$197 Billion Spent Online in 2011

When you think about how prevalent eCommerce is today, it seems impossible that this new world of eCommerce has only existed or a few decades. Though buying items online became a common experience in the mid-90s, the actual framework for eCommerce websites goes all the way back to 1979.

The Roots of eCommerce

In 1979, the first system was put into place to enable ecommerce in the U.K. This beginning ushered in a number of advancements in this area in the early 80s. Even when the average shopper didn’t have a home computer and had never heard of an Internet, more and more companies were creating ways to accommodate their customers online.

In 1987, the first software was created specifically to allow people to sell items through online merchant accounts. This opened the door for businesses to start getting a bigger customer base through this new portal, and ecommerce began a quick ascent.

After the first Web browser was created in 1990, it was a quick leap to an online shopping system navigated by icons in 1992. As the world started to see that shopping online was really possible, more and more navigators were being developed, leading to more companies offering their products through ecommerce channels. By 1994, you could order a pizza online.

eCommerce Becomes a Household Norm

It may have been programmers and gamers who first got into the Internet, but by 1995, corporations and Web developers had their eyes on the average, everyday consumer. One of the biggest years in the history of ecommerce was 1995. That year, both U.S. and U.K. companies developed large and secure shopping services. In the U.K., customers could buy from Virgin, Tesco, Dixons Retail and other recognized companies without leaving their homes.

In the U.S., one of the largest, most iconic online retailers was born. Amazon.com started out as a media retailer, but it quickly branched out into every household device imaginable. This billion-dollar business was the first online company that many people bought from as they learned how convenient and reliable ecommerce was. That same year, eBay was developed, changing the way people looked at their own possessions and making just about anything available online.

The Dot Com Bust and Recovery

As companies and individuals started hearing how much business was available online, more and more people started putting their money into flashy websites. Some sites were run with little thought of cost or how to make money. Raising capital for sites that were run by people who spent lavishly and didn’t monetize their sites well became the norm. This led to the dot-com bust in 2000.

While the world of ecommerce seemed bleak for a while, it didn’t take long for it to recover. Businesses learned how to spend less, monetize their sites for the maximum incomes and how to advertise to the right demographics instead of paying for blanket advertisements that brought in few customers. Amazon started showing a profit in 2003 and ecommerce incomes have gone up across the board ever since. With US$197 billion spent online in 2011, these numbers are expected to continue to rise each year as commerce leaves main street and goes online.

References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_commerce

How to Create a Website that Turns a Profit

Have you ever considered creating a website as a source of income? The beauty of a website is that you can turn a profit without having to buy, sell or ship anything. You do not have to deal with sales tax issues or online payments. You can earn an income from your website while you are on vacation or during the holidays. Be aware though, while this might sound appealing, it does not mean that you can create a website and sit back and watch the money roll in. It takes persistence and effort to maintain a successful website.

How It Works – In A Nutshell

After you create a website with content that you are knowledgeable about and interests you, your website will attract visitors. By placing ads on your site, the visitors may click on those advertisements. Depending on the advertiser, you will get paid for that person visiting the advertisers website or if the visitor purchases something from the advertiser.

Your website can contain whatever content you wish, but there some subjects are more profitable than others. It is better to select a topic that is specialized, but broad enough to attract viewers, and is not covered through multiple other sources. It is better to offer information in a smaller field than offer information in a topic that is already inundated through the internet.

Content Is Key

No matter if the subject is your favorite thing in the world to discuss, your website must contain interesting content and the volume of the content must be large. It helps if you have great knowledge of what you are placing on your website, or if you are willing to put in an effort to gain knowledge on the subject. You can pick a topic that you do not know much about and start delving into researching that topic. The website that you create needs to be simple and easy to navigate. It should be well-structured and contain pages with guides, advice and useful information. Your context should be unique and insightful in order to catch the eye of the visitors surfing the internet for creative information.

The Key To Keyword Research

A keyword research tool will help you determine what words people on the internet are searching for to gain information about a topic. A successful keyword research tool will inform you of what words and phrases people are using to search and how many other websites are gaining visitors as a result of those keywords being searched. This is an investment on your part but using a keyword research tool will allow you to place keywords in your website that will maximize hits and traffic to your content.

Finishing Up

Creating a website is not a difficult task. Creating a website with interesting, unique and insightful information is a different story. Making money on a website starts with creating a website that will generate traffic. Do not be concerned in the beginning with finding advertisers, but rather, be concerned with providing your content with keywords that search engines are getting hits on. The rest will fall into place once you get a decent following of visitors.