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What to look for in an eCommerce business model

Starting an eCommerce business can be an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their products or services online and make a profit. And if startups want to succeed, most entrepreneurs will tell them that choosing a suitable eCommerce business model is one of the critical factors they need not forget. However, with so many available options, it can take time to determine which eCommerce business model is the best for a company.

If you get into eCommerce or are curious about eCommerce business models, continue reading this short article. This straightforward guide will tell you the essential factors to consider to know which business model your new company or line of business should follow.

Types Of eCommerce Business Models

Before considering the factors you need to know before choosing an eCommerce business model, you should be aware of the popular models. Most of them are taught in most eCommerce courses. As an aside, if you plan to do a deep dive into this topic, be sure that the school you’ll enroll in is reputable by reading eCom degree university reviews.

Anyway, here’s a quick list you can use as a reference:

Here’s an alternative way to present the information with unique phrasing:

B2C (Business-to-Consumer) model: In this widely prevalent e-commerce model, companies market and sell their offerings directly to individual customers via online channels.

B2B (Business-to-Business) model: This approach emphasizes businesses catering to the needs of other companies by supplying products or services, rather than targeting individual consumers.

C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer) model: This e-commerce framework enables transactions among private individuals, typically via digital platforms or online marketplaces.

C2B (Consumer-to-Business) model: This model empowers individuals to provide goods or services to businesses, often in return for payment or additional perks.

Subscription-based model: Customers subscribe to this model by paying a regular fee to gain access to a range of products or services.

Dropshipping model: In this e-commerce approach, the retailer doesn’t hold inventory but forwards customer orders and shipping details to the manufacturer or wholesaler for direct shipment.
White-label model: Under this arrangement, a company produces a good or service, which is then marketed and sold by another company under its own brand name.

To get more guidance, consider getting more lessons about this topic from top eCommerce gurus like eCombabe.

Factors To Look For The Best eCommerce Business Model For You

Know that there are more eCommerce business models out there. The ones listed in the previous section are only some of the most popularly used, primarily by big eCommerce companies and some of the world’s most inspiring brands. To further determine which one’s the best for you, look into the following factors and considerations.

Target Audience

A company’s product, services, and target audience primarily dictate the business model it will use. For example, if your products are most useful for ordinary folk, you may fall into a B2C model.

Competitive Advantage

The eCommerce business should have a unique selling proposition (USP) or competitive advantage that differentiates it from similar businesses. This could be in the form of product differentiation, pricing, customer service, or other factors. For example, if you’re pricing is too high for regular consumers but competitive enough for other businesses, you may want to consider a B2B setup.


The eCommerce business model you should choose should scale together with the type of business you want. For example, if you want to go with the B2C model but lack the warehouses to store the items you sell, you should reconsider and go for dropshipping instead.

Revenue Model

The revenue model should be transparent and sustainable, and the business should have a plan for generating ongoing revenue. For example, if the cost of your service or product can’t sustain your business because your product is too valuable and doesn’t encourage repeat sales, you may want to choose a subscription model that can allow you to have a stable revenue stream.

Fulfillment Strategy

The eCommerce business should have a clear and efficient fulfillment strategy to ensure that products are delivered to customers quickly and reliably. If you can’t produce your product or handle shipping, you may want to reduce your business to a C2C model, wherein the only role you’ll fulfill is to create a platform to allow consumers to transact between themselves with you, asking for a small fee.


Your budget can limit what kind of eCommerce business model you can follow. For example, dropshipping requires less investment than a full-blown B2C operation. In the former, you only need to deal with logistics and marketing. In the latter, you also need to think about branding and inventory, two of which can balloon your operational costs, requiring a more significant amount of money.

Aside from the above, you should consider marketing, customer service, competitors, cybersecurity, user experience, return policy, and more. Depending on which one of those you’ll prioritize or feel is necessary, the type of eCommerce business model you need to get started may change.


Selecting the suitable eCommerce business model for you is crucial to the success of any online business. Consider all the essential factors to make an informed decision. Be sure to choose a model that fits your business needs, goals, and objectives. Good luck on your eCommerce journey.

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