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Ecommerce 20th Anniversary - What can we expect in the next 20 years of fulfillment?

by Mike DeFabis on 2014-08-20 11:28:00

Remember the days of Netscape, AOL and dial-up internet? The ecommerce fulfillment industry has come a long way in the last 20 years. Many ecommerce companies have come and gone, but the ones that got to the party earlier, such as Amazon, eBay, PayPal (and may others) have proven to be successful.

keyboard with shopping cart

Over the past 20 years we have seen significant changes in ecommerce. When ecommerce first started to take off, about the biggest concern was consumers’ security and their hesitation to give their personal information out over the internet. The development of Google allowed them to get information in a matter of seconds. Faster internet speeds have developed from the early days of dial-up to the current fiber optics (seems so futuristic). Social media has allowed people to share their lives and their purchases with their friends and family. Smart phones have revolutionized ecommerce allowing consumers to make purchases anytime, from anywhere.

If we could predict what will happen in the next 20 years, we might all be as rich as Mark Zuckerberg! But, this blog post will give you some insight into what we might expect to see in the next 20 years of ecommerce.

3D Printing

3D printing is relatively new and gives one the ability to produce a tailor-made product at an unbelievably low cost. With 3D printing, companies may look to produce more products here in the US, cutting down on transportation and manufacturing costs, saving customers money. This will also allow manufacturers to produce products on demand, lowering the need to keep as much inventory on hand.

Google Glass

We have written several blog posts on Google Glass, but the idea of being able to simply see something that you like and almost instantaneously purchase it via something that you are wearing could be revolutionary. As you are walking down the street and spot a car that you like, Google Glass would be able to determine the make, model and year of the vehicle, while giving you the best price in a 50 mile radius.

Same Day Delivery

While same day delivery is already available in many of the major markets across the US, the expansion same day delivery to a growing number of secondary markets over the next 20 years could be huge. This provides an opportunity to order more perishable items and provides more competition for these types of items. Currently this is still relatively new, but over the next 20 years, going to the grocery store could be a thing of the past.

Smart Homes

While mobile commerce continues to take off, waiting in the wings are smart homes. Your refrigerator will know when you are running low on milk, and it’ll be delivered to your door step that evening. Smart TV’s, as they begin to develop, have tremendous opportunity to revolutionize the way we shop. Imagine seeing a dress that you love on your favorite actress and being able to pause, click the dress, and buy it.


Ecommerce has come a long way in the last 20 years and the next 20 are sure to be as unpredictable as the first. The one thing that we know for certain is that ecommerce will continue to provide new and innovative ways for consumers to purchase the products they want, when they want it.

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