Top 10 e-commerce developments of the decade
They've changed how we use the internet
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Google AdWords (2000): Keyword advertising has become the biggest online advertising vehicle, representing 40 per cent of that market and $6.8bn in revenue.
- 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.
- Wi-Fi (802.11 launched 1997): The development of Wi-Fi removed the limitations of desktops and cables and shifted focus toward mobile solutions.
- User-generated content (YouTube launched 2005): At first a playground for kids with video cameras, YouTube is now the embodiment of Web 2.0.
- 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.
- BlackBerry (1999): The BlackBerry makes communication instantaneous, and mobile. A comprehensive communications device creates a new mobile business culture.
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Google's surprising major achievement
Few readers realize that Google rests foursquare on a foundation of massive copyright infringement. By any measure, Google is the biggest infringer in history.
It is not surprising that Google has been repeatedly sued, and has had to either pay out money or buy out the victims suing Google.
A good example of Google's piracy is found in the image search mechanism. Google sends out "search and steal" bots to fetch back images. Google copies the images to its own discs (infringement); creates thumbnails (infringement by making unauthorized derivative works); causes the thumbnails to be copied to user computers (infringement); publicly displays the thumbnails (infringement). All of this without getting specific permission from the rights-owners, or even seeking permission in any way.
Yes, Google is a useful tool, especially for pirates. But for those of us expert in copyright law, or those of us who are creators and victimized by thieves, Google will always be thought of as strip-mining the internet, and a victory of thieves over creators.
Surely the biggest part of e-commerce is the actual transaction. How on earth can you not have PayPal (or online payment handling/payment gateways) in the top 10 of the biggest changes to hit e-commerce?
This is a list of things which have partially affected our browsing habits and partially affected what we can browse, but very little to do with e-commerce. Are we sure these people have got the brief?
My top 5
Paypal and Bittorrent (or various other p2p things), Messenger, Hotmail
...seem mysteriously absent, but are arguably two of the most fundamental factors in the digital economy these days. Paypal makes paying for stuff and receiving payments a little easier, and bittorrent makes not paying for stuff and giving away stuff for free a little easier.
No mention of instant messaging, which has fundamentally changed the way we communicate?
Before AdWords their was GoTo
Why does everyone forget about the fact that GoTo (changed name to Overture) was the first one to be the pay per click site?
Also, as the the other comments said, what the heck does this list have to do with eCommerce?