What is e-commerce and how can it benefit your business?

Learn how to build an online store that sells

What is E-commerce?

E-commerce is short for “electronic commerce” in the same way that e-mail is short for “electronic mail”. E-commerce involves all kinds of commercial transactions made over the Internet, consisting mainly of buying and selling products and services. This is extremely broad and covers a wide variety of industries, from digitally downloaded e-books, games and music, to clothing and accessories, recruitment services and more.

In short, e-commerce allows for the online purchase and payment of anything that can normally be purchased face-to-face by replicating the shopping experience on a website. This is possible through the use of e-commerce software, which simulates a physical store. Visitors can add products to a virtual shopping cart and visit the payment page when they are ready. At the end of the purchase, the customer enters the payment and shipping information to complete the transaction. Payments are processed through payment gateways that integrate with e-commerce software to allow the customer to pay in a variety of ways, such as credit card, eCheck, PayPal and other digital wallets, or other methods.

Types of e-commerce business models


Not all e-commerce stores work in exactly the same way. There are different types of e-commerce that are defined in various ways. The definition of the business model depends on who is buying and who is selling, while the type of e-commerce store is based on how products are bought and sold.

Business to Consumer (B2C)

Business-to-Business (B2B)

Company to Administration (B2A)

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

Consumer to Business (C2B)

Consumer to Administration (C2A)

Business to Consumer (B2C)

B2C e-commerce involves a customer buying from a company and is one of the most common business models. Any online store where an individual can browse and buy products from a company is using the B2C model.

Business-to-Business (B2B)

B2B e-commerce transactions are between companies, where one company sells products or services to another. This includes the relationship between retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers. Companies that provide supplies to other companies (such as office supplies) are also selling B2B.

Business to Administration (B2A)

B2A transactions are similar to B2B except that the buyer is not another business; instead, it is a government administration that purchases products or services needed to perform the tasks that the administration handles. B2A is also called B2G (Business-to-Government).

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)

C2C eCommerce are customers who sell to each other, such as through eBay auctions or Craigslist listings. This is also one of the first and most used business models.


Consumer to Business (C2B)

C2B transactions involve a consumer selling products or services to businesses. This can include influencers in social media, crowdfunding, affiliate marketing and online markets where customers make their own products available to businesses (such as writing and editing services or stock photography and video).

Consumer to Administration (C2A)

C2A e-commerce is similar to C2B e-commerce, except that consumers sell products and services to government administrations.

Types of e-commerce stores

There are different configurations of e-commerce stores to accommodate the different business models listed above. For example, we have the typical online retail store, where a single company sells products to a customer base (B2C). B2B companies often have a similar e-commerce store configuration, with their own dedicated websites to sell to their business customers.

Another type of store is the e-marketplace, in which several sellers come together to reach a large group of buyers. Amazon is an example because it offers B2C sales (from Amazon to the customer) and C2C sales (Amazon sellers who sell products in the marketplace). Another prominent example is Etsy .

Online auctions are another type, with eBay being the classic example. Sellers on eBay can also set fixed prices for their products, but the auction system is still the most popular sales model on the site. B2C, C2C and even C2B transactions can be made on eBay.

What other e-commerce tools are there?



Many e-commerce platforms integrate with popular commercial software for accounting, email newsletters, shipping and more. Most also have an application store where a business owner can add additional features to their online store, often for a price. But some platforms take the initiative to add powerful additional features directly into their core software.


PagoYa! has more of the most needed e-commerce features built in than any other platform at lower prices.


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