The arrival of the Internet has changed the way of understanding commerce. It has expanded the area of influence of companies previously limited by the physical dependence of the point of sale. The way of communicating with the client has also changed because the digital medium has a greater scope. Advertising offers new advertising formats and is affordable for all types of companies (advertising at a more affordable price than traditional formats).
- Accessibility: the business is accessible from anywhere, at any time and from any medium. Technology ceases to be a problem and it is the user who sets the tone. Until five years ago, the main online purchases were made from the personal computer at home or from work. Currently, any transaction can be made from any device. Companies have a greater investment capacity because the costs are reduced.
- Technology: There are many alternatives to build an online store that do not require a large investment capacity.
- Visibility and Positioning: the business is potentially accessible and visible to any consumer. Positioning becomes a key element in e-commerce strategies. The presence on the Internet does not guarantee visibility.
There are hundreds of pages available on the web but only 4% of the web pages in the world are indexed (that is, they are visible). In the digital environment, the influence radius to attract the attention of the consumer is achieved through positioning.
Technological evolution e-commerce
In 1995, the first online stores were formed by a catalog of products. The order was processed via telematics, and then delivered by ordinary mail. The payment was initially made against reimbursement.
The banks had worked with the main bank card entities to provide a secure transactional system, but the first payment gateways did not start to be available until the year 2000.
The arrival of PayPal brought a new experience in the payment process. PayPal integrated with the banks and added to its platform security in the verification of the data. The time of payment was simplified. With PayPal the user makes the payment by entering the email and password on his platform. In this way, the consumer does not provide any banking information to the online store.
The moment of payment maintains a constant process of innovation because it is one of the most problematic points when managing an online shopping experience.
Consolidated and online stores, with a catalog of products, a shopping cart, a more evolved logistics and a means of payment appropriate to the digital media, come in 2003 social networks.
Just a year after the appearance of social networks, in 2004, Web 2.0 appeared, named for its interactive nature. It consists of adding "social" functionality to online stores and corporate Web pages. Users can comment, rate products, and share opinions on social networks. The concept "consumer" evolves towards the "prosumer", it is no longer a customer that buys products, and it also produces content.
The predisposition of the users towards the generation of content made the electronic commerce adapt its processes to include the social networks as an interaction channel (years later the Social Commerce appears).
In 2006, thanks to technological evolution, digital contents appear. E-commerce stores start selling digital content, mainly videos, music, games, applications, etc. and the mobile device acquires special relevance.
Shortly after, the appearance of new devices (e-Readers and Tablets), give rise to the arrival of new digital content; appear electronic books and multimedia content.
The personalization of the mobile becomes a trend (set the ringtones, the wallpaper, etc.). The business models for final customer (B2C) evolve to include the concept of subscription (Subscription) and payment on demand (Pay per Download).
Electronic commerce evolves again, digital contents do not require logistics, and they are downloaded. The shopping experience moves from an exclusive use of PC, to a multi-device environment (PC and mobile). This would be the beginning of multi-channeled in electronic commerce.
But without a doubt the most relevant change in recent years has been the online advertising ecosystem. It has its peak in 2007 and allowed electronic commerce to use marketing strategies in digital support.
The technology developed Ad-servers for the digital advertising environment, which are online platforms that serve advertising on the Internet. These platforms are the ones that show ads on social networks and web pages. Campaigns are configured based on a specific goal (get attract more traffic to the Web, get more records, increase sales, improve reputation etc.). The technology allows to measure each one of the clicks that the user makes.
Soon after, the technology called Real Time Bidding (RTB) arrived, which is a real-time auction system for the advertising spaces that connects with the Ad servers. This system improved the way to invest in advertising, since it allows companies to bid on the spaces based on the interest they have for their campaign (the category of the page, the theme, the device on which the user navigates, the type of client profile that has the page etc.).
It is precisely the emergence of Ad-servers and RTB technology that have made the current advertising model possible. In traditional advertising, results cannot be measured, however in online advertising it is possible, and therefore investments can be optimized based on the results obtained (performance) defined according to the objective of the campaign (reputation, recruitment , traffic). In addition, you can access a wider advertising supply / demand ecosystem, where you can know the result in real time.
In 2010, the first collaborative platforms appear. Clients are skillful, demanding Internet users, who compare and measure their decisions. The purchase impulse of the first years, is transformed into a meditated buying process led by this increasingly audacious consumer, who values the content and collaborates in its creation.
Since 2015 we have experienced a new era of electronic commerce. The arrival of Big Data has made possible the generation of predictive models of behavior and the elaboration of consumption patterns for the customer profile.
This technology is helping electronic commerce to anticipate the needs of the customer. E-commerce is continually reinvented and technology is its driver.
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