The 6 Types of eCommerce Explained

Types of Ecommerce

Generally, there are six main models of ecommerce that businesses can be categorized into:

  1. B2C.
  2. B2B.
  3. C2C.
  4. C2B.
  5. B2A.
  6. C2A.

Let’s review each type of electronic commerce in a bit more detail.

1. Business-to-Consumer (B2C).

B2C ecommerce encompasses transactions made between a business and a consumer. B2C is one of the most popular sales models in the ecommerce context. For example, when you buy shoes from an online shoe retailer, it’s a business-to-consumer transaction.

2. Business-to-Business (B2B).

Unlike B2C, B2B ecommerce encompasses sales made between businesses, such as a manufacturer and a wholesaler or retailer. B2B is not consumer-facing and happens only between businesses.

Business-to-business sales often focus on raw materials or products that are repackaged before being sold to customers.

3. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C).

C2C is one of the earliest forms of ecommerce. Customer-to-customer relates to the sale of products or services between customers. This includes C2C selling relationships, such as those seen on eBay or Amazon.

4. Consumer-to-Business (C2B).

C2B reverses the traditional ecommerce model, meaning individual consumers make their products or services available for business buyers.

For example, the iStockPhoto business model in which stock photos are available online for purchase directly from different photographers.

5. Business-to-Administration (B2A).

B2A covers the transactions made between online businesses and administrations. An example would be the products and services related to legal documents, social security, etc.

6. Consumer-to-Administration (C2A).

C2A is similar to B2A, but consumers sell online products or services to an administration. C2A might include online consulting for education, online tax preparation, etc.

B2A and C2A are focused on increased efficiency within the government via the support of information technology.