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The Rise of E-Commerce (ePub)

From Dot to Dominance

P&S History > Social History

By James Roper
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 10.5 MB (.epub)
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781399063340
Published: 24th July 2023

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£4.99 Print price £28.00

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Key reviews!

'An important and well-timed book' - Nick Robertson, Co-founder and Ex-CEO, ASOS

'Fascinating and eminently readable' - Jonathan Reynolds, Deputy Dean & Associate Professor in Retail Marketing, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

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The amazing and authoritative story of e-retail: its origins, evolution and astonishing ascendance. Meet the pioneers and businesses that explored the possibilities of the emerging virtual world, review the technology innovations that paved the way, and journey the rocky road to domination for the online shopping industry.

As the founder of the UK’s industry association for e-commerce (IMRG), author James Roper was there from its inception…

‘An important and well-timed book about how the humdrum business of shopping was reinvented online. James Roper is a persuasive advocate for the role of collaboration in innovation, who was instrumental in jumpstarting the e- retail industry by methodically tackling every obstacle that blocked its early progress… In this book, Roper offers a fascinating glimpse at how a motley assemblage of inventions evolved, often in surprising ways, into today’s staggeringly powerful e-retail industry. Stuffed with eye-opening facts and statistics The Rise of e-Commerce is an essential read for anyone who is interested in the evolution of modern retailing.’

Nick Robertson, Co-founder and Ex-CEO, ASOS

A brilliant and historically important book written by the father of UK eCommerce. The one and only James Roper! Thanks for everything you did to help us all.

Patrick Wall, Founder and Ex-CEO, Metapack, Tech CEO, Founder and Advisor

From Dot to Dominance is an important and well-timed book about how the humdrum business of shopping was reinvented online. James Roper is a persuasive advocate for the role of collaboration in innovation, who was instrumental in jumpstarting the e-retail industry by methodically tackling every obstacle that blocked its early progress. During periods of rapid innovation, there is always tumult as people try to make sense of it—IMRG’s organizing efforts helped make the very complicated and disparate subject and its evolution understandable, and in so doing so saved us online traders much time and many tears. In this book Roper offers a fascinating glimpse at how a motley assemblage of inventions evolved, often in surprising ways, into today’s staggeringly powerful e-retail industry. Stuffed with eye-opening facts and statistics From Dot to Dominance is an essential read for anyone who is interested in the evolution of modern retailing.’

Nick Robertson, Co-founder and Ex-CEO, ASOS

"A characteristically thorough and detailed appreciation of the history and growth of e-commerce, by someone who was there, on the inside. James Roper provides us with a cast of characters and details a series of events spanning more than 30 years which brings the digital transformation of retailing to life in a fascinating and eminently readable way."

Jonathan Reynolds, Deputy Dean & Associate Professor in Retail Marketing, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

James’s unique understanding of online trading, especially e-commerce and e-retail comes from a hands-on perspective. He was there; capturing change as it happened to the way we live, work and trade. His insight goes deep into the founding principles of e-commerce and he has seen how events over 3 decades have changed the world. Dot to Dominance, is the story of events which have led to greatest economic change in the modern world. A must read for everyone interested in the economic future.

Dr Fiona Ellis-Chadwick, Director of Impact at School of Business & Economics, Loughborough University

‘From the turn of the 20th century eCommerce was on a charge and James and the IMRG were central to its success during its infancy and beyond. It was a learning curve for all of us and if we needed an answer to a question we couldn't figure or to network with people who already had found solutions James knew them! On the mantra that two heads are better than one, IMRG networking events multiplied that by many many heads. From payments to logistics issues many were resolved through the IMRG group meetings and we had fun finding the solutions at the expense of many willing suppliers growing rapidly in this space as well.’

Jonathan Wall, Ex-Group eCommerce Director, Shop Direct / Ex-Marketing Director, dabs.com

‘Digital could be aptly called “the great disruptor”... When James and Steve Dobson brought this [IMRG] to me in 1991, I immediately saw the potential, having already embarked on the digitisation of the Pathé Newsreel and subsequently the National Sound Archive. But it was James’s vision and determination that resulted in the impact that IMRG had on “e-commerce” in retail.’

