Holiday season has arrived and everybody is in a shopping mood. Earlier we used to see markets full of people buying gifts for their loved ones but over a few years less and less people are seen in the markets. One of the major reasons for this is rise of online shopping. In the busy and hectic schedules that people have these days, e-commerce industry commonly known as “online shopping” has come as a great relief for the customers. Here we will talk about the sudden shift from the brick and mortar stores to virtual stores but before that lets put a light on when did online shopping begin?
Most of you will be surprised to know that the first company to use online shopping was Thomas Holiday in 1981 and it dates back to 1979 when it was first demonstrated by a British Entrepreneur Michael Aldrich who invented it. While Thomas Holiday used online shopping for B2B market, the first one to use it for B2C was Tesco in 1984. In 1994 came online banking which made online shopping easier to implement and then there was no looking back. In the same year Netscape devised encryptions for secure data transfer, Pizza Hut came with an online Pizza store, Intershop launched its first online shopping system. In 1995 Amazon.com online shopping site and eBay went live and the world was ready for a revolution. At the break of 21st century online shopping had started gaining momentum and in less than a decade it became popular all around the globe.
|Infographic representation of Global eCommerce Sales|
One of the main reasons of initial hesitancy was that people were not used to buying products till the time they did not see it in their hands, also customers were habitual of first holding the goods in their hands and then taking out money; but in online shopping they first had to pay and the goods would be delivered in around a week or two. Also the question of how authentic the goods being delivered at home were arose. For many years a large number of customers felt that the products being delivered by e-commerce websites might be duplicate or used; but these myths have been broken to a large extent. Reasons why online shopping is becoming popular include not only it being an easier option, but it also saves valuable time of visiting n number of shops and money on fuel.
The shift towards online shopping can be gauged by the revenue it generated in past couple of years.
- In 2010 online sales generated a total of US$ 572.5 Billion
- This figure rose to US$ 680.6 in 2011
- The figures for 2012 were US$ 820.5
- While for 2013 it was projected to reach US$ 963 and has already reached the figure.
With the holiday season starting it might cross a trillion US$. These figures only suggest the acceptance of the e-commerce industry and the future it has.
Then there is another side of the story, the number of big players in the online industry has also grown many folds in these past four years. And anyone looking to start a business in this industry has to cash on the limited time left before the existing e-shops completely conquer the market. It might be a matter of 2 years at most after which there would be so many ecommerce store that the new ones will have to have a very innovative USP to make their space.
We wish all the budding entrepreneurs who are looking to enter this industry a very good luck.