The Internet and the ever-growing number of those with Internet access have brought about a new medium for retail companies to advertise and sell their products to customers. By selling and advertising on the Internet, companies are able to reach a larger worldwide market as well as allow customers to browse their merchandise 24 hours a day. Online superstores such as Amazon.com have been founded on the web and now sell huge amounts of products without ever physically dealing with a single customer. Keeping up with this trend, traditional brick and mortar companies, such as Best Buy and Sears, have created websites with online catalogs opening their customer base to a worldwide level. By offering products through the Internet, companies have given their customers the opportunity to shop for everything they need without leaving the comfort of their own home.
Amazon.com was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 as an online bookseller and has since been a poster child for the e-commerce revolution. In nearly ten years, Amazon.com has expanded from it’s garage-based, book-selling beginnings; today the site is an e-commerce powerhouse, with more than 30 million customers around the world. Amazon.com has partnered with numerous existing companies, like Toys-R-Us, and through these partnerships has been continually expanding the amount and variety of products offered to its customers. Despite not returning significant profits over the majority of its life, the company plans to expand further and eventually become the most all inclusive retail site on the Internet.
In response to the tremendous success of Amazon.com and other online merchants, traditional companies have made their own retail websites. At the advent of the e-commerce revolution many traditional merchants were skeptical about using resources to create websites, believing that customers would not want to purchase items without having physically touched or seen them at a store. As Internet-based companys' sales rose and traditional brick and mortar stores saw sales drop, many companies realized that a retail website is necessary to remain competitive. Today just about every major department store and retail chain has a website counterpart that offers its customers the convenience of browsing and purchasing from home.
The Internet has transformed
so many aspects of our lives by putting incalculable amounts of information
and resources at our fingertips. There is no way to really predict the
future, but with the increasing trend of making purchases online as well
as the ever increasing online community, it is a safe bet that people
will continue to browse and buy online.
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