Dr David Best, Partner, Deloitte

‘... my roles at a senior level in Dixons Group, Argos and Homebase were aligned to the IMRG through membership and participation at meetings and events. As the technology grew and bandwidth improved the ‘Roper’ dream of total online retailing was getting closer and closer. Despite many challenges and doubters James never once revealed anything but total commitment to his vision of the future for electronic commerce. It was a privilege to be in at the start of this revolution, thanks to the IMRG for being an amazing conduit for learning and development.’

Peter J Jones, Ex-Retail Director: Dixon Stores Group, Argos & Homebase

‘James Roper was pivotal to the early lead that the UK won and maintained in eCommerce. James brought the industry together and fought for innovation, security, consumer rights and standards. Unbeknown to most, he’s done more than anyone to make shoppers happy to buy online.’

Patrick Wall, Founder and Ex-CEO, Metapack

‘Tesco.com’s pioneering efforts to bring grocery home shopping to the UK was challenging work because we were doing it ahead of others without any insight or models to work from. IMRG changed all that, bringing James’s focus and expertise to generate that insight and best practice.’

Nick Lansley, Ex-Head of Innovation, Tesco.com

‘...here is a book that tells the full story of ecommerce over the last 30 years, a concept that was initially met with derision. The UK now boasts the world’s highest per capita spend online and the IMRG’s learnings, proven by global retail brands it helped incubate, have meant that ecommerce continues to be a true UK success story on the world stage. If history tells us the future, then this is the definitive book to read, keep, refer to and inspire now and for years to come.’

Shiran Liyanage, UK ecommerce technology pioneer

‘IMRG epitomized my philosophy, “If you are not thinking ahead today then you will not be ahead tomorrow”. James’ detailed history of e-commerce reminds us all of the prominent role on the global stage that IMRG and the UK played in moving the market ahead, and the massive steps forward that were made in a relatively short period of time. It should be the must read for students, employees and those leading commerce.’

Scott Thomson, Creator of the first Euro Travellers Cheques for Thomas Cook, inventor of the Switch multifunction debit card and ‘cashback’ for Midland Bank; co-developer of Tesco’s Clubcard,

‘With visionary foresight and impeccable timing, James founded IMRG in 1990 to unleash ecommerce’s potential. Three decades on, IMRG remains the focal point of UK ecommerce and the authoritative source of its data and insights. This engaging book tells the sweeping history of the tortuous evolution—impossible to understand in the chaos of the moment—that ultimately led to the ease of shopping online today. A must read for anyone interested in the past, present and future of ecommerce.'

Justin Opie, CEO, IMRG

‘A fantastic historic story of the biggest change to hit retail in the last century told with humour and fact. A must read for how change is always faster than you can imagine.’

Neil Sansom, Ex-CEO, WoolOvers.com / Ex Omni-channel Director, Moss Bros / Ex-Vice President to Consumer, Shell

‘James is an authority on the rise of e-retail. Dot to Dominance is a condensed history of the labyrinthine factors that led to the simplicity (for the consumer) of shopping online today. This is approachable and a must-read for those in the retail space.’

Brent Hoberman CBE, Co-Founder and Chairman at Founders Factory, Founders Forum, firstminute capital and Karakuri. Previously co-founded lastminute.com & made.com

...a great good read for those who want to relive those heady dotcom days and those who want to learn from history. It is filled with terrific insights and also puts the spotlight on many pioneers who might otherwise have been forgotten or written out of the story.

Glynn Davies, Altavia Watch

About James Roper

James Roper is the Founder of IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), the UK e-commerce industry association.  He served as IMRG’s Chief Executive Officer from its formation in 1990 until May 2013, and then as its Chairman until May 2018. James was formerly vice president of EMOTA, the European e-commerce industry association, and was frequently a keynote speaker and chairman at conferences worldwide relating to the e-commerce industry and its effect on trade, finance and society.
IMRG is a community of more than 17,500 individuals from over 3,000 organisations who lead UK and global online retailing.

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