I came across the concept of e-commerce when I was in secondary school. One of my friends had started buying clothes online and she was eagerly telling me how convenient it was.
“You can just buy whatever you want from home! You don’t even need to leave your house to shop!”
E-commerce is a platform whereby people can buy and sell goods and services electronically. Most e-commerces are found on the Internet.
Nowadays, it is uncommon for businesses and government agencies not to have a website where people can purchase and carry out transactions online from the comfort of their homes. Given the myriad of benefits of e-commerce, such as conveniene and cost reductions, it’s no surprise that businesses and government agencies are jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon.
Basically, there are 6 basic types of e-commerce.
1. Business to Business (B2B)
B2B e-commerce refer to businesses that buy and sell goods and services electronically. The transaction between a manufacturer and a supplier depicts this type of e-commerce. Alibaba is one example of it.
2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
Amazon, ASOS and Zalora are B2C e-commerces. B2C e-commerce is probably one of the e-commerce types that we’re most familiar with. It is the type of e-commerce whereby consumers buy goods and services from businesses. The online shop that my friend was talking about is an example of this.
3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
This is probably another kind of e-commerce that we’re most familiar with. Basically, this is the e-commerce whereby transactions are generally between customers. Carousell is a type of C2C e-commerce as it allows consumers to buy and sell their things (old and new) online.
4. Consumer to Business (C2B)
As the name suggests, this is the opposite of B2C e-commerce. C2B e-commerce allows consumers to provide and sell their goods and services to businesses. A consumer can sell his/her idea to a business through a C2B e-commerce. An example of it is iStockphoto, which is a platform for consumers to sell their photographs, images and designs to businesses.
5. Business to Administration (B2A)
This platform essentially allows online transactions between businesses and government agencies. This includes filing corporate taxes and applying for permits and licenses. Bizfile is a B2A platform that allows online applications for setting up a company in Singapore.
6. Consumer to Administration (C2A)
Similar to B2A e-commerce, C2A entails online transactions between consumers and government agencies. IRAS is an example of C2A platform, where it allows people to file their income taxes.