The Growth in E-Commerce: A Timeline
Gone are the days when consumers had to head to their local brick-and-mortar store or marketplace in order to make a purchase, as they can now order online at the click of a button. That’s the way, e-commerce has revolutionized both businesses and peoples’ lives by bringing them closer.
E-commerce is the trade of goods and services over the internet. It has produced a sea change in marketing owing to its more flexible and adaptive framework than traditional businesses and services.
Intertwined with the internet, it has shortened the product distribution chain. Thereby, enhancing the scope for streamlining and automation of production lines and systems. Because of its vast reach and fame, it has erupted a wake-up call to several enthusiastic entrepreneurs to do business. Still, have you ever wondered how this massive breakthrough took place?
The history of electronic-commerce dates back to 1969.
One of the first commercial online service named, CompuServe was introduced in the year 1969, offering computer time for rent to other businesses.
In the late 1970s, Michael Aldrich invented online shopping, done by connecting a prototype TV in real time transaction process to a computer.
Nevertheless, he had to set up a demand as the whole world was unaware of this new innovation. Finally, his company officially launched the product in 1980, after much developments, designs and inclusions like the computer interface software. Everyone were bewitched by the idea of shopping from home.
Aldrich also improvised the B2B, i.e business to business marketing strategy, which involves the conduct of trade between two or more companies. This marketing strategy is now considered as one of the 6 types of e-commerce. The 6 types of e-commerce namely includes :
- B2B – Business to Business
- B2C – Business to Consumer
- C2C – Consumer to Consumer
- C2B – Consumer to Business
- B2A – Business to Administration
- C2A – Consumer to Administration
Consequently, the company boomed and flourished as there was not much of a competition.
Technically, the world’s first e-commerce company, Boston Computer Exchange was launched. It served as as an online market for people interested in selling their used computers.
Charles M. Stack initiated the Book Stacks Unlimited, an online book store. It was the first online book marketplace. Originally, started as a dial-up bulletin board located in Ohio, it switched to the internet as Book.com. Later on, it became a subsidiary of Cedant Corporation in 1996.
Netscape navigator, a web browser tool was developed and used on the Windows platform.
In the year 1995, Jeff Bezos launched Amazon as an online platform for the sale of books. It has now become one of the largest online retailers in the world, with a revenue of $113.08 billion in 2020.
The year 1995, also saw the launch of eBay, a multinational e-commerce corporation.
The subsequent years saw the rise of many other technological and e-commerce sites like PayPal, Alibaba Online, Google Adwords, Shopify, Etsy, Apple Pay and many more down the line.
E-Commerce has influenced the business world and has come a long way since its launch in 1969. It has not only made peoples lives easier, but also paved a new path for small businesses and entrepreneurs, by providing
- low operational costs
- vast customer base
- lead generation
- several payment modes
- affordable advertising and marketing
And much more…
It also found a new surge during the tough times of Covid-19, when people couldn’t come out of their homes nor many businesses could yield a good profit.
Altogether, E-COMMERCE is a force that no one can ignore.