The History of Retail e-Commerce Technology

The retail industry is one of the most critical elements of the way humans interact, consume and exchange value.

Over the years there have been drastic changes to the high street shops since e-commerce shopping began. Before the 1900s, we were only able to shop on the high streets, department stores etc. In the 1990s, the internet was commercialised and we saw the birth of e-commerce. Today, mobile commerce has become a worldwide phenomenon, with customers now shopping from their own home and on the go, no matter where they are in the world. When App Stores launched, we gained access to apps for all uses, for example, games, productivity, educational, lifestyle, utilities, travel, literature, health/fitness and food & drink which are all popular types of mobile apps to this day.

According to the Retail Next website, their poll shows that 48% of millennials shop at marketplaces, 76% of them shop at large retail sites. 46% of millennials shop at web stores or independent boutiques. 29% of millennials prefer shopping at category-specific online stats.

History of e-commerce is unthinkable without Amazon and EBay, which were among the first Internet companies to allow electronic transaction.

ebay logos
amazon logos

So why does Amazon do so well?

Amazon has become one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, although starting off as a book store in the 1990s, Amazon now allows shoppers to search by different departments for what they need. Amazon also has features including Prime Wardrobe and Amazon Prime Video. Amazon Prime is a paid subscription service offered by Amazon that gives users access to services that would be unavailable or cost extra, to the typical Amazon customer. Amazon Prime Wardrobe allows Prime members to try on clothing at home and decide which items to keep and which items to send back. Prime Video allows paying Amazon Prime members, to watch films that are included in their membership, as well as buying/renting other films that are not included in the Prime membership.

prime video logo
prime wardrobe delivery

Why does eBay do so well?

From its humble beginnings in 1995, eBay’s evolved into a household name. Anyone can open an eBay account for free where you can opt to sell as well as buy products. Sellers can command very high prices for highly sought after items, such as collectables, discontinued items, vintage items, unusual goods etc. This has made eBay the go-to place for collectors, who can source things they wouldn’t find locally.

sell buy buttons
ebay app user

The 6 Types of Shoppers

types of shoppers

The Impulse Buyer – When we buy a product and later down the line you ask yourself do I really need it? Which can be the conversation of ‘need it’ and ‘want it’.

The Bargain Hunter – Heads straight to the clearance section of e-commerce websites.

The Educated Shopper – This shopper knows exactly what they want and is also very likely to have tracked down the best possible price on the desired product.

The Brand Loyalist – Sticking to that one brand you know and trust, which makes you a loyal customer.

The Browser – Enjoys buying but goes in store or online with little ideas of what they actually want.

The Practical Shopper – Wants to buy useful products that will fit exactly the need they have in mind.

… So, which one are you?


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