Saving Money Has Never Been So Much Fun @ WorldNetSales.Com
Save Big on over 200 Million Items with The World’s #1 Online Retailers.
History of online shopping
One of the earliest forms of trade conducted online was IBM’s online transaction processing (OLTP) developed in the 1960s, which allowed the processing of financial transactions in real-time. The computerized ticket reservation system developed for American Airlines called Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment (SABRE) was one of its applications. There, computer terminals located in different travel agencies were linked to a large IBM mainframe computer, which processed transactions simultaneously and coordinated them so that all travel agents had access to the same information at the same time. At some point between 1971 and 1971, students at Stanford and MIT used the internet precursor ARPANET to make a deal to exchange marijuana, but the interaction doesn’t qualify as e-commerce because no money was transferred online.
The emergence of online shopping as it is known today developed with the emergence of the Internet. Initially, this platform only functioned as an advertising tool for companies, providing information about their products. It quickly moved on from this simple utility to actual online shopping transaction due to the development of interactive Web pages and secure transmissions. Specifically, the growth of the Internet as a secure shopping channel has developed since 1994, with the first sales of Sting’s album Ten Summoner’s Tales. Wine, chocolates, and flowers soon followed and were among the pioneering retail categories which fueled the growth of online shopping. Researchers found that having products that are appropriate for e-commerce was a key indicator of Internet success. Many of these products did well as they are generic products which shoppers did not need to touch and feel in order to buy. But also importantly, in the early days, there were few shoppers online and they were from a narrow segment: affluent, male, 30+. Online shopping has come a long way since those early days and – in the UK – accounts for significant percentage (depending on product category as percentages can vary).
Growth in online shoppers
As the revenues from online sales continued to grow significantly researchers identified different types of online shoppers, Rohm & Swaninathan identified four categories and named them “convenience shoppers, variety seekers, balanced buyers, and store-oriented shoppers”. They focused on shopping motivations and found that the variety of products available and the perceived convenience of the buying online experience were significant motivating factors. This was different for offline shoppers, who were more motivated by time saving and recreational motives. Michael Aldrich, pioneer of online shopping in the 1980s.
English entrepreneur Michael Aldrich was a pioneer of online shopping in 1979. His system connected a modified domestic TV to a real-time transaction processing computer via a domestic telephone line. He believed that videotex, the modified domestic TV technology with a simple menu-driven human–computer interface, was a ‘new, universally applicable, participative communication medium — the first since the invention of the telephone.’ This enabled ‘closed’ corporate information systems to be opened to ‘outside’ correspondents not just for transaction processing but also for e-messaging and information retrieval and dissemination, later known as e-business. His definition of the new mass communications medium as ‘participative’ [interactive, many-to-many] was fundamentally different from the traditional definitions of mass communication and mass media and a precursor to the social networking on the Internet 25 years later. In March 1980 he launched Redifon’s Office Revolution, which allowed consumers, customers, agents, distributors, suppliers and service companies to be connected online to the corporate systems and allow business transactions to be completed electronically in real-time. During the 1980s he designed, manufactured, sold, installed, maintained and supported many online shopping systems, using videotex technology. These systems which also provided voice response and handprint processing pre-date the Internet and the World Wide Web, the IBM PC, and Microsoft MS-DOS, and were installed mainly in the UK by large corporations.
The first World Wide Web server and browser, created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, opened for commercial use in 1991. Thereafter, subsequent technological innovations emerged in 1994: online banking, the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut, Netscape’s SSL v2 encryption standard for secure data transfer, and Intershop’s first online shopping system. The first secure retail transaction over the Web was either by NetMarket or Internet Shopping Network in 1994. Immediately after, Amazon.com launched its online shopping site in 1995 and eBay was also introduced in 1995. Alibaba’s sites Taobao and Tmall were launched in 2003 and 2008, respectively. Retailers are increasingly selling goods and services prior to availability through “pretail” for testing, building, and managing demand.
Statistics show that in 2012, Asia-Pacific increased their international sales over 30% giving them over $433 billion in revenue. That is a $69 billion difference between the U.S. revenue of $364.66 billion. It is estimated that Asia-Pacific will increase by another 30% in the year 2013 putting them ahead by more than one-third of all global ecommerce sales.[needs update] The largest online shopping day in the world is Singles Day, with sales just in Alibaba’s sites at US$9.3 billion in 2014.