Click, click, click, andddd done. Ordering one of your favorite products online is as simple as that. Nowadays, it is actually becoming the norm to order online vs go through the hassle of visiting a retail store. There are quite a few reasons for this, the main one pointing to the convenience factor.
You can’t get more convenient than ordering groceries for tonight’s dinner from the comfort of your couch. Yes, you read that right. You are now able to order groceries online and they’ll arrive on your doorstep in two hours or less.
This overly-convenient way of shopping isn’t how it’s always been, which might be difficult for some of you youngsters to believe. Consumer habits have gravitated towards e-commerce, rather than good old fashioned regular commerce, not that long ago. Here’s how it all began.
The Invention of Online Shopping
The concepts behind ecommerce started about 40 years ago, but it has been on an exponential rise for the past decade or so. Something called electronic data interchange came about in the 70s, and this was what really paved the way for businesses to start operating online. Teleshopping – or shopping from the telephone – also became a thing around the same time.
However, nothing really took off with ecommerce until 1991 when the internet was invented. Well, it wasn’t really invented in 1991, but it at least became available to the public that year. Before that, the first online retailer dates back to 1979 by a British man named Michael Aldrich. His ecommerce store was nothing like what you’re used to in 2019.
Aldrich connected a television to a telephone line and then connected that to a multi-user transaction processing computer. We won’t get into it since it’s extremely hard to explain these technologies of the past. All you need to know is that the idea took off and spread throughout the UK and to Ireland and Spain within the next year.
The Arrival of the World Wide Web
Something world-altering happened in 1991 – the world wide web became accessible to the general public. Up until this time, the National Science Foundation had restriction on the practice of selling goods and services over the internet. But that all changed, which led to an insane increase in online shopping around the world.
During this time of growth, there were major concerns about personal and financial information staying secure while making a transaction. However, there was an immediate response to this concern with the creation of Secure Socket Layer (or SSL) technology. To this day, banks and online retailers use SSL encryption software to keep customer and client information protected.
The top ecommerce store in the 21st century is Amazon – chances are you’ve heard of it and maybe even used it once or twice or one thousand times. Just about every retailer has an online store as well, and the most successful ones have invested in ecommerce order management software.
There are so many tools and resources available making it easy for almost anyone to become an ecommerce business owner. If this is something that sounds interesting to you, just remember that competition is fierce since all businesses are focusing on online shopping.