What is e-commerce? Types, Examples, and Benefits

What is e-commerce? 

E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services through the internet, and the transfer of money and data to finish the sales. It’s also acknowledged as electronic commerce or internet commerce. Presently, questions about e-commerce usually center around which channels are best to execute business online.

Types of e-commerce

Following are the most traditional types of e-commerce models:

  • Business to Consumer (B2C): B2C e-commerce is the most popular e-commerce model. Business to the consumer means that the sale is taking place between a business and a consumer, like when you purchase a carpet from an online retailer.
  • Business to Business (B2B): B2B e-commerce refers to a business selling a good or service to another business, like a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer. Business-to-business e-commerce isn’t consumer-facing, and usually involves products like raw materials, software, or products that are linked. Manufacturers also sell directly to retailers via B2B e-commerce.
  • Direct to Consumer (D2C): Direct to consumer e-commerce is the newest model of e-commerce. D2C means that a brand is selling directly to its end customer without going through a retailer, distributor, or wholesaler. Subscriptions are a familiar D2C item, and social selling via platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. are famous platforms for direct-to-consumer sales.
  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C): C2C e-commerce refers to the sale of a good or service to another consumer. Consumer-to-consumer sales take place on platforms like eBay, Etsy, Fivver, etc.
  • Consumer to Business (C2B): Consumer to business is when an individual sells their services or products to a business organization. C2B includes influencers offering exposure, photographers, consultants, freelance writers, etc.

Examples of e-commerce

Retail – Retail is selling the product directly to the consumer without an intermediary.

Dropshipping – Selling the products that are manufactured and shipped to consumers through a third party.

Digital products – Downloadable things like templates, courses, e-books, Tools, software, cloud-based products, or media that must be purchased for use. These represent a high percentage of e-commerce transactions.

Wholesale –  Wholesale products are normally sold to a retailer, who then sells the products to consumers.

Services – These are skills like coaching, writing, marketing, etc., that are purchased and paid for online.

Subscription – A popular Direct-to-Consumer(D2C) model, subscription services are the recurring purchases of products or services regularly.

Benefits of e-commerce

Online commerce offers plenty of benefits. Let’s look at some of them

Convenience

E-commerce offers a simple and faster purchasing experience. Providing 24-hour sales, quick delivery, and easy returns.

Customer experience

E-commerce marketplaces can create valuable user profiles. This enhances the customer experience by making shoppers feel understood on a personal level, improving the chances of brand loyalty.

Global marketplace

Customers from throughout the world can easily shop for e-commerce sites – companies are no longer limited by geography or physical boundaries.

Minimized expenses

Digital sellers can start online stores with minimum cost. So it doesn’t require more investment.

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