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E-Commerce: Then and Now

Recent advances in technology have reshaped the retail industry in more ways than one, particularly as it concerns convenience to customers. Shopping can be done at the comfort of your home with a click of a button. Even traditional shoppers who still enjoy a trip to the store will surf the net to compare prices and score great deals on items. To most of us, this may seem like an overnight transformation but the reality is E-Commerce evolved over time

The beginnings of e-commerce started about 40 years ago. Things like Teleshopping and Electronic Data Interchanges (EDI) really gave the world of e-commerce the kick-start it needed to be the huge success it is today. The internet’s emergence in the early 90s helped bring the concept of online shopping to the limelight, making it what it is today.


E-Commerce: 1960 to 1982

It was during this time that EDI took over and ultimately replaced traditional methods of mailing and faxing important documents by way of digital transfers… computer to computer. This method allows the transfer of information without people getting involved at all.


E-Commerce: 1982 to 1990

In 1982, the predecessor to the internet was called the Minitel. It was free for people who had landlines, connecting millions of people to a computing network. The Minitel was short-lived though, falling to its demise three years later. The internet clearly won that race.


E-Commerce: Past and Present

It wasn’t until the early 90s, that the “World Wide Web” came to be, by Tim Berners Lee and Robert Cailliau. Lee is who wrote the first web browser and made it service on the internet, leading him to develop URL, HTML, and HTTP. With the invention of this, there was a restriction on commercial use of the internet, but it was lifted and this is when online shopping had major growth. Fast forward to today, the biggest enhancements in the e-commerce world is in the marketplaces, payments, and becoming mobile-friendly.


The Mobile World Grows

By far, mobile shopping is the most popular way to shop now. The ability to make purchases from the palm of your hand is what made this phenomenon grow. In 2017, more than one-third of e-commerce sales were made by way of mobile devices… as mentioned earlier, it’s the comfort and convenience of it all. Not only that, but people want what they want, right then, so being able to make a purchase from their phone through an app as soon as they think about it, satisfies their need for instant gratification.


In summary, it is near impossible to run a business if you aren’t online, could be a web page or a mobile app. This is not just some trend that’s here today and gone tomorrow… you can expect to see bigger and newer innovations unlike you’ve seen before. It’s about time you became a part of it!