Online Shopping in 1994 VS Now
By the end of 1994, about $60 billion worth of purchases were made by some 98 million customers with the help of telephone orders prompted by email and TV shopping channels. Another shopping alternative was emerging around that time known as ‘Online Shopping’ which required a Computer to make purchases. The year 2014 celebrated the 20th anniversary of internet shopping which displayed the first ever purchase made online. The shopper marked his name in history as he bought the first ‘Compact Audio Disc (CD).
Without further Ado, here are a few of the funny, odd, and/or eerily prophetic ways people seen online shopping 20 years ago, back when it was only a baby.
Online shopping Was as cool as the Marlboro Man. An end-of-the-year post from USA Today featured a side-by-side list of trends which were In and Out for 1994. The outside comprised no-longer cool things such as faxes, Bud Light, Joe Camel, theme parks, and TV shopping, while the corresponding IN side recorded the world wide web, microbrews, Marlboro Man, casinos, and “online shopping.”
Clue where or how to purchase stuff – “One dirty little secret on the world wide web is that nobody is selling anything yet,” an executive at QVC told a novel named Network World. Now, home-shopping networks such as QVC were potentially huge players in online shopping. Some of the retailers built their own sites because of their popularity, so that they used services such as the Internet Shopping Network–something of an “electronic home shopping mall,” since Reuters put it to place items for sale. The original plan was to feature product photos and eventually moving pictures, but now, the Internet Shopping Network merely displays product information.
Atlanta Journal explained that many consumers are confused with where exactly to go while they shop online in 1994. “Just like a real mall, a cyberspace mall has plenty of stores and locating a specific product can be difficult unless a user knows which stores carry what,” the story summed up.
To be fearful about–fraud, privacy, porn, and much more – If you believe that your personal information is easy for scammers and entrepreneurs to collect now, just consider the online circa 1994. The Mail on Sunday(London) warned customers to preferably make purchase orders over the phone as Credit card numbers were still weren’t safe from fraud. ‘Just the name of some of the discussion groups is something you do not want your children to see,” the head of IBM’s Internet services stated to the (London) Times.
Advertising would ruin everything. Back then the notion of using internet for commercial advertising was not yet introduced. For, users it was a place where ideas and information could be shared quickly and publicly. But soon it was flooded with companies posting their ads all over.
And many users were not happy about it. So-called “commercial zones” have been created on the web for exclusive usage by advertisers but companies have not figured out how to get net surfers to look at them.
Another Prophetic premise: Online shopping will make things cheaper – “Selling products electronically could be 40% to 50% less expensive than by traditional means,” Computerworld explained. Eliminating the salespeople or a shop, online shopping charged lower overhead cost eventually making the product cheaper. “Nobody is going to want to perform digital shopping if there is no benefit to the client –and that benefit is price. “I think traditional retailers aren’t going to enjoy what we’re doing because we are forcing down margins.” Sure enough, they did not –and they still do not like how e-retail giants such as Amazon are pushing around the competition and product manufacturers alike, usually with the notion of getting costs lower for the consumer.
People Watched the upsides of convenience and customization – Not only would online shopping make it feasible to buy things 24/7, no matter “store hours,” and without coping with visitors or perhaps leaving the house but e-commerce also brought with it the chance to order a lot more than what one found on a shop’s shelves. A 1994 USA Today narrative concentrated on the new idea of “made-to-order merchandising,” where customers could order shoes, jeans, greeting cards, and more in the personalized style and dimensions of their choosing. “The tendency is the first step toward online shopping–when clients will use computers to order precisely what they want instead of visiting a mall,” the article stated.
Overall, they understood online shopping could be a massive deal – “At some stage, it will be a very big company,” a UBS How big? Analysts told Computerworld who “online Shopping could burst into a $5 billion revenue channel in a couple of years.” In Fact, once the Census agency began Monitoring e-commerce earnings in 2000, it noted that sales had hit $5.3 Forecasts call for e-commerce sales to reach $304 billion from the U.S. for all of 2014.