An alternative history of online shopping


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The ability to shop online is one of the greatest conveniences of the 21st century. It rings particularly true in 2020, with the global pandemic sweeping the world and drastically changing the habits of millions of people. In fact, together with quarantines and self-isolation, e-commerce became more of a necessity rather than just a convenience. 

A staggering 2.1 billion people, which is 27% of the entire world’s population, will make a purchase online this year, according to Statista, and future forecasts are only showing growth for the industry.

However, most shoppers are completely oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite e-commerce sites and the role that web scraping plays. What is even more surprising, there is still a large portion of online retailers left in the dark as well.

About the author

Julius Cerniauskas is CEO at Oxylabs

For this reason, this article will help to uncover little-known facts about e-commerce by answering one question – what would online shopping look like if web scraping didn’t exist?

What is web scraping?

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