As society has progressed, the technological atmosphere in which we live in has been greatly altered. In just a few short decades, the entire world went from mainframe computers, to personal computers with dial-up Internet, to every person walking around with a smartphone (which is really a super computer!) in their pockets. Almost no industries have not been affected by the major increase in technology in the past few decades. One of the main industries that has been completely altered is the commerce industry. Buying and selling of goods had been something that was largely done in person for thousands of years. People would go and see what goods they liked at their local brick-and-mortar stores and as the 20th century progressed, consumers would see products that they liked in magazines and would order them over the phone. The advent of ubiquitous high-speed Internet access throughout the world changed the retail industry with the creation of eCommerce – a way for goods to be bought online.
Stores began to set up websites, no matter how big or small the company was. If businesses did not set up online stores, they soon learned that people would be less likely to buy their products. Sites like eBay and Amazon were early leaders in the eCommerce industry and allowed consumers to purchase goods and services from the convenience of their home. While of course, there were some drawbacks to eCommerce, the average consumer became more comfortable with the concept as the 21st century progressed. As the idea of eCommerce became ever more popular, it began to become entrenched into the fabric of society. Holidays like Thanksgiving were no longer just about good food and thankfulness, people would speed to their computer screens for a newly invented holiday that celebrated great deals on eCommerce sites just after Thanksgiving called Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is just one example of how online shopping has become ingrained into our culture and it is a definite precursor as to how the landscape of worldwide commerce will look as the 21st century continues to progress.
Online shopping is certainly not a new concept in modern society. Everyone aged 9 to 99 is familiar with concept and knows how it affects their day-to-day lives. As the future continues along, consumerism will continue to change, making the citizens of the world become more and more connected to a global economy. While the modern Internet is extremely different from the technologies that brought the world together in the past, no one knows where it will lead in the future. With the advent of technologies like Blockchain and other global phenomena, the future of the web may look completely different; however, one entity that will certainly remain is that eCommerce is not going anywhere. eCommerce may look different in five, ten, or even twenty years from now, but it will always be something that people around the world will have access to. Understanding the rise of online shopping is imperative to knowing how eCommerce works today and what it will look like as the future goes forward.