Just A Click Away: The World of Online Shopping


By Shaza Walid

So what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “shopping”? You might think of large malls, many department stores, racks and racks of products to choose from, salespeople trying to help you and encourage you to buy, queues waiting for the cashier, and so many other images connected to shopping. However, nowadays things have become quite different. Now we have the concept of online shopping, which allows you to browse through the products that you might need, pay online or upon delivery, and have your desired products delivered to your doorstep. But how did it all start, you might ask? Since Yaoota is an online shopping platform itself, we tried to seek the origins of online shopping and how it evolved over time, and here is what we found out.

What is Online Shopping?

Online shopping, or e-commerce, is when customers purchase goods or services from a provider using an online platform.

When did it start?

You might think that online shopping is a new thing; however, it goes quite back. In 1979, English Micheal Alrich was on a stroll in the supermarket buying essentials for his house and the idea just hit him: he thought of connecting a home TV set, a computer, and telephone lines so people can start purchasing things such as groceries online while seeing what they are buying. Simple but brilliant.

The World’s First Online Shopper

Some years later in 1984, Jane Snowball, a 72-year-old woman, became the first online shopper. She was in her house suffering from a broken hip and needed some groceries. So she used Tesco’s service for elderly citizens, one of the famous supermarkets then, to place her order. She would use a remote (there was a TV involved in the process, remember?) and would choose the products she needed from an electronic information system called Videotex. Then she would pay when the order arrived. It is pretty similar to what we do nowadays, right? But of course, now we have more advanced technologies. 

The evolution of Online Shopping as we now know it

In 1990, the World Wide Web, or the internet as we know it, was launched. Companies started to use it for advertising and selling their products online. Pizza Hut was probably the first to have a website for online orders in 1994, which was called Pizza Net. The first online order ever placed was a large pepperoni, mushroom, extra cheese pizza. Rohit Kapoor, chief information officer at Pizza Hut, said that, “Our focus on digital, from 1994 to today and into the future, is about creatively engaging with our customers in ways that fit their evolving lifestyles.” Who would have guessed that the first thing people could order online was pizza?

One year later, Amazon and Ebay were introduced as online retail shops. In Egypt, we now  have online retail shops that offer all kinds of brands and products, such as Souq, Jumia, Yashry, and many others. In addition to Yaoota, which is the platform that you can search, compare and buy from over 100 online shopping websites. Moreover, nowadays we find separate brands who have their own online shopping websites.

About Online Shopping:

As you can see, online shopping has revolutionized the way we choose and buy what we need. It is very convenient to browse the products from the comfort of our homes, without bothering to dress up and walk through different stores. Also, you do not have to stand in long queues for the fitting rooms or the cashier. You can also easily compare prices without having to go from one shop to another.

On the other hand, online shopping can be a bit frustrating because you cannot actually try on what you have purchased, if it is clothes, and you have to wait for several days before you get your order.

Please be careful with the websites you are shopping from because some of them may not be secure enough and your credit card information could be stolen. Always check the exchange and return policies and guarantee information before you order, to avoid any inconvenience.

Nevertheless, no one can deny the importance and convenience of online shopping nowadays and the comfort it provides to our hectic and busy lives. So enjoy online shopping from trusted websites!

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