Many users of today’s eCommerce sites probably don’t spend any time considering the history of the various sales platforms involved in the business. The sophisticated eCommerce technology we are used to today has come a long way from its basic and functional beginnings. How did this multi-trillion-dollar industry develop into the behemoth it is now? Well, the answer is from a long and interesting process of evolution.
Where Did It All Begin?
The first example of eCommerce seems completely abstract from the interfaces we are used to today. The very first example of an eCommerce platform dates back to the 1970s, when the inventor, Michael Aldrich, connected a modified television to a transaction processing computer using a simple telephone line. Although this technology was sold in the 80s, it wasn’t until the 1990s, with the advent of the world wide web, that eCommerce took off. When companies first adopted it like Amazon and eBay, eCommerce of the 1990s was very basic, with none of the marketing or customer relations tools that are widely available today.
The Increasing Popularity of the Early 2000s
As many other big companies rapidly went online, the increased competition drove to developers to increase eCommerce capabilities. Between the 2000s and the 2010s, hundreds of different types of eCommerce services became available, such as online food ordering, media streaming, brick and mortar retailers, online marketplaces and online storefronts. The number of features that were on offer on applications began to increase. Additions such as multi-language functionality, B2B capability, advanced searches and starter storefronts were all developed during the early 2000s. Google launched AdWords, its early online advertising service that allowed eCommerce stores to market to internet users.
Sophistication and Customization
As eCommerce technology continued to evolve, it enabled companies to personalize their eCommerce platforms. With the increase in eCommerce sites, this evolution towards brand personalization enabled businesses to distinguish themselves to their target markets more accurately. As eCommerce began to offer higher levels of customization, so did the potential to scale and grow your online business.
Where is eCommerce Today?
Being valued at $3.46 trillion in 2019, eCommerce has come a long way since its relative obscurity of the 1990s. In fact, eCommerce today is utterly changed from its modest beginnings. As a good Shopify Developer will show you, the possibilities for eCommerce businesses today are almost endless. Not only have the trends for scalability and custom design continued to evolve, but so have marketing possibilities. The world of customer data plays an important role in eCommerce, allowing brands to connect more deeply with their users. It has never been more cost-effective to enter the world of eCommerce than it is today due to such a huge range of integrated technologies that allow for speed, affordability and reliability at the basis of all platforms.
eCommerce platforms are some of the fastest-growing technologies in the world. Not only are they completely transformed since their humble beginnings in the 1990s, but they also continue to change rapidly every day. With the popularity of eCommerce only continuing to boom, the potential for future evolution is huge.