Different types of E-commerce

By on April 6, 2012

E-commerce can be classified into five different types. They are:

  1. Business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce.
  2. Business to business (B2B) e-commerce.
  3. Consumer to consumer (C2C) e-commerce.
  4. Peer to peer (P2P) e-commerce.
  5. M-commerce (Thanasankit, 2003).

Business to consumer e-commerce (B2C)

This type of e-commerce is about selling goods to the consumer. According to Jaworsky and Rayport (2003), business to consumer e-commerce is a market-driven perspective because firms are responsive to the change and need of market places. It includes online retailers, market creators, content providers and service providers.   It was started in 1995 first by Amazon. From then on it has been witnessing a significant increase in demand among both consumers and businesses. In 2010, B2C E-commerce has made around $255 billion turnover.

Business to business (B2B)

As the name suggests, B2B e-commerce is about selling goods and services between businesses. B2B also has a huge market. It includes e-distributors and e-procurement companies. It has been identified that, in 2010 around $ 3.6 trillions of transactions have been made in United States both online or offline.

Consumer to consumer (C2C)

It deals with selling products and services between consumers. C2C e-commerce works when one consumer puts his or her product in the internet market on auction or sale for another consumer to buy and make profit through it. It has been identified that, in 2010, global C2C market was $ 80 billion.

Peer to peer (P2P)

P2P e-commerce is one in which users send files to web servers in e-commerce, through shared resources. It helps in making money with the help of advertisements where internet users have shared their files (Kenneth, 2008). For example, Bit torrent is widely used by P2P networks in order to download video and software by customers.


It  is about use of wireless devices to enable business transactions. It uses wireless network to connect to devices such as Iphone, Black Berry and laptop for executing business transactions. Once the devices are connected to the network, consumers can make use of them to conduct price comparisons, banking, stock trades and much more.


  • Thanasankit T (2003), E-commerce and cultural values, Idea Group Publishing, London.
  • Jaworski J B  and Rayport J F (2003), Introduction to Ecommerce, Tata McGraw Hill, New         Delhi.
  • Kenneth L C (2008), E-commerce, Pearson Education India, New Delhi, pp 56.