It was dark that day, perhaps with patchy light drizzle, and yet, at the very end of the road, there was a mysterious light, which came from a box that shined like a star. More accurately, I would say, “it shined like a diamond”.
Nobody knew what time was it, but to be sure, it was at some point between evening and dawn…
A brave man with a brown monk robe and hood walked toward the box and meticulously opened it. Suddenly, a strong power, which was surrounded with symbols and digital signals, came out from the case and sent shivers down the man’s spine.
That year was 1995… The year e-commerce, “the juggernaut”, was born…
As we look through the history of e-commerce, it can be divided into three periods:
The period of invention (1995-2000): This was the period when firms started to sell low-complexity retail products on the Internet.
The period of consolidation (2001-2006): This was the period when online companies focused more on the “business-driven” approach instead of just on technology. What’s more, by using mixed “bricks-and-clicks” strategies, businesses not only sold better retail goods, but also provided more complex services.
The period of reinvention (2007-present): In this period, technology enables organizations to expand their territories to social, mobile, and local commerce, which created a new online world.
After two times of transformations, the current power of e-commerce can generate “an estimated $470 billion in total B2C revenues and around $5.7 trillion in B2B revenues” in this year, according to E-Commerce 2015.
So, what is e-commerce exactly? And why is it so powerful?
E-commerce has evolved over the years, but now basically, it is using the Internet, the Web, and mobile apps to sell or to purchase goods and services in three major trends: business, technology, and especially society. Also, with the eight unique features of e-commerce technology, e-commerce allows companies to extend beyond cultural and national boundaries and to deliver the most effective messages to the right target audience.
However, some people think that e-commerce is only influential and powerful when a firm has a clear business model. I partly agree since there were still many startups funding from venture capitalists at million-dollar valuations when these small companies had no perfect business models, but innovative and fascinating ideas.
So, which one is more crucial than the other for a business?
Well, even though I don’t have the right answer, I definitely can say that if an online startup is using e-commerce properly and has an extraordinary concept that has the potential to become the next Facebook, those seed funders, such as 500 Startups and Y-Combinator, will invest and help this small company create an amazing business plan that may turn this business into a billion-dollar startup. In other words, you don’t have to monetize your creative ideas, and yet, you need to be sure that your idea is good or crazy enough to change the world; otherwise, no one will care about your concept.
If you want to rule the new Internet world, you’ve got to tame e-commerce, the “juggernaut”, and have a remarkable idea to change the world.