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Types of e-Commerce

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Identify the three basic types of e-Commerce. How do their strategic roles differ? What are the benefits and disadvantages to organizations, sellers, and consumers?

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E-Commerce in its simplest sense consists of buying and selling things electronically. Thus e-commerce stands for electronic commerce. It is a subset of e-business. A more technical definition is: "e-commerce involves digitally enabled commercial transactions between and among organizations and individuals [1]." Some examples of e-Commerce include online shopping, electronic payments, online auctions, internet banking, online ticketing etc.

The most common types of e-Commerce are

1. Business to Business (B2B)
2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

B2B e-commerce is simply defined as ecommerce between companies. i.e. companies doing business with each other such as manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers, for example, Intel making microprocessors for Dell, HP etc.

B2C or commerce between companies and consumers, involves consumers getting goods, products or services over the web, e.g. Dell and HP selling computers to their customers. This type of business is generally carried out through catalogs utilizing shopping cart software.

C2C is a business between individuals or consumers. This is a type of a business where one individual or consumer sells things to another individual or consumer via online portals such as eBay, free classified sites, auction sites etc.

There are also other forms of electronic commerce emerging in the market such as m-Commerce which is a short ...

Solution Summary

The expert identifies the three basic types of e-commerce. How their strategic roles differ are determined.