History of E-Commerce
August 11th, 1994 will go down in the annals of history as a day when the first secure retail purchase transaction was made successfully as reported by The New York Times by the purchase of a CD of Sting’s “Ten Summoner’s Tales”. It not only followed by jubilant celebrations but it also unveiled a whole new way of shopping for consumers.
Security & Ecommerce
There were initial hiccups consumers had to face because of the naïve security systems back then. There was speculation on how secure was it to give the credit card information over the internet, hence internet shopping network was largely dependent on a program called “Secure Mosaic”- a system that secures electronic transactions. These programs required higher technology proficiencies to operate and also worked on the UNIX Operating system.
This was followed by Security Socket Layer (SSL) security protocol introduced by Netscape. This was incorporated by all web browsers as an encryption standard and thus there was no looking back. E-commerce has passed the litmus test of security and began to grow.
Trends in E-Commerce
Price Wars: With more and more E shoppers growing every day, a consumer is not only the king but the judge too. The online store with the lowest price would become the winner. Thus there is a level playing with cutthroat competition in which price wars are commonly noticed.
Global Consumers: Trends exhibit that consumers these days not online compare the top websites but also look outside the domestic markets and are reaching out to foreign country websites, for better prices, quality, and variety.
Personalization: Personalization started with online shopping sites automatically showing products “people shopping for this also viewed”, “you may like these”, “Recommendations” etc. The latest of AMAZON DASH- a concept which auto refills and restocks everyday essentials. Worth a try!!!
App World: Consumers no longer need to sit in front of the computer to shop online, Apps have become the new destination. E-commerce is slowly shifting gears to Mobile-friendly shopping sites, replacing traditional websites. Thus penetrating deeper into the consumers.
Video-Based Selling: Online sellers these days are concentrating more on product videos. For example, all consumer electronics, home appliances, and other gadgets are sold with a video showing the actual product, specifications, demos, and features. Thus getting the product closer to consumers and winning the purchaser’s confidence.
Online Space: Giants like Amazon build a platform for small retailers to build their own webstore using Amazon technology, thus giving the consumers a larger variety to choose from and the retailer a dual benefit of owning their own online stores coupled with consumers, proving it to be well-set palette.
Product Communication: All online shopping sites have been coming up with innovative modes of reaching their consumers via social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. thereby creating new buying trends, flash news of ongoing sales, new collections, and sending updates of new product listings via Email newsletters, discount coupons, messages of sale dates, etc.
Lastly, if you are an online shopper, you would identify yourself having observed at least one of the above trends. At the end Consumer is the King of $2 Trillion Market of E-Commerce, raising 30% year on year.