From television to clothes – there is no bar. However, the quality of the product you receive may not always be the best.

2.    Customized products

Etsy is a popular example of this type of website. Here, you can find customized products that are usually made in small batches and shipped. These websites often feature handmade products that are made selectively to fulfil a need.

How do you choose a website for your business?

Selecting the right platform for your business is important. Before you select a B2B or a B2C e-commerce store for your requirement, research your target audience. It is also worth investing time in understanding the recent trends in e-commerce and using them to leverage the website to your advantage.

E-commerce is an ever-evolving model. For a business to grow and strive, finding the right e-commerce platform is important. But there is another option that most don’t consider: diversification. By diversifying your base, you may find it easier to understand your target audience better and reach your goals.