E-Commerce Channels – Different Types of E-commerce and a look at Major PLayers

E-commerce implies any form of a trade of goods and services done over the internet. More informally, it pertains to acquiring a product or service online with a computerised payment gateway via a credit or debit card or a digital wallet service.

A wide variety of companies get involved in making online stores work such as

  • Online stores to connect buyers and sellers
  • Payment gateway
  • Digital wallet services
  • Shipping and logistics



When a business sells a product or service to a consumer online, it is called B2C e-commerce.

Example – Amazon.com and JD.com


This type of e-commerce is when a business sells any product or service to another business. This could even possibly be businesses that offer software as a service to other companies to assist in managing their companies. Example – Alibaba.com and Amazon Web Services (AWS).


Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): This type of e-commerce companies build a marketplace to bridge buyers and multiple sellers online. Example – eBay


This category of e-commerce is when a consumer sells an offering to a business.

Example – Food bloggers selling their recipes to big restaurants


This type is often determined as trade between companies and the government. It points to the usage of the Internet for the licensing process and other government-related transactions. Example – Business pay taxes


This type is when the government extends an offering to businesses.


In G2C, the Government carries out transactions directly with individual consumers.


Here an individual transacts with the Government.

Pure Click Model

Companies that solely use the pure-click model only carry their business operations online and do not indulge in offline business. Such firms launch themselves only on the Internet without any prior presence as a firm.

Companies that use this model are Commerce sites, Search engines, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Transaction sites, Content sites, and Enabler sites.

Example – Google, Amazon, Youtube

Brick and Click Model

In this business model, a firm manages both an online store and a physical store, combining the two into a single retail strategy.

The arrival of mobile web has made the use of the bricks and clicks model in businesses popular as it allows shoppers to carry out tasks like shopping at their own pace and time without being dependant on a computer.

One of the first recognised purchases from a company that used bricks and clicks business model was Pizza Hut pizza which placed their order over the internet in 1994.

This method is recognised as “Click and Collect” in the UK, and the British retailer Argos came up with the term. He was the one who provided “Ring and Reserve” and “Text and Take Home” offerings for telephone and SMS ordering respectively, where products were held so that the customer would pay in-store.

Largest E-Commerce Companies in the World


Based in Seattle, Washington, Amazon.com was founded in 1994. It is an American multinational technology company that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

1. Amazon is the largest Internet company by revenue in the world.

2. Revenue – $281 Bn (2019)

Jingdong – Chinese eCommerce Company

JD.com also known as Jingdong and 360buy is a Chinese e-commerce firm that is headquartered in Beijing. It is one of the two most extensive B2C online retailers in China by selling volume and making revenue and is a significant competitor to Alibaba-run Tmall It is also a member of the Fortune Global 500.

The firm invested in advanced technology and AI delivery through drones, autonomous technology and robots, and controls the largest drone delivery system, infrastructure and capability in the world.

The company in associations with scientists aims to design drones that could lift freights weighing up to one metric ton! Revenue – $82.9 Bn (2019)

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. – Chinese eCommerce Dragon

Alibaba Group Holding Limited, also known as Alibaba Group and Alibaba.com it is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology.

Established on 4 April 1999, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, the business offers consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) sales services through web portals, along with electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services.

Alibaba has the sixth-highest global brand valuation as of 2020. The company hosts the most extensive B2B named Alibaba.com, C2C named Taobao, and B2C named Tmall marketplaces in the world. Revenue – $72 Bn (2019)

eBay Inc.

eBay Inc., an American multinational e-commerce enterprise based in San Jose, California, promotes consumer-to-consumer(C2C) and business-to-consumer(B2C) sales through its website. Being a multibillion-dollar business, eBay carries out operations in nearly 32 countries, as of 2019.

The business manages the eBay website, which is an online auction and shopping website where individuals and companies buy and sell a broad spectrum of offerings across the world. A lot of brands utilise the eBay marketplace and continues to be one of the biggest peer-to-peer marketplaces on the Internet. Revenue –  $10.8 Bn (2019).

Fun fact – An entire town was auctioned and sold on eBay in 2012 when two Vietnamese buyers acquired the township of Buford in Wyoming for the sum of a little below one million dollars.

Rakuten, Inc. – Japanese eCommerce Godzilla

Rakuten in Japanese means “optimism” is the most extensive e-commerce website in Japan. The media referred to it as “The Amazon of Japan.” Hosting 40,000 diverse businesses, Rakuten has about 90% of Internet users registered on its website. It also manages Japan’s greatest online bank in addition to online shopping and credit card payments.

Rakuten Group operates 70 companies that range from extensively used instant messaging app Viber as officially known as Rakuten Viber in 2017 to having placed their logo on FC Barcelona’s jerseys. Revenue – $11.6 Bn (2019).

Largest E-Commerce Companies in the World

Companhia Digital

Founded in 2006, B2W Companhia Digital is a Brazilian online retail company that is most comprehensive of its kind in Latin America. It captures 50% of the market share and is extremely competitive, owning various shopping sites. It has lately declared its move into the US market.


Zalando SE is a European e-commerce company that was founded in 2008 and is based in Berlin, Germany. The firm uses a platform approach where it offers fashionable lifestyle products to buyers in 17 European markets. Kinnevik, a Swedish company is Zalando’s most significant stakeholder, with a 26% share.