Large Web Portals
If you’re starting an ecommerce business, odds are you’ll fall into at least one of these four general categories. Each has its benefits and challenges, and many companies operate in several of these categories simultaneously. Knowing what bucket your big idea fits in will help you think creatively about what your opportunities and threats might be.
Business to Consumer
Business to Business
Consumer to Business
Consumer to Consumer
B2C businesses sell to their end-user. The B2C model is the most common business model, so there are many unique approaches under this umbrella. Anything you buy in an online store as a consumer — think wardrobe, household supplies, entertainment — is done as part of a B2C transaction. The decision-making process for a B2C purchase is much shorter than a business-to- business (B2B) purchase, especially for items that have a lower value.
In a B2B business model, a business sells its product or service to another business. Sometimes the buyer is the end user, but often the buyer resells to the consumer. B2B transactions generally have a longer sales cycle, but higher order value and more recurring purchases.
C2B businesses allow individuals to sell goods and services to companies. In this ecommerce model, a site might allow customers to post the work they want to be completed and have businesses bid for the opportunity. Affiliate marketing services would also be considered C2B.
A C2C business — also called an online marketplace — connects consumers to exchange goods and services and typically make their money by charging transaction or listing fees. Online businesses like Craigslist and eBay pioneered this model in the early days of the internet. C2C businesses benefit from self-propelled growth by motivated buyers and sellers, but face a key challenge in quality control and technology maintenance.