There are several forms of e-commerce, depending on the characteristics of the parties entering into the trading relationship. Let us highlight the most popular ones.
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C) – retail sales from companies to individuals through online venues.
- Business-to-Business (B2B) – companies sell services and goods to each other by entering into cooperation agreements with each other.
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) – commercial relationships between consumers. A prime example is buying and selling on Avito and eBay.
B2B. Business to business: A form of relationship in which commercial businesses and organizations are parties to transactions. In terms of volume of funds in circulation, B2B is the largest category of e-commerce.
B2C. Business to consumer: Originally, e-commerce was based on providing services to the end consumer, so this form has long been the largest in terms of turnover. A simple example of a B2C system is an online shop, where a customer can choose a product he or she likes and pay for it using online payment facilities.
C2C. Consumer to consumer. This refers to a commercial relationship between individuals. Through specially designed marketplaces, individuals offer goods and services without the use of intermediaries.
B2G. Business to government. This is a fairly young but fast growing form of business relationship. It includes various tenders or public procurement services.
In addition, there are business models that work in the opposite direction (C2B or G2B), aimed at supporting or offering services to businesses. These forms of relationships do not yet have much reach and are still in the development stage.
P2P (Peer-to-Peer) – ‘relationship between persons’.
The principle of such interaction is very simple: a business trades with another business. Internet platforms make it possible to greatly simplify the transaction at all stages and to make the trade more rapid and transparent (ecommerce developers). Often, in such cases, the customer’s representative has the ability to interactively control the order fulfilment process by working with the seller’s databases. Information about goods can be presented both on websites accessible to all users on the Internet and on web resources accessible only to authorised users. An example of a B2B transaction might be the sale of website templates to companies for later use as the basis for the design of the company’s own web resource. Of course, this includes any interaction that involves the wholesale delivery of goods or similar fulfilment of orders. An example of such interactions would be for an online dealer to place an order in a personal account on the distributor’s website.
In this case, the company already trades directly with the customer (an individual rather than a legal entity). As a rule, it is a retail sale of goods. This way of carrying out a commercial transaction allows the customer to simplify and speed up the purchase procedure. He does not have to go to the shop to select the desired product: it is enough to browse the characteristics on the supplier’s website, choose the desired configuration and order the product with delivery. For the retailer, the Internet’s capabilities allow him to track demand more quickly (in addition to saving on space and staffing). Examples of this type of commerce are traditional online shops aimed at a target group of direct consumers of goods. Since 2010, so-called social commerce, or the sphere of selling goods and services in social networks, has developed.
Apart from the most common e-commerce schemes described above, there are several others. They are not as popular, but are still used in some specific cases. These are the interactions of both entrepreneurs and consumers with government agencies. Lately, many tax collection operations, filling in forms, delivery order forms, working with customs have started to be carried out with the help of Internet technologies.