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Categories of e-commerce

In E-Commerce business is possible in various combinations like:

(i) B2B – Business to Business

(ii) B2C – Business to Consumer

(iii) C2B – Consumer to Business

(iv) B2E – Business to Employee

(v) C2C – Consumer to Consumer

(i) B2B – Business to Business:

E-Commerce has been in use for quite a few years and is more commonly known as EDI (electronic data interchange). In the past, EDI was conducted on a direct link of some form between the two businesses where as today the most popular connection is the internet. B2B E-Commerce could be used as a significant enabler in their move towards greater trading partner collaboration. E-Commerce technologies have allowed even the smallest businesses to improve the processes for interfacing with customers. They are now able to develop services for individual clients rather than provide a standard service.

The two businesses pass information electronically to each other.

Typically in the B2B environment, E-Commerce can be used in the following processes:

(i) Procurement

(ii) Order fulfillment.

(iii) Managing trading-partner relationships.

B2B is helpful in reduction in transaction costs and improvement of product quality and customer service and insistence by large businesses that all of their suppliers link into their e-commerce system as a condition of doing business. In addition, there is greater demand by final consumers for fast order fulfillment and the ability to track an order as it is being processed and delivered.

(ii) B2C – Business to Consumer:

Business to Consumer e-commerce is where the consumer accesses the system of the supplier. It is still a two way function but is usually done solely through the Internet.

B2C can also relate to receiving information such as share prices, insurance quotes, on­line newspapers, or weather forecasts. When the product cannot be physically examined, traditional commerce has no advantage over the convenience of electronic commerce. The largest business-to-consumer e-commerce involves intangible product that can be delivered directly to the consumer’s computer cover the network is composed of five broad categories-entertainment, travel newspaper/magazines, financial services, and e-mail. Entertainment, online games, music and video, is the largest category of products sold to consumers.

(iii) C2B – Consumer to Business:

Consumer to Business is a growing area where the consumer requests a specific service from the business. Like reservation in a hotel in a specific time period.

(iv) B2E – Business to Employee:

Business to Employee e-commerce is growing in use it is in practice in business like pharmacy marketing, supply chain management, insurance, IT companies etc. This form of e-commerce is more commonly known as an ‘Intranet’. An intranet is a web site developed to provide employees of an organization with information. The intranet is usually access through the organizations network, it can and is often extended to an entrant which uses the Internet but restricts uses by sign on and password.

(v) C2C – Consumer to Consumer:

These sites are usually some form of an auction site. The consumer lists items for sale with a commercial auction site. Other consumers access the site and place bids on the items. The site then provides a connection between the seller and buyer to complete the transaction.


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