In 1995, Amazon sold their very first book.
In 2015, Americans spent over $341 billion online.
Over the course of 20 years, ecommerce evolved from a novel new concept into a major part of the world’s economy. But how did that happen?
That’s what we wanted to find out – and we did. In this infographic, we outline some of the most important milestones in the development of ecommerce as we know it today, as well as the current state of the industry and where we believe it’s headed:
Major ecommerce milestones
1991 – The World Wide Web is created
1994 – Netscape launches Navigator, the first widely-used web browser, and Pizza Hut offers online ordering on their website
1995 – eBay is founded & Amazon makes its first sale
1996 – Over 40 million people have Internet access, and online sales surpass $1 billion for the year
1998 – PayPal is founded, and changes the way people make payments online
2000 – Revenue from U.S. online shopping totals over $25 billion
2001 – 70% of Internet users make an online purchase during the holiday season
2003 – Apple launches iTunes, the first major digital music store
2005 – The term “Cyber Monday” is coined and becomes one of the biggest online shopping days of the year
2006 – Facebook begins selling advertisements
2008 – Online purchases are made on mobile phones for the first time
2012 – Online B2C sales surpass $1 trillion
The Growth of Ecommerce
Ecommerce Sales in the U.S.
Ecommerce sales have continued to grow steadily, with the total sales increasing 135% from 2009 to 2015.
The Growing Importance of Ecommerce
Ecommerce has not only grown in total revenue, but also continued to make up a larger share of the total retail sales made in the United States.
The Ecommerce Industry Today
There are now more than 800,000 stores online.
78% of US adults have made a purchase online, and 69% of adults with Internet access shop online at least once a month.
Online sales by Product Category
The most commonly purchased items online are electronics (22%) and clothing (17%).
Looking to the Future: Mobile Commerce & Personalization
Ecommerce is continuing to evolve, and two of the most important trends for online retailers today are mobile commerce and personalization.
In 2015, 30% of ecommerce sales took place on a mobile device, and mobile commerce is expected to grow 2.58x faster than total ecommerce sales.
56% of consumers say they would be more included to use a retailer if it offered a personalized experience, and 74% of online shoppers get frustrated when websites show content that has nothing to do with their interests.