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Electronic commerce or e-commerce is a business model that allows transactions to be made over the internet. Nowadays, e-commerce has become increasingly popular amongst the young and old alike and a lot of entrepreneurs have now switched to, or integrated electronic commerce into their businesses as well. A great example of how successful e-commerce businesses can be is Amazon.com; an online shopping site that is used by people from all over the world.

Despite being some of the most popular electronic commerce websites, online shopping is not the only type of e-commerce business. Electronic commerce has a lot of types and is a much broader platform than online shopping; it can constitute of trading of information, advertisements, entertainment and so much more.

 The most common types of electronic commerce businesses include:

  • The business to business or B2B model. This is when businesses deal directly with one another and buy or sell products or services from one business to another. Manufacturers like Southware are B2B companies because they have strict policies to only sell to a limited distribution chain. Alibaba is another such example of a B2B business. It involves the buying and selling of goods in bulk at very low prices which makes it an extremely profitable platform for businesses to carry out transactions.
  • The business to consumer or B2C model. This type of e-commerce allows businesses to directly deal with customers and is in fact, the most popular type of e-commerce businesses. Amazon.com lies in this spectrum of electronic commerce as a number of different companies or businesses sell their products online to individual buyers.
  • The consumer to consumer or C2C model. This type of electronic commerce is a lot like the businesses to consumer model, however, instead of businesses selling products and services to consumers; consumers conduct business with other consumers. Ebay, Craigslist, and Kijiji are examples of electronic commerce platforms that allow consumers to sell to other consumers by putting up advertisements and classifieds on the website.

With the dramatic increase in technology and the expanding use of the internet; the e-commerce industry continues to grow and thrive and is expected to completely take over brick and mortar retail stores in the recent future. In order to keep up, therefore, companies must incorporate electronic commerce into their businesses so as to keep them up and running.

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