Online shopping or e-shopping is searching for and purchasing goods and services over the Internet through the use of a web browser. The main allure of online shopping is that consumers can find and purchase items they need (which are then shipped to their front door) without ever leaving the house. Today, almost anything can be purchased through online shopping, amounting to billions of dollars a year in sales.
Who provides online shopping?
Today, most retail stores have a website for customers to buy from online and either ship them to their home or pick up at a nearby store location. WalMart, Best Buy, Sears, and other retail businesses offer this type of shopping experience.
Some companies only sell products through their website and do not have a retail storefront. For example, Amazon, TigerDirect, and NewEgg conduct their business exclusively online.
History of online shopping
Before the World Wide Web was created, Michael Aldrich developed a system called Redifon's Office Revolution in March 1980, connecting sales companies, suppliers, and customers together. Companies were able to order supplies from suppliers and sell products to customers electronically, utilizing videotex technology. It is considered a major predecessor and influence on the development of online shopping as we know it today.
In 1994, several years after the launching of the World Wide Web, online transaction systems, including banking and shopping, started emerging. The first shopping transactions were completed through NetMark and Internet Shopping Network in 1994, beginning the online shopping boom. Amazon.com and eBay launched their websites in 1995, offering online shopping options for customers.
Many of the first online shopping websites utilized Intershop Online, an online shopping software system, developed in 1995 by Intershop Communications AG. The Intershop Online software allowed businesses to more easily add online shopping capabilities, or e-commerce, on their website, with secure transactions for their customers.
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