Types of Online Stores According to Their Characteristics

Business on the Internet through online stores is gaining more and more consumers. Many companies and brands worldwide transfer their business model to the digital framework . And every day new business ideas emerge based on these surprising technologies and systems that leave us speechless.

There are different types of online sales that depend on their characteristics. They can be categorized according to what they sell, the relationship established between the parties, the platform and their way of generating profits . Knowing these categories will help you better understand the focus and objectives of each initiative.

Important aspects of online stores

The e – commerce or e – commerce has changed everything. The sale of products and services on the Internet makes the offer adapted to your needs , to those of the consumer. Do you want to sell? Acquire an SSL certificate, comply with a series of legal aspects , promote your website in the right market niche and … you will get it! Although good, it is not that simple.

You must take into account the elements of an online store to sell on the internet. Nothing that is excessively complex compared to setting up a physical store. Another challenge that must be raised is choosing the best technological solution to create the store. This will depend on the requirements and the initial budget to develop the business with sufficient probabilities to guarantee its viability.

Any online store allows you to establish different forms of payment or payment methods. Although most users prefer to make their purchases using a credit or debit card . If there are problems, customer service can be done by different means, telephone, email, RRSS, even by the chatbot.

The digital commerce has many advantages and possibilities. Social networks become customer area departments to promote online purchases. Many digital marketing tools allow you to improve your online business . And even increase profits like never before thanks to cross selling.

User information is stored when configuring the store according to their tastes, and there are signs of the products on which they would like to receive offers. But the best thing is that you can buy from wherever you want and when you want , and this is literal, thanks to the mobile version of the store. Can you ask for more?

What types of online stores are there?

Different business models to develop on the internet give rise to different requirements. And in the case of online stores there are also different aspects and criteria to be able to classify them . We have made a selection to see which are the most important.

Online stores according to what they sell

  • Physical products: As their name suggests, they are those stores that sell tangible items such as books, clothing, furniture, etc. These ecommerce that compete with their pricing policies represent approximately 75% of the total.
  • Digital products: These are stores that focus on the sale of non-tangible items such as image downloads, software, e-books, etc. To enjoy these products it is only necessary to have the devices that allow them to be used, such as a Kindle.
  • Services: In this case, online stores sell activities that meet the needs of their customers, such as movie tickets or dental cleaning, among many other things. The services were the first to be sold through the network. But now, in addition, it is possible to acquire them directly through the web in the form of bonuses or sessions for example.

Online stores according to business relationships

  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer): Shops sell directly to the final consumer, and they are the most typical models available on the Internet. It is based on the demand of the audience or the user.
  • B2B (Business-to-Business): Business transactions are carried out from business to business. Some companies sell products or services to others. The value contributed is usually of a higher level.
  • C2B (Consumer-to-Business): It is individuals who sell to different companies. The most frequent transactions are those of digital content, such as images with copyright.
  • C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer): Consumers come into contact with each other to sell their products or services. Some of the best known platforms are Blablacar and Wallapop.
  • B2A (Business-to-Administration): Transactions are carried out between companies and the public administration. An example of this can be training courses.
  • C2A (Consumer-to-Administration): It is the same as the previous one, only that instead of companies they are individuals.

Online stores according to the platform used

  • Software as a service: These are services that are managed from the servers that the company that offers them has. That is, a subscription is paid to use them. The person is 100% dependent on said platform and cannot expand it further, but it is easier to manage.
  • Open source eCommerce: Open source platforms for anyone who wants them can use, install and improve them to their liking. They require minimal maintenance.
  • On-premises e-commerce: The license of certain programs is purchased for installation on the store server. It can be an expensive option as you have to renew licenses until benefits are achieved.
  • Own developments: It is starting from scratch, developing the entire store without any basis. They require a lot of money and effort. It is a recommended option only for experienced users.

Online stores according to the profit model

  • Direct sale: Products that are in stock are sold with a profit margin compared to the purchase price of the same. The entrepreneur takes care of logistics and warehousing directly or indirectly.
  • Dropshipping: Products are sold of which there is no real stock, since it is the manufacturer or distributor that sends it to the consumer, not the seller. This relieves you of a great burden at the cost of receiving fewer benefits.
  • Subscription: For a certain economic amount, consumers enjoy a good or product that adds value and for which they are billed periodically. It is the best option for making forecasts and annual balances.
  • Advertising: Profit-making is primarily focused on store-generated advertising, leaving the sale of items a bit more aside. Affiliate marketing techniques can be included in this section.


Do you have a company or business plan  that you want to take to the digital field? Some time ago no one would have thought that it was possible to buy in online clothing stores. Not that you could order pet food from your favorite online pet store. It is a great revolution that changes consumer habits , even if we call it “evolution”, without “r”.

Thanks to their many advantages and benefits, online stores are the present and the future of international trade . We are still developing the possibilities of e-commerce and there are already many well-established alternatives and options.

You already know that there are already online decoration stores and even online sports stores. Even online shoe stores in which if your number does not match, you can return the product at no cost . Looking at these models that seemed so difficult to put into practice and that “work” … do you already know what you would like to set up your own online store about? It starts by spotting and investigating your competition.

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