Where does e-commerce come from?

Where does e-commerce come from?

The emergence of e-commerce from a small beginning to its present-day dominance has radically changed business. It has also made fundamental changes in the ways consumers interact with companies. The pandemic has accelerated the business of e-commerce, but it was on a fast track before that defining event. 

DEFINITION

The letter “e” in e-commerce refers to electronic. That means that the business, or commerce, is conducted electronically. It can be performed by a computer, laptop, or smartphone over the internet. That is the fundamental concept. Anyone with one of the electronic devices mentioned can be involved in e-commerce from anywhere in the world as long as they have internet access.

The definition covers virtually any product or service imaginable. Consumers can purchase products from any store that maintains a brick-and-mortar location. They can also shop from a virtual store that exists only on the internet.

The concept of e-commerce involves businesses interacting with other companies as well as consumers buying from other consumers on sites where anyone can sell a product or just an item in their home,

As is evident from the above discussion above, e-commerce is everywhere. The question is how it developed to become such a large part of everyone’s life.

ORIGINS

E-commerce was made possible by the convergence of personal electronic devices, the internet, and the common usage of credit and debit cards instead of checks and cash. The simple answer to where did e-commerce come from is the existence of all three factors at around the same time.

It all began with a straightforward transaction in 1994. All new inventions or innovations start slowly and then gather strength. E-commerce was no exception. In the beginning, few people had access to the internet. They did not see a reason to spend the time and money. There were not many sites to access, and shopping did not seem like a good idea. People were reluctant to buy items remotely without seeing the products in person. 

Soon businesses realized the benefits of having a website. They also saw the potential to sell products to individuals who did not live near their stores. It was all about supply and demand. The more demand for virtual services, the more supply caught up.

E-commerce was suddenly everywhere. Every consumer purchased an electronic device which led to the prices dropping so today, most people have at least a smartphone. They see the ease of using a card instead of cash or checks. 

The pandemic has made e-commerce permanent. A person can sit at home, shop for anything and everything online through the internet, pay with a card, and then the product arrives on the doorstep. No one has to leave their home.

In summary, e-commerce comes from a total shift in how business is done. The change is irreversible. It will only expand in time. It came literally out of nowhere and has changed the world forever.

INTERNET

There could be no e-commerce without the internet. It is the modern-day equivalent of a never-ending shopping mall. A person accesses the internet and then indulges their every desire. The websites and stores are endless. E-commerce is the natural end product of this invention. 

A simple example demonstrates how the internet produced e-commerce. An individual in Wisconsin loves to bake. People rave about the cookies and cakes. They are a hit at local fairs and events. The person decides to venture out further from home. Why wouldn’t customers in New York or Montana buy the cookies and cakes if locals like my products?

Before the internet, reaching a broad audience would have been cost-prohibitive. That has all changed. The internet has transformed commerce by creating e-commerce. The baker in Wisconsin makes a website. They list their products and show examples. They post costs and explain how the items can be shipped.

The buyer in New York, Montana, or anywhere else can now engage in e-commerce. They place the order online, pay by card, and wait for the shipment to arrive.

An innovative seller can offer discounts, free shipping, or even samples to be sent to generate sales. They can offer moneyback guarantees for their cookies. There is no end to the ways a seller can utilize e-commerce to grow a business. They can also solicit comments and testimonials from satisfied buyers.

This is just one small example of the origins of e-commerce. Of course, large companies have joined to market their diverse offerings. They have noticed that consumers are more and more willing to buy without ever entering a store. 

In many ways, e-commerce has helped level the playing field for startups with established and large corporations. It is all part of a new world of doing business.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES

The e-commerce described above could not function without buyers possessing affordable electronic devices. At one time, computers were large pieces of equipment that were expensive. They usually were put on a desk and could not be moved easily due to their weight and the need for electrical outlets.

That all changed with laptops and then smartphones. Suddenly, consumers desiring to participate in e-commerce could get on the internet virtually anywhere and were not tied to wires. Sit in a park and use a smartphone to order those cookies from Wisconsin. It became all too easy.

Pick up a smartphone and “surf” the internet. That is how e-commerce came to be what it is today. The faster the electronic devices and the more extensive storage, the easier it is to enjoy e-commerce. No one can participate in e-commerce without the right electronic device.

One other factor powering e-commerce is that as electronic devices become more powerful and easier to use, they generally have dropped in price. This is due to advances in manufacturing and increased demand and competition among producers. It all makes for the perfect storm to produce e-commerce.

CARDS

The final puzzle piece explains where e-commerce came from cards, whether debit or credit. If a consumer made their purchase over the internet from an electronic device but then had to mail a check or money order, it would greatly hinder the whole point of e-commerce.

Websites had to be set up to take card purchases. They also had to provide secure payment methods. Consumers were naturally cautious about giving their card numbers. The security feature is tied together with the internet, electronic devices, and cards. Once that was accomplished, then e-commerce could flourish. 

Consumers who wanted to join e-commerce needed to get a card. A debit card is an easy way to subtract the payment from the customer’s bank account. It avoids the issue of credit and fees. It is an electronic check. One more way that e-commerce came into being.

The seller was now assured that payment had been made so shipment could occur without worrying about not being paid. When the whole concept of e-commerce is examined, it is clear that cards are just as important as the internet and electronic devices.

The article has shown that e-commerce came from a convergence of the internet, electronic devices, and cards for payment online. All three are the answer to the question. E-commerce could not have happened and continue to occur without all three.

It is pretty simple. No internet and e-commerce has come to a halt. Failure of a person’s smartphone or laptop has the same effect. Finally, without the finances to back up a debit or credit card, e-commerce comes to a stop. This is where e-commerce comes from and stays a vital part of the economy.

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