The business world is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and influential industries. So when something as revolutionary as ecommerce came to life, there is no doubt that significant change happened in the market industry. Depending on the perspective, massive changes and shifts in business trends and culture can be seen as either an advantage or disadvantage. But how did ecommerce impact the world market exactly? Here’s a quick overview of the history of ecommerce, its current status, and the future of the online business industry.
The Birth of Ecommerce
Ecommerce refers to the use of the internet or web to perform an array of business transactions, most commonly, the sale of a digital good or service. Unknown to most people, the concept of trading online products developed way before the creation of ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Shopify.
The process of selling and buying products and services online can be traced way back to the 1960s. While it is nothing like the ecommerce industry that we know and have today, the historic Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) marks the start and birth of transactions without human intervention. However, the features of the Electronic Data Interchange were limited to sending mail and other information digitally. Its sole purpose was to expedite data exchange and replace the use of snail mail and fax.
It was in 1979 when the concept of online shopping came to life. It was this time that Michael Aldrich, an English inventor, came up with the idea of shopping from a distance. He created teleshopping by simply connecting his television to a transaction processing computer using a simple telephone line.
However. It wasn’t until 1990 that the development of the Worldwide Web and the internet took the concept of online shopping to the next level. Just a couple of years after the creation of the first-ever web server, the now ecommerce giants Amazon and eBay were first launched in 1995. Although both Amazon and eBay started as small-scale online businesses, the development of these platforms gave way to the exponential growth of the ecommerce industry as a whole.
Ecommerce Growth and Its Impact To The World
Many consider the development of electronic commerce as an advantage to the whole business and market industry. Ecommerce provides a more efficient and convenient method of accomplishing a wide variety of business transactions. But aside from that, what else did ecommerce bring to the table?
Making an online presence is a must
The continuous growth of the ecommerce industry highlighted the importance of an online presence. Since ecommerce opened the doors of online business regardless of geographical limitations, there are roughly 12 million to 24 million ecommerce websites all over the globe.
While the average number of daily web users is around 5 billion, the fight for brand awareness and presence for specific niches is still tough.
Retailers need to come up with unique and effective marketing tactics that will help them draw traffic and gain traction. Content creation and search engine optimization are some of the few tools that digital marketers use in order to boost their online store’s presence.
Creating a new form of marketing
Digital marketing strategies came to life because of the growth of the ecommerce industry. As more and more of people’s day-to-day activities are done digitally, it became more apparent that a different form of marketing is needed to effectively reach an audience that is mainly online.
Traditional marketing tactics such as billboards, tv commercials, and radio advertisements are not as effective when it comes to ecommerce. To deal with this, retailers needed to embrace a new form of marketing that consists mainly of digital content.
Taking globalization to the next level
Ecommerce is considerably one of the best examples of a globalized industry. First, online retail transcends geographical boundaries and limitations. Anyone can create an ecommerce website and start selling digital products and services even to someone from across the globe. For example, retailing through Amazon allows merchants to sell their products in the US to someone over the continent of Asia.
But aside from this, ecommerce is one of the drivers for remote and flexible work setups. This is because much of the processes and transactions of an online sale and business occur digitally. This allows access through remote computer systems. Therefore, there is not much emphasis on having and hiring in-house employees.
Taking this into account, the ecommerce industry welcomed the idea of remote work and opened job opportunities for people from all over the world. This provided employers with a larger talent pool and allowed collaboration between professionals from different nations.
The influence of social media in ecommerce
Social media platforms are some of the most used websites on the internet. While there have been different forms of social networking sites since the early 2000s, it is safe to say that social media is one of the most powerful sources of influence nowadays.
According to the latest reports, there are more than 4.70 billion active social media users globally. This is more than half of the world’s population. The most popular social networking sites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube. On average, a person spends roughly 2 to 3 hours a day browsing through different platforms.
Taking this into consideration, ecommerce broke into the world of social media and “influencing”. Social media marketing is widely considered one of the most important, effective, and efficient strategies. Platforms such as Facebook come with ecommerce features such as the Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Ads. In addition to this, marketers developed a tactic known as influencer marketing that uses a person’s social media clout to boost brand awareness and drive up sales.
The Bright Future of The Ecommerce Industry
The ecommerce industry grew exponentially during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. But even when the world is starting to recover from the months-long lockdown, the so-called new normal still puts ecommerce in the spotlight.
Recent research shows that the ecommerce industry has a projected year-over-year growth of around 14.56% for the following years. The same study predicts that the global ecommerce market to balloon to a whopping $1,365 billion by the year 2025. The creation and development of ecommerce highlighted the ease and convenience that online shopping provides both buyers and sellers. And given the rapid development of the technologies that support ecommerce, there is no doubt that the industry will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
Want to know more about ecommerce? Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company and we’re eager to help visionaries and entrepreneurs like you. Get a free ebook and learn more about how we can help you by signing up for our newsletter. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation if you prefer something more personal.