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The Evolution of E-Commerce: 2010 to 2020

Web Hosting Blog

Drawing ever nearer to the end of a decade inevitably brings with it a sense of reflection and a tendency to look back on what has been over the past 10 years. In the spirit of this, we’ll be focusing on changing web technologies from the past decade in some of our upcoming blogs.

Today we’ll take a look at a section of this which is very relevant to many of our customers – online shopping.

Unless you live on a remote island with no internet access (and if you do, Hello! Also, how are you reading this blog?) for the last decade, you will undoubtedly have witnessed at least a few of the changes in the shopping habits of the general public that have been brought about by the evolution of internet shopping. Some of these changes are huge positives, some could be argued to be less so.

Let’s take the company which has undoubtedly had the biggest impact on our shopping habits – Amazon. In 2010, Amazon had 28,000 employees. Today, that figure is 613,000 and that rise is indicative of it’s rise in popularity. It started in 2010 when Amazon announced that sales in e-books had surpassed those of physical books for the first time in history. The popularity of Amazon’s Prime service has continued to grow, further feeding the demand for fast and free delivery. An increasing number of Amazon’s products can now be ordered and delivered that very same day. The positive implications are huge for lots of parts of society, such as people who live further away from cities and towns, or people who struggle to leave the house for health reasons. These people are no longer being fully or partly excluded from retail access. This is not just because of Amazon of course, but was certainly spearheaded by them, and many other retailers have chosen to follow suit with a similar model.

It’s never been easier to get what you want, when you want, delivered to wherever you want. But of course, the other side of that coin is that the high street is struggling, and it can’t be ignored that this is largely due to the growing convenience of internet shopping. The high street has lost some huge names in recent years, such as BHS, Toys ‘R’ Us, and most recently Mothercare. There’s also a growing list of stores which are still trading but notably struggling, such as House of Fraser. Physical stores are simply struggling to compete with internet shops, who can offer same day delivery to a customers own home, and often are able to undercut prices considerably by having lower overheads from not needing to pay the costs associated with physical premises or people to work in said physical premises. But then of course, in the same way that internet shopping alleviated some of the exclusion amongst people who would struggle to visit a physical store, internet shopping comes with its own issues of exclusion, with access more difficult to anyone without the skills needed to make an internet purchase, or anyone without internet access, currently around 7% of the UK population.

Indeed, some of the retailers who have done best from the internet shopping boom are those who have been able to bridge the gap between internet shopping and physical stores. A lot of the big supermarkets have managed this with great success, with Tesco and Sainsburys in particular enjoying ongoing success in both areas, one would assume this is in part due to their successful implementation of hybrid services such as “click and collect” grocery shopping.

Recently, mobile technology has really driven e-commerce in to the future. 90% of online retailers now use social media as part of their sales strategy too. Online shopping continues to grow and be available on more and more devices to more and more people every day. It will be interesting to see where the next 10 years takes the industry.

If you have an e-commerce website, or are thinking of starting one as your next business venture, CWCS Managed Hosting can help you find a hosting solution to meet your needs. Get in touch with us today for no obligation advice from one of our specialists.