General Article E-commerce turns 20 and my, how it’s grown

Topic Selected: Consumerism
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By Chloe Rigby



Happy birthday e-commerce! We’ve now been able to shop online for 20 years. That’s how long it is since Sting album Ten Summoner’s Tales was bought in what’s widely regarded as being the first secure online purchase. At the time, the album changed hands for $12.48 plus shipping on NetMarket. Today it’s available for £4.46, plus shipping, on Amazon, and can be streamed for free on Spotify. So what else has changed since that first transaction on 11 August 1994?


The popularity of online shopping

This year the industry is likely to pass the £100 billion turnover milestone in the UK, having turned over £91 billion in 2013, according to IMRG figures.

ONS figures out last week found that 74% of all British adults have bought goods or services online.

As to why, Roger Brown, chief executive of personalisation specialist Peerius said: ‘E-commerce and mobile technology have empowered consumers as they are no longer restricted to particular goods and services from one ret...

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