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Evolution of Online Retail: Innovation in a Modern Era

November 11, 2014 Fashion Design and Merchandising, General 0 Comments

Digital innovations brought retail shopping beyond neighborhood stores to your laptop, smartphone and tablet. Emerging technologies continue to push the evolution of online retail toward new developments. The openness of digital markets offers increased flexibility for aspiring fashion designers who want to share their products with consumers across the globe.

Evolution of Online Retail: Innovation in a Modern EraHistory of Online Retail

You may remember the first item you purchased online, whether it was a book for a class or an airline ticket for a family vacation. That first purchase — and all the online purchases you've made since then — were made possible because of the technology boom of the 1990s. This decade saw the development of e-commerce pioneers such as Amazon and eBay.

In light of this new competition, brick-and-mortar shops began to reach out to consumers not just through their stores, but also through their home computers. Competition soared as price comparison sites emerged, encouraging shoppers to look for the best deals across different e-commerce websites.

A New Model for Production and Distribution

Amazon, which is known for its relentless success in challenging startups, continues to dominate the e-commerce world. Because of Amazon's success in monopolizing the distribution of goods, successful online companies have shifted toward creating their own products to attract you to their websites.

"Companies are now making their own clothes and creating their own fashion brands," J.J. Colao writes for Forbes Magazine.

Successful e-commerce retailers control all aspects of the creative process and market their own goods. This approach to digital sales strengthens the viability of future fashion designers who wish to develop their skills and enter the field of online retail as entrepreneurs.

Digital Markets for Independent Designers

A new marketplace within the digital sphere led to the success of e-commerce companies and new opportunities that linked aspiring designers to a global customer base. Companies such as Etsy, eBay and ArtFire have created platforms for you to reach large networks of consumers with your designs. Such sites mirror the format of local artisan markets, but on a worldwide scale. They allow for flexibility in the pricing and marketing of your products, cutting out the need for corporate approval and the cost of third-party distributors.

Moving Forward

The evolution of online retail offers unique opportunities for independent innovation among aspiring designers. Since its beginnings in the '90s, e-commerce has created new channels for independent artisans to reach consumers. In the development of design-focused retailers and online platforms, designers have connected with a global marketplace on their own terms. The online shopping landscape will continue to develop with emerging technologies, offering renewed possibility for you in the digital sphere.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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