Six different types of E-commerce
Generally speaking, e-commerce is an online transaction between a supplier and a client.
1. Business-to-Business (B2B)
This e-commerce type encompasses all electronic transactions of goods or services, conducted between companies, i.e. companies sell their goods online to other companies. They are not engaged in sales to the consumer public.
In a Business-to-Consumer e-commerce environment, companies sell their online goods to consumers who are the end-users of their products or services. Usually, B2C E-commerce web shops have an open access for any visitor and user.
There are already many virtual stores and malls on the Internet, which sell all kinds of consumer goods, such as; computers, software, books, shoes, cars, food, financial products, digital publications, etc.
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) type e-commerce encompasses all electronic transactions of goods or services conducted between consumers. Generally, these transactions are conducted through a third party, which provides the online platform where the transactions are actually carried out. eBay.com is a very good example. It is the most popular platform that enables consumers to sell to other consumers.
In C2B, there is a complete reversal of the traditional sense of exchanging goods. Here, consumers offer their products or services online and companies post their bids. Then consumers review the bids and choose companies that meet their price expectations.
A platform that is very common in this type of commerce is the markets that sell royalty-free photographs, images, and media and design elements, such as; iStockphoto.
This part of e-commerce encompasses all transactions conducted online between companies and public administration. This is an area that involves a large amount and a variety of services, particularly in areas such as fiscal, social security, employment, legal documents, and registers, etc. These types of services have increased considerably in recent years with investments made in e-government.
The Consumer-to-Administration model encompasses all electronic transactions conducted between individuals and public administration.
Examples of applications include:
Education – disseminating information, distance learning, etc.
Social Security – through the distribution of information, making payments etc.
Taxes – filing tax returns, payments, etc.
Health – appointments, information about illnesses, and payment of health services, etc.
Both models involving Public Administration (B2A and C2A) are strongly associated to the idea of efficiency and easy usability of the services provided to citizens by the government, with the support of information and communication technologies.