6 Types of E-commerce Business Models for 2023

April 3, 2023
Anna Pham

E-commerce is a business model that enables companies and customers to buy and sell goods through the internet.

According to a reliable source of information, E-commerce accounted for 6% of retail sales in the United States in 2013, and by 2025, experts anticipate that it would account for approximately 22% of all purchases made there.

What is an e-commerce business?

A company that interacts with clients, does business, and collects money online is known as an e-commerce business.

E-commerce companies businesses rely on their websites, social media channels, and independent marketplaces like Amazon, where customers may make appointments or add items to a shopping cart and then pay for them.

Is an e-commerce business right for you?

Make sure you are aware of the risks involved if you are thinking about launching an online store.

Benefits of e-commerce

Huge consumer base: If you offer goods and services online, not only people in your city but people all over the world could use your products and services.

24/7 sales: With a digital storefront, you don't have to manually turn on your "open" sign every day. This allows consumers the option to place purchases on their own timetables and can help you save on overhead costs because you won't need to hire an employee to wait for clients to enter the store.

Reduced launch costs: In addition to employment savings, the majority of e-commerce enterprises don't require startup capital to furnish and refurbish a brick-and-mortar location. But, developing merchandise and creating your website will definitely require some financial outlay.

Challenges of e-commerce

Digital literacy is required: Many e-commerce website builders make the claim that they are simple to use. But, someone on your team needs to become proficient in the platform you chose and be prepared to troubleshoot if issues arise.

Shipping difficulties: You'll need to get merchandise to customers that are spread out throughout the nation or the globe. Search for an online storefront that enables you to generate shipping labels and enables consumers to track their shipments.

Plenty of competition: When you make sales online, you must outbid innumerable other vendors for each dollar. Customer retention and small-business marketing may require additional resources from you.

What are some e-commerce business models?

Your target market is specified in your business model. E-commerce business models come in a wide variety, and it's now simpler than ever for innovative founders to employ them to turn their ideas into reality.

An e-commerce company, a brick and mortar establishment, or both can use a variety of business models. Your e-commerce company can better position itself in the industry and connect with customers by selecting one.

These are six typical choices:

1. Business-to-consumer (B2C)

B2C, or business-to-consumer, is the most prevalent business model and what most people envision when they think of e-commerce. Instead of other companies or manufacturers, a B2C company offers goods or services to consumers. Retailers are typically B2C companies.

Since your potential customer base is so large, starting a B2C business may be simpler than starting one using another business model. But managing a large clientele might also involve handling a huge clientele of returns and complaints. And with so many other retailers out there, it could be challenging to persuade them to make more purchases.

2. Business-to-business (B2B)

Business-to-business, or B2B, is a business-to-business sales model. You may, for instance, market components or raw materials used by manufacturers to create business-to-consumer (B2C) goods (this is called a B2B2C model). Perhaps you may provide a service, like bookkeeping, that is geared toward businesses rather than to individuals.

One benefit of a B2B business model is that you frequently receive repeat business from customers or, in the case of service firms, you can earn ongoing income from them. As you're selling a more specialized product, you can have a smaller clientele. On rates and payment options, your company's clients could also want to haggle.

3. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) or peer-to-peer (P2P)

E-commerce platforms frequently help peer-to-peer sales. These could be online stores where sellers offer goods they already own or have purchased from specialty shops, such as Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. P2P companies, like rideshare drivers, can also sell services.

Peer-to-peer e-commerce business models often involve a website or platform that assists merchants in finding customers while also taking a cut of their sales. These business models may be less reliable than more established ones like B2B or B2C sales.

4. Business-to-government (B2G)

Business-to-government e-commerce businesses are uncommon. For suppliers who offer their services directly to the government, this model is appropriate. In general, in order to compete for government contracts, your company must be well-established. Yet, you might qualify for the SBA 8a program, which can provide you an advantage, if persons of color or people who fulfill other demographic standards hold a majority of your business.

5. Direct-to-consumer (D2C)

A conventional intermediary is removed in a direct-to-consumer business model. For instance, historically, department, furniture, and mattress stores have purchased mattresses from manufacturers and resold them to consumers who will use them as mattresses. But over the past ten years, D2C mattress companies have begun selling these items directly to individual customers through e-commerce channels.

Since your customers will need to learn about your items in a new way, a direct-to-consumer business strategy depends on small-business marketing. To keep inventory and expeditiously transport orders to customers, you'll probably need to collaborate with a fulfillment center.

6. Consumer-to-business (C2B)

With a C2B business model, companies rely on specific customers to create value in addition to using their products. An illustration may be a social video firm that doesn't create its own content. Instead, the business displays adverts on the videos that digital creators post for free to the site, making money off of them while also maybe giving some to the creators.

Your company plan might include certain components of a C2B business model if it calls for affiliate marketing or user-generated content.

Top 5 Delivery Frameworks for your eCommerce Business

Your clients are identified by your company concept. Also, you'll require a revenue model, which is a strategy for how your company will generate more revenue from those clients than you spend on inventory, storage, shipping, and other expenses.

Below are some typical e-commerce business revenue model kinds.


Customers join up with a subscription e-commerce company to get things at regular intervals. In comparison to firms that only accept one-time transactions, subscriptions can help organizations create recurring revenue streams and establish longer client connections.

From toothbrushes and razors to cleaning supplies, meal kits, and apparel, subscriptions have been successful for a wide range of company models. A subscription e-commerce business model may be suitable for you if your product is something that customers would use regularly and need to replace, reuse, or even run out of.


White-labeling is when you purchase things in bulk and rebrand them with a different logo, label, and packaging. Applying another company's logo on your products to make staff gifts or trade fair giveaways can be a profitable B2B venture. If your products can be personalized for particular events, such as baby showers or bridal parties, or with sentimental colors, such as school colors, it may also be a B2C business.

Yet, when you white-label products, you might need to buy in bulk and keep inventory on hand. This might raise your startup costs and add new challenges, like keeping up a warehouse.

On-demand printing or manufacturing

Printing or manufacturing on demand

A product is created when a customer places an order with an on-demand e-commerce company. By doing this, you avoid being stuck with inventory that you're unsure how to move. Also, you might be able to provide a lot of customisation for your clients.

On-demand manufacturing, also known as print-on-demand, can occasionally result in orders taking longer to reach customers because they will have to wait for their goods to be manufactured rather than just being dispatched from your warehouse. Although you might be able to charge clients more for rush orders, it's crucial to be open about your timeline.


With the dropshipping business concept, you don't actually maintain any inventory on hand. Instead, you advertise your products for sale, then collaborate with warehouse partners who maintain inventory and oversee all processes once orders are placed.

With dropshipping, you may try out different products without having to pay up front for inventory that might not be well received by your target market. Nevertheless, quality control can be difficult when you don't make goods or handle shipping yourself - dropshippers may sell goods they haven't even seen. Ensure that you have a strategy in place to handle consumer feedback, refunds, and exchanges.

Wholesaling and warehousing

B2B or B2G business models are frequently used in wholesale and warehousing. When you sell wholesale, you frequently have a sizable inventory on hand and demand large purchases from your clients. You have the option of producing these goods yourself or serving as a middleman between suppliers and specific market segments.

The Final Word

E-commerce has had a recent explosion in both popularity and innovation.

Understanding which business models to adopt and how to leverage them can make the difference between a successful firm and one that is forgotten about for companies trying to take the next step into the digital world.

With the help of Ryviu app, you won’t have to worry about the second option. Because you can save a lot of time, effort and optimize the reviews of customers from different platforms to transfer them to other e-commerce platforms. Help develop your e-commerce business model closer to success faster.