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Business Models

A business model refers to a technique that a business uses to sustain itself or to realize a profit (DaSilva, 2014). There are several business models for online business, and two of them include B2C and C2B. Business-to-Customer (B2C) internet business model involves the selling of products to end users or individuals instead of a company. B2C means business and customers meaning an online business sell to individual customers. The business transaction in this model occurs through the website. B2C is also known as internet retailing. This method has expanded significantly since the introduction of internet in the early 1990s. Some common examples of businesses that fall under this category include interactive internet games, information searching, and electronic shopping. Items sold through B2C model include music, books, air tickets, and beauty products among many other things. A good example of this category is Yahoo. Under B2C model, major models include portal, E-tailer, transaction broker, service provider, market creator, and community provider (Muzellec, 2015).

There are some advantages associated with the B2C model. One of them is that it allows configuration of goods depending on customer’s needs. The other advantage is that it increases customers’ access to products or services since B2C operates 24/7. It also aids automation of transactions between businesses and customers. B2C is also interactive, and thus it facilitates collaboration which provides real time information (Muzellec, 2015).

Customer to business (C2B) business model is the most recent model for internet business. As the name suggests in this model, individual customers offer to sell products and services to businesses. This is opposite to B2C model. The Internet has made significant changes to traditional relationships between a customer and a business such that this type of relationship exists. Advancement and decreasing costs in technology enable individuals to access the internet using different devices such as their personal computers, cell phone, audio and video systems (Thirumalai, 2016).

The customer makes a proposal to a business and collaborates. This model has proven to be successful in leisure and tourism industries. C2B model is characterized by a direct action and detailed segmentation. A good example of C2B is when an individual photographer sells stock images to businesses (Thirumalai, 2016).

5I’s of Internet Marketing

Digital marketing is shaping the market world today. This is particularly attributed to the internet opportunities that marketers and companies can utilize. What differentiates internet marketing from other forms of marketing are the 6 I’S which include integration, individualism, intelligence, interactivity, industry restructuring, and independence of location (Versaw, 2011). Five of them are discussed as follows:

Interactivity- through the internet, consumers become interactive in the process of marketing. In the past, it was difficult to engage consumers in the process of marketing because it required time and energy to carry out a survey. However, with internet consumers are invited to provide their feedback or their preference through the company’s website or social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn among others. The information provided through interactive marketing will be used by a company to direct their advertisement. Interactive marketing is cheaper than the traditional marketing (Chaffey, 2013).

A common example of interactive marketing is search engine marketing. When consumers type a query into the engine, they see advertisement based on their search. For example, when consumers type a query into Google Play they see advertisements such as android apps, music, games, videos, and movies. The consumers will then select what they want.


Intelligence- internet marketing also provides intelligence. This is because the internet allows marketers to research marketing. Some of the valuable information that marketers get through the internet includes how to be cost effective, consumers’ perceptions, and competitors. Marketers can also create two-way feedback model using the internet. For example, they can create a questionnaire in the customer service site, and customers will answer the questions in the questionnaire. Through this, marketers will learn on what customers expect. Marketers can also use the company’s website to monitor consumer patterns on the kinds of promotions or products they are responding to. Marketers then use this information for their benefit (Versaw, 2011).

Individualization- this feature is related to interactive marketing. However, in individualism marketing information is directed to specific individual locations, age, or gender (Chaffey, 2013). In other words, marketing activity is personalized. To achieve customer relationship management online, personalization is very essential. Individualism is achieved by using extranets which are created using key accounts. These accounts are customized such that each time consumer visits such site they receive relevant information related to the product they are interested in. A good example is Amazon where they use individualization to communicate the books they are selling.

Integration— the internet also provides the feature of integrated marketing. Integrated marketing involves a combination of traditional marketing methods and online marketing methods. For example, use of magazine can be combined with QA code. The purpose of integrated marketing is to communicate marketing information to consumers from two perspectives. Integrative marketing also promotes interactive marketing and intelligence. A good example of integration is publicizing promotions and offers in billboard or magazines and allowing customers to provide a direct response through the internet (Versaw, 2011).

Independence of location- the power of internet marketing allows advertisement of a product or service to reach anywhere in the globe. Marketers can conduct internet marketing using their personal computers to reach international markets directly without using networking or agents. Marketers can take advantage of this feature to target markets where their products or services are highly demanded. For example, companies such as Starbuck can market their coffee products to countries such as India through the internet. This will promote buying directly from the company instead of through an agent (Chaffey, 2013).


Chaffey, (2013). Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice, 5th edition ©Pearson Education Ltd.

DaSilva, C. M., & Trkman, P. (2014). Business model: what it is and what it is not. Long range planning, 47(6), 379-389.

Versaw, K., (2011). The 6 I’s of Internet Marketing. Retrieved from

Muzellec, L., Ronteau, S., & Lambkin, M. (2015). Two-sided Internet platforms: A business model lifecycle perspective. Industrial Marketing Management, 45, 139-150.

Thirumalai, C., & Senthilkumar, M. (2016). An Assessment Framework of Intuitionistic Fuzzy Network for C2B Decision Making. A A, 10, 1.