Key events in the history of online shopping


The history of online shopping

For many, it can be hard to remember the days when shopping online was not an option. Yet despite its current prevalence, online shopping is a relatively new phenomenon.

This graph, presented by Logiq, describes the brief history of online shopping and its evolution over the past decades. We’ll also discuss how businesses can move forward in this rapidly changing space and what it takes to stay competitive in today’s market.

Chronology: from the end of the 1970s to the present day

According to Wholesale trade, the first ideas for online shopping began in England in the late 1970s.

1970s: The early days

In 1979, English inventor Michael Aldrich invented a system that allowed consumers to connect to businesses electronically. He did this by connecting a consumer’s television set to a retailer’s computer through a phone line.

His invention was one of the first communication tools to enable interactive mass communication, but it was expensive and made no financial sense for most businesses until the Internet became mainstream.

1980s: Notice boards

In 1982, the world’s first e-commerce business was launched. The Boston Computer Exchange (BCE) was an online marketplace for people to buy and sell used computers.

The launch of BCE predates the advent of the World Wide Web, and for this reason, the company operated on a dial-up line. bulletin board system.

90s: Big dogs start to emerge

By the mid-1990s, the internet had become an established hub for global communication and connection. In 1995, the most popular web browser at the time, Netscape, had around 10 million users worldwide.

That same year, Jeff Bezos launched Amazon, which at the time operated as an online book market. The company saw the first signs of success: within 30 days of launch it was shipping internationally to 45 different countries.

A few years later, an online payment system called Confinity, now known as PayPal, was born.

2000s: monetization becomes mainstream

When the novelty of the Internet began to fade in the early 2000s, monetization methods and platforms began to become more sophisticated.

In 2000, Google introduced Google AdWords as an online advertising tool for businesses to promote their products. This ushered in the era of pay-per-click advertising.

Five years later, Amazon introduced its Prime membership package, which offered members perks like free fast shipping and exclusive discounts. Primary users were (and still are) billed an annual fee.

2010s: which quickly degenerated

In the 2010s, e-commerce quickly started to gain momentum. In 2010, for the first time in the history of online shopping, online sales in the United States on Cyber ​​Monday exceeded $ 1 billion.

Around the same time, the launch of new digital payment tools helped fuel the fire. For example, the launch of Apple Pay in 2014 made it easy for consumers to pay for products directly from their iPhones.

Today: the future is bright

Amid the global pandemic, businesses have been forced to shut down physical stores and lockdown restrictions have pushed consumers online. By May 2020, e-commerce sales had reached $ 82.5 billion, a 77% increase from year to year.

And as the world has started to open up again, online shopping is expected to continue to grow and expand its market share – by 2023, online shopping is expected to make up for it. 22% of total retail sales worldwide.

Market monopoly

While the future looks bright for online shopping, it’s important to note that historically online sales have not been evenly distributed. In fact, in 2020, barely five retailers composed of more than 50% of total online retail sales in America.

Seller % of Total US Retail Ecommerce Sales (2020)
Amazon 39%
Walmart 5.8%
eBay 4.9%
Apple 3.5%
Home depot 2.1%
Others (around 1.3 million companies) 44.7%

With the ever-changing online world, it can be difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to keep up and stay competitive with the big players. This is why companies like Logiq exist.

Logiq provides businesses with simplified e-commerce solutions, to help them improve their e-commerce game and stay ahead of the rapidly changing world of online shopping.


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