What Are Some Different Types of E-Commerce?


Quick Answer

Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is a subset section of e-business, which is the exchange of goods and services via computer networks such as the Internet. It also refers to any business transaction where parties do not make direct physical exchanges but interact electronically.

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Full Answer

There are four broad categories of e-commerce. Business-to-Business, B2B, involves commercial transactions within businesses such as wholesalers to retailers and manufacturers to distributors. Pricing is based on quantity and is often negotiable. The participants are both businesses, resulting in high volume and market value. There are two major components in these transactions: e-infrastructure and e-markets.

B2C eCommerce, Business-to-Consumer, involves businesses selling to the general public through software that utilizes shopping cart catalogs. It is the earliest and the second largest type of e-commerce. Increasing consumer access to information reduces the transaction costs. The cost of developing and maintaining a website is relatively cheap, and this reduces market entry barriers.

C2B eCommerce, Consumer-to-Business, is when a consumer posts his products, with a set budget, online and businesses review these products and place bids. The consumer selects the company that meets his expectations to complete the project. This method is characterized by the development of online auctions and electronic marketplaces, especially in vertical industries where businesses can bid among multiple suppliers.

In C2C eCommerce, Consumer-to-Consumer, people post their products and services for sale to other consumers. A good example of a site that allow such transactions is eBay.

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