Since the 1990s, when the internet reached mainstream popularity, ecommerce has been a piece of the equation that entrepreneurs and business owners must consider to ensure long-term success. Retailers like Amazon and eBay ushered in a new era of buying and selling online.
In 1998, widely believed to be the breakthrough year for online shopping, U.S. retailers sold $5 billion in goods and services. Over the next two decades, that number grew steadily as more shoppers embraced the idea of saving time and shopping from home; by 2019, that number had climbed to nearly $572 billion. In that time, social media, smartphones and other technologies made it easier than ever for consumers to shop for their favorite brands from anywhere.