Ready to get your store online? No problem! There are many ways to classify ecommerce websites. You can categorize them according to the products or services that they sell, the parties that they transact with, or even the platforms on which they operate.
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1. Stores that sell physical goods
These are your typical online retailers. They can include apparel stores, homeware businesses, and gift shops, just to name a few. Stores that sell physical goods showcase the items online and enable shoppers to add the things they like in their virtual shopping carts. Once the transaction is complete, the store typically ships the orders to the shopper, though a growing number of retailers are implementing initiatives such as in-store pickup.
2. Service-based e-tailers
Services can also be bought and sold online. Online consultants, educators, and freelancers are usually the ones engaging in ecommerce. The buying process for services depends on the merchant. Some may allow you to purchase their services straightaway from their website or platform. An example of this comes from Fiverr.com, a freelance marketplace. People who want to buy services from Fiverr must place an order on the website before the seller delivers their services.
3. eCommerce Digital products
Ecommerce is, by nature, highly digital, so it’s no surprise that many merchants sell “e-goods” online. Common types of digital products include ebooks, online courses, software, graphics, and virtual goods.
Examples of merchants that sell digital products are Shutterstock (a site that sells stock photos), Udemy (a platform for online courses), and Slack (a company that provides real-time messaging, archiving and search for teams).
Another effective way to classify ecommerce sites? Look at the parties participating in the transaction. These typically include:
1. Business to consumer (B2C)
– Transactions happen between businesses and consumers. In B2C ecommerce, businesses are the ones selling products or services to end-users (i.e. consumers).
Online retail typically works on a B2C model. Retailers with online stores such as Walmart, Macy’s, and IKEA are all examples of businesses that engage in B2C ecommerce.
2. Business to business (B2B)
– As its name states, B2B ecommerce pertains to transactions conducted between two businesses. Any company whose customers are other businesses operate on a B2B model.
Examples include Xero, an online accounting software for small businesses, ADP, a payroll processing company, and Square, a payments solution for SMBs.
3. Consumer to business (C2B)
– Consumer to business ecommerce happens when a consumer sells or contributes monetary value to a business. Many crowdsourcing campaigns fall under C2B ecommerce.
Soma, a business that sells eco-friendly water filters is one example of a company that engaged in B2C ecommerce. Back in 2012, Soma launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the manufacturing of their product. The project was successful, and Soma went on to raise $147,444.
4. Consumer to consumer (C2C)
– As you might have guessed, C2C ecommerce happens when something is bought and sold between two consumers. C2C commonly takes place on online marketplaces such as eBay, in which one individual sells a product or service to another.
5. Government to business (G2B)
– G2C transactions take place when a company pays for government goods, services, or fees online. Examples could be a business paying for taxes using the Internet.
6. Business to government (B2G)
– When a government entity uses the Internet to purchases goods or services from a business, the transaction may fall under B2G ecommerce. Let’s say a city or town hires a web design firm to update its website. This type of deal may be considered a form of B2G.
7. Consumer to government (G2C)
– Consumers can also engage in B2C ecommerce. People paying for traffic tickets or paying for their car registration renewals online may fall under this category.