What is the Difference Between E-commerce and E-business?

e-commerce and e-business
Mushfika Al Nahian

Roaming for so long to get the right desired product for yourself, carrying shopping bags is a bit of an old picture nowadays. The world has become a global village.

Everything has now become fast and easy. We are all connected all the time. Likewise, buying things online is also a popular thing nowadays.

You don’t need to cross hurdles to get your things in your cart. There are varieties of products, retailing sites, and payment options to buy your favourites.

So, this is a revolutionary buying and selling trend. To date, there are globally 57% of users of different online platforms for shopping.

This percentage will be ever-increasing! So what are the basic terms for online buying and selling? Yes, you got it right.

E-commerce and e-business are two terms that come to mind when talking about online business or simply the buying-selling trend.

Are they the same? Well, follow till the last of this read to get this answer down-detailed. Sit back cause it’s showtime.

What is E-commerce?

Functionally, electronic commerce is mostly the online retail market. It isn’t always about the products.

E-commerce can support both services and products for people from any corner of the world. There is no opening and closing hour.

Of course, there is a day-off or delayed delivery in some cases. But e-commerce never stops showcasing the products to the customers.

The same goes for business owners. They can start selling and buying their goods through e-commerce. It’s a never-ending trade-off.

When I say business in e-commerce, it doesn’t have to be a gigantic business. The business size can be big, small, freelance or a startup.

By entering into this internet highway of business, one can get many amenities either being the consumer or the businessman. So, let’s see what are the prevailing e-commerce business formats:

  • Business to Consumer (B2C)
  • Business to Business( B2B)
  • Consumer to Business( C2B)
  • Consumer to Consumer( C2C)
  • Direct to Consumer( D2C)

That’s not the end here, you can see the e-commerce model of the consumer-to-government (C2G) and Business to Government(B2G) nowadays.

In C2G, the consumers are requesting any service through government portals. Example: asking for free healthcare services/vaccines.

Whereas B2G means any business being the third party of government work. For example, a business rendering online health care on behalf of the government. However, the common types of e-commerce models are the:

  • Retailing: means business-to-consumer selling through an e-commerce platform. B2C follows this. 
  • Wholesale: Large volume of products of a brand sold to a retailer. B2B is an example of it.
  • Crowdfunding: Mostly used by startup businesses and it’s like the consumer-to-the-consumer type scenario. The seller raises funds from the customer’s ad and then starts the business.
  • Regular services through subscription: The products and services are provided to the consumers on a monthly/yearly basis.
  • Private/white labels: Private labelling is a brand selling its product to end customers in a D2C market and white labels are the selling of products/goods that are bought from another business and then labelled as own.

What is E-business?

Simply, it’s a business transaction. E-business is the father of E-commerce. In the early 90s, E-business was revolutionised, and with time another wing of its name E-commerce evolved.

Where E-commerce deals with only products and some services, E-business is all about running a business through the internet. So, the E-business is not restricted to buy-sell only.

It includes all its business processes like providing services, and products to the customer, keeping them updated and completing all the internal and external activities here. 

Not necessarily the business has to be online. The E-business can have their physical appearance in the market typically the “mortar and brick”.

E-business sites can network with customers and partners at the same time and expect more ROI. The business models of e-commerce are part of e-business. But broadly, e-business can be of two types. They are:

Pure-Play retailer

In a pure retailer, the business will only have a virtual existence and sell its product or services. So, it is a broader form of B2C or D2C business.

Because here, the particular business only sells products online and doesn’t have any actual shops. Their business transactions can be only monetary based and some services as well. 

In a pure-play e-business, the outlook, experience, and sections of their business website will be premium.

As they do not have any actual shop, so they do all of their master plans and investments for the website.

For example, Pure-play business websites try to do branding properly to reach out to the targeted consumers.

Make customers experience more premium by responding quickly, helping out the customers to search for their desired product, and simply making them happy with the services Also, try to promote their products through advertisements, push notifications, offer sales to gram more customers, etc.

But the hurdle part is when the pure-play e-business can not make the brand visible and lacks quality then their success is a bit in a dilemma. So, some key focus areas for the pure play e-business would be-

Make the customer experience constant all the time. Dealing with their details, notifying them, and easy shipment can give them a nice experience.

Try to go for an easy return process. Because sometimes the products may not be as expected by the customers.

For example, a miss orders a dress, but the dress doesn’t fit her, so she wants to return it. In such a situation, the return process should be systematic and not cumbersome.

Well, management of the website. I guess this is the crucial one. Because in pure play e-business, your customers will judge you by the virtual outlook only.

So, make the website graphics catchy, product sections easy and detailed, search bars, help and troubleshooting sections, security of the customer’s details, train the customer attendees also deploying a chatbot, free call options, FAQ section, and many more.

So, no doubt the pure play business is very famous but there is another type that is still stealing the e-shopping trend. That is…

Brick and click

By name, I guess you got the thing. This type of E-business has its brands, existing physical shops, and again has the appearance online.

They have ” brick and mortar” shops. It is found that more than 55% of people still love to do their shopping in person.

Brick and click has another name in e-business which is omnichannel. Brands have their shops, and websites representing the same products online.

So, brick-and-click makes the brand more visible and close to the customers. Customers can see the products online, then go shopping, fill the cart, and enjoy.

Here, the return process is also easy. But it can vary from business to business. You might think, omnichannel has a higher ROI than pure play.

Well, in some cases it’s true. But the brands need to maintain two sides of the business. One is maintaining the physical storefronts and another is maintaining the e-business website of their brands.

So, it’s a tough thing to maintain the two versions of your business until you have an impulsive sale. But in most cases, the brick-and-click business can do well due to their service, and better visibility.

Difference Between E-commerce and E-business

Topic E-commerce E-business
Nature of Action Only product and service selling  Running the entire business online. 
Status A division of e-business it is the creator of e-commerce
Appearance The business is much more public-oriented  Here business is open to the public but it maintains a distance as well
Target Selling products/goods Selling and promoting brand
Connection system Internet only Internet, intranet for business communication and extranet for building communication with the partners, supply chain, and customers.
Way of connecting with the customers Through e-commerce websites or own website  A well-maintained website of the brand and the customer relationship management(CRM) and enterprise resource planning(ERP) as the external software
Activities Selling any goods/services. Like dress selling, online tickets, paying bills, online banking systems with the government, etc  Online customer support, supply chain management, omnichannel and online store marketing, email marketing, preparing invoices, gateway, and other enterprise activities


To unlock the door to thousands of products and services, there is no alternative to e-commerce and e-business sites. You can make the best use of your time while travelling or sitting around by scrolling the products online.

Today you won’t have to travel to get your goods; they will be at your doorstep. This ease has become the hype of today. Not only the consumers but the business are also benefited through e-business and e-commerce.

If the business can appear with all the customer-friendly stuff, then it’s sure for an impulsive ROI. So, I hope this write-up has unpacked all your inquisitive thoughts about E-commerce and E-business. Happy E-cart!

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