A Short History Of E-Commerce In Retail Shopping


E-commerce is the act of buying and selling goods and services over the internet. This form of business started in the late 1990s with Amazon and eBay taking the lead in usage of the technology.

Amazon started out as a book store where Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder) used to sell books from his Seattle garage. Amazon was bound for success from start. This is because within its first one month of business, it had sold books in all U.S states and 45 countries.

According to Bezos, the reason why he started selling books is because they were cheap to ship and easy to order from publishers. The publishers made the work easier by creating large digital achieves of their book titles on CD-ROMs. This made it easy to load the titles to the website.

To make it easy for users to access the books, Jeff created a website where users could search their books of interest by author, keyword or subject. The users could browse books by category and even get personalized recommendations. The website had a “one-click” checkout system that ensured that purchasing of products was quick and secure.

While Bezos was shipping books from his garage, Pierre Omidyar, a software programmer started a simple website where people could bid on the products that they wanted. This was the birth of eBay.

To test the effectiveness of the site, Pierre posted a broken laser pointer. Just like Amazon the site was bound for success from the start. The broken laser pointer that Pierre had posted on the site sold at $14.83 within a day.

eBay grew and attracted many people. The good side is that you didn’t have to be a web entrepreneur or an existing business to sell things on the site. All you had to do was to sign into the site and post your product.

Both eBay and Amazon paved way for today’s e-commerce merchants. Many sites similar to eBay and Amazon have come up and courtesy of them you can now buy and sell anything and from any part of the world at the comfort of your bed.

To make a purchase you only need to sign into your favorite selling site and place an order. Depending on your location and terms of service of the company, you will get your product within a few hours or days.

While e-commerce sites have revolutionized the way people buy and sell things, you need to be cautious of people who might try to rip you off. As rule of thumb always work with legitimate companies.

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