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The Meaning of E-Commerce

What is E-commerce?

Electronic or internet commerce (abbreviated as E-commerce, ecommerce, Ecommerce, eCommerce, or e commerce) generally refers to online business transactions. The most popular being the internet-based selling and buying of products and services. This can occur in any supported device, but the sales transaction is only complete upon money and data transfer. E-Commerce also entails related online activities, including auctions, online ticketing, and internet banking and payment gateways, among others.

Different business models of E-commerce

E-commerce has three broad business models based on the type of people participating in the business traction. These models are B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to Consumer), and C2C (Consumer To Consumer). Besides these three, other models have recently evolved, including C2B (Consumer to Business) and D2C (Direct to Consumer).

Business to Business (B2B)

B2B refers to sales transactions between businesses. It involves one business entity selling its products or services to another business entity. This can be a manufacturer selling to a wholesaler or a wholesaler selling to a retailer, or even manufacturers selling directly to retailers. The only participants not involved in this model are consumers. Otherwise, the B2B model typically involves raw products and bulk buying, etc.

Business to Consumer (B2C)

The B2C model is more popular than other E-commerce business models. In this model, the merchant or business provides products and services directly to the consumer rather than through another business. Supermarkets selling their merchandise to consumers, often in small quantities via the internet is a classic example of the B2C model. Buying is in small measurable quantities rather than bulk.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

The C2C model involves consumers selling to consumers. In this sense, a consumer who had previously purchased a product resells it to another consumer. This business model is typical of marketplaces, including eBay, Etsy, Fivver, and Craigslist, etc. The model is rather useful for the lucrative selling of products or items for which a consumer no longer has use.

Consumer to Business (C2B)

The C2B model involves an individual, the consumer selling his or her products or services to a business organization. Social media influencers offering exposure, brand ambassador, project consultants, photographers, and the ilk belong under this model.

D2C (Direct to Consumer).

D2C is the latest E-commerce business model. Under this model, a business or brand sells directly to its consumers, without passing through middle actors such as wholesalers, distributors, or retailers. D2C model is popular for selling on social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

Benefits of E-commerce

It is not without strong reason that E-commerce is very popular today, having grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. This comes on the backdrop of vast advancements in information and communication technologies exploiting the evolutionary power of the internet. Consequently, more businesses through E-commerce are leveraging the power of technology and the internet. This has come with numerous advantages, including:

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