Types of Electronic Commerce

There are many various classifies of electronic commerce and many different methods to characterize these clusters. Academics determined a number of frameworks for classifying electronic commerce but each one want to illustrate it form a unique perspective. The main different classifies of electronic commerce are Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C), Consumer-to-business (C2B) and Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce).

B2B (Business-to-Business)

Business-to-Business is a type of commerce transaction that exists between businesses or a transaction that occurs between a company and other company to transfer of services and products. A possible explanation for this might be that Business-to-Business includes online wholesaling in which businesses sell materials, products and services to other businesses on the websites.

The Internet and reliance of all businesses upon other companies for supplies, utilities, and services has enhanced the popularity of B2B e-commerce and made B2B the fastest growing segment within the e-commerce environment. In recent years extranets (more than one intranet) have been effectively used for B2B operations. B2B e-commerce creates dynamic interaction among the business partners; this represents a fundamental shift in how business will be conducted in the 21st century.

Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Broadvision, Commerce One, Heatheon/Webmd, 12 Technologies, Inc., Ariba , Aspect Development, Baan, BEA Systems, Internet Capital Group, VerticalNet, Vignette are some of the major vendors of e-commerce and B2B solutions.

Companies using B2B e-commerce relationship observe cost savings by increasing the speed, reducing errors, and eliminating many manual activities.

Web-based B-to-B includes:

• Direct selling and support to business (as in the case of Cisco where customers can buy and also get technical support, downloads, patches online).

• E-procurement (also known as industry portals) where a purchasing agent can shop for supplies from vendors, request proposals, and, in some cases, bid to make a purchase at a desired price.
For example the autoparts wholesaler (; and the chemical B-to-B exchange (

• Information sites provide information about a particular industry for its companies and their employees. These include specialised search sites and trade and industry standards organisation sites. E.g. newmarket is a leading portal for B-to-B news.

Advantages of B2B ecommerce:

• A B2B e-commerce lowers production cost by eliminating many labor intensive tasks.

• More timely information is achieved by the formation of a direct online connection in the supply chain.

• Accuracy is increased because fewer manual steps are involved.

• Cycle time improves because flow of information and products between business partners is made simpler. Since, raw materials are received faster and information related to customer demands is more quickly transferred.

• Naturally this close communication between the business partners improves overall communication.

• Increased communications results in improved inventory management and control.


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