When was the last time you ordered something online? Most likely it was very recently. The rise of e-commerce has taken our world by storm and changed how we shop, ship, and receive goods across the world.
Did you know that the global e-commerce industry is currently valued at $26.7 trillion? E-commerce has a huge effect on the economic sector and the global market as a whole and has changed the ways that companies do business and has even created new businesses.
The History of E-commerce
In 1979, Michael Aldrich invented electronic shopping. Little did he know how much “electronic shopping” would change economies around the world.
The first large e-commerce sites that are recognizable today were created in the mid-1990s. Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and others started at the dawn of the internet revolution. At that time, no one knew how much of an impact these companies would have on our lives.
In the year 1999, shopping that occurred online made up only 0.5% of total sales. In 2007, that amount increased to 3.4%.
Now in the year 2022, online and shopping are synonymous. Data suggests that 63% of purchases begin online.
Current E-commerce Trends
Buying things online is here to stay. The Covid-19 pandemic showed the world how important it is to be able to purchase things without going to a store. Even with the pandemic subsiding, people are still shopping online and that demand is expected to grow.
Purchases made by millennials are 54% exclusively online. A lot of this spending is now done via a smartphone. It’s said that 60% of online shopping time is spent directly on a smartphone.
Customers are also a lot savvier. Everyone wants to get the best deal possible. Most consumers research a product and its competitors before making a large or important purchase. People consult blogs, read reviews, and search multiple websites before making a purchase.
This means that businesses involved in e-commerce need to have a solid reputation and good reviews.
How Social Media Affects E-commerce
At this point, e-commerce and social media go hand and hand. It’s almost impossible to run a successful e-commerce business without social media.
Most companies today have social media accounts and post content daily to keep their user base engaged. Another trend that companies are investing in is purchasing ads on social media. 49% of people say they will purchase something they have seen advertised on social media.
Besides paid ads, a new wave of marketing has emerged: influencer marketing. Customers these days are willing to take advice and suggestions from someone they know or trust, rather than an ad aimed anonymously at the public.
Influencer marketing is so impactful that it’s currently valued at $13.8 billion. Influencer marketing is great for creating brand awareness and targeting a very specific niche which can help to drive sales. Data shows an $18 return on investment for every dollar spent.
How E-commerce Changed B2B
E-commerce has helped streamline the world of B2B transactions. Retailers and wholesalers can enjoy a similar shopping experience to what a B2C would experience online.
E-commerce is also helping to explode B2B activities. In 2026, it’s expected that B2B transactions will exceed $63 billion.
One of the greatest improvements e-commerce has brought to B2B and other e-commerce models is an increase in efficiency. Because of the rise of e-commerce, many programs have been created to handle logistics that were once very complicated.
It has also shortened the product life cycle. Collecting data and using software to track every part of the process allows both wholesalers and retailers to pinpoint weak connections in their e-commerce ecosystem.
Effects of E-commerce on Industrial Logistics
Online shopping has exploded people’s demand for not only fast but free shipping. This has forced logistic companies to reimagine their business from the product all the way through delivery to the consumer.
Most e-commerce companies have put focus on “Last-mile delivery.” This is one of the most important steps of the delivery process and this last step determines how fast a consumer can receive their goods.
The Last Mile involves fulfillment which usually happens at a warehouse, or a contract hub, and of course delivery. Delivery has changed with the rise for faster shipping; companies are moving away from large trucks to smaller vans that can make quicker and more local delivery runs.
To meet the demand for 2-day or sooner deliveries, companies like Amazon have relied on small vans and the gig economy to get their packages delivered on time. With both demand for faster shipping and the rise of operational costs increasing, logistics companies are facing a new era of innovation to keep customers happy.
The Future of E-commerce
E-commerce and online shopping are with us for the long run. Especially with the advancement of 5G and increasing access to broadband across the USA, companies will see even more demand for purchasing items online.
We will also see an increase in the usage of drones and robots. These technological advancements will become more common to reach our same-day delivery needs.
There will also be changes to supply chains. More local warehouses will be built and pop-up warehouses may become popular. Where and how products are manufactured will also see advancements to push products to the market faster.
We may also see a hybridization of shopping in-person and online. People may go to a brick-and-mortar store to see or try an item, but the store may not carry any stock.
Tracking capabilities will also become more advanced, letting customers watch every move of their goods.
Jobs inside the e-commerce world may also change as companies favor data, algorithms, and 24/7 warehouses.
Equipment Parts Via E-Commerce
Custom Truck offers Load King, legacy Terex boom truck, and a variety of other parts available via our e-Commerce site. If you don’t see what you need, contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.