Categories of e-commerce

• Business-To-Business e-commerce

The largest category of e-commerce is business-to-business (B2B) commerce. This involves companies conducting e-procurement, supply chain management, network alliances, and negotiating purchase transactions over the internet. Businesses use e-commerce to lower transaction costs of conducting business and to make savings in terms of time and effort when conducting business.

• Business-To-Consumer e-commerce

Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce involves businesses introducing products and services to consumers via internet technologies. This includes companies selling software and hardware through the internet, taking orders for products that are subsequently delivered to the consumer, and providing digital services such as online magazines and search engines.

• Business processes

Business process refers to the use of e-commerce to tailor the internal activities of a business in order to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness. Through the use of e-commerce, businesses can fine-tune supply chains, provide advanced consumer relations management systems, and reduce transaction costs.

• Consumer-To-Consumer e-commerce

Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) e-commerce is concerned with the use of e-commerce by individuals to trade and exchange information with other individuals. There has been a huge growth in consumer-to consumer auctions sites such as e-Bay and sites enabling consumers to offer goods and services to other consumers on an individual basis.

• Business-To-Government e-commerce

Business-to-government (B2G) e-commerce is concerned with the need for business to sell goods or services to governments or government agencies. Such activities include supplying the army, police force, hospitals and schools with products and services. Furthermore, businesses will often compete in an online environment for contracts to provide services to the public on behalf of the government. Such services may include the collection of taxes, and the supply of public services.