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Over the past decade, the evolution of both tech hardware and the internet has had a direct correlation with eCommerce. Just as the internet has grown into the desired medium for marketing, advertising, and purchasing of products, goods, and services; eCommerce has grown to rival traditional shopping in many ways.
Preceded by tech giants like Amazon, who joined the space in 1995, and later Google and Paypal who launched their eCommerce initiatives in 1998. The overall journey of online shopping is far from finished but it has undoubtedly accelerated in the last decade.
The most impactful changes that have taken place in the eCommerce realm in the last 10 years, however, include:
The rise of online marketplaces
The seamless shift to using mobile devices for online shopping
The tremendous growth of online and digital marketing and advertising.
The practice using of digital modifications or enhancements to reality in sales and consumer shopping.
In the past ten years, online marketplaces have become a very popular place for product vendors to sell, marketers to advertise, and consumers to shop.
While many popular retail stores and brands have online shopping available, the growth of online marketplaces such as Amazon
Amazon led the way by launching their mobile commerce site as early as 2001 and they continue to lead innovation in the eCommerce market now with drone delivery among other initiatives.
By accessing an online marketplace, consumers can find a range of product offerings that fit their search. They can compare prices, brands, read customer reviews, and often purchase products for prices below retail. At the same time, Google released Google Checkout in 2006 to help ease the payment process for eCommerce shoppers as they begin to shop online through multiple retailers.
Another major player, Magento, is an eCommerce content management system that first started development in 2007 and was later acquired by eBay in 2011. According to the top 1 million Alexa
Perhaps one of the most important evolutions of eCommerce in recent years is the ability to browse, compare, and shop from beautiful, responsive mobile sites or apps via a smartphone or tablet. Mobile commerce or M-commerce represents a vast majority of people that now would rather experience the full spectrum of the buyer’s journey through smaller screens. People can make purchasing decisions and buy products without ever entering a brick and mortar retail location, all from their mobile device.
Even though mobile commerce is still yet to be adopted by the masses of smartphone device users, there were still large advancements on the earlier end of this decade. The number of people who used a phone to
As the app marketplaces developed
The mobile optimization of eCommerce also vastly impacts how companies connect to consumers and market their products. Most individuals, particularly the younger demographic, keep their mobile devices close and handy, so they are much more accessible to marketers and advertisers. Online and digital marketing campaigns have now completely replaced previous methods of marketing to consumers, and are hinged directly to the places where people spend their time online, such as:
As eCommerce has evolved, online marketing has become seemingly limitless in its potential to reach and persuade consumers throughout their online behavior.
Twitter’s “Buy Now” buttons
According to an Accenture millennial shopping study: “89 percent said having access to real-time product availability information would influence their shopping choices in terms of which stores they would frequent.”
As advertisers attempt to capitalize on millennial shopping, more companies that sell to retailers and consumers are shaping their online store to accommodate this audience.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
As mixed reality – virtual reality and augmented reality – find their way into mainstream understanding, they are destined to dominate the future of eCommerce.
In a partnership with Australian retailer Myer, eBay launched the first virtual reality (VR) department store. Shoppers can now look through thousands of Myer products through their VR headset.
When you enter the virtual store, several categories of retail items are shown: women’s clothing, electronics
Instead of having hand controllers, users select items using only sight. The company has coined the term as “eBay Sight Search,” which allows items to be chosen by holding your gaze on a product for a few seconds.
This is one of the earliest iterations of shopping through VR and augmented reality (AR) proves to have an even more practical use case for online shoppers.