Since the beginning of World Wide Web in 1989, thousands of other new technologies have emerged to be a part of the history of e-commerce. The internet has given us anything that made our lives simple and complex all at the same time. In this digital age, everything is literally at our fingertips. We can socialize, read the news, book a car, and even have food delivered anywhere we are with just a few taps on our smart phones.
One of the widely evolved technologies that Internet has to offer is e-commerce. E-commerce, electronic commerce, is basically buying and selling products or services online. Whatever commercial transaction done across the internet is considered e-commerce. But e-commerce isn’t just when we buy a product from Amazon or book a car in Uber. E-commerce also comes in forms of fund transfer, internet marketing, electronic data interchange, and online marketplaces. Here’s a quick video that explains what e-commerce is:
But from all these technology evolutions, how did e-commerce really get started?
It’s easy to say that e-commerce started as early as the time when the internet had begun to be used commercially. It wasn't long before businesses began to take advantage of the emerging technology and to respond to the demands of the consumers. These businesses were the game changers of e-commerce throughout its history.
Would you believe that Pizza Hut was one of the few businesses that offered online ordering through their website in 1994 when Navigator, a web browser, was launched? By the time internet had reached over 40 million people in 1996, eBay and Amazon already existed. Not long after, Paypal, a channel that allows people to make payments online, was also founded. At the beginning of the new millennium, more than 70% of people already knew how to purchase products online.
E-commerce has evolved so much already from buying a book from Amazon to buying a song from iTunes, a digital music store, invented by Apple – more so when the rise of the smart phones was upon us and made everything easier. Roughly 19 years after the beginning of internet, the first online purchase through a mobile device was done in 2008. By 2015, more than 30% of e-commerce transactions had already been done through a mobile device and social media also became a game changer in the e-commerce evolution.
Let’s not forget how Facebook completely took e-commerce to a whole new level when they allowed advertisements in their platform in 2006 and led the other social media to make a change. Today, Facebook has over 1.15 billion users everyday and businesses have taken advantage of this by reaching to this large audience. Businesses can now use Facebook to collect data about their target audience, advertise the products or services they sell, or even create a marketplace itself to sell it. Facebook is definitely the leader in this social media marketing age.
The history of e-commerce continues to evolve day by day and it has already proven its reliability when it comes to boosting our businesses, making our purchases online, and even as easy as ordering our everyday coffee – all with just a few taps on our mobile devices.