The Computer Revolution/E commerce/Types of E-Commerce Web Sites

There are all kinds of different E-Commerce websites. You would be surprised how many sites you go onto today that are actually E-Commerce. Almost all brick-and-mortar stores have an online counterpart where their products can be brought via their store website. Different sites offer different business models of E-Commerce: business-to-consumer, business-to-business, consumer-to-consumer, and business-to-government. Some websites can offer more than one business model, for example Amazon and e-bay are not only consumer-to-consumer, but also business-to-business. As E-Commerce becomes more popular I’m sure we’ll start to see more brick-to-mortar stores selling their products via E-Commerce; as well as certain stores or small business only being offered online.

An advantage of e-commerce is being able to go on a specific site, depending on what you are looking for and find what you are looking for with out leaving your home. Most web sites, for example, clothing stores have a more variety of colors, sizes, shapes than a brick -and- mortar, "store". The consumer may also read reviews, according to size, style and colors shown on line. Also being able to see what is sold on line and what is sold in stores. How much is available for purchase on line. Most stores, if the iteam is popular, may be sold out, and only available on line for purchase. An advantage of on line shopping is a tool called, "shopping bots", it allows the shopper to compaire different shopping web sites, to compaire different prices, availability and so on. (Morley, Deborah, Parker, Charles S, Understanding Computers, today and tomorrow: text,2011, page 431-432)

E-commerce businesses can also be described by the type of Web site being used for e-commerce activities in addition to the type of entities. Free social networking site are not encompassed in this category, as they do not typically engage with direct financial transactions with customers.

E-commerce is producing business, via communication technology.

Manufacturer and E-Trailer Sites These are manufacturers and online retailers who can sell directly to customers from their Web site. Customers can typically choose goods or services from an online catalog and can directly purchase from the retailer where the merchandise can be shipped, electronically, or may be picked up from the buyer if the retailer permits.

E-tailer Sites

E-tailing is the selling of retail goods on the Internet. Short for "electronic retailing," and used in Internet discussions as early as 1995, the term seems an almost inevitable addition to e-mail, e-business, and e-commerce. E-tailing is synonymous with business-to-consumer (B2C) transaction.E-tailing has resulted in the development of e-tailware -- software tools for creating online catalogs and managing the business connected with doing e-tailing. A new trend is the price comparison site that can quickly compare prices from a number of different e-tailers and link you to them.[1]

Advantages of e-tailing[2]

E-tailers who take part in pure play–type business have the opportunity to turn higher profit margins, due in part to the fact that many of the overhead expenses associated with a physical retail space, such as labour, retail space, and inventory, can be significantly alleviated. Pure play allows for a retailer to be able to reach customers world wide, while still only maintaining one location for each and every customer to visit, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Disadvantages to e-tailing

Many studies have shown that e-tailers are failing to meet the needs of online customers and that they generally only have one chance to make a good impression if they want their customers to return. It is said that the three most important things that e-tailers today must work on to ensure profitability are "search, support and promotion." Subscription Sites Alternately, subscriptions site do not sell physical products to customers but rather online access to services. Subscriptions to magazines or news articles would be a good example of these sites. In today’s day and age, dating Web sites make up a majority of subscription services. Although some offer free services with limited access, only a paid subscription will unlock all functions of the site.

Brokerage Sites These sites unite buyers and sellers to assist in transactions between the two and earn commissions via the site. Online auction sites such as Ebay and Beezid are examples. The site such as Ebay charges the seller a fee to list each item. Sites such as Beezid charges the buyer a fee per bid placed as the commission. Financial brokerages, such as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, provide stock trading services online for a fee per trade transaction. Real Estate sites assist potential buyer with resources for finding desired market real estate. A market exchange site helps to match organizations with goods or services to buyers or to match buyers searching for specific items with suppliers who can provided the necessary resources.

Subscription SitesEdit

Online businesses can also use E-commerce to sell a specific online service, as opposed to selling actual physical or electronic merchandise. A subscription site offers a consumer access to an online service for a small fee; it can either be monthly or sometimes even yearly. Some examples of subscription sites are, Netflix, and Weight Watchers. Some subscription sites offer free content to allow the consumer to try out the online service before a subscription is actually purchased. For example, is a website that offers a consumer the ability to watch popular TV shows and movies on demand. If you do not have a subscription a consumer can only view certain shows for free, if a consumer wants unlimited access, a monthly subscription would need to be paid.


  2. dropshipdirect
  3. Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow 13th Edition (Morley, Deborah and Parker, Charles. Understanding Computer: Today and Tomorrow 13th Edition. Course Technology: Boston, MA, 2011)

Order-Fulfillment Companies Order-fulfillment companies are companies that provide a service for other companies that cannot fill orders on their own. These companies are part of the E-commerce websites. These companies are used for websites with high volume of transactions that take place daily, and do not have a warehouse fulfillment system in place. Many Order fulfillment companies also offer other services such as distributing products; this would include shipping the product, and handling returns. These companies also offer real time ordering, which allows ordering online to run smoothly. Order-fulfillment companies also provide any tracking orders, and handles customer service issues for the company.

Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow 13th Edition Deborah Morley, Charles S. Parker

Online Auction SitesEdit

Online auctions sites are used to help people or businesses sell their merchandise to consumers or other businesses. To sell an item on an online auction site the seller must provide a picture and a description of the item. Buyers can go through the site and browse what is up for auction. The buyer also gets some help when it comes to trusting the seller through something called feedback. Feedback is basically a rating and list of reviews of past buyers who have purchased merchandise through that specific seller. If a buyer likes an item they can place a bid. Usually there are other people bidding on the same item, so the price continues to rise. Using the automatic bidding system, the bidder (buyer) can set a minimum bid increment to increase their bid a certain amount every time they are outbid. The bidder can also set a maximum bid limit, so they can't bid over what they're willing to spend on the item for auction. If you have the highest bid when the auction closes, you get your item.

When the site allows individuals to sell their merchandise to another individual, like C2C, its referred to as a consumer online auction site. When online auction sites cater to the buying and selling of products between businesses, like B2B, it's referred to as a business online auction site.

Ebay's online site also facilitates auctions

Reference: Morely, Deborah, and Charles Parker. Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow. Boston: Course Technology, 2011. Print.