eCommerce originated almost 40 years ago as a typical exchange of business paperwork such as orders or bills involving vendors & company clients. Several industries devised a technique for sending information from one computer to another at the time, and this is when eCommerce was born.
eCommerce's history is entwined with the evolution of the internet, because online purchase was only possible once the internet was publicly revealed in 1991. Electronic data exchange (EDI) & teleshopping opened the way for today's eCommerce company in the 1970's as we today recognize it. Additionally, Amazon was among the first ecommerce stores that started to sell in the US, as the model was swiftly followed by many other companies.
In the last few decades, e-commerce channels have steadily crept into our daily lives. Amazon & Alibaba, two online powerhouses, are quite well known these times for their excellent deals & straightforward buying options. The evolution of e-commerce has been unquestionably tremendous.
The Cyber Monday phenomenon was unknown before 2005, but it has now become synonymous with the Black Friday sale because payments may now be made online. With the ongoing expansion of the e-commerce industry, it is not surprising that similar marketing strategies targeting online shoppers are already common.
In the Q3 of 2017, sales climbed by 15.5% year over year, totaling $115 billion. Online retail sales grew by 4.3%, while physical retail revenue grew by 3.1%. (It should be noted that e-commerce also covers services such as online bill payments.)
Nevertheless, the simplicity, reliability, the customer experience of online purchase have all improved, & companies are continuing to seek ways to improve.
Modern commerce - E-commerce
E-commerce is an abbreviation for electronic commerce. In the last 10 years, ecommerce has grown to become considerably more ubiquitous. People were previously wary of revealing personal financial info online, however developments in cyber security have made it possible to buy or perform substantial online banking transactions without concern. Many types of trading stocks, especially currency trades, now are conducted online.
Nevertheless, eCommerce was lagging and then M-commerce emerged. M-commerce, or mobile commerce. is a newer version for commercial activity. Any ecommerce performed utilizing smart phones such as cell phones or tablets is included. M-commerce is often considered to be the following step in the evolution of eCommerce. Wireless Application Protocol technology powers M-Commerce, allowing consumers to safely connect to the internet.
This technology is more widespread in Europe, but it is becoming more widely available worldwide.
P-Commerce can also refer to Pinterest Commerce (buy or sell on the Pinterest website) or Participative Commerce. The latter is more significant. It's a revolutionary idea in which consumers may help finance, develop, & pick products. Crowd funding is a type of P-Commerce that is becoming more widespread.
Let us dig down deep in history
Commerce's Historical Development
Commerce has an impact on politics, economy, tech, culture, community, as well as the judicial framework.
Furthermore, commerce can refer to any transaction that involves the transportation of products from one location to another or from one country to another. As a result, if your organization transports goods from producers to customers, commerce is an essential component of all its structure, processes, & operations.
All nations & societies are affected greatly by commerce. It has the power to improve the living standards of a country's inhabitants in addition to its economic & political strength.
Obviously, such a powerful idea has grown & transformed during time. Commerce began with basic commodity or service trade & it has evolved into the complex sale and purchase that happens online today. Consumers may shop online wherever & whatever they choose from a wide range of options.
Commerce had several pathways before getting at the eCommerce platform. The levels of commerce operations, in addition to the methods used by entrepreneurs to conduct business, have evolved drastically.
Firstly, the bartering system gives way to other methods of exchange, such as cattle trading or shell trading. Then coins were created, and they created marketplaces where people could assemble; they were communal gathering spots.
After that, bank notes & credit cards were invented, then finally, eCommerce with the Internet was established.
Let's have a look at the parts underneath to learn more about these stages.
Before the invention of money, individuals used to swap their possessions for the possessions of others of equivalent value in order to get the products they need. The idea was to establish a situation in which both sides would benefit.
These would be known as bartering activities, as well as the items they were exchanging could include food, rice, wheat fur, tools, weaponry, and so forth.
Trading Precious Materials and Shells in the Second Century B.C.
Cowrie shells are incredibly hard to reproduce, which made them ideal to be utilized as means of exchange at the time. Throughout the Shang period in China, individuals utilized cowrie shells as currency in their trading transactions.
In the seventh century B.C., money was invented. (Coins)
The very first coin was made of electrum which were created in the 7th century BC in Lydia (now Turkey). Lydia was a significant trading area, and they required a clear currency to do trade. To put it another way, they manufactured money because they needed it.
In the first century B.C., the Silk Road was established.
The Silk Road was a historic trade route that connected China to Europe via Anatolia as well as the Mediterranean. Not just merchants, but also sages, warriors, ideas, faiths, & cultures, have traveled the Silk Road from East to West & West to East. This was, in other words, a transatlantic intercultural route.
The Silk Road not only delivered silk, but also porcelain, paper, spices, & expensive stones. The Silk Road, in addition to being a trade route between Asia & Europe, preserves the vestiges of civilizations, faiths, the nationalities that have resided in the region for the past 2000 years, providing an outstanding historical & cultural diversity.
Year Zero- Markets are meeting locations for buyers & sellers to trade goods or services.
These are often built in the center of cities by the states. The major purpose was to stimulate economic activity & expand economic mobility.
