The Internet Family Online Shopping Mall’s Evolution

Do you recall how your great great grandfather went grocery shopping for the family? He’d hitch his team of horses to the family’s big waggon and trudge across the prairie for a day or so to get to the nearest ‘general store.’ It was a fantastic family outing once we arrived. From children’s store-bought candy to a mother’s ready-made dress, the store had everything needed. If the store didn’t have that one-of-a-kind item, the catalogue was always an option.

A couple of significant changes occurred after the turn of the century (1900, not 2000) that began to alter family shopping. At least to the oceans, America began to grow up and out. The automobile then made its grand entrance. The family could now get to the general store much more quickly. Mother was overjoyed because she was able to make more trips in less time.

However, there was a sliver of change visible in the stores themselves. As the population grew, so did the need for more stores and a wider variety of markets. The general store started to disintegrate. ‘Specialty’ stores started to appear. Dress shops, drugstores, and movie theatres, to name a few. A slew of new cottage industries popped up overnight. True, the big boys were still around, and they were getting bigger. Sears, Roebuck, and Co., as well as J. C. Penny and others, were still on top, selling through catalogues.

Our country became more sophisticated as a result of World War II. The small village grew into a bustling metropolis. As a result, the concept of a ‘town square’ was born. The large stores were typically on opposite sides of the square, with small specialty shops filling in the gaps. These cities were usually the county seat, so they had a courthouse and a government office building. During this time period, something else of importance rose to prominence. With the opening of the County Library, access to information began to expand.

As the 1960s progressed, the automobile presented an unanticipated nightmare problem for family shopping. The city square concept began to be suffocated by traffic and parking. Everyone, of course, still wanted to shop, but not at the same time. On the down town streets in the town square, finding a parking metre was nearly impossible.

As usual, American ingenuity triumphed. We made parking a top priority and dubbed the whole thing a “suburban shopping mall.” With the shops in the middle, there was now acres of free parking. The air conditioning of the entire shopping mall was the next major step. What’s not to like about that? The big players remained at opposite ends of the shopping mall. The specialty shops could now expand to their full potential. Even better, it was all within walking distance. The food court was the only thing left. Shopping with the family had become a thing of the past.

Over the next few decades, we refined and sharpened this concept into an art form. During that time, the government slipped in an undocumented and underutilised system that took the handle of the ‘internet.’ So, what’s the point? For a long time, nothing happened. Then came the next amazing invention. The mouse (computer) started to wiggle. Do you not realise that a computer is nothing more than a black box without a mouse? When you put them all together, you get a personal computer.

The infinite minds of computer geeks and nerds began to squeak and rumble somewhere in the eternal scheme of things. The internet and the personal computer were married. While that is a worthwhile discussion in and of itself, and far too large for our purposes, we would be remiss if we did not comment on it. This happened only a few years ago, in the mid-to-late 1990s. This is crucial to comprehend in order to focus on the rapidity of current events, particularly when it comes to online shopping. Around the year 1994/95, a company called Netscape released their first commercial internet browser. It was the start of a complete revolution. It wasn’t until around 1996 that Microsoft figured it out and unleashed their internet explorer on the world. The race had begun.

The functional software development on the internet was the other side of the storey. The only thing we could figure out about the internet at first was file transfer (FTP). Someone then realised that if we could read from the internet, why not write to it? What a brilliant idea! Websites started to appear all over the place.

We started to see the beginnings of a true information superhighway. With little effort, any company could advertise its presence all over the world. A company’s data base could now be accessed through an internet browser. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the website could start selling products. The ramifications of this were enormous. Shopping had taken a detour. It was now referred to as internet shopping. The concept of family online shopping was born.

The pace of online shopping has accelerated to the point where it is nearly impossible to keep up with it on a daily basis. However, what goes around comes around; in terms of technology, we’ve returned to the 1950s. Big websites still exist for the big boys. However, specialty ishops are now filling in the gaps. They can almost directly compete with the big corporations. Online shopping malls can be found all over the internet. Every day, online shopping, including discount shopping, grows non-linearly.

Another set of complications has arisen, as they always do, and must be addressed. On the internet, there are literally millions of websites to be found or, in most cases, not to be found. This has resulted in the emergence of yet another incredibly fast-moving cottage industry known as Internet Marketing. Search engines, Pay Per Click (PPC), Website Content, and other factors are now crucial to a website’s success.

When you conduct an online shopping spree, or a shopping search for our purposes, it is not uncommon to receive several thousand results. To truly shop, you must go through each website one at a time until you find what you’re looking for. The term “surfing” was coined as a result of this.

The solutions to these issues are emerging in the form of comprehensive online shopping mall websites that offer categories ranging from online discount shopping to online clothing shopping. Filtering and selecting appropriate merchants based on the website’s subject is the burden and responsibility of the website.

The ‘internet online shopping specialty ishops’ is the next cutting-edge development. A’mini website’ is one that focuses on a very specific topic. A ‘Women’s Plus Size Clothing Specialty iShop,’ for example, or a ‘Family Scrapbooking Specialty iShop,’ for example. The list of online shopping specialty ishops is likely to grow exponentially in the near future. The important thing to remember is that this type of website only features merchants who specialise in that particular niche. All of the major retailers, as well as many of the more competitive smaller online shopping websites, are now within one click of the customer. It significantly reduces the amount of time spent surfing through each merchant’s website.

Last but not least, the specialty online shopping website will have a library, i.e., information highway, news links, ebooks, fresh content articles, and whatever else is needed to maintain a holistic family shopping environment at your fingertips, much like the shopping malls of old.

Then it’ll be time for the next step in family online shopping…

3 thoughts on “The Internet Family Online Shopping Mall’s Evolution”

  1. Pingback: Australia's Children's Entertainment Shows - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  2. Pingback: What Online Shoppers Expect In 2021 - Hire A Virtual Assistant

  3. Pingback: Online Shopping, Post Covid, Retains Consumers - Hire A Virtual Assistant

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.