The History of Online Shopping

The internet is a fantastic and useful tool. With a click of our mouse we can read today’s news, play an online game and if we wish shop to our hearts content. But when did it all start? What is the history of Online Shopping and what does it mean to shop online?

Online shopping is the process a customer takes to purchase a service or product over the internet. In other words a consumer may at his or her leisure buy from the comfort of their own home products from an online store. This concept was first demonstrated before the World Wide Web was in use with real time transaction processed from a domestic television! The technology used was called Videotext and was first demonstrated in 1979 by M. Aldrick who designed and installed systems in the UK. By 1990 T. Berners-Lee created the first WWW server and browser, and by 1995 Amazon expanded its online shopping experiences.

The history of Online Shopping is amazing. Gone are the days of waiting in traffic and working our way through overcrowded stores. All we need is a computer, bank account, debit or credit card and voila freedom! From books, to cosmetics, clothing and accessories to name a few, shopping online is the answer to the 21st century. Simply find the website that offers the objects of your desire, price and delivery terms and in a matter of a few days your purchase is at your door. The advantages and convenience are obviously predictable as we are offered a broader selection, competitive pricing and a greater access to information in regards to our purchase. Online stores are usually available on a 24 hour basis, and permit consumers to shop at their leisure without any traveling and outside regular business hours!

Another point to take into consideration is that when the internet was first conceived it was not with the ideal that it would change the way we shop. On the contrary the web was created as a tool for communicating, which in time let to the convenience of shopping virtually. The history of online shopping by itself symbolizes the change in our society and has by now become a service used by business and regular shopper all over the world.

Shopping online is easy, fun and secure and has for many taken the place of the Saturday afternoon window shopping at the mail. Still considered as a fairly recent phenomenon, online shopping has without a doubt made the life of countless consumers easier and more convenient. May it be for a home loan, buying car or ordering your weekly groceries, the web has forever changed our outlook on shopping.

The history of online shopping shows to all that a good idea, great presentation, and a desire to offer the best to your customers can make a dream come true. Now considered tried and true, it will be interesting in the next 20 years or so to see where the History on online shopping will take us!

Differences Between a Dive Bar and Club

In the United States, 21 is the magical age. Once a person turns 21, the world is practically opened up to her, and there aren’t any more age restrictions to worry about. One of the first things that a new 21-year-old typically wants to do is bar hop. However, there are a lot of different bars out there to choose from, and it can be a bit intimidating the first time around. Knowing what to expect from certain types of bars is handy and helps a person feel more relaxed.

Dive bars are popular among the younger age groups for various reasons. Dive bars tend to be much more relaxed, meaning they don’t require a cover charge and don’t have dress standards. For example, a Nob Hill dive bar might have a crowd full of college-age students wearing jeans and t-shirts. Dive bars also tend to have fairly cheap drinks and have a community feel among them. Although rare today, some dive bars might be so casual that they only accept cash for drinks.

Beer bars are a type of specialty bar. These bars specialize in offering a wide variety of beers for patrons to try. While most of them also serve cocktails, the main drink to try is a beer from their extensive list. This is a place to go for beer-lovers, and the age crowd at beer bars tends to be a little older.

Clubs are bars that also offer dancing and entertainment. Clubs are popular for their exciting nightlife, good music, and attractive customers. Clubs, unlike beer bars, rarely offer a wide variety of beer, but usually offer an extensive list of cocktails and hard alcohol. Most clubs have a dress code, so it’s important to know what to wear before trying to get in. Additionally, clubs usually require a cover charge in order to get in for the night.

My Dog Training Squirrels!

I have a person who is masquerading as a dog at my house. His name is Tuxcitto. The reason I say this is that no normal dog can take random information and figure out the things that Tuxcitto does everyday. I have a perfect example in the following story of Tuxcitto and our resident squirrel population. You never know who's doing the dog training around our house.

Before Tuxcitto came along last fall, we had one dog named Spoofy. She's an older dog and has been with us since she was a puppy. Spoofy loves to chase squirrels. Back in her younger days she almost done one or two. But These days the squirrels have their way with her and get just close enough to tease her, and then easily run up the nearest tree.

But that was soon to change when Tuxcitto arrived. I learned in the first few weeks that Tuxcitto was an experienced escape artist. Until we came to an agreement, he would often take off and run through the vicinity heather and yon until he got thirsty, hungry, or I came and caught him. During this period he was usually bound to a long tether tied to our front tree if we were not outside with him.

Since we now agree that he will not run around the neighborhood he gets to go out with Spoofy and our two cats, Blackie and Baby with out being tethered. During the time that he was tethered, he often watched a little game play out with Spoofy and our local squirrels. He was always interested but never really participated since he knew the 30 feet of tether limited him. Or at least that's what I believe now in hindsight.

Our resident squirrels do not needlessly come by everyday. They come pretty often since they love to rob our birdfeeders and tease Spoofy. But there are plenty of dogs and birdfeeders to visit in our neighborhood so they feel obliged to give all some attention. So the first few times that Tuxcitto was free to roam there were no squirrels in the area.

Now Tuxcitto is a Border Collie who has tremendous speed and agility, since the breed is a natural at herding animals. I have seen Tuxcitto clear a 5 foot fence with room to spare. These are popular dogs for freebie competitions. So he has a lot of natural talent. But beyond that, this dog is smarter than a lot of people I know and enjoys demonstrating this on any occasion.

So one morning I go to let the dogs and cats for their midmorning break. My neighbor happened to be out working in the yard so all four animals had to trot over over to see what he was doing. I traveled and followed the crowd. As I was talking to my neighbor, the animals lost interest and wandered back into our yard.

