The Internet is a fantastic and useful tool. With just the click of a mouse, we can read the news of the day, play an online game and, if we wish, shop as we please. But when did it all start? What is the history of online shopping and what does it mean to buy online?
Shopping online is the process followed by a customer to purchase a service or product over the Internet. In other words, a consumer can freely buy products from the comfort of his home in an online store. This concept was first demonstrated before the World Wide Web was used with real-time transactions processed from a home television! The technology used was called Videotext and was first demonstrated in 1979 by Mr Aldrick who designed and installed systems in the UK. In 1990, T. Berners-Lee created the first WWW server and browser, and in 1995, Amazon expanded its online shopping experiences.
The history of online shopping is amazing. Gone are the days of waiting in traffic and navigating through crowded stores. All we need is a computer, bank account, debit or credit card and voila! From books to cosmetics, clothing and accessories to name a few, online shopping is the answer in the 21st century. Simply find the website that offers the items of your desire, the price and delivery terms and within days your purchase is at your doorstep. The benefits and convenience are obviously predictable as we are offered a wider selection, competitive pricing, and better access to information regarding our purchase. Online stores are generally available 24 hours a day and allow consumers to shop at their convenience, without any travel and outside of normal office hours!
Another point to consider is that when the internet was first conceived, it was not ideally going to change the way we shop. On the contrary, the web was created as a communication tool which, over time, gave way to the convenience of virtual shopping. The history of online shopping alone symbolizes the change in our society and has now become a service used by businesses and regular shoppers around the world.
Online shopping is easy, fun and secure and has replaced Saturday afternoon window shopping in the mail for many. Still considered a fairly recent phenomenon, online shopping has undoubtedly made the lives of countless consumers easier and more convenient. Whether it’s for a home loan, buying a car or ordering your weekly groceries, the web has forever changed the way we look at shopping.
The history of online shopping shows everyone that a good idea, a great presentation and a desire to offer the best to your customers can make a dream come true. Now considered proven, it will be interesting over the next 20 years to see where the history of online shopping takes us!