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Types of E-commerce

If you're considering entering the world of online sales through e-commerce, it's crucial to explore the diverse forms that e-commerce takes. There are several typical e-commerce models:
  • B2C - Businesses sell to individual or end consumers
  • B2C - Businesses sell to other businesses
  • C2B - Consumers sell to businesses
  • C2C - Consumers sell to other consumers
  • B2G - Businesses sell to governments or government agencies
  • C2G - Consumers sell to governments or government agencies
  • D2C - Direct sell to customer
  • Online Marketplace - an e-commerce platform that offers many different products from many different sellers
  • O2O - Online to Offline

1) Business-to-Consumer (B2C)

  • Businesses directly sell products or services to end consumers.
  • This model represents the most common and recognizable form of e-commerce.
  • Examples include: Physical Products, digital products, subscription service and many more.

2) Business-to-Business (B2B)

  • Businesses sell products or services to other businesses, usually take place between manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers.
  • These transactions often involve higher order values and more recurring purchases.
  • Examples include: office supplies, raw materials, industrial equipment, software solutions, and professional services.

3) Consumer-to-Business (C2B)

  • Consumers sell products or services to businesses.
  • This modern trend reverses the traditional retail model, connecting businesses with freelancers and social media influencers.
  • Examples include: freelance services(graphic design, writers, photography), consulting, personalized products, and affiliate marketing.

4) Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)

  • Individuals sell products and services directly to other individuals.
  • Usually involve online platforms that connect consumers, facilitating buying and selling among individuals.
  • Examples include: online auction, used goods, crafts, collectibles, services like tutoring and many more.

5) Business-to-Government (B2G)

  • Businesses sell products or services to governments or government agencies.
  • Often including requests for proposals (RFPs) and bid solicitations.
  • Examples include: government software solutions, infrastructure development, legal services and many more.

6) Consumer-to-Government (C2G)

  • Online transactions where individual consumers engage with government entities or public administration
  • Examples include: paying taxes online, healthcare appointments, applying for permits & licenses, donations and contributions.

7) Direct-to-consumer (DTC)

  • Businesses sell products or services directly to consumers without involving retailers, wholesalers, or distributors.
  • This model typically involves brands or manufacturers directly selling to end-users, eliminating intermediaries or third parties.
  • Examples include: Disney Streaming Services, subscriptions like Netflix, customisable product brand like christy Ng, social selling through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest, and many more.

8) Online Marketplace

  • An online marketplace is a platform that brings together multiple sellers and buyers, allowing them to conduct transactions within the platform.
  • In this model, sellers can showcase their products, and buyers can conveniently browse, compare, and make purchases from different sellers, all in one place.
  • Popular marketplaces used in Malaysia include: Shopee, Lazada, Alibaba, Amazon, eBay, Carousell, and, pgmall, Airbnb,, PropertyGuru, and many more.

9) Online-to-Offine (O2O)

  • Connects traditional businesses with modern platforms and entices potential customers from online channels to brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Uses email campaigns and targeted digital ads to convert online interest & guides customers to complete purchases in physical stores.
  • Examples include: Grab, Foodpanda Dine in & Pick up, Zalora pop-up store, Shopee & Lazada in-store pick up, Lotus's order and Collect and many more

In conclusion, there are various e-commerce models available, and you can choose one or even multiple models that best fit your business. Many online businesses are adopting hybrid e-commerce platforms to effectively cater to the demands of their target markets.

28 Aug 2023