I am so grateful that I had a witness for what followed. As my neighbor and I talked I noticed the squirrels working their way way over to my yard through the trees. As soon as they got close they started chattering at Spoofy. Spoofy's ears perked up, she jumped up and was ready for the game to begin. But little did the squirrels know that the rules were about to be drastically changed.

The squirrels talked to each other and scampered down a nearby tree. Not all the way to the ground, just to the bottom of the trunk. As they were eyeing Spoofy, and looking to another tree about 40 feet away they ignored Tuxcitto laying just to the right of Spoofy. I'm sure they never considered him a threat since he had never joined in the game before.

I think they were very confident that they could reach the next tree before that old fat Spoofy could even get within 15 feet. And that was probably true, no doubt about it since I had seen this played out many times. So the squirrels got ready to jump, and Spoofy was ready to lunge after them. And Tuxcitto was just watching as usual.

The squirrels leaped down and started to scamper across the 40 feet of grass separating the trees. Spoofy lunged after them coming up on their rear. But what caught my eye was an explosion of Tuxcitto leaping off the ground, not chasing after the squirrels as Spoofy was but going directly for the tree to cut them off.

And he got there in about 3 or 4 seconds, far ahead of the squirrels. In fact the squirrels about went into a train wreck trying to stop their forward momentum towards the tree. In about 5 seconds this had turned from familiar game to their biggest nightmare. A dog was blocking each tree and there was nowhere to go.

And Tuxcitto stand in front of them like a coiled spring waiting to see which way they were going to go. And good old Spoofy, finally seeing that there was a real opportunity here to finally catch these little devils, was running full speed towards them from the rear.

The squirrels decided that they did not want anything to do with Tuxcitto and turned to run back to the original tree. As soon as they moved Tuxcitto burst into action and actually caught up with them as they all got to the tree. Spoofy was a little late since she had to do a full stop and then turn around to head in the opposite direction.

I do not think Tuxcitto was even trying to catch the squirrels, he just wanted to beat them to the tree. I'm not sure who got there first, it was a tight finish. My neighbor turned to me and said "it's a good thing Tuxcitto was just playing or there would have been two less squirrels in the neighborhood". Both dogs sat there for a while looking up at the squirrels but lost interest in a few minutes.

The amazing thing about this little adventure was the fact that Tuxcitto had watched Spoofy and the squirrels perform this little game several times. Tuxcitto had learned from Spoofy that just chasing the squirrels was not the best strategy. Between watching Spoofy and his natural herding instincts, Tuxcitto had figured out the best way to beat those squirrels. And he knew exactly what both Spoofy and the squirrels were going to do and so when he got the opportunity, he was ready.

That's a good way to train a young dog, put them with an older dog that knows what to do and let them learn from the more experienced animal. Of course in this case Tuxcitto learned what not to do, but the same principal applies. Tuxcitto has learned a lot from watching Spoofy since he joined the family. And he also learned from the squirrels, since they repeatedly did the same thing. So dog training around this house is up for grabs.

The epilog to this story is that the squirrels never get out of the trees now. They still come over and chatter at the dogs but they know better than to try and make a break for the nearby tree on the ground. But they still have a few birdfeeders to rob so our yard still gets frequent visits.

Porter’s Five Forces Model And Internet Competition

According to Porter’s Five Forces Model, in my opinion, competition has increased overall as a result of the internet and e-Commerce. The internet and IT has made it possible to both focus on the top and bottom lines and market share is expanded and costs are cut. Many products and services exist just online, major companies have gone online to successfully augment the brick and mortar corporations, and the playing field is all the way to edges of cyberspace, wherever that is. We will further evaluate this stepping through all five forces.

Buyer power is higher when buyers have more choices. Businesses are forced to add value to their products and services to get loyalty. Many loyalty programs include excellent services that customers demand on-line. Customers want to solve their problems and many times they are more successful on-line than on-phone. Also, we see internet savvy businesses springing up offering more valuable goods and services at lower costs. Now with the advent of eBay, many people are assuming roles as drop shippers. Individuals can have a thriving business selling goods of larger companies without having to carry inventory.

Supplier power is higher when buyers have fewer choices from whom to buy. As mentioned earlier, drop shipping has increased the amount of suppliers available. All an individual has to do is form and agreement to sell products for the company. The company takes care of all the logistics. The same is true of associates programs that Amazon.com and Google.com offer. Associates allow a webmaster to earn money by recommending products from others. This increases supplier offerings.

Threat of substitute products or services is high when there are many product alternatives. This is different than having many suppliers. Examples of alternatives are exchanging brand names, substituting credit card capabilities, and looking at better values from cheaper sources. The internet allows this with the “global economy”. I can substitute my product by purchasing from companies overseas where labor, services and products are cheaper, but of comparable quality.

Threat of new entrants is high when it is easy for new competition to enter the market. Well, what have we been talking about? Now, small operations can open shop with less than $10.00 per month and make a lot of money. As inventive as people are, there are always opportunities to do improve a product or service or just create and sell something new. Recently, many new entrants have made even more money authoring Ebooks that tell others how to do what they did. Rivalry among competitors is high when competition is more intense within industries.

On-line book stores and catalog companies are an excellent example. Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com are very competitive. However, there are many also smaller niche affiliate bookstores that when combined take a great deal of market share. They offer even more competition. However, both major bookstores have used IT to create value for their customers. These values include associates programs, ease of payment and shipping and many, many others.

The internet offers avenues of competition to existing companies and opportunities for start ups. Now businesses can enter the market on-line with few barriers to entry. Porter’s Five Forces Model can help demonstrate the attractiveness of starting your on-line business. A business person should use the model to identify competition, make a plan, and implement the process.