Types of Ecommerce Businesses B2B, C2C, B2C, C2B Marketplaces


E-commerce is a process of electronic or digital exchange of products or services and every related communication regarding the matter. With the advent of the Internet, online or web platforms have become a popular or preferred place for the trade of various merchandise, products, and services. The multiple types of eCommerce businesses are available in the market This electronic and paperless procedure of trading is what we know as E-commerce.

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There are different types of eCommerce businesses running all over the world right now. These businesses have a specific mode and method of operation, along with a few specific types of marketplaces, depending on the kind of interaction between the seller and the buyer. The whole procedure works through a specified framework and has become one of the most popular forms of trade and marketing, is one of the largest marketplaces that range all across the globe.

The latest e-commerce trends might appear exciting and straightforward for most people. But it is essential to understand the fundamentals of e-commerce and to have comprehensive knowledge about the marketplaces before getting involved in the online trading market, and to make an investment in it.

E-commerce business requires knowledge, expertise, experience, and proper knowledge of the market and operations to be successful. There are various types of eCommerce business models and marketplaces available in the e-commerce sector. Careful research and learning of these are essential for people interested in the e-trading topic.

To understand the various types of eCommerce business models and marketplaces, one has to be acquainted with the abbreviations and initials that are commonly used in the field. To be more specific, business models or marketplaces in e-commerce can be majorly divided into six different categories. Before dealing with the categories, here are the most popular and common meanings or full-forms of the various letters that are used for abbreviation purposes.

B means Business (This refers to traders, suppliers, vendors, and agencies providing products and services in the market)

C means Customer or Consumer (This refers to buyers, clients, and users of various products and services)

A means Administration (Commonly used for administrative personnel and institutions, usually governmental departments, etc.

G means Government The e-commerce marketplace is differentiated based on the kind of interaction between the seller and the buyer, or the people involved in the trade and their category in the above list. Keeping the interactions in mind, it becomes easier to categorize the models into the following six major categories.

  • B2B, meaning business to business interaction, where one business provides their services/products to another one.
  • B2C, meaning business to the customer where a business provides its services to a customer.
  • C2C, meaning customer to customer interaction, where a consumer connects with another consumer to exchange a particular product or service.
  • C2B, meaning customer to business or consumer to business, is an inverted B2C model where an individual entity or customer provides services to a business organization.
  • B2A (or B2G) is business to Administration or Business to Government, where a business organization provides its services or products to a government institution.
  • C2A (or C2G) means customers to administration or customers to the government where a customer or individual entity provides their services to an administrative institution.

The majority of the marketplace in e-commerce consists of the four main kinds of interaction models, which are the B2B, B2C, C2C, and C2B models. E-commerce covers all online marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers. The Internet is used to process electronic transactions.

Most important types of eCommerce businesses

B2B e-commerce

A B2B model of business in e-commerce or a B2B marketplace is a place where products or services from one business are transferred to another business. The selling or purchasing of services and merchandise is done between two business organizations. In this category, there are businesses like software companies, suppliers of various commercial items, marketing agencies, document hosting companies, and several other types of companies. These businesses have custom, enterprise eCommerce platforms that interact and work directly with other businesses in a closed environment. The B2B marketplace is entirely commercial, and business-focused and requires more investment than the amount needed in different marketplaces. For example, a digital marketing company in the USA might be providing digital marketing solutions to an MNC based out of New Zealand.

The B2B marketplace can be divided into two parts, which are:

  • Vertical: This refers to a B2B interaction in only one segment of a particular industry
  • Horizontal: This refers to a service in different sectors.

B2C e-commerce

In this kind of a marketplace, a business organization provides its services or products to an individual entity or a consumer. It is the most common form of online commerce and the most popular model and marketplace of e-commerce. Most online retail businesses and online shopping sites engage in this kind of a marketplace selling their products or services to individual customers. Online food and clothing shopping sites are the most common examples of B2B business models and marketplace.

C2C e-commerce

Consumer to Consumer e-commerce marketplace is a platform where individuals sell or exchange their services and products to other similar individual customers or entities. With the increasing popularity of the Internet and e-commerce, several individuals have started selling products and services of their own to other customers who need those services. A retail site may even allow an individual to showcase and sell their products and charge a small fee in the form of commission, for providing the platform to the person. Classified sites and auction sites are a great example of such a type of platform in C2C models of e-commerce.

C2B e-commerce

In this kind of a business model or e-commerce marketplace, an individual entity or a person (referred to as customer) provides their services or products to a business organization. It is an inverted B2C model where the purchaser is the business, and the customer is the seller. Professionals who have unique skills or specialize in a specific field or type of production, often lead this kind of a marketplace selling their services and products to businesses that need them.

With these four models, the main structure and basis of the e-commerce market are formed. While one model can be comparatively more popular than another one, all of them are an integral part of the ever-transforming marketplace.

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