A Guide To The Different Types Of E-Commerce Websites
Shopping online has never been easier. You can get everything you need without stepping foot outside your home, sometimes even in a matter of minutes! This is all thanks to the thriving e-commerce industry that has taken off since the pandemic. If you’re looking to grab a piece of this lucrative pie, you first have to know what types of e-commerce websites are out there.
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Classifying The Types Of E-Commerce Websites
We can look at the different types of e-commerce websites through three lenses:
- Their business model
- The type of e-commerce website
- Their revenue model
The Business Model Lens
This lens makes a clear distinction between businesses and consumers. Mixing and matching the two, there are four categories that we can see. These categories are based on who sells to whom.
1. Business-To-Business (B2B)
As the name suggests, this is when businesses sell to other businesses. Typically, B2B companies do not sell anything an end consumer would use. Instead, they trade products and services that other companies can use in their production process. The B2B market is not very large, and to succeed at this model, you need to produce at a large scale, like the following companies.
- Alibaba – Sells products in bulk for stores to replenish their inventory.
- Amazon Business – Like Alibaba, this branch of Amazon sells products wholesale to other companies.
- Salesforce – Sells software products that help businesses with marketing, sales, and customer service.
2. Business-To-Consumer (B2C)
You have probably used these types of e-commerce websites before. They involve companies selling their products directly to the end consumer. The sites that you visit to buy things like books, clothes, and makeup are all run by B2C businesses like the ones below
- Amazon – Sells everything from smartphones to sofas directly to the end consumer.
- Netflix – Sells video-streaming subscriptions to individual users.
- AliExpress – This B2C version of Alibaba sells things like electronics and toys to individuals.
3. Consumer-To-Consumer (C2C)
In this business model, consumers make and sell products directly to other consumers. These types of e-commerce websites typically act as a platform where buyers and sellers can complete transactions. As an individual, you can use one of the following platforms to sell trinkets or furniture that you no longer need.
- eBay – A platform where you can auction and sell items to other people all over the world.
- Craigslist – A website where you can view and post local advertisements for any product or service.
4. Consumer-To-Business (C2B)
As the name suggests, a C2B website is where individuals offer their products or services to businesses. Freelancers often use these types of e-commerce websites.
- Upwork – A marketplace that connects freelancers and agencies that require their services.
- Fiverr – A freelance service marketplace that companies can hire from.
Types Of E-Commerce Websites
You can use a variety of methods to bring your business idea to life. Here are three different methods to use.
1. Single Brand
This type of e-commerce website sells products or services of only one business or individual. There are no middlemen and the products go directly to the customer. If you’ve never started an e-commerce store before, this is probably the way to go. It isn’t just big brands who can do this. You can find e-commerce website development company to help you set up your online store.
- Salesforce – Does not sell any products from other brands.
- Reliance Retail – Sells everything from groceries to electronics, all under the Reliance brand name.
2. Multi Brand
Large online retailers usually opt for this kind of e-commerce website. They own the website and list goods from a range of different brands.
- Flipkart – Sells multiple types of products, all with different brand names.
- Big Basket – Sells grocery and household items from a variety of brands and manufacturers.
These types of e-commerce websites act as middlemen. They connect sellers and buyers through their online portal. Generally, they do not manufacture products themselves.
- OLX – A platform for people to buy and sell anything from electronics to cars.
- eBay – Curates products from different sellers and offers them to customers.
The Revenue Model Lens
There’s no point in creating an e-commerce website if you don’t make any money from it! Here are the different ways in which you can earn your revenue.
Dropshipping is where individuals sell products on your website, and you handle the shipping. You never really come in contact with any of the products themselves – you just take a commission from the businesses that make the products.
A subscription model is one where you offer continued service for a recurring payment. You could also offer tangible products by delivering a “subscription box” to your customers. These boxes are usually geared towards one theme such as books, stationery, or coffee.
3. Private Labeling
If you make, package, and distribute products yourself, it is called private labeling. Single-brand sellers often use this revenue model. This ensures that your products go straight to the end consumer without any middlemen.
4. White Labeling
White labeling is when you purchase a product from a manufacturer and rebrand and repackage it before selling it online. This revenue model might seem like it’s dishonest, but it is, in fact, legitimate. There is a lot of work that goes into branding and packaging, and that is the value white-label companies add.
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Which Type Of E-Commerce Should You Choose?
This depends on your objectives and, of course, your budget. Imagine that you already sell products from different brands in a physical store. It would then be a good idea to create a multi-brand website. In another case, if you are a freelance graphic designer, you can create a single-brand website where people can buy your designs or hire your services.
There is a wide spectrum of e-commerce website costs in India. The lower end is ₹50,000, and it can go up to (or even beyond!) ₹2,00,000. iTrobes is a web development company that can help you bring your e-commerce dreams to life. Our team of seasoned experts will help you build the website you want. You will be up and selling in no time! Contact us today to get started!