Commercial service providers
Although there are exceptions, in general the portals,
communities and agents don't usually operate an ecommerce
, they only enter into partnership with an ecommerce site
that they present and make it visible to Internet users.
The people who create the service itself belong to another
group : the offer suppliers. They select manufacturers,
products, make up the ecommerce site, present it in a
coherent marketing manner, set up online stores, manage
invoices and customer relationship (pre-sales, sales and
Offer suppliers are divided into two sub-groups :
- primary offer suppliers : these are in direct contact
with the producers of goods or services, from whom they
obtain their supplies and sell, either direct to the final
client, or indirectly via access providers or secondary
service providers ;
- secondary offer suppliers : these are based on the service
created by the primary service providers, by adding supplementary
Primary offer suppliers
Rather like insurance brokers, they put together a commercial
package, present and sell it to their clients, but almost
immediately hand over to their supplier, who retains an
important part of the customer contact.
Consolidators by theme
The archetypal example of a consolidator is Auto-by-tel-http://www.autobytel.com,
which allows its users to select the model of their choice
and to find the dealer who is selling that model. But
once contact has been established, Auto-by-tel takes a
commission and withdraws from the commercial relationship.
The added value for the customer here lies in the quality
and relevance of the commercial information on offer,
for products which, apart from on Internet, demand a laborious
and complex process of information research.