C2C is a category of e-commerce which allows consumers to interact with each other. This model of e-commerce facilitates transactions of products or services between consumers. In business to consumer model, a consumer approaches a business to purchase goods or services. In C2C model, the business provides a platform where consumers can sell products or services to each other. The main goal of C2C is to help buyers find sellers. This benefits both the parties. A buyer finds a product or a service which would have otherwise been hard to find and a seller benefits by selling the product or a service. The platforms for such transactions are usually provided by third parties, which act as intermediaries between the sellers and buyers. For instance, online portals such as E-bay facilitates sellers to post their goods or services online that is available for consumers to purchase. In such transactions, the third party may charge a transaction fee or commission. Products sold on these websites can be new or second hand.
The proliferation of Internet services across the world and the significant increase in the use of smartphones can be attributed as major factors to facilitate the C2C e-commerce market growth. Users can sign-up on online portals providing C2C services and begin to buy or sell desired products or services. The reduction in the costs of these products and services, due to the absence of middlemen, wholesalers and retailers involved in the transaction has further aided to the growth of global C2C e-commerce market. Moreover, sellers are no longer restricted to local regions and can reach national and international audiences.
Furthermore, the need of capital investment on outlet stores is eliminated and the inventory costs are reduced. This enables the sellers to sell their products at higher prices and at the same time buyers can purchase them at comparatively cheaper prices. Also, the convenience associated with this model with regards to ample choices available to buyers is an advantage for the subscribers of such portals. The advent and increasing popularity of online payment systems is expected to fuel the growth of C2C e-commerce, globally. However, Internet frauds and identity threats, absence of payment guarantees are the hurdles in adoption of these services. C2C websites have no control over the quality of goods being sold on them as they only act as intermediaries. The possibility of illegal or pirated products sold through such websites is a threat to the C2C market.
On the basis of source of revenue, the C2C e-commerce market can be broadly segmented into classifieds and auctions. Classifieds can be further segmented into products and services. In terms of geography, C2C e-commerce market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Latin America. North America is one of the leading regions in the global market because of high penetration of Internet and a large number of smartphone users. Asia Pacific is expected to witness rapid growth in the coming years due to the rise in Internet and smartphone users, mainly in China and India.
The key players in the C2C e-commerce market include eBay Inc, Amazon.com, Inc., Craigslist, Inc, Taobao.com, OLX, Inc, Quikr India Private Limited , uBid.com, Auctions.com and Airbnb, Inc.