With the continuous development of the internet in recent years, the internet platform has gradually become an important way of commercialization. The commercialization of the Internet mainly refers to the process of using the Internet as a commercial platform for profitability and economic benefits. This includes many aspects such as E-commerce, advertising and digital marketing, data and analytics. In this essay, I will mainly focus on the aspect of E-commerce and discuss the impact it has brought on people’s lives from several perspectives. E-commerce is one of the main aspects of internet commerce which covers several aspects such as online shopping, online payment, e-marketplaces, etc. It is a major process of purchasing and selling products or services over the Internet.
The development of e-commerce
The history of e-commerce started more than 40 years ago and online shopping was first pioneered by British entrepreneur Michael Aldrich in 1979 (Miva, 2020). From the mid-1990s some e-commerce platforms started to appear, such as Amazon and eBay, after which more and more companies started to launch their online business. The history of the Internet is inextricably linked to the history of e-commerce, which is an industry that has developed through the Internet, and e-commerce is a very important aspect of the commercialization of the Internet.
Benefits for people
The rapid development of the Internet has made e-commerce gradually penetrate our daily lives. From many aspects, it can be seen that the commercialization of the Internet brings much convenience to people’s lives. First of all, from the consumers’ point of view, the commercialization of the Internet enables people to buy goods or services anytime and anywhere. Whether they are at home or any other place, they can buy as long as there is an internet connection. Such online purchases give consumers more choices and comparisons of both goods and prices of goods, which can enable them to buy the most cost-effective things. Secondly, the growth of e-commerce has broken down geographical boundaries, allowing consumers to purchase goods from all over the globe, as well as allowing consumers to choose from a variety of different payment options to pay for their orders. Many e-commerce platforms now use intelligent algorithms to make shaping recommendations based on a consumer’s purchase or search history, making it easier for consumers to browse or find the products that are more to their liking. At the same time, e-commerce also innovates the transaction mode, consumers can complete the transaction without leaving home. Instead of having to meet in person, as was the case before, e-commerce allows consumers to complete transactions without having to leave their homes. All in all, e-commerce provides people with more convenience, more choices, and the most cost-effective way to spend their money.
The benefits of E-commerce are not only for consumers but also for more people. For example, the opportunity to become a merchant or the opportunity to become a manufacturer. Because all transactions are done online, they only need to register a merchant online, so they don’t need an offline store, which reduces costs and gives people living in remote areas the opportunity to become merchants. In China, the rise of e-commerce may provide new opportunities for rural development (Wei et al., 2020). For example, Taobao, an e-commerce platform owned by China’s Alibaba Group, plays a very important role in the development of e-commerce in China and includes all categories in this shopping platform. About 60% of all online sales in China occur on this platform (Wei et al., 2020). In the past, some people in rural or remote areas could only sell their goods to people in their neighborhoods, but with the advent of e-commerce, they could sell their goods to people all over the world, which has led to the economic development of rural areas.
With the gradual growth of social media in recent years, e-commerce has also become associated with social media. Many businesses have recognized the great potential of using these platforms to drive sales and enhance customer experience (Joshi, 2023). This has further boosted the growth of e-commerce and brought more traffic to the businesses on top of their platforms. In this day and age, most people use social media platforms, and on social media such as Instagram many users share their lives, outfits, make-up goodies, and so on. Some of these users are people with a fan base, known to the public as “bloggers”, this is a kind of Internet and social media development and the gradual development of a kind of occupation, these users share their photos or videos will drive some of the fans to buy the same or similar things, and such a process gives a new wave of e-commerce traffic. Some of the items shared by bloggers are purchased by the bloggers themselves, while others are sent to them by merchants, who pay them promotion fees or give them the items in a cooperative way to attract traffic to their products. Nowadays, many social media platforms have also developed shopping features, such as the shopping hashtag on Instagram. E-commerce not only gives more people the opportunity to start or expand their businesses but also promotes the development of the economy and the emergence of new professions, providing people with more employment options.
Although the commercialization of the internet has brought us many benefits, it does not mean that it does not have any negative impacts. the commercialization of the internet often requires users’ personal information to provide personalized services and recommendations, but this may result in the violation of users’ privacy. The commercialization of the internet often requires users’ personal information to provide personalized services and recommendations, but this can lead to the violation of users’ privacy. Some unprofessional companies are likely to use users’ data for unauthorized purposes after acquiring it, causing distress and risk to users. What’s more, online frauds will be committed through people’s personal information on the platform. These are the security issues it may bring.
In the article by Mansell (2020), it is stated that the competitive pressures brought about by digital platforms have had a significant impact on the retail and related wholesale trade sectors and the structure of employment. The rapid growth of E-commerce has hit the traditional brick-and-mortar sector to a certain extent, it has changed people’s spending habits and online shopping is more convenient for many people. This could lead to a large number of people losing their original jobs, as offline brick-and-mortar stores have less traffic so the number of employees they need to employ will decrease accordingly. Many brick-and-mortar stores will have to increase their overhead when they are already paying store rent, and to compete with e-commerce will need to invest more money in innovation and digital technology, adding more financial costs. The computer coding and system maintenance required for digital platforms account for a lower percentage of platform revenue than the labor inputs required to maintain physical operations in almost any other type of business (Mansell, 2020). Such cost comparisons are still brutal for offline brick-and-mortar stores.
Overall, the commercialization of the internet has brought us more positive impacts. For example, in terms of e-commerce, it has brought people more diversified choices and more convenient ways of consumption and transaction, as well as provided people with more career choices and promoted the development of the economy. However, some possible risks should not be ignored, and users need to be more cautious in using the Internet to protect their privacy and security. The development of e-commerce to offline brick-and-mortar stores will cause many people economic damage, but this is also the development of the times is inevitable, there are new things out can not be avoided there are old things to be discarded.
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