The history of eCommerce began almost forty years ago but started gaining currency in 1991 when the internet was first embraced by commercial users. Ever since, businesses have taken permanent residence on the net and have opted to maximize the benefits that accrue from its use.
It was initially taken to mean the process of conducting transactions electronically by use of technology such as Electronic Data Interchange and Electronic Funds Transfer, which gained prominence in the 70s. The Boston Computer Exchange was indeed the first known example of eCommerce in the 80s. This perception changed in the year 2000, which is famously referred as ‘the year of the dotcom collapse’ when established businesses worldwide realized the potential of the internet and its prospects of serving a global customer base electronically.
It is becoming increasingly popular for people to shop on the web for the simple reason that it allows them to do their thing at their own convenient times as opposed to conventional ways that we know of in fact people can even shop in the privacy of their bedrooms thanks to the internet. Home businesses have gained tremendously as a result of the evolutions arising from this rich history of eCommerce.
Take the electronic data interchange for one allows home businesses to exchange important documents with their clients without the need to move around. On the other hand the electronic funds transfer have made it possible for home businesses in remote locations without spending an extra dime to obtain payment for services already offered. These two developments have therefore made the life of home business owners easy.
Most businesses in Europe and the US actually set up their first eCommerce websites between the years1998 to 2000 even though they were rather skeptical after the events of the dotcom collapse of 2000. Those who were courageous enough to stand up and take the challenges offered by the internet reaped its benefits when the following year business to business transactions online accounted for over $700 Billion in sales.
The history of eCommerce is therefore backed by tangible evidence in terms of revenues that can purely be attributed to its use. Home businesses too can improve their revenues by taking a permanent residence on the net. This way they would be able to net a wider variety of customer base and hence be poised to greatly improve on their return on investment.
The year 1994 was important in the history of eCommerce as it saw the introduction of security protocols and high speed net connectivity. This meant that connection speeds would improve tremendously and allow transactions to be effected on almost real-time basis. With faster online transaction capability, eCommerce grew rapidly. Home businesses are bound to greatly benefit from this phenomenon as it means their dealings with clients will now be prompt hence no question of time lags in between transactions. Service delivery will certainly improve hence leave most of their customers satisfied and definitely yearning for more. On their part, home business owners will not be put on hold waiting for feedback from clients. Most of the dealings will now be real-time meaning there will be an almost instant communication.
In conclusion, home businesses ought to take a leaf from established internet based companies that took full advantage of the internet and its eCommerce ability to grow into the world’s most respected corporations such as Amazon and eBay. Not that they did not have their fair share of drawbacks over the years. The important thing is that they had the temerity to fight back and just see where they are today. Home business owners should not be cowed by the length and breadth of their resources and have it as an excuse for not venturing out there and exploit this rich history of eCommerce.