An eCommerce website sells things online. The website could be owned by a company, a single person or by a group of people. It supervises the online purchases and transactions.
eCommerce sites have grown into multiple versions and types. Here we have listed them for the better understanding of how different types of trades and selling happens online.
According to the Type of the Market
By type of market, we mean if the parties of a trade are both businesses, both customers or one customer and one business. These known types are seen in the normal, offline business world. Here, they are just taken to categorize online business.
1. B2B (Business to Business)
B2B eCommerce sites are businesses selling services and products to other businesses. For instance a machine-maker selling a tailor-made chain-saw machine to a wood production house.
Such websites have comparatively low visitors than other popular types of eCommerce sites i.e. an online retailer, yet, generally the price of an average order is higher. Alibaba.com is a B2B online marketplace where many vendors and production houses sells things online to other production houses.
2. B2C (Business to Customer)
This is the regular online retailer. Businesses selling to customers. It is done by the business owning its own eCommerce site or selling its product on a marketplace or even on a normal eCommerce website where only selected premium sellers are present. The number of transactions and customers stays higher than the B2B transactions.
3. C2C (Customer to Customer)
Such market type allows customers to interact with each other and sell things to each other. Type of the product isn’t restricted to only manufactured or firsthand products. A genuine online marketplace is the pure example of a C2C market where customers are selling their things to other customers. Such market could have variety of products ranging from new, second hand products, home-made products to even things of antiquity.
According to the Number of the Sellers
Here, the number of the sellers available on the site defines in which category the site falls in.
1. Vendor Specific – Single Seller
A vendor specific eCommerce website is selling products of a single company. All the product range and services are listed on the website for sale. No product/services of other company are shown. Today, most of the big manufacturers also include this feature on their corporate sites. There could be also an artist’ sites selling its art-products online or a you-tuber’s site selling related merchandises. These are vendor specific eCommerce sites, where only a single manufacturer’s products are being sold.
2. Online Retailers – Selected Premium Sellers
General people are most familiar with this sites. Known examples of such online retailers are Amazon, Flipkart, etc. These companies doesn’t restrict the sellers to one production house, as a Vendor specific eCommerce site does, but also doesn’t open up selling feature to everyone either. The sellers here are chosen by the site to maintain the trust, product quality and control over other functions of the site. These premium sellers needs to match some of the predefined qualities set by the eCommerce website owner.
3. Online marketplace – Everyone Is a Seller
These are called online marketplaces. Just like in a real life marketplace, you see international companies, to a single person selling their things, an online marketplace is the virtual version of such a marketplace, where multiple types of sellers are selling to multiple types of customers. To become a seller, you aren’t required to be selected. You can visit the site, fill the form and begin selling things online through the marketplace. Such marketplace also includes all the types of eCommerce sites into it as there could be a vendors selling their things on their own specific stores on the sites (vendor specific), there could be multinational companies having their stores here (premium sellers) or even a person wanting to sell his old laser could become a seller. Type of things to be sold aren’t also limited to produced or crafted things. It could widen to things of antiquity, rarity, art pieces, and almost everything which could be legally sold. eBay is the most known example of such an online marketplace.
According to the Product Range
1. Single Product
Single product store is dedicated to a single product without selling anything else. Such sites depends on tempting big number of customers to buy the single product.
2. Product, Customers or Industry Specific
Some eCommerce sites sells a specific type of products manufactured by different manufacturers. Their attention is towards selling and serving the consumers of that specific industry. For instance, Diapers.com sells products only related to toddlers. Another site called Etsy.com sells only handmade things.
3. All Products Types
Here, everything is sold on a single website. A retail store is good example and is a place where every type of manufactured products are being sold to customers. Such stores gives a wide-array of products types and options to customers – sometimes counting in millions.
Any eCommerce site is defined mainly by one of these types. Its customer demography, scale and other factors could be understood by understanding which category or categories it sits in.