E-commerce Vs. E-business 2020

Posted On December 14, 2020 by Anca Iusan
eCommerce Guides

Are you selling a product or service online? Then you should know that your income flow is dependent on knowing the differences between e-commerce and e-business. In 2020, where there’s more competition online, you should learn to utilize every tool at your disposal. You’d agree that e-commerce accounts for a large percentage of a country’s economy annually. However, you might not have heard anything about e-business before now. Let’s help you discover and compare! 

What Is e-commerce?

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Simply put, e-commerce is the term for every transaction of products or services on the web. Generally known as electronic commerce and mostly referred to as e-tail. Stereotypically, we’d only refer to e-commerce when referring to the sales of physical products on any online platform. However, the term has been extended to cover all transactions online. Even when the industry recently experienced a slow down due to the global pandemic, online sales still grows strong.

To fully understand what category your online business falls into, you should know the e-commerce types. The first type of internet transactions is Business to Consumer (B2C). As read, this is the direct transaction of products or services between a brand and its consumer. A common example would be a customer buying a pair of sunglasses online. Secondly, we have the Business to Business (B2B) model that means the buying and selling of goods between two businesses.

Thirdly, Consumer to Consumer (C2C) is an Internet business model that mostly involves the exchange of goods for cash between two individual consumers. A typical example of this is selling your microwave on eBay. Lastly, the Consumer to Business (C2B) model simply involves an individual contractor or vendor selling their services to a brand or corporation. The majority would argue that the two types of e-commerce are B2B and  BBC but there are clearly more.

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What Is e-business?

While e-Commerce completely depends on the internet to conduct its transactions, e-business merely uses the advantages of the internet in enhancing an offline business. By utilizing internet technology, businesses with zero dependencies on online platforms can experience growth. Think about it this way – instead of displaying the goods or services online, e-business helps an offline business creates awareness for increasing revenue.

Just like electronic commerce, e-business also comes in various types to help individuals fully maximize cyberspace. Interestingly, there are only two types which are pure-play and bricks & clicks. The Paul Play model is when a brand channels its entire resources into one product or providing a service. An automobile contracting company that deals with one brand of cars. Assuming they generate revenue both online and offline, they’d be referred to as a Paul Play e-business.

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Secondly, Bricks and Clicks, as the name reads, implies brands that generate sales both offline and on the web. A good example would be a shoe store that allows people to shop at an offline store but also take orders online. Irrespective of the profit generated online, the shoe store still has its loyal offline customers. In a nutshell, the Bricks and Clicks model helps to increase the streams of sales and revenue for offline businesses. Now let’s get to the differences between these two, shall we?

Differences Between e-commerce And e-business

At a point with every internet business, the question; what is the difference between e-commerce and e-business pops up. A lot of entrepreneurs in particular do not understand the differences between these models. Before you become quick to invest a lot into digital marketing, you need to understand better where your business falls. Getting the distinction between e-commerce and e-business would point you in the right direction.

E-commerce Is A Section Of E-business

Before picking sides in the aggravating e-business vs e-commerce debate, try to understand the connecting factor between them. From our definition of both terms, you’d denote that each e-commerce business model is only a piece of e-business. Think of e-business as the production or manufacturing arm of a multi-global food-producing corporation. While e-commerce is only one of the retailing outlets in a continent awaiting the distribution of goods.

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E-business is any brand, corporation, or company that infuses internet technologies into its business model. Simply put, a company that sells both offline and online is considered an e-business.

When an online presence is created for a brand, it automatically becomes an e-business, however, having a social media presence doesn’t define every brand into this category. Well, this would have been correct if social media platforms aren’t internet technology tools. Since your online presence is a social media marketing strategy of any kind, it automatically makes your brand an e-business.

The Benefactors

Knowing who benefits the most would help you see the difference between them. For this e-commerce vs e-business piece, let’s start with who benefits more from electronic commerce. As expected, the customer who ordered products or services online stands to benefit the most. Unlike the conventional method of walking to the mall, you can easily preview what you want from home. Electronic commerce also provides the customer with a fast means of buying online.

