Early Days of e-Commerce
In the early days of e-Commerce, few applications actually facilitated business transactions.
Instead, most first generation e-Commerce applications merely provided information about an organization and its products.
There was no way to actually make a purchase. This type of application was often referred to as BrochureWare.
In a sense, the information from organizational Web sites only went one way - out. This type of information flow is often referred to as Web publishing.
As organizations grew more comfortable with the Web paradigm and browsers, development tools, and server-side products became more secure, scalable, and reliable, many companies began to develop applications that accepted interactions with customers and suppliers.
Web publishing was eclipsed by full-featured Web-based applications that involved database access, and even eventually transactional access.
e-Commerce applications grew in terms of mission-criticality and complexity.
Driven by this movement, the tools and technologies required for e-Commerce applications expanded rapidly.
With the growing consumer acceptance of eCommerce and a difficult business environment, brands and businesses are all eyeing the eCommerce opportunity. eCommerce is still in its infancy and if the percentage of total retail is closing in on double digits in some countries, the eCommerce model is still learning its way for the vast majority of us.
Taking a look at e-commerce, StrategyeCommerce sites as a percentage of the number of total web sites, eCommerce is still just a small pinpoint.
I roughly estimate that there are 2 million eCommerce sites worldwide (500K in North America, 1 million in Europe)
The development and conceptualization of online ecommerce quality is just now emerging, and all the proposed scales will benefit from further tests of their properties. The validity and reliability of the Bizrate.com online purchase satisfaction scale has not been established. Moreover, it is through repeated usage and improvement that the user experience in e-commerce will improve.