There are four basic types of e-commerce, with the most popular being merchant-based e-commerce apps (think Amazon). A merchant-based e-commerce app is a full website of its own where users browse and buy products. A more recent option includes Facebook as a platform for shopping, which allows businesses to sell their products on the same page they use to advertise. Finally, there are Facebook apps that allow you to sell products without a website or even any interaction between you and your customers.
There are four types of e-commerce:
Business-to-consumer (B2C) – A business sells to consumers. This can be done through an online store, a website, or an app. It can also be done through a catalog or a magazine. Businesses can sell directly to consumers, or they can sell through third parties like eBay or Amazon.
Business-to-business (B2B) – A business sells to other businesses. This is often referred to as B2G (business-to-government).
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) – A consumer buys from another consumer. These transactions are usually not conducted through a marketplace like eBay or Amazon but rather through peer-to-peer platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.
Consumer-to-business (C2B) – A consumer buys from a business. This is the least common type of e-commerce because most consumers prefer to buy from other consumers rather than businesses because there’s no middleman involved in the transaction.
E-commerce has changed the way we shop and the way we sell. It’s become a huge part of our lives, with e-commerce transactions growing to $2 trillion in 2020.
E-commerce is a broad term for all online sales and transactions. There are four main types of e-commerce:
Direct selling – this is where you buy directly from a manufacturer or wholesaler without having to go through a retailer. For example, buying directly from Amazon instead of going through a third-party seller on Amazon.
Marketplaces – marketplaces provide an online platform for buyers and sellers to interact with each other. Examples include eBay and Etsy.
Marketplace arbitrage – this involves buying products at a lower price than they’re sold for elsewhere and then reselling them at full price on another marketplace like eBay or Etsy. It’s possible because there are often different prices on different marketplaces, even if they’re owned by the same company (eBay owns PayPal). Marketplace arbitrage is also known as arbitrage, which is where you buy something at one price and then sell it at another price for profit (or loss if prices go down).
Dropshipping – dropshipping means you don’t keep inventory but instead get items delivered directly from suppliers or manufacturers when.
And Online retailing. This is the most common form of e-commerce, and it’s where you sell physical goods over the Internet. For example, Amazon and eBay are both online retailers.
Online auctions. This type of e-commerce lets users buy and sell items using an auction process. For example, eBay is an online auction site, while Craigslist is a local online auction site that focuses on local classified ads.
Marketplaces. Marketplaces let users buy and sell goods from multiple sellers at once — rather than just one item at a time like with traditional auctions — and often offer additional services like shipping options or payment services for buyers and sellers alike. A good example of this type of e-commerce is Etsy, which lets people sell handmade goods such as jewelry, clothing, or furniture through its website.
Market research & analysis sites. These kinds of sites allow users to find out more about consumer behavior through surveys or polls (often in exchange for cash rewards). A good example of this kind of e-commerce is SurveyMonkey.
The first is marketplaces. Marketplaces provide a platform for buyers and sellers to connect and trade directly with one another. The most popular example is eBay, but there are many others that include Etsy, Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist, and Alibaba.
The second type is merchant platforms. These are similar to marketplaces in that they provide a platform for buyers and sellers to connect directly with one another, but they also offer additional services such as payment processing or fraud protection. Shopify is the best-known example of this type of e-commerce platform.
The third type is classified sites. These sites allow users to post listings for products they want to sell (or buy), which can then be browsed by others on the site. Craigslist and eBay are classic examples of this type of business model.
Finally, there are multi-channel marketplaces (MMCs). MMCs allows merchants to sell their wares through multiple channels such as mobile apps or their own websites while still maintaining a single inventory database across all sales channels. Amazon Marketplace (formerly known as Amazon Associates) is an excellent example.
One of the issues we have with e-commerce is that people often seem to be moving towards the generic term rather quickly. The four types are very specific in what they mean, so it would be nice if we could keep them straight. At the very least, now you will know which one refers to what kind of an online shop you want. As more and more e-commerce websites turn into this kind of shopping, it becomes more crucial for consumers to understand what these terms mean.
In short, the big takeaway here is that there are a few different types of e-commerce. Retailers will want to examine each of these formats carefully, picking the one that makes the most sense for their brand and customers. And regardless of which format it chooses, retailers should consider an omnichannel strategy.