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The history of online shopping

For many, it is difficult to remember the days when online shopping wasn’t an option. However, despite its widespread use, online shopping is a relatively new phenomenon.

This graphic presented by Logiq outlines the brief history of online shopping and its development over the past few decades. We’ll also address how companies can advance in this rapidly evolving area and what it takes to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

Timeline: From the late 70’s to today

According to BigCommerce, the first beginnings of online shopping began in England in the late 1970s.

1970s: the early days

In 1979, English inventor Michael Aldrich invented a system that enabled consumers to electronically connect to businesses. He did this by connecting a consumer’s television to a retailer’s computer via a telephone line.

His invention was one of the first communication tools to enable interactive mass communication – but it was costly and financially ineffective for most businesses until the Internet took off.

1980s: notice boards

The world’s first e-commerce company was founded in 1982. The Boston Computer Exchange (BCE) was an online marketplace for buying and selling used computers.

The introduction of BCE predates the advent of the World Wide Web, and for this reason the company operated with one dial-up Notice board system.

1990s: The big dogs appear

By the mid-1990s, the Internet had become an established hub for global communication and connectivity. In 1995 the most popular web browser at the time, Netscape, had rundscape 10 million users worldwide.

In the same year Jeff Bezos started Amazon, which at the time was functioning as an online book marketplace. The company saw the first signs of success – international shipping followed within 30 days of the start 45 different countries.

A few years later, an online payment system called Confinity – now known as PayPal – was born.

2000s: monetization becomes mainstream

As the novelty of the internet waned in the early 2000s, monetization methods and platforms became more and more sophisticated.

In 2000, Google introduced Google AdWords as an online advertising tool for companies to promote their products. This ushered in the era of pay per click advertising.

Five years later, Amazon launched its Prime membership package, which offered members perks like free fast shipping and exclusive discounts. Prime users have been (and will be) charged an annual membership fee.

2010s: That escalated quickly

E-commerce quickly picked up speed in the 2010s. In 2010, US online sales surpassed during Cyber ​​Monday for the first time in online shopping history $ 1 billion.

Around the same time, the introduction of new digital payment tools helped fuel the fire even further. For example, the introduction of Apple Pay in 2014 made it easy for consumers to pay for products directly from their iPhone.

Today: the future is bright

In the midst of the global pandemic, businesses were forced to close their brick and mortar stores and lockdown restrictions drove consumers online. By May 2020, the e-commerce had reached sales $ 82.5 billion, a 77% increase year-on-year.

And as the world opens up again, online shopping is expected to continue to grow and expand its market share – online shopping is expected to catch up by 2023 22% of total retail sales worldwide.

Marketplace monopoly

While the future looks bright for online shopping, it’s important to note that online sales in the past have not been evenly distributed across the bandwidth. In fact, in 2020, only five retailers made more than 50% of all America’s online retail sales.

Seller % of Total US Retail Ecommerce Sales (2020)
Amazon 39%
Walmart 5.8%
Ebay 4.9%
Apple 3.5%
The home depot 2.1%
Others (around 1.3 million companies) 44.7%

As the online world is constantly evolving, it can be a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses to keep up with the big players and stay competitive. That’s why there are companies like Logiq.

Logiq provides businesses with simplified e-commerce solutions that help them improve their e-commerce game and stay one step ahead of the fast-changing world of online shopping.


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