What does the C2C eCommerce Business Model Stand For?
The Rise of the C2C Business Model
As briefly explained already, C2C stands for “consumer to consumer”, or “customer to customer”, and it is a relatively new business model, different to the well-established B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to customer) models. Whereas in the B2B and B2C cases commerce (or eCommerce if transactions occur through online channels) the seller party is an individual, stand-alone business, in the C2C case the seller is simultaneously a consumer. To illustrate that, think about a farmers’ market. Producers are gathered on a designated day, at a designated area, to sell their produce. Producers can “rent” their spots from the council (or designated manager of the market area), on a weekly or monthly basis, or as a one-off trial. Depending the city, state, or country, there might be different rules on space pricing, rotation of sellers on the available spots, protection of producers and produce from adverse weather, a small fee for potential buyers entering the market, or anything else that the market-space provider is willing to offer. Now try to visualize this concept on an online market space, where sellers are not only related to your “five-a-day” products. This is the idea of C2C eCommerce business model, where both sellers and buyers are customers of someone else.
Farmers’ markets might have been of the first C2C examples around hundreds of years ago, but the C2C eCommerce business model is still considered relatively young. The first –and very successful– example of C2C eCommerce, almost 25 years ago, was eBay, an online marketplace where buyers would bid for the best price on items provided by sellers, by a closing deadline. Today, there are numerous other C2C eCommerce business model examples, with the list growing every day. Some international examples offering products and services for a general or more specific audience are Amazon, Craigslist, Airbnb, PayPal, Upwork, Etsy, SkillShare, Facebook Marketplace, and Uber. There are many other smaller platforms, operating on a national level, or catering for very specific items.