5 Digital Turning Points in Retail August 16, 2021 Tim Tang, Director, Enterprise Solutions Networking , Retail Technology false To celebrate 50 years of Hughes innovation and leadership this year, we have been posting a “5 for 50” series that shares personal insights from Hughes executives on all things related to technology and trends. Here are 5 major digital turning points I see looking back on the history of retail. 1978—First Dial-Up Online Bulletin Board System (BBS). The first BBS came to life during a Chicago blizzard, when its inventors, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess, sought to host their computer club gatherings without having to brave the elements. The BBS concept offered the first computer-based forum akin to a push-pin bulletin board common in grocery store entrances. 1990s—Welcome to the Web. When the Internet was born and its standard development language (HTML) for websites emerged, people and businesses had their first opportunity to conduct online transactions. With that came the arrival of “cookies,” the small files websites use to monitor and remember information about visitors. This spawned the practice of data gathering, which grew increasingly important for online retailers. 1998—Google Launches. While early search engines existed, none took hold like Google when it launched, taming the sprawling and chaotic mass of material on the Web by ranking search results according to popularity. With these capabilities, e-commerce sites devised strategies for landing atop the results list. By the early 2000s, Google debuted Ad Words to enable retailers to buy a spot at the top. 2007—The iPhone Arrives. The evolution from cell phones of the 1990s to smartphones took time since devices were expensive and clunky. But when Apple released its first-generation iPhone, it revolutionized the mobile phone industry and opened the gates for increased e-commerce activity and eventually the app economy. 2020—Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) Took Hold. In the past decade, we’ve seen a steep rise in data gathering and analytics with a focus on better understanding online consumer behavior. In the years ahead, we will unleash the power of AI/ML to shape customer experiences and meet expectations, whether that means supporting near instant product delivery by drones or deploying voice recognition apps to simplify the purchase process. Check out other insights and trends here. Categories See All SD-WAN (58) Networking (30) Retail Technology (23) Managed Security (12) Managed Services (12) EMV (11) SASE (9) Conference (7) Edge Computing (7) Digital Media (6) WiFi Analytics (4) SCS (1) Popular Blogs HUG 2021 Digital Transformation Insights Jul 26, 2021 What to do When the Network is the Lifeline for a Franchise BusinessJul 28, 2021 5 Tips to Maintain Business as Usual During Hurricane SeasonAug 11, 2021 Making a List. Checking it Twice. Five Tips to Prep Stores for the Holiday SeasonAug 23, 2021 Protecting Your Brand Takes More Than TrustAug 25, 2021 Related Posts See All 5 Major Turning Points in the History of e-Commerce Tim Tang, Director, Enterprise Solutions September 02, 2021 Protecting Your Brand Takes More Than Trust August 25, 2021 How Hughes Applies AI/ML to Improve Field Services June 22, 2021 3 Top Trend-based Opportunities for C-Stores Tim Tang, Director, Enterprise Solutions June 18, 2021 The Battle of Bandwidth: MPLS vs. SD-WAN May 11, 2021 ENJOY THIS POST? Provide your email below to receive a monthly round-up of what’s happening in the world of connectivity! First Name Last Name Email Company Campaign ID CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.