A very simple yet exhaustive representation of businesses on internet can be seen as 4C PERSPECTIVE, which showcased most of the business activities on Internet, resulting in four classical business models : Content, Commerce, Context and Connection (as originally suggested by Wirtz); which are either employed individually, hybrid or integrated mode.
- Content-orientated business models are for the collection, selection, compilation, distribution and presentation of online content, like any online news or media company (e.g. Walt Disney, Network18 etc.). Their value proposition is to provide convenient, user-friendly online access to various types of relevant content. While these firms are mainly depend on indirect, transaction-independent revenue streams – online advertising, they are also pursuing direct revenue streams, particularly for premium content.
- Commerce-orientated business models are used for various activities (like initiation, negotiation, payment and delivery) of commercial transactions over internet. These firms (e.g. Amazon, Flipkart, Dell, etc.) offer cost-efficient transactions by using electronic processes to perform traditional functions, i.e. creating direct (sales revenues) and indirect (commissions) revenue streams.
- Context-oriented business models mainly compile and structure existing information on Internet, instead of creating new content. These firms (e.g. Google) help users to find the information of their specific need, while helping them navigate through a large number of websites with higher transparency and reduced complexity. These firms primarily have on indirect and transaction-independent revenues like online advertising.
- Connection-oriented business models provide network infrastructure to enable user participation in online communities or networks, either on a physical ‘interconnection’ level (like Earthlink) or a virtual ‘intra-connection’ level (like offering email or instant messaging). These models (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) not only generate direct subscription revenues, but also establish indirect, transaction-independent – advertising revenue sources.