The Birth of Online Shopping (and SEO!)

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The Birth of Online Shopping (and SEO!)

Amazon opened its virtual doors in 1995 – the same year that James McCauley, the CEO and president of the digital marketing agency SEO James, began offering search engine services

It’s hard to believe that the roots of our online marketing company stretch back that far! It’s also hard to believe it’s been 25 years since we started buying books online (for those of you who don’t know, Amazon started as a bookseller). 

If you stop to think about it, that means an entire generation has grown up with online shopping! They don’t know about the frustration of not being able to find what you want and having to settle for something else. They never had to rely on driving around town in the search to find the best price. And they never had to search a phone book in an attempt to find a mechanic or use an encyclopedia to research a school paper. 

In the Beginning

Not to take anything away from the way Amazon has revolutionized the way we all shop, but they weren’t the first to venture into the realm of e-commerce. 

  • According to Miva, “Online shopping was invented and pioneered in 1979 by Michael Aldrich in the United Kingdom. He connected a modified domestic television via a telephone line to a real-time multi-user transaction processing computer. The system was marketed beginning in 1980 and offered mainly business-to-business systems that were sold in the UK, Ireland, and Spain.’
  • Who knows, Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, might have decided to launch his online venture with books because of the success of Book Stacks Unlimited, which was founded by Charles M. Stack. “Stack’s store began as a dial-up bulletin board two years before Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos,” Miva tells us in their history of e-commerce. “In 1994, Book Stacks Unlimited moved to the Internet as and was eventually acquired by Barnes & Noble.”

The stories of pioneers like Aldrich and Stack are great if you want to stump your friends with internet trivia. If, however, you want to write your own chapter in the history of e-commerce, we want you to know that we have the online marketing chops and SEO strategies to help you.

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