History of ecommerce


online store 4The meaning of electronic commerce has changed over the last 30 years. Originally, electronic commerce meant the

facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

These were both introduced in the late 1970s, allowing businesses to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically. The growth and acceptance of credit cards, automated teller machines (ATM) and telephone banking in the 1980s were also forms of electronic commerce.


Another form of e-commerce was the airline reservation system typified by Sabre in the USA and Travicom in the UK.

Online shopping was invented in the UK in 1979 by Michael Aldrich and during the 1980s it was used extensively

particularly by auto manufacturers such as Ford,Peugeot-Talbot, General Motors and Nissan.


From the 1990s onwards, electronic commerce would additionally include enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), data mining and data warehousing.


Perhaps it is introduced from the Telephone Exchange Office, or maybe not.The earliest example of many-to-many

electronic commerce in physical goods was the Boston Computer Exchange, a marketplace for used computers

launched in 1982. The first online information marketplace, including online consulting, was likely the American

Information Exchange, another pre-Internet online system introduced in 1991.

online store3


Although the Internet became popular worldwide in 1994, it took about five years to introduce security protocols and

DSL allowing continual connection to the Internet. And by the end of 2000, a lot of European and American business

companies offered their services through the World Wide Web.

Since then people began to associate a word “ecommerce” with the ability of purchasing various goods through the Internet using secure protocols and electronic payment services.

1.1 Timeline


o 1990: Tim Berners-Lee writes the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, using a NeXT computer.

o 1992: J.H. Snider and Terra Ziporyn publish Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change the Way

We Shop and What We Buy. St. Martin’s Press. ISBN 0312063598.

o 1994: Netscape releases the Navigator browser in October under the code name Mozilla. Pizza Hut

offers pizza ordering on its Web page. The first online bank opens. Attempts to offer flower delivery and

magazine subscriptions online. Adult materials also becomes commercially available, as do cars and bikes.

Netscape 1.0 is introduced in late 1994 SSL encryption that made transactions secure.

o 1995: Jeff Bezos launches Amazon.com and the first commercial-free 24 hour, internet-only radio

stations, Radio HK and NetRadio start broadcasting. Dell and Cisco begin to aggressively use Internet for

commercial transactions. eBay is founded by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb.

o 1998: Electronic postal stamps can be purchased and downloaded for printing from the Web.

o 1999: Business.com sold for US $7.5 million to eCompanies, which was purchased in 1997 for US

$149,000. The peer-to-peer filesharing software Napster launches.

o 2000: The dot-com bust.

o 2002: eBay acquires PayPal for $1.5 billion . Niche retail companies CSN Stores and NetShops are

founded with the concept of selling products through several targeted domains, rather than a central portal.

o 2003: Amazon.com posts first yearly profit.

o 2007: Business.com acquired by R.H. Donnelley for $345 million.

o 2008: US eCommerce and Online Retail sales projected to reach $204 billion, an increase of 17 percent

over 2007.

The year 1997 is considered the first big year for e-tailing. This was when Dell Computer recorded multimillion

dollar orders taken at its Web site. Also, the success of Amazon.com (which opened its virtual doors in 1996)

encouraged Barnes & Noble to open an e-tail site. Security concerns over taking purchase orders over the

Internet gradually receded. In the same year, Auto-by-Tel sold its millionth car over the Web, and

CommerceNet/Nielsen Media recorded that 10 million people had made purchases on the Web.


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