When Did eCommerce Take Off?

People spend billions of dollars shopping online each year, but few are aware of its modest origin. Click here to find out when eCommerce began.

Online shopping, like the internet itself, was a novelty a couple of decades ago. Online shopping has now become a way of life, especially given the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. 

You may be wondering how it all began and how we arrived at this point. To pique your interest, continue reading to learn how what was once a complicated process involving television evolved into what we now call eCommerce.

The Online Shopping Pioneer

In 1984, a 72-year-old grandmother named Jane Snowball sat in her armchair in Gateshead, England, and used her television remote control to order margarine, cornflakes, and eggs. She used the 'Videotex' system developed by English inventor Michael Aldrich. Aldrich converted her television into a computer terminal by using Videotex technology to generate a shopping list on her TV screen, and her order was phoned in to her local Tesco. The items were then effortlessly delivered to her door.

Rapid eCommerce Development

The next major innovation in the online shopping space is said to have occurred in 1994 when Daniel M Kohn founded NetMarket, an online marketplace. From then on, the early internet gradually made its way into people's homes. And, while almost all large corporations are now online, only a few initially committed to an eCommerce strategy.

Coinciding with the launch of Amazon, which sold mostly books at the time, 1994 was a watershed moment for online shopping. eBay was founded in 1995. Two years later, Rakuten, Japan's largest eCommerce site that has recently expanded into Western markets, debuted. In 1999, Alibaba was launched in China.

eCommerce as a Necessity

A true tipping point for online shopping as we know it today could be found in 2017, when a large number of Americans began to shop online on a regular basis. As smartphones penetrated the global market by 2017, more phones in consumers' hands aided the transition. This technological revolution drove eCommerce sales to an all-time high, which was boosted further by the impending pandemic in 2020.

Because of the massive increase in merchants offering online shopping out of necessity, the positive online shopping trajectory has accelerated. While online shopping began as a social distancing measure, there may be no turning back from the new retail norm, especially now that customers see how fast, easy, and convenient it is.

Planning to start an eCommerce business? With current retail trends and projections, now is the best time to get started! When it comes to retail, online shopping is now a necessity, if not the only way to go. However, this means that the market is extremely saturated and competitive. 

In order to stand out from the crowd, you must invest in promoting your eCommerce business. Visit Bliss Drive today to learn more about our eCommerce SEO Services and how we can help you build a strong online presence that will ensure your eCommerce success.

Richard Fong is a highly experienced and successful internet marketer, known for founding Bliss Drive. With over 20 years of online experience, he has earned a prestigious black belt in internet marketing. Richard leads a dedicated team of professionals and prioritizes personalized service, delivering on his promises and providing efficient and affordable solutions to his clients.
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