The e-commerce evolution is relatively recent, and it has undergone many crucial changes for the betterment of retail.
The term e-commerce describes a process of executing commercial transactions made in an electronic environment. The term now relates to the process of buying on the internet.
Today, we know that e-commerce is an electronic shopping method that has evolved over the decades. It digitizes sales and customer service. So, in other words, it is the first major retail revolution. After all, worldwide online retail sales are projected to surpass $7 trillion by 2025.
In this article, let’s discuss the impacts of this modality on consumption, its history, evolution and what we can expect from the future. So keep reading!
The Beginning of E-commerce
Before jumping into the numbers, let’s go back in history.
In 1979 Michael Aldrich invented electronic shopping, which today is known as e-commerce. The technology did it “by connecting a transaction-processing computer with a modified TV through a telephone connection.” Studies say that the system was marketed in 1980 and offered as business-to-business systems that were then sold in the UK, Ireland, and Spain.
But besides that, the start of e-commerce became possible in the 90s, and it has evolved a lot over the decades. The internet was one of the inventions that most impacted the 20th century, and it’s responsible for making society and companies communicate more efficiently.
Over the years and with the success of computers and the internet in that decade, e-commerce began to gain more and more space in many countries. By 1999, more than 40 million people worldwide had access to the internet.
Another critical moment in the history of electronic shopping was in 2000, when Google launched AdWords, allowing online retailers to advertise their products and sites to Google users with pay-per-click ads. This was also when Walmart launched its website.
Consumption has been important for the internet. The popularization and accelerated growth of Google sponsor links make micro and small companies invest in online selling.
Google Adsense was also a big thing for the e-commerce history because it could expand its offering for retailers who want to advertise around the web. In 2020, global e-commerce sales topped $4.13 trillion, an 18% increase from 2019.
The E-commerce Evolution in Numbers
According to Plytix, in 2021, more than 2 billion people regularly made e-commerce purchases worldwide, and mobile e-commerce has continued to grow. “Nearly 73% of total sales were on mobile devices in 2021.”
Here is a few statistics on e-commerce evolution:
- In 2021, global e-commerce sales grew by 17.1 percent compared to the previous year. In that period, e-commerce accounted for approximately 19 percent of all retail sales worldwide
- In 2022, e-commerce sales were forecast to show the highest growth in Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Singapore and Indonesia would lead the way, with online sales increasing by more than 36 and 34 percent respectively
- Amazon is the biggest consumer internet and online service company worldwide with a market cap of approximately 1,081 billion U.S. dollars as of June 2022. By the way, the Amazon Shopping app ranks first among iOS users in the US
- Digital payment systems have grown in popularity over the past few years. 51.7% of all transactions are projected to use digital wallets by 2024
- Retail mobile shopping sales hit $359.32 billion in 2021, a 15.2% increase from 2020.
If you like this topic, then you can read this one too: Mcommerce and How It Works: a Guide for Businesses
The E-commerce Evolution & The Pandemic
Of course, we cannot forget to mention how the pandemic has changed consumers’ behavior since 2020. In fact, this period directly affected e-commerce. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, society had to make several adaptations. With social distancing, online shopping during the pandemic has grown.
After all, to avoid contact with other people, the most viable solution was to buy without leaving the house.
Furthermore, it is necessary to realize that, from this adaptation behavior, companies must be aware of the impacts this has had on consumer behavior. The advance of e-commerce was already expected, and with the pandemic, this became even more evident.
After the critical period of the virus, people may still be users of e-commerce because this modality allows practicality that the physical does not offer. Examples are quick answers to efficient solutions, short deadlines, real discounts and many others.
Fashion & E-commerce
The definition of fashion e-commerce stands by a business-to-consumer (B2C) segment of e-commerce involved in selling apparel, shoes, and accessories online.
Fashion e-commerce is also gaining gigantic proportions. According to Statista, “fashion is the largest B2C eCommerce market segment.” The fashion eCommerce market is expected to grow by 9.1% per year.
In 2020, the most visited fashion e-commerce website worldwide was Nike.com, according to Statista. The average monthly visits to the website were 146.89 million. Trendyol.com, the largest e-commerce platform in Turkey, was ranked second, averaging 117.04 million monthly visits worldwide.
Statista also said that fashion e-commerce brought in $664.5 billion globally in 2020. It is one of the most significant market segments in B2C e-commerce. In 2021, the global e-commerce fashion industry reached an overall market value of 668 billion U.S. dollars. The online clothing and apparel industry is expected to reach a value of 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025.
Shoppers may be looking for personalizing items or gliding through a simple interface on mobile devices. “Buyers are influenced by a wide range of factors that lead them to prefer the online experience,” as said by DataWatch.