Ecommerce: Historically Speaking
Ecommerce was seen as a passing fad or gimmick when the pioneers of the process began. Certainly being tied to a computer screen to make a purchase you would need to wait for wouldn’t hold the interest of consumers. Yet inroads were made and sales were conducted. One of the prevailing difficulties associated with early online transactions was the safety of personal financial information. As hackers gained access to non-encrypted data it was a rallying point for many ecommerce businesses. There had to be a better way to do online business.
The Debut of Encryption Webopedia describes encryption this way, “The translation of data into a secret code. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. To read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it.” The keys to ecommerce were given back to online business when transactions became encrypted. The privacy of customer data allowed ecommerce to become a viable option for consumers once more.
Suddenly the world of cottage industry and extensions of brick and mortar stores began to flourish and entrepreneurs began to willingly dip their toe into the cyber frontier. This was a new way of doing business in the cutting edge of intangibles. No longer did business owners absolutely need a sales staff, no longer was an outgoing personality required for business startup, no longer did business mean a storefront. Business Without Borders The possibilities expanded as more and more businesses began to recognize their business could be presented in a global fashion. Business had been so associated with a town, region or district, but online business could be conducted without barriers or distinctions. Ecommerce allowed the ‘every man’ an opportunity to explore the world of business. What had been seen as elite and unattainable was suddenly an archaic notion. Ecommerce thrived on a ‘no discrimination’ policy. Entrepreneurs of all ages, racial distinctions and economic levels began to find value in marketing to a worldwide clientele who cared more for the product than the arena of personal definition that often made brick and mortar business more difficult. An Interesting Paradigm A phenomenon that has taken place in many ecommerce stores is the advent of a growing percentage of online sales while brick and mortar store sales are either static or in a slight decline.
This seems to indicate a change in the purchasing decisions and shopping patterns of consumers. Perhaps in the future we will see more product fulfillment centers and fewer brick and mortar storefronts as ecommerce continues to gain steam as a premier shopping alternative.