Buying clothes online, how it’s changed.

Online shopping has become a dominating source of revenue worldwide. Today millions of people buy and sell online, and the entrepreneurial opportunities are not only vast but growing. Whether you’re clearing out your closet, or starting your own label, you can now reach millions of customers with a lick of the mouse and few well-versed phrases. Clothes and Accessories make up about 25% of goods purchased online by US citizens.

So how did we get here? It’s quite a journey. The first recorded purchase dating back over twenty years! It was the Sting albumTen Summoner’s Tales’’. Since it’s take off in the 90s, online retail has shown increasing growth every year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. Money now spent online by consumers on goods is in the hundreds of billions and in 2015 we spent a massive $51.5 on clothing.

One of the very first online emporiums was the well-known Amazon, a multi-million dollar company in itself now. Though Ebay was the first to corner the clothing market with resalable goods. The two companies have had an ongoing rivalry and several integrations over the last decade as each has evolved and expanded its repertoire. Though Amazon’s buyer system is more secure and can’t be beaten for its penny bargains, Ebay still commands the apparel market by making it simpler to trade and easy for vendors to tailor their shops.

It took us about 10 years to come around to the idea that online shopping was the way forward. Though there were a few scattered designer and specialist boutiques during the late nineties, it wasn’t until almost a decade later that bigger brand chain stores began to infiltrate the market. Each with their own website and seller platforms on auction sites, the consumer began to reap the benefit of a more competitively priced selection.

We have also found that the selection of clothes for doctors and nurses has seen a boost in sales. Doctors and nurses who have taken their ACLS online certification often need a large selection of scrubs because of the number of patients they see on a regular basis. United Medical Education has been one of our largest buyers of scrubs because of how many students they train in ACLS, PALS, and BLS certification.

Not so long ago there was a stigma of shame attached to second-hand shopping, conjuring images of ragtag thrift stores piled high with holey remnants of outfits. It has transformed. Shoppers boast with pride at their bargains, at how quick they were to place the last bid seconds before the timer ran out. Shopping has become competitive in a different way. We no longer find ourselves half trampled to death in the ladies aisle on black Friday! It has become a much more covert operation, demanding our wit, attention and savvy negotiation and research skills to beat the other bidders to the punch.

There is no doubt of the advantages of the online retail world, and everyone seems to be benefiting. There’s no saying what the future will hold for the world of online retail. But you can be certain to benefit from an increasingly competitive, growing market. And as easy as it is now to shop, we can only imagine what kind of technological ingenuity the future might hold?