Taxonomy of C2C E-Commerce Venues

Taxonomy of C2C E-Commerce Venues

Kiku Jones (The University of Tulsa, USA) and Lori N.K. Leonard (The University of Tulsa, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch584
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Abstract

The most cited and researched example of C2C e-commerce is through online auctions such as eBay. However, there are many other venues for conducting C2C e-commerce that should be explored that may not necessarily be apparent. As demonstrated by existing research in C2C e-commerce, researchers have focused their studies on venues in which C2C e-commerce is the specified purpose of a site. In addition to these venues, C2C e-commerce can be facilitated in places such as online communities, Web-based discussion forums, consumer blogs, and chat rooms. Each of these venues needs to be explored before a complete representation of C2C e-commerce can be made. Differences in how a consumer views each of the C2C e-commerce venues may be expected to alter the factors affecting his/her determination to participate in C2C e-commerce in the various venues. To help researchers in structuring the potential venues and classifying factors affecting participation, this article presents a taxonomy of the C2C e-commerce venues and a description of the types of venues found in the categories. The next section provides a background discussion of each venue discussed in the taxonomy. Following that will be the presentation of the taxonomy. Future trends and conclusions are provided at the end of the article.
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Introduction

Commerce can be conducted face-to-face or electronically. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) refers to buyers and sellers transacting online. As Figure 1 illustrates, businesses and individual consumers participate in various forms of this commerce, for example, business-to-business (B2B); business-to-consumer (B2C); and consumer-to-consumer (C2C). B2B e-commerce is the conducting of online transactions between businesses. It is the largest form of e-commerce being practiced today. B2C e-commerce is the conducting of online transactions between a business and a consumer. It is the largest form of e-commerce being researched and the second largest form of e-commerce being practiced. C2C e-commerce is the conducting of online transactions between consumers. It has not been researched as much as B2B or B2C e-commerce, but it is steadily catching up to B2C e-commerce, in practice. For example, online auction use is expected to reach $54 billion in 2007, which is a growth rate of 33% compounded annually since 2002 (Johnson, 2002). Even though more transactions are occurring, research in C2C e-commerce has not kept up in this growing field. Perhaps the reason for this lack of synchronization is that researchers are unaware of the many venues in which C2C e-commerce can and is being conducted.

Figure 1.

Commerce channels

The most cited and researched example of C2C e-commerce is through online auctions such as eBay. However, there are many other venues for conducting C2C e-commerce that should be explored that may not necessarily be apparent. As demonstrated by existing research in C2C e-commerce, researchers have focused their studies on venues in which C2C e-commerce is the specified purpose of a site. In addition to these venues, C2C e-commerce can be facilitated in places such as online communities, Web-based discussion forums, consumer blogs, and chat rooms. Each of these venues needs to be explored before a complete representation of C2C e-commerce can be made. Differences in how a consumer views each of the C2C e-commerce venues may be expected to alter the factors affecting his/her determination to participate in C2C e-commerce in the various venues.

To help researchers in structuring the potential venues and classifying factors affecting participation, this article presents a taxonomy of the C2C e-commerce venues and a description of the types of venues found in the categories. The next section provides a background discussion of each venue discussed in the taxonomy. Following that will be the presentation of the taxonomy. Future trends and conclusions are provided at the end of the article.

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Background

C2C e-commerce has been examined in terms of trust, reputation systems, and value in communities. However, the venues for conducting C2C e-commerce have not been explored, nor have the multitude of venues available to conduct C2C e-commerce been recognized. This section will present potential C2C e-commerce venues and the relevant research to date for each venue.

Online auctions have been heavily researched in the literature. An online auction is designed to allow consumers to buy and sell from one another in a structured environment. In this venue, payment and product exchange mechanisms are established. One area of concern in online auctions is the reputation system. Many researchers have examined the impact of a seller’s reputation (given that he/she may be anonymous) on the willingness of buyers to bid on and purchase items in an online auction (Lin, Li, Janamanchi, & Huang, 2006; Melnik & Alm, 2002). Online auctions have also been researched in many other ways, such as price setting (Bapna, Goes, & Gupta, 2001), bidding strategies (Ward & Clark, 2002), and trust (Klein & O’Keefe, 1999).

Third party listing services allow consumers to post items for sale as one would traditionally post in the classifieds. Third party listing services are also well structured and appear to be an established way to conduct C2C e-commerce; however, they have not been explored in the literature with regard to selling and purchasing. Currently, only the recognition of a third party in the buying/selling process has been studied as to its impact on consumer trust (Schneiderman, 2000).

Key Terms in this Chapter

C2C E-Commerce: Consumer-to-consumer electronic commerce, that is, the buying and/or selling of goods and services from one consumer to another consumer online.

Online Community: Otherwise known as a virtual community; an online venue that allows individuals with the same interests to interact, exchange ideas, and potentially determine the exchange of products.

Web-Based Discussion Forum: An online venue that allows for the posting of and discussion of information related to a particular topic.

C2C E-Commerce Venue: The place or format for which C2C e-commerce can be conducted.

Third Party Listing Service: An established online venue that is similar to using the classifieds; it allows consumers to post items online for sale and for other consumers to receive seller contact and product information so that a formal exchange can take place.

Online Auction: An established online venue designed to allow consumers to buy and sell from one another.

Consumer Blog: A Web log that is created by a user to display journal-like entries.

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