The world of ecommerce has changed so much over the years. The internet evolved in fits and starts, with dial-up connections giving way to broadband, which gave way to Wi-Fi hotspots that could be accessed anywhere at any time.
As our means of connecting to the world around us have grown more sophisticated, so too has the online shopping experience for consumers.
Major Ecommerce Milestones
1991 – The World Wide Web was made by Tim Berners-Lee.
1994 – Netscape develops the first widely-used web browser, known as Navigator
1995 – eBay and Amazon enter the online marketplace
1996 – Over 40 million people around the world have Internet access.
1998 – PayPal is launched, allowing for safe and secure transactions through the Internet
2000 – The United States’ online shopping industry generates more than $25 billion in revenue
2001 – During the Christmas holiday season, 70% of Internet users make an online purchase
2003 – iTunes is the first major digital music store, which Apple releases
2005 – The term “Cyber Monday” is widely used, becoming one of the year’s major online buying days.
2006 – Facebook is now in the business of selling advertising
2008 – For the first time, mobile phone purchases are being made
2012 – B2C sales on the internet have surpassed $1 trillion
2017 – Instagram allows shoppers to buy direct from posts
2018 – Mobile shopping counts for over 50% of all ecommerce purchases
2019 – Online shopping sales is more than sales in physical stores for the first time ever (one week in February)
As you can see, the Internet has come a long way over the years. Ecommerce is constantly evolving, but it’s also always been rapidly changing since its inception in 1991!
The Growth of Ecommerce
Since its inception, ecommerce has continued to grow bigger and stronger than ever before. With billions of dollars being spent on this platform, the goal for every digital marketer is to find a way to capture some of that revenue.
Ecommerce Sales in the U.S.
Ecommerce sales have increased steadily over the past several years, with an impressive 135% increase from 2009 to 2015. This shows how quickly the buying process has changed over the years.
The Growing Importance of Ecommerce
As well as growing in total revenue, ecommerce is continuously gaining a larger proportion of the total retail sales made in the United States. This is a trend that is expected to continue.
Ecommerce is important for growing companies and for established brands, where they can reach a wider audience than ever before. It is reaching people in every corner of the world and giving them an opportunity to purchase something that might never have been available otherwise.
The Ecommerce Industry Today
These days, there are more than 800,000 internet merchants. This number has been growing rapidly over the past decade, especially in recent years.
According to a recent poll, 78% of US adults have bought something online, and 69% of those with Internet access purchase something more than once every month. This is good news for marketers, as those consumers are looking to be reached on the platforms they use most often.
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Online Sales by Product Category
The most commonly purchased items online are electronics (22%) and clothing (17%). These two categories make up about half of all transactions, with the remaining amount being split between other miscellaneous goods, such as furniture and home appliances.
Technology allows shoppers to browse hundreds (or thousands) of products in a short amount of time. For example, instead of walking to ten different clothing shops around town, a consumer can visit their favorite online retailer’s site and find everything they are looking for in one place.
Furthermore, the ecommerce shop can be filtered and organized in a way that lets shoppers find what they need as quickly as possible.
Online Sales by Age Group
As ecommerce continues to grow and become more important throughout the world, it has also started to take hold across different demographic groups. It’s no longer just a tool used by younger people in their twenties, but instead is being used by people of all ages.
A recent study showed that the highest percentage of online shoppers comes from the 35-44 age groups (at 67%). Other interesting findings are highlighted below:
- The higher a person’s income, the more likely they are to make purchases on the internet.
- Online sales are becoming more popular with each successive generation, as this is the first group that was raised entirely in a digital world.
- The older generations have also started to make internet purchases more often than they used to, indicating how quickly online shopping has become integrated into our lives.
- Online shoppers who have children are slightly more likely to buy something, as opposed to those without kids.
- College graduates also tend to buy a greater amount of goods online compared with the national average.
What Does the Future Hold for Ecommerce?
Ecommerce is changing rapidly – with personalization and mobile commerce being two of the most significant trends in ecommerce today.
This is a trend where online shoppers are receiving a more customized shopping experience based on previous purchases, browsing history, and other data points.
Mobile commerce has also been growing rapidly over recent years, with people using their smartphones or tablets to make purchases from both desktop websites and native apps.
As technology advances, people are becoming increasingly comfortable purchasing items online and having them delivered to their homes or businesses.
Furthermore, the internet allows for added convenience by letting shoppers browse through various stores from different parts of the world without ever having to leave home!
Final Thoughts on the Evolution and Future of Ecommerce
In conclusion, ecommerce has grown rapidly over the past several years and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
This is good news for marketers, as consumers are becoming more comfortable with online shopping than ever before.
Combined with the lower costs associated with ecommerce business models, this presents a great opportunity to companies looking to expand their market share without worrying about the high overhead costs associated with physical stores.
There are many different statistics about ecommerce and its growth throughout the years. The important thing for marketers today understands how this platform can be used most effectively for their products or services. That being said, don’t miss out on your chance to make an extra revenue stream, learn How To Create An Ecommerce Website With Our Beginner Friendly 7-Step Guide.