This article provides general definitions and considerations for understanding B2B, B2C, B2G, and mobile ecommerce.

eCommerce General Definitions:

What is "eCommerce"?

eCommerce refers to the exchange of business transaction information online using the following tools:

  • Electronic data interchange (EDI), an interorganizational exchange of business documents in a structured and machine processable format.
  • Electronic mail (email)
  • Electronic fund transfer (EFT)
  • Websites
  • Payment gateways​


What is "Cross-Border eCommerce"?

Cross-border ecommerce is international ecommerce.  It is literally "selling across a border using ecommerce", as opposed to selling domestically with ecommerce.

What is "B2B eCommerce"?

Business to business (B2B) ecommerce transactions are made between businesses, where a supplier sells in bulk (consumer goods, commodities, industrial) to the purchasing company. We recommend that your B2B ecommerce site have a "B2B login portal" feature on your site. B2B login portals allow you greater control over highly variable details such as:

  • ​variable  transaction pricing 
  • figure shipping and logistics for large volumes 
  • contracts and their entitlements
  • any applicable export regulations


What is "B2C eCommerce"?

Business to consumer (B2C) is where a business sells its product directly to a customer, either directly from a company website or an online marketplace. The purchasing companies that purchase bulk products from suppliers via a B2B ecommerce transaction and then sells those products to directly consumers has then purchased through B2B and sold through B2C.


What is "B2G eCommerce"?

The business-to-government (B2G) model is a variant of the B2B model where your site is designed with a B2B portal to allow secure communications and procurement transactions with government entities. Such websites are accredited by the U.S. government and have been provided a means for the business to submit their application forms to the government through prior negotiations.

What is "Mobile eCommerce"?

Mobile ecommerce, also called m-commerce or more commonly “mobile,” is a simple modification and formatting of an existing ecommerce website to allow it to be read by any mobile device. Mobile encompasses not only smartphones but also tablets (occasionally referred to as “t-commerce”), with the only limiting factor being the state of current technology.

Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting