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It is estimated by some sources that online sales are growing at around 20-30% in Australia indicating the importance of e-commerce for retailers.

However, e-commerce is not new. In fact, the first online shopping system was created in 1979 by a spiffing English chap called Michael Aldrich. His idea was to connect a modified television to a transaction processing computer via a telephone line, laying the foundations for the online retail world that we know today.

Thirty six years later e-commerce is a well established and hugely important sub section of the retail sector, ranging from massive companies such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba to smaller local retailers such as Vasse Virgin.

For smaller operators, part of the beauty of e-commerce is the low start up costs. It is easier than ever before to start up and run an online store even without the need for a costly physical store. In addition, e-commercesoftware has come a long way since its early ancestors.

Examples of popular e-commerce platforms are WooCommerce, Shopify and Lemonstand, all of which are much more sophisticated, reliable and easy to use when compared to similar software of just a few years ago.