The Electronic commerce or e-Commerce as is known today evolved as businesses (end to end process) started to shift from real time market to digital market. All of the business today as we see is done over the internet and anything which is not there is meant to be wiped off. Ecommerce, the online shopping system has brought down political and physical barriers giving everyone in the world an equal playing ground for their market, everyone can put their products on sale through the e-stores(website dedicated to selling of product, a virtual store).
Speaking about the last decade we saw a great market, rise over the internet, online shopping was introduced wherein firstly computer scientists got interested in then it came to general public and gradually became a substitute for the real market place.
Ecommerce, as is generally thought of, is not the birth child of “The Web” but it just got kick’ started by “The Web”.
Online shopping developed with B2B as well as with B2C since everybody is on internet, and development is going on each and every second for grabbing a better share of the market. Even as we write this article on Ecommerce with our exhaustive research!!! May just be not enough.
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Seeing the advances from the day online shopping started taking its form and eventually being a part of our life, it’s really interesting to look at all the research that went into creating a whole new market or maybe acting as a great platform for future researchers to work on. Whatever the case maybe, today for buying a book we don’t drive downtown to some high shop but preferably check on the internet for best rates and for the reviews.
If you want to buy a property in Chicago then the smartest approach would be to visit all web pages of the dealers and just by looking at them you can get a fair idea of how much you want to spend on what kind of property, similarly for checking out the latest offers and updates at possibly anything. All you need is to check out the one which suits you best and order online, pay online and get the delivery.
Benefits of online shopping :
Videotex was being researched since much earlier for supplying the end users with textual information. Much work was done in UK on videotext, it was a two way message service and developed basically for information sending where “many companies” were interested in, but on the backdrop of all that Michael Aldrich in 1979 gave the “concept of teleshopping” (today online shopping) which revolutionized the way businesses happen.
Minitel succeeded Videotext as online service making online purchases, check share market, search telephone directory and could even chat. This is one of the most successful services before WWW using telephone lines, It was launched in France successfully but in UK as well but to less success.
With Swreg (offshoot of CompuServe) the community of software developers and shareware authors got an online market where they could sell their product using “Merchant account”. Thus online shopping started for then software industry people.
Revolutionary book by J.H. Snider and Terra Ziporyn namely; Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change the Way We Shop and What We Buy. St. Martin’s Press.
Netscape released Navigator browser, later introduced Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption for secure transaction. Pizza Hut started online ordering on their webpage, cars, bikes and adult content as well started selling on the internet.
Amazon.com started selling each and everything online, and along with that Jeff Bezos starts first commercial-free 24 hour, internet-only radio stations. Then Radio HK and NetRadio start broadcasting. Companies like Dell and Cisco started using internet in all their transactions. Online auction started by eBay.
United States started selling Electronic postal stamps online wherein they could be purchased and downloaded for print.
The dot-com bust as we know it today wasn’t something that happened in a day, over speculation for a period of time (approx. 1995-2000) where just the prefix “e-” or “.com” in names could make stock prices rise at great rates. This saw a great many companies rise and fall.
Many entrepreneurs came up with brilliant plans and most got pretty “generous” venture capitalists, most of these firms started working on the principle “expand the market and later profits will cover all present debts and losses.” This speculation was constantly taking the market upwards with NASDAQ at a peak of 5132.52 points on March 10, 2000. After this the market goes down and with them the over speculating ones were just wiped off the market.
PayPal the company which offered an alternative (through internet) to cash or check payment was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion. CSN Stores and NetShops were founded with the concept of domain specific commodity and sprung with many online stores, going for one item on each website.
Online shopping matures showing to the world their confidence Amazon.com posted first yearly profit and thus again making presence on the stock market.
Tremendous growth in US in Ecommerce with sales figures touching $204 billion, a decent 17% rise from the previous year.
Online Retailer – Amazon.com has an estimated turnover on a daily basis is over US $2.5 trillion with growth rate of 14% annually. Ebay having sales of US $1.89 billion, these numbers alone speak.
The history of ecommerce would rightly be back-tracked by the time people felt the need to send “interactive content” to be displayed on television and Videotex came into being. Research was going on from the early 1960 and more corporations got interested in sending information and thus it matured while Michael Aldrich of Redifon Computers Ltd gave the concept of teleshopping and did good business in UK.
Online service of videotext, Minitel was launched in France in 1982 and was accessed using telephone lines, similar model failed in UK. It was a real success till WorldWideWeb.
The researchers who were working on Videotex in US with services like “The Source” and “CompuServe” in 1979 (contemporary of UK based research: BBC with Prestel, BritisTelecom with Viewdata, ITV with ORACLE) got interested in creating a solution for customer-targeted payment processing whose target audience would be the software developers and shareware authors, they created Swreg in 1987 in US, thus enabling the first Online market for the developers community.
In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee a British scientist working at CERN laboratory wrote the first web browser WWW which then changed most research processes and ways of businesses seeing a whole new market to evolve (rather a whole new world “The web world”).
People saw new technologies evolving with new market and then around 1994 a company called Netscape released a browser, enabling anyone to type a name in the Navigator browser and visit a webpage (which might look dumb right now, but was a real exploration making them the real champs of the market and even challenging market leaders).Soaring stock prices, Pizza Hut taking orders online and a wide variety of products being available online.
Then transactions and business started happening over the web urging every company to have a “.com”. To address security issues Netscape 1.0 introduced SSL encryption, for secure transaction. Online retailer “Amazon.com” launched selling each and everything online. “E-bay” the online auction house founded by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar. [Yipee everything on internet]
United States postal service goes online, Acquisitions of majors overtaking smaller ones for technological advancement; the whole environment was so “technologically charged”. This went on till the year 2000 when finally the Bubble (The Dot Com bubble) burst with record high in stock prices.
When money was involved in doing business over the internet “PayPal” was launched and practically has share of 70% till date, it provides facility for online payment.
Aggressiveness in the market especially in the online shopping market giving way to new tricks like giving out Coupons for customer loyalty and in an attempt to keeps clients reverting back major benefits are being offered with decent discounts to promote online shopping.
While writing this article, it’s always a possibility that we missed some other historical facts about online shopping. Feel free to share it with us.