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Top 10 e-commerce developments of the decade

They've changed how we use the internet

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Google has topped a list of the 10 most significant e-commerce developments of the past 10 years, as chosen by staff of the Software & Information Industry Association, a trade association for the software and digital information industry.

Ken Wasch, President of SIIA, said: "It's no surprise to see Google rank as the most important e-commerce development in the last 10 years. But the list also includes several e-commerce tools that have become so commonplace, we almost forget they didn't exist 10 years ago."

SIIA's Top 10

  1. Google (September 1998): Google did more to fundamentally change the way we use the internet than any other event in the last 10 years. Americans conducted 6.9 billion searches online in February 2007 and nearly half of those were on Google.
  2. Broadband penetration of US internet users reaches 50 per cent (June 2004): It took broadband roughly four years to reach 50 per cent – but it is estimated that it will reach 90 per cent penetration of internet users by the end of 2007.
  3. eBay Auctions (launched September 1997): The launch empowered hundreds of thousands of power sellers to quit their day jobs and work exclusively online. Individuals could also compete directly with each other in ways unimaginable in a physical market.
  4. Amazon.com (IPO May 1997): Amazon showed the world what an online store would look like and made online shopping popular through its ease of use and wide selection. Amazon's public offering told the world that online commerce is legitimate and here to stay.
  5. Google AdWords (2000): Keyword advertising has become the biggest online advertising vehicle, representing 40 per cent of that market and $6.8bn in revenue.
  6. Open standards (HTML 4.0 released 1997): The standards for the web embodied in HTML are overseen by the World Wide Web Consortium, which is not controlled by any company or government. The formats are open, well documented and designed to work with different software and hardware. It has probably been the most influential and important data standard in the history of publishing.
  7. Wi-Fi (802.11 launched 1997): The development of Wi-Fi removed the limitations of desktops and cables and shifted focus toward mobile solutions.
  8. User-generated content (YouTube launched 2005): At first a playground for kids with video cameras, YouTube is now the embodiment of Web 2.0.
  9. iTunes (2001): In the aftermath of Napster and the P2P battles, iTunes legitimised the digital music industry, revolutionising the music industry. The importance of CDs declined while music as digital content grew, leading to developments in everything from Digital Rights Management software to increased bandwidth use. Today, more than $2bn worth of music was sold online or through mobile phones in 2006 (trade revenues), almost doubling the market in the last year. Digital sales now account for around 10 per cent of the music market.
  10. BlackBerry (1999): The BlackBerry makes communication instantaneous, and mobile. A comprehensive communications device creates a new mobile business culture.

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