What is an online shop?


An online shop, also called online store or virtual store, is a web site which sells goods and/or services to consumers and/or businesses. Often web shops are seen as selling only products but in effect companies like Netflix and Uber can be considered web shops as well. 

Types of online shops


There are several kinds of web shops:

  • Business to Consumer (B2C) online shops: In this case the online shop sells products and/or services to consumers. Examples are Amazon.com, Asos.com and JD.com.

  • Business to Businesses (B2B) online shops: here the online store sells products and/or services to other companies. Examples are Grainger and Office Depot.

  • Consumer to Consumer (C2C) online shops: many webshops are maintained by consumers who sell to consumers but in most cases with C2C ecommerce it is meant that consumers sell products or services via market places like Ebay, Graiglist and Etsy.Other types of web shops sometimes used are according to EcommerceWiki:

  • Consumer to Businesses (C2B) online shops: in this case a consumer can post the product or service he requires on a web site allowing businesses to bid for the project.

  • Government to Consumer (G2C) online shops: allows residents of a county, municipality, province or country to buy goods and services from their government. Common products now offered online are passport, driving license (re)newals, registering a baby or change in relationship, move or migration, etcetera.

  • Government to Businesses (G2B) online shops: The same applies for companies who can (re-)order permits and certificates or apply for approvals.


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