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Types of E-commerce Models Explained (B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B)


The phenomenon of e-commerce, that is, installing commerce online, means exchanging products and services online. It has taken over all the stages of the business and brought brand new experiences to consumers that never before had. E-commerce businesses provide an edge to the market by extending outreach, reducing expenditures, and offering convenience. Consumerism provides easy, anytime, on-the-go shopping, helping them collect prices quickly and allowing them to have a greater amount of products in their arsenal.

E-commerce operates in a variety of ways including business-to-consumer (B2C) where companies sell their products to consumers, consumer-to-consumer (C2C) in which the individual sells their products to other buyers and business-to-business (B2B) where companies trade with each other. Recognizing and using such e-commerce models is very important for companies to be able to choose the most appropriate option for their audience’s needs and product nature.

Types of e-commerce models

Well-known e-commerce provides a diverse range of models among which buyers and sellers are linked on the web. Here's a breakdown of the four main types you mentioned, each with definitions and examples:

  1. Business-to-Business (B2B):

Setting up this type of model, companies sell and buy products in one-to-one dealings with other companies. This arrangement consists of bulk purchases, and sophisticated bargains, and is heavily dependent upon trust between suppliers and customers.


  • The office supplies company, probably offer wholesale printer cartridges to the business.
  • Specific ingredient distributor, which supplies restaurants with ingredients for their menus.
  • Industrial devices' manufacturer supplying machinery to a factory.
  1. Business-to-Consumer (B2C):

This is the most usual e-commerce model where goods and services are offered to individual customers directly by e-commerce companies. It is a long-term strategy and notes in that area of user-readiness, speed, and a large selection for individual use.


  • Amazon is the outlet for shoppers who want books, electronics, and other essential commodity categories.
  • The year sells clothing directly to customers from their online stores like Nike and Zara.
  • Online travel agencies allow consumers to purchase flight tickets and hotel reservations online.
  1. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C):

C2C platforms enable personal sellers to market products and services for global business purposes. They are intermediaries handing over the role of helping to deal with the market and providing a safe meet-up environment for customers and vendors.


  • For example, websites like eBay or Etsy that are used to sell clothes for second-hand, handmade crafts, etc.
  • P2P sharing platforms where people can rent out their private apartments, autos and other items.
  • Advertisement sites based on Classifieds, where people can post used sets of furniture, electronics, or other items.
  1. Consumer-to-Business (C2B):

This model flips the traditional B2C model. Here, individual consumers offer their services or products directly to businesses. Often, it involves freelance work, crowdsourcing projects, or selling unique skills or creations.


  • Freelancing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr where individuals offer their writing, design, or programming skills to businesses.
  • Stock photo websites where photographers can sell their images to businesses for use in marketing materials or websites.
  • Crowdsourcing platforms where businesses can solicit ideas, designs, or solutions from a large pool of consumers.


Businesses that offer services and products to other businesses as well as on-demand or subscription-based businesses. B2C, business-to-consumer, is the type of business people like to learn about the most, selling stuff to real customers, like Amazon or your favourite online store. Business-to-business (B2B) is a kind of selling/buying that means businesses are selling products or services to other businesses. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is the opposite of this: they do not act as a company but rather the people directly sell to each other on online platforms similar to eBay.

The less frequent type of sales models includes Consumer-to-Business (C2B) in which consumers sell the products or services to businesses and Business-to-Administration (B2A) and Consumer-to-Administration (C2A) in which sellers and consumers both share products or services to government agencies. The digital supply chain will go one step forward and continue showcasing more imaginative methods.

Related Articles:


  1. What are the different types of ecommerce?

There are four main types of e-commerce:

  • Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
  • Business-to-Business (B2B)
  • Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
  • Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
  1. What is the most common type of ecommerce?

Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the most common type of e-commerce. This is because it is the most straightforward type of e-commerce, and it is easy for consumers to shop online.

  1. What are the benefits of e-commerce?

For businesses, e-commerce can help them reach a wider audience, sell more products, and reduce costs. For consumers, e-commerce can provide them with a wider selection of products, lower prices, and the convenience of shopping from home.

  1. What are some challenges of e-commerce?

There are also some challenges associated with e-commerce. For businesses, challenges can include setting up an online store, marketing their products online, and processing online payments. For consumers, challenges can include security concerns, fraud, and the inability to see or touch products before they buy them.

  1. What is the future of e-commerce?

The future of e-commerce is bright. As technology continues to develop, we can expect to see new and innovative e-commerce models emerge.

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