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From trading cattle with your neighbor, to buying pizza online - it’s clear that commerce has changed tremendously over time.

But what was the catalyst for it all? How did something like ecommerce become this $1.915 trillion (€1.68 trillion) industry?

In celebration of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we decided to play detective to find the truth behind the history of ecommerce. We wanted to uncover the first product to ever be sold online.

As an entrepreneur, you know your reputation in an invaluable asset. What people say about your retail business matters, and that's especially true about what customers are saying online.

Retailers should be listening to feedback — and that means monitoring online reviews from your customers. While online reviews may seem like a small piece of the bigger picture that makes up your online presence, more shoppers are relying on review websites when deciding what products to buy. In today's digital age, 93% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. 

There’s no definitive formula for success. However, as entrepreneurs, we don’t really need a formula.

We can stand on the shoulders of giants. We don’t need to guess or try to figure out our path to success from complete scratch. We can look to the successful entrepreneurs out there and emulate their habits, common qualities and characteristics.

Here are the six common qualities I’ve found among the entrepreneurs I try to model myself after. This isn’t the definitive list nor the only important qualities. These are just the ones I think you can take the most away from right now. With each quality, I’ll show you a successful entrepreneur that possesses it and how you emulate them and apply that quality today.

An ongoing debate around encryption, privacy and crime is set to be stoked further with the latest announcement from Five Eyes.

In 2016, the FBI successfully broke into the iPhone of the San Bernardino mass shooter, which sparked a heated conversation around the right to privacy and law enforcement’s need for information to apprehend criminals. Encryption of devices and apps is a major talking point on both sides.

The conflict between encryption and law enforcement has remained in the news ever since and the latest meeting between the Five Eyes member countries will ensure this continues. Government representatives from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand met in Australia last week to discuss cybersecurity and counter-terrorism strategy.

According to a new whitepaper from Plusnet called ‘How the future will influence retail’, in the not so distant future, consumers will shop till they drop using virtual reality (VR) from the comfort of their own homes. The report, which gathers experts from a wide range of sectors makes detailed predictions about how things such as the Internet of Things (IOT), ecommerce, AI, geolocation and web design will change and evolve. The report highlights seven key areas that startups and small businesses should be concentrating on to engage with future changes and keep ahead of their competitors.