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Past, Present and Future of Ecommerce

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Learning from history can help us enhance our present and future. Therefore, the importance of history holds great significance in our society. The advancement of our lives and society is built on our ability to learn from the past and apply it to the future; be it our knowledge or experience. Take anything you utilize in your daily life and you’ll see that the contemporary form in which it’s present today is because of our endeavors to work on the knowledge base and discoveries made by our ancestors or by ameliorating its earlier less advanced versions. Ecommerce, something that we interact with so much daily, has seen a rapid transformation within just a few years of its inception. In that regard, eCommerce's history is short but interesting. 

Ecommerce, relatively new, has presented us with multiple eras changing its landscape very often. This volatile nature of this industry has made it very interesting to study how it has changed over the years. Learning it can help us realize the importance of history in general and in the field of ecommerce, motivate the people associated with the industry to keep them updated on the latest trends and tools of the field, and help them enhance their eCommerce platforms competitively along the path that aligns with the industry’s standard of any given time. In this article, we will have a glimpse of the past, present, and future of eCommerce.

The past of Ecommerce:

The root of eCommerce can be traced back to the 1990s when the internet started becoming accessible to the public making the the structure and ecosystem of eCommerce possible. During these years eCommerce was new both to the eCommerce businesses and their customers setting up a learning stage that enabled its further advancement. Some of the characteristics of this era of Ecommerce include

Basic webstores:

The Ecommerce store were very basic and limited. Since the internet was slower most of the sites featured a very basic interface and design to enable faster loading times. Plus, navigating the site offered a much less intuitive experience due to the technological constraints of the time; there were no predictive text and auto-suggestion search features and no personalized suggestions and recommendations to offer customers a more customizable experience.

Limited product options:

Since Ecommerce was new many businesses were hesitant to enter into this domain resulting in fewer options available for customers both in terms of products and vendors. Thus, the competition was lower compared to today. 

Limited payment options:

Payment options available were also limited to credit cards, Checks/money orders, or bank transfers involving a greater hassle in making payments and introducing resistance in the customer buying journey. 

Less accessibility:

Since the internet connection was limited to only a small number of people eCommerce was accessible to only a few. This was one of the potential barriers to the expansion of this industry during its earlier days.

Present of Ecommerce

The contemporary eCommerce world is quite different from its past; we have seen changes in almost all aspects of it. The way eCommerce has rapidly changed over the years speaks volumes of its importance in our lives, seeking to make the eCommerce experience better in every way possible. Why would we’ve bothered progressing so much in it if it weren’t this significant for us?  In modern times, eCommerce has become part of our lives in every domain from entertainment to fulfilling basic necessities of life. Here and now we’re hearing of some other aspects of our life finding its way to eCommerce. 

Mobile technology:

Much of the progress of eCommerce is linked to the increase in the use of mobile technology. The proliferation of mobile in the 2000s and 2010s not only made eCommerce more accessible to people but also easier; people don’t need to turn on their computers to buy products, they can simply do so with few simple touches anywhere and anytime. Plus, the availability of mobile technology has spurred many ecommerce innovations that have propelled eCommerce: ride-sharing apps and online food-delivering apps are two to name a few.


The internet technology has made the world more connected than ever before. The availability of multiple interactive platforms, besides physical stores, thanks to the internet, has made the eCommerce businesses realize the importance of offering consistence customer experience across all. This has given rise to businesses adopting an integrated approach connecting all their sales channel into one system to offer customers the choice of moving from one platform to another during their buying journey, enabling greater flexibility and a unified experience. For example, many hybrid businesses offer a “click-and-collect” option allowing the customer to buy the products online and pick them up themself.

Intuitive interface:

While the earlier days of the internet offered less intuition, the interface of an eCommerce store is not only easier to navigate but also offers rich content for greater product information. Most eCommerce site features pictures, videos, reviews, and comparison tools and some even incorporate 3D models of the product to give their customer a greater intuitive experience.

Payment & delivery options:

The increasing popularity and competitive nature of eCommerce businesses have spurred different kinds of payment and delivery options to facilitate and attract customers. Buy-now-pay-later, mobile wallets, digital payment gateways, and same-day and next-day delivery are some of the new enhanced payment and delivery options available now, respectively.

Future of eCommerce

With innovations and new technologies coming into the market, the future of eCommerce looks interesting. The future of eCommerce will focus on increasing the convenience of users  Anticipating it could better help us prepare and plan our business accordingly, remaining atop of the competition. 

New interaction technologies:

First, we used computers to access webstores, now we mostly use cell phones and in the future, we may shift toward some other devices to interact with eCommerce. Augmented reality and virtual reality devices will become more popular in the future; the use of eCommerce on these devices will enable eCommerce businesses to provide more immersive experiences to their customers.

Voice commands:

Smart speakers and assistance have already become prevalent in our lives and their use is increasingly becoming more popular in our lives. In the future, their utilization could reach the world of online shopping as well making the buying experience even more seamless for customers.

Social media shopping:

We all are aware of the importance of social media sites in the eCommerce world. While most eCommerce businesses hold their presence on social media platforms, their social media pages aren’t properly optimized for shopping – most store features their products and offers on these platforms and take you to their webstore if you make a purchase decision. In the future, however, these platforms hold great potential to turn themselves into properly optimized market channels for eCommerce businesses allowing them to sell their products directly on these sites without the need for customers to leave them. By providing a more seamless experience this way, ecommerce businesses would be able to increase their sales.


The past, present, and future of eCommerce are something to look at with great interest. Inspecting the past can help us understand why something changed and ensure those changes are to the fullest in our business system. Learning about the present can help us remain atop the competition by keeping ourselves abreast of the latest customer demands and trends. Understanding the future of eCommerce, on the other hand, can help us prepare and plan our business accordingly and ensure we remain ahead of the competition by adopting the latest trends and technology before others.

The x2xeCommerce being an expert in providing integration and eCommerce solutions can help you implement an ecommerce store and integrate it with your existing business solutions. An example of an integration solution by the x2x includes the x2x RMH-Shopify integration solution. Reach out to the x2x team for any query or a free demo.



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