e-commerce has a great deal of advantages over “brick and mortar” stores and mail order catalogs. Consumers can easily search through a large database of products and services. They can see actual prices, build an order over several days and email it as a “wish list” hoping that someone will pay for their selected goods. Customers can compare prices with a click of the mouse and buy the selected product at best prices.
Online vendors, in their turn, also get distinct advantages. The web and its search engines provide a way to be found by customers without expensive advertising campaign. Even small online shops can reach global markets. Web technology also allows to track customer preferences and to deliver individually-tailored marketing.
History of ecommerce is unthinkable without Amazon and Ebay which were among the first Internet companies to allow electronic transactions. Thanks to their founders we now have a handsome ecommerce sector and enjoy the buying and selling advantages of the Internet. Currently there are 5 largest and most famous worldwide Internet retailers: Amazon, Dell, Staples, Office Depot and Hewlett Packard. According to statistics, the most popular categories of products sold in the World Wide Web are music, books, computers, office supplies and other consumer electronics.
Amazon.com, Inc. is one of the most famous ecommerce companies and is located in Seattle, Washington (USA). It was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos and was one of the first American ecommerce companies to sell products over the Internet. After the dot-com collapse Amazon lost its position as a successful business model, however, in 2003 the company made its first annual profit which was the first step to the further development.
At the outset Amazon.com was considered as an online bookstore, but in time it extended a variety of goods by adding electronics, software, DVDs, video games, music CDs, MP3s, apparel, footwear, health products, etc. The original name of the company was Cadabra.com, but shortly after it become popular in the Internet Bezos decided to rename his business “Amazon” after the world’s most voluminous river. In 1999 Jeff Bezos was entitled as the Person of the Year by Time Magazine in recognition of the company’s success. Although the company’s main headquarters is located in the USA, WA, Amazon has set up separate websites in other economically developed countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and China. The company supports and operates retail web sites for many famous businesses, including Marks & Spencer, Lacoste, the NBA, Bebe Stores, Target, etc.
Amazon is one of the first ecommerce businesses to establish an affiliate marketing program, and nowadays the company gets about 40% of its sales from affiliates and third party sellers who list and sell goods on the web site. In 2008 Amazon penetrated into the cinema and is currently sponsoring the film “The Stolen Child” with 20th Century Fox.
Evolution of E-Commerce
E-Commerce was introduced 40 years ago and, to this day, continues to grow with new technologies, innovations, and thousands of businesses entering the on-line market each year. The convenience, safety, and user experience of E-Commerce has improved exponentially since its inception in the 1970’s.
Paving the way for electric commerce was the development of the Electronic Data Interchange(EDI). EDI replaced traditional mailing and faxing of documents with a digital transfer of data from one computer to another.
It was apparent from the beginning that B2B online shopping would be commercially lucrative but B2C would not be successful until the later widespread use of PC’s and the World Wide Web, also known as, the Internet. In 1982, France launched the precursor to the Internet called, Minitel.
90’s to Present
In 1990 Tim Berners Lee, along with his friend Robert Cailliau, published a proposal to build a “Hypertext project” called, “WorldWideWeb.
Netscape arrived. Providing users a simple browser to surf the Internet and a safe online transaction technology called Secure Sockets Layer.
Since 1995, many innovative applications, ranging from direct online sales to e-learning experiences had been developed. Almost every organization in the world has a Web site. Two of the biggest names in e-commerce are launched:Amazon.com and eBay.com.
DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, provides fast, always-on Internet service to subscribers across California. This prompts people to spend more time, and money, online.
- In 1999, the emphasis of e-commerce shifted from B2C to B2B.
- In 2001, from B2B to B2E, e-government, e-learning, and m-commerce.
- In 2005, social networks started to rise and so did E-Commerce and wireless applications.