Ecommerce can be classified based on the type of participants in the transaction:

@ Business to Business (B2B)

B2B ecommerce transactions are those where both the transacting parties are businesses, e.g., manufacturers, traders, retailers etc. In the B2B model, commerce is achieved through negotiated contracts which allow the seller to anticipate and plan for how much the buyer will purchase which differs significantly from the B2C model in which the merchants sell on a first-come-first-get basis.

@ Business to Consumer (B2C)

When businesses sell electronically to end-consumers, it is called B2C. B2C involves electronic retailing or e-tailing which enables the manufacturer to conduct online retail sales and sell directly to a consumer eliminating the need of an intermediary using electronic channels. The greatest advantage of the B2C model of Ecommerce is that there is no need for retailers or for a physical store in which to keep the inventory and distribute the products from. B2C company's website through which it sells its goods and services is called an electronic - or web - storefront. Web storefronts enable the consumers to browse through the available products and services.

@ Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

Some of the earliest transactions in the global economic system involved barter -- a type of C2C transaction. But C2C transactions were virtually non-existent in recent times until the advent of ecommerce. Auction sites are a good example of C2C ecommerce.

Benefits of Ecommerce

The primary benefits of ecommerce revolve around the fact that it eliminates limitations of time and geographical distance. In the process ecommerce usually streamlines operations, lowers costs and enforce instantaneous secure transactional system.