E-Commerce is an online business transaction and helps with marketing strategies and sales. Nearly thirty years ago, the first recorded online transaction occurred. In 1994, Dan Kohn created a website called NetMarket, where he sold a CD of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales” to a friend. During the same year, Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com. During the 90s, operating an online store was a competitive advantage. Brands that had an online store could reach a new customer base, increase sales, and see early growth. Fast forward to today, and online shopping has become the standard. While brick-and-mortar sales still count for a significant amount of retail sales, investigating the different types of e-commerce is still valuable.
Business-to-Business (B2B) e-Commerce
A B2B transaction is when one business sells to another company. These transactions customize an order on a rolling basis and include bulk pricing, large quantity orders, or special orders that regular consumers wouldn’t need daily. The power behind B2B commerce is that it creates long-lasting relationships when both parties benefit from the transaction and hold up their end of the bargain.
The B2C model is the most traditional transaction type from a customer’s perspective. The model mimics what happens in a physical store but occurs entirely online. Businesses sell products directly to consumers through their websites. In a B2C model, the internet functions as the marketplace, and the e-commerce store functions as the portal between companies and consumers shopping online. Online businesses can post many products and SKUs, giving customers many selections. Services also operate in this manner in a B2C transaction. For example, you can utilize subscription services to enhance your online business.
You might be wondering how a consumer can sell a product to another consumer or what an example of this might be. The Facebook marketplace is a newer example of C2C transactions. However, a platform that’s been around for quite a while is eBay. People can sell products to each other without setting up an online store. Traditionally, people would have yard sales or sell products at a flea market, and C2C provides an alternative.
Traditionally, consumers receive value from a company. However, a C2B transaction is the opposite. Consumers can provide a service to a company to expand their existing business through a reverse auction system. The consumer’s role would be to bid on particular projects which allow them to bring value back to the company. The benefit of this is that businesses can reach broader audiences. For example, an influencer can charge a fee to a business to have their product featured in one of their videos. The consumer sets the price and has an advantage since they are naming the providing the service.
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