They served as both temporary & permanent marketplaces, formed by the town's population, culture, terrain, & requirements. People purchased and sold goods, livestock, meals, & other stuff in such markets. Bazaars are another name for these markets.
Paper Money Development in the 11th Century
The first paper money was established during China's Song dynasty in the 11th century. The Song administration sought direct authority over the system, something they obtained by issuing the first true paper money.
Metal currency takes around 18 millennia to develop. Paper money was much easier to move than coins, but it brought with it the risks of forgery & inflation. Nonetheless, in 1265, paper money became the Song government's official currency.
It represented a revolution for merchants because they no longer would have to carry large sums of money in their commercial transactions.
In 1821, the Gold Standard System was formed.
It is a money system in which a nation's currency or printed money is linked to gold directly. Governments that use the gold standard agreed on a fixed price for gold or performed buying & selling at a certain price.
This fixed price established the monetary worth. For instance, if the US sets the gold price at $400 per ounce, a dollar is described as 1/400th of an ounce of gold.
Britain abandoned the gold standard system in 1931, and the United States followed suit in 1933. This is a system that no government currently employs.
In the 1950s, credit cards were introduced.
Credit cards enable you to purchase goods and services now & pay for them later. In 1950, the Diners' Club launched its preliminary credit card. Eight years later, American Express launched its first credit card, a travel & leisure card.
In the 1960s, electronic data interchange was becoming popular.
Electronic data exchange (EDI) is a method of sending data between computers. It enables the free flow of data across businesses. We may argue that Electronic Data Interchange is the foundation of eCommerce since it enables the digital transfer of data from eCommerce businesses.
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eCommerce Development in the 2000s
Many consumers were worried about the security of online buying at the onset of eCommerce. As a consequence, an encryption certification known as the development of a security protocol, Secure Socket Layers (SSL), was formed in 1994. It was looking for an authenticated SSL to determine whether or not a site might be trusted.
Amazon began as an online bookstore in 1995. It was the world's first internet retailer. Following Amazon.com, eBay became the most major eCommerce website at the time. Thousands of other businesses follow in their ways.
Amazon's first mobile retail site debuted in 2001, accompanied by Amazon Prime in 2005.
Making Online Stores Easier in the Late 2000s
In the late 2000s, Shopify and other top eCommerce platforms developed, making it significantly faster and easier for merchants to build an eCommerce website. Shopify was founded in 2006.
It is a network that provides money handling, marketing, delivery, and customer engagement capabilities to online shops.
In 2011, smartphone app use surpassed mobile website use. Mobile apps will account for 70% of total digital media time consumed in the United States in present 2022.
Mobile applications surpassed mobile web pages in popularity since they were easier to utilize and offered a better UI/UX experience. eCommerce firms want a slice of the smartphone app pie, so they started developing their own.
If you want to capitalize on mobile app usage and adapt to the world of mobile commerce, Swipecart can convert your Shopify shop into a mobile app in minutes.
Mobile Apps Became Popular in 2007
Mobile apps garnered traction with the release of the first iPhone in 2007. In 2008, Apple opened the App Store, potentially allowing Apple users to download mobile apps. It had thousands of applications. Continuing in Apple's footsteps, the Android market emerged the same year.
Why is E-commerce important?
E-commerce has emerged as the preferred means of doing businesses nowadays due to its simplicity of access. Unlike conventional businesses, purchasers may browse a complete product database without leaving their homes.
Customers who purchase online have nearly everything they require to make a purchasing decision, with large amounts of information accessible, include options, similar costs, and customer testimonials. They could even buy something right now if they want to.
Businesses may earn from online sales as well. E-commerce may assist both large & small companies get recognition by connecting them with global audiences through the web or search engines.
Marketing and customer service via websites, social media, and blogs are less expensive and more progressive alternatives to traditional paid advertising efforts. Analytics has also simplified the tracking of client preferences and the delivery of customized communications.
The Future of E-Commerce
The anticipated development and expansion of the sector will continue to rely mainly on technological breakthroughs and a few societal elements.
Machine Learning and AI
In reality, machine learning may be used for stock management by analyzing sales and projecting when supplies should be refilled. It may also improve customer support by deploying chatbots that would provide real-time, 24-hour help.
AI might help e-commerce by giving customers with more relevant search results based on accessible information & purchase habits. Every piece of data available about consumers is important, and AI analysis might help provide superior customer service. AI also makes it possible to create more detailed consumer profiles, that your marketing team may utilize to acquire more personalized audience insights. AI may evaluate purchases & provide suggestions based on identical or related interests.
Amazon has stated that their recommendation engine accounts for 35% of its sales, proving the value of machine learning to e-commerce businesses. Indeed, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to be a powerful engine of growth and consumer happiness.
There is only one way to go: up.
Consumers may be able to overcome confusion about the marketplace's intricate navigation with the help of new information technologies and inventive governmental policies.
Undoubtedly, new knowledge and technology have made the entire purchasing process easier for both customers & sellers, as well as paved the way for new ways to buy/sell things and services. And this continued growth will just provide additional reasons for individuals to appreciate e-commerce in the future years.