You might say that technology drove technology adoption when it comes to modern day ecommerce. Technology sales and the consumer electronics industry played major roles in the original commercialization of the World Wide Web back in the 1990s. Sales of desktop PCs, laptops and related gear were prime drivers of online sales, fueling the establishment of the online channel as a viable retail outlet.
Some 20-plus years later, the number of online consumer electronics retailers has decreased, yet the online channel is gaining strength. The dynamics of today’s online selling model, however, couldn’t be more different from the old “frontier days,” when online retailing consisted of web stores accessed on a desktop computer.
Back in 1995 – just five years after the World Wide Web went online – direct sellers such as CDW and The Connection dominated electronics sales by putting their catalogs on web shops where they offered an array of products and door-to-door service. They made computers and related electronics accessible to businesses, government agencies and consumers.