7 Unique Internet Business Models

As we enter 2021, there are more and more businesses forming on the Internet. So many that it is almost impossible to count them all manually. Almost every industry has a presence on the Internet no matter how traditional your industry is.

With the numbers still growing, how well do you know the Internet? There are 7 unique Internet Business Models that are prominent over the past years.

  • Portal
  • Service Provider
  • Content Provider
  • Market Creator
  • E-Tailer
  • Community Provider
  • Transactions Broker

Each one consisting of unique and proven concepts that is now playing a big part in our daily lives.

PortalAn initial point of entry to the web along with specialized content and other services. Duck Duck Go, Yahoo, Google, Bing
Service ProviderProvides Web 2.0 applications such as video and photo sharing, and user-generated content as services such as backup and data storage. Gmail, Whatsapp, Telegram, Zoom
Content ProviderProviding digital content, such as news, photos, music over the web. Revenue is generated mainly by subscribtion basis or ads space.Netflix, Digital Games, iTunes, Iflix, Playstore, App Store
Market CreatorProvides a digital enviroment where buyers and sellers can meet, searchand display products while establishing prices. B2B E-Commerce, revenue is generated through transactions.Ebay
E-TalierSells physical products directly to consumers and individual businesses.Amazon
Community ProviderProvides an online meeting place where people with similar interests can communicate and find useful information. Social Media mainly forms a big role in community provider. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google
Transaction BrokerSaves users money and time by processing online sales transactions, stock brokers. Generates a fee each time a transaction occurs. They are also involved in cybersecurity.Banks
Internet Business Models Category, Description and Examples

Portal Business Model

Portals are the initial point of entry to the internet such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duck-Duck Go, and other web search tools. Today, the term “Portal” have evolved to a term referring to a business model that provides a destination site where users start their web searching for entertainment, reading news.

It is essentially a consolidation of multiple service in a platform. Such as, maps, news, shopping, photos, streaming and more.

Service Provider Business Model

A service provided is similar to an E-Tailer business concept, except, it is not selling physical products. A service provider demonstrates and offers its services in return for compensation usually in the form of cash.

Almost any business uses a service provider in many different aspects. As long as you are outsourcing a part of your work to an external party, you are engaging someone’s services to solve that work. This includes subscribing to software systems too such as Adobe Photoshop, HR Management Software, to Gmail Suite.

Content Provider Business Model

“Content” covers wide forms of Intellectual Property (IP). IP refers to all forms of human expression that can be put into a tangible medium such as text, CDs, or DVDs, or stored on any digital media, including the Web.

Content providers distribute information content, such as digital video, music, photos, text, and artwork, over the Web. The value proposition of online content providers is that consumers can find a wide range of content online, conveniently, and purchase this content inexpensively, to be played, or viewed, on multiple computer devices or smartphones.

Providers do not have to be creators of the content (although sometimes they are) and are more likely to be Internet-based distributors of content produced and created by others. For example, Netflix sells a subscription fee to stream movies, but it does not commission new videos.

Market Creator Business Model

Market creators build a digital environment in which buyers and sellers can meet, display products, search for products, and establish prices.

The value proposition of online market creators is that they provide a platform where sellers can easily display their products and where purchasers can buy directly from sellers.

E-commerce platforms like Amazon are great examples of the market creator business model. As a merchant, you are able to set online stores on the platform and be ready to sell goods by using Amazon as the middle-person.

Another great example is Shopify. Through a combination of the subscription fees for a merchant to set up a store on their platform, they will receive many other benefits. Shopify has bundled their packages to include a one-stop solution to all e-commerce sellers, from building your store to connecting it to your supplier.

The market creators can then create more value for the merchants by driving additional traffic to their online stores in the market creators platform through various marketing campaigns and branding.

E-Tailer Business Model

Online retail stores, often called E-Tailers, come in all sizes from giant Amazon to smaller businesses that have a presence online.

An E-Tailer is similar to the typical brick-and-mortar stores, except that customers only need to connect to the Internet to check the stock availability and place an order.

If you’re wondering what the difference between E-Tailer and Market Creator, an E-Tailer is particularly selling only physical products to consumers which can be considered as the merchant for a Market Creator. For example, if you are someone who has set up an online store on the Shopify platform, you are considered the E-Tailer while Shopify is considered the Market Creator.

Some E-Tailers such as Walmart are referred to as “bricks-and-clicks”, they exist both in the existing physical stores while building the same online presence on the Internet.

Community Provider Business Model

Community providers are sites that create a digital online environment where people with similar interests can transact; share interests, photos, videos, communicate with like-minded people; receive interest-related information, and even play out fantasies by adopting online personalities called profiles and avatars.

Social networking sites Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer users community-building tools and services.

Transaction Broker Business Model

These are sites that process transactions for consumers normally handled by a system, by phone, or by mail, all being regulated and monitored by a person. One of the biggest industries implementing this model is financial and travel services.

The online transaction broker’s primary value propositions are savings of money and time, as well as providing an extraordinary inventory of financial products and travel packages in a single location.

Although the risk of online fraud is more common, the banks are constantly upgrading from traditional methods to an online presence such as strengthening traditional security to cybersecurity.

Online banking is accessible these days because more and more banks are focusing on financial technology (fintech) which refers to the terms “finance” and “technology”. That any business that uses technology to enhance or automate financial services and processes.

One of the unseen value propositions to the consumers was that the charges were relatively lower compared to the traditional version of these services. This is mainly due to automation, hence, reducing manpower headcount costs.

We hope you enjoyed the article. Read more here for more business insights.

*Business Ideas and Insights does not constitute professional advice and service. Contact your own professional to discuss your situation.


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2 thoughts on “7 Unique Internet Business Models

  • March 20, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks! Been looking for this.


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