On the other hand, benefactors of electronic businesses can range from the suppliers to the customers and the business partners. Let’s take it from one benefactor each so you get the complete idea of how they all benefit from e-business.

First, when a brand invests more in internet technology, the business yields more returns and profit. This in turn increases the investment returns of all business partners involved. The awareness and accessibility the online technology bring creates more money.

Secondly, when more products or services are added to the web, consumers get more options to pick from. With more goods and businesses trooping the cyberspace, online shoppers get alternatives for their needs.

Lastly, suppliers also benefit when a company infuses internet technologies into their brand because their services are demanded more. When the demand for a product increases, it also increases the rate of production. This makes the suppliers provide more materials or services.

Where Are They Conducted?

Another determining factor of the differences between e-business and e-commerce is where they are conducted. As explained in the definition of electronic commerce, all transactions, marketing, referrals, and payments are exclusively done on the web. See it this way – without the internet, e-commerce businesses wouldn’t have a platform to function on. The creation of the virtual store, uploading product catalogs, and digital marketing would be impossible.

On the other hand, e-business can be conducted offline and online. The point is that the only factor that connects e-business to this discussion is online technology. A company can decide to run offline where it’d use traditional means to get things done. This company can also decide to infuse internet technology into its day-to-day operations. Whichever this brand decides to go with, it already has a fully functional offline community and base.

The most important part of e-business is that the company’s operations can be conducted anywhere. Online technology is just one of the means to create awareness for its products or services. Knowing where both platforms are conducted would help enhance the strategies for your business model.

Monetary Transactions & Online Technology

An e-commerce business is one that offers sales of products or provision of a service as a monetary transaction. This means any company that expects an exchange of cash for its goods sold online falls under electronic commerce, while a company is an e-business when its operations involve any format of internet technology. The difference we’re pointing out here is monetary transactions and online technology.

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An e-commerce company offers goods for sale or services on-demand in an online environment. In other words, its revenue generation is solely dependent on its virtual presence. You’d notice that every electronic commerce brand creates a web store, boosts awareness, and makes transactions online. Before income could be generated, a lot of investment must be done on the brand online. The quality of the picture, response time, and customer satisfaction online determines the income flow.

On the other hand, not all companies are totally dependent on their internet presence before generating income. Using online technology is the smartest strategy for increasing revenue. Brands and companies only take advantage of internet technology for their business. That is why they are referred to as e-business; electronic businesses. Already a fully operational company, but wouldn’t mind gaining more grounds with the aid of the web.

Modus Operandi (Mode Of Operation)

Knowing what is expected of the day-to-day activities of both business models would help you understand their differences. E-business for starters, requires the employment of staff, training, and information sharing. Since it is a business model that thrives on people’s skills, you’d have to invest more in people. This would mean employing staff for key roles for the enhancement of your organization. Internet technology is just an added factor. People are the backbone of e-business.

Having said that, running an electronic commerce business model requires very little or reduced human employment. The key factors in e-commerce are computing technology and information. You’d have to put out detailed information about your products and services. Of course, the only viable means to get the information out to your target audience is through computing technology. You’d first have to create an e-commerce website or join an existing one online.

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While e-commerce needs little or reduced human assistance to run its day-to-day operations, e-business only thrives on staff efficiency. Knowing the differences between e-commerce and e-business and how they operate is important. You’d need people to send out emails, handle marketing, and answer calls in e-business. However, with e-commerce, all of these things require a very limited number of hands. Even if you need any in the first place, they’d be only a few operating the technology behind your webstore.


To function or thrive in an online business, you’d have to know where your business stands, how it can operate better and what are the things needed to keep you afloat. We’ve looked at the major differences between e-commerce and e-business. With these key points, you should be able to fully maximize your online business for maximum returns. Interestingly, every business has a prominent online presence. So it shouldn’t be difficult to dive in as you enjoy massive business growth.

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