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Understanding Ecommerce: Types of eCommerce and the history of E-commerce

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Defining Ecommerce

Electronic commerce, shortened as E-commerce, is buying and selling services and goods over the internet, for example, shopping for clothes online. It incorporates various tools, systems, and data for online sellers and buyers, including online payment encryption and mobile shopping. You can understand eCommerce by looking at stylevana, which offers various products, including face wipes, shorts, tank tops, and shirts. To help the reader understand eCommerce fully, this article discusses the different types of ecommerce as well as the history of eCommerce.

Types of eCommerce

Typically, eCommerce businesses can be categorized into six primary business models which are:

  • B2B.
  • B2C.
  • C2B.
  • B2A.
  • C2A.
  • C2C.

1. Business-to-Business (B2B)

 This is an eCommerce model involving sales made between a retailer or wholesale and a manufacturer. The critical point is that a B2B Model is one in which business only happens between businesses and is not consumer-facing. Mainly B2B sales focus on products or raw materials repackaged before getting sold to clients.

2. Business-to consumer(B2C)

This is a model involving transactions that happen among businesses and a consumer. In the eCommerce context, B2C is one of the sales models that are most popular. An example of a business-to-consumer transaction is the purchasing of shoes from a shoe retailer.

3. Consumer-to-Business (C2B)

Consumer to business model is a reverse of the traditional e-commerce model. Basically, it entails consumers making a service available to business consumers.

4. Business-to-Administration (B2A).

Business to administration eCommerce model involves transactions that happen among online companies and an administration. Examples include services and products that relate to social security and legal documents.

5. Consumer-to-Administration (C2A).

This is identical to B2A. However, C2A tends to be such that a consumer sells online services or products to an administration. C2A can comprise online consulting for online tax preparation and education, among others.

6. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C).

This eCommerce business model is one of the earliest. It involves the sale of services and products between clients.

The history of eCommerce

It is believed that the first online transaction can be traced in the New York Timed issue of 12th August 1994. This issue was titled “internet is open” and recounted a Sting CD sale between two friends, who had conducted the initial retail transactions via the internet by using a version of a readily available data encryption software that was designed to guarantee privacy.

Timelines of eCommerce

1960 – 1982: Invention and the Early Days

Electronics commerce was made possible by the advancement of the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) in the 60s. The main effect of EDI was that it substituted the traditional faxing and mailing of documents by permitting data to be transferred digitally from one computer to another.

1982 – 1990: Early Ecommerce Platforms

t was apparent right from its early advancement in the 60 and 80s that EDI would make it possible for commercially lucrative B2B online shopping. It was until the world wide web and PCs became widespread that B2C became successful. An online service that utilized a videotext terminal machine accessed through telephone lines named Minitel was launched in 1982 by France. Minitel grew in popularity, and by 1997 more than 7 million homes possessed Minitel terminals.

The early 90’s: The arrival of the Worldwide Web

In 1990, Robert Cailliau and Tim Berners-Lee published a proposal aiming to build a “Hypertext project” referred to as “World Wide Web’” Berners-Lee, in the same year, made the web server and also wrote the initial web browser. He would then debut the web as a service, making it available publicly on the internet in August 1995. Berners-Lee also tried to incorporate hypertexts to the internet, which led him to develop HTML, URL, and HTTP. The restriction that existed restricting the commercial use of the internet was later lifted in 1991, which led to an exponential growth of online shopping.

The Mid 90’s to the present: The emergence of online payment market places and eCommerce growth.

The commercial use of the internet made significant strides in the mid-90s. One of the initial eCommerce sites was amazon which was launched as an online bookstore in 1995 and has grown to be the biggest online retailer globally. In the late ’90s, there was the emergence of novel eCommerce platforms options for merchants. Today the evolution continues with countless eCommerce platforms.

In conclusion, eCommerce has come a long way which has mainly been made possible by the internet. This article has shed light on eCommerce, helping the reader understand eCommerce, the different business model types, and how eCommerce has evolved with time.