The different forms of electronic commerce
The world of e-commerce is very large and includes several distinct models. It is possible to make 2 classifications:
A global classification based on the business model (who sells and who buys)
Another based on the business model.
1. According to the business profile
Each business goes to a specific type of customer. This allows us to distinguish the following types of e-commerce:
B2B (Business-to-Business): Companies whose end customers are other companies or organizations. For example, a construction equipment store that is aimed at architects or interior designers.
B2C (Business-to-Consumer): companies that sell products or services directly to end consumers. This is the most common form, and there are countless examples in the fields of fashion, electronics, etc.
C2B (Consumer-to-Business): portals on which consumers offer a product or service that businesses can acquire. These are classic freelance job portals like Elance, Odesk, Humaniance, Hopwork, etc.
C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer): companies that facilitate the sale of products between consumers. The most telling examples are eBay, Leboncoin or any portal selling second-hand articles between individuals.
These forms of e-commerce are the most common. There are also other types, such as the G-C (Goverment-to-Consumer), the C2G (Consumer-to-Goverment) or the B2E (Business-to-Employer).
As we can see, e-commerce brings together realities that go beyond a simple purchase in a shop.
2. According to the business model
The online world is a still undeveloped sector. Technological changes are constant and new online businesses are responding to new needs.
We can differentiate the type of e-commerce according to the income generated or the way in which the exchange takes place between the buyer and the seller:
Online store with its own products: it's the first thing you think about when thinking about e-commerce. The same characteristics as a physical store, in an online version.
Dropshipping: for the customer, it seems to be a normal e-commerce. The difference is that a third party sends the product, not the seller. To know more about dropshipping, we advise you to read our complete guide dedicated to dropshipping (in French).
E-commerce Affiliate: Affiliate businesses go even further than dropshipping. In this case, not only does the store not send the product, but the sale does not take place on its platform. The e-commerce redirects the customer to another shop that pays him a commission once the sale is concluded. Affiliation with Amazon is the most common. For example: Biodegradable.es. If you are interested in these models, do not hesitate to read our articles dedicated specifically to affiliate marketing or sale without stock.
Membership: This type of e-commerce seeks to have its customers make recurring purchases. The preferred way to obtain them is through a periodic subscription (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). This type of membership is currently in vogue with the "surprise boxes". This is a box sent every month (or at another frequency) and contains some products. One of our customers, NUOObox, offers for example boxes of natural and organic cosmetics. The advantage of this model is to ensure a recurring income each month.