The History & Evolution of E-Commerce


Commerce – the trading of goods, has been a major drive of human survival since the beginning of recorded history and beyond. The mass adoption of Internet has created a paradigm shift in the way businesses are conducted today. The past decade has seen an emergence of a new kind of commerce, the buying and selling of goods, through human-computer interaction over the Internet. Today, the line between e-commerce and traditional commerce is becoming more blurred as more businesses start and continue to intergrate the Internetand e-commerce technologies into their business processes.

What is E-commerce?

E-commerce can be defined as a modern business methodology that addresses the needs of organizations, merchants, and consumers to cut costs while improving the quality of goods and services and the increasing speed of service delivery, by using Internet.

The Evolution of E-Commerce

The evolution of e-commerce can be attributed to a combination regulatory reform and technological innovation. Through Internet (which played an important role in the evolution) appeared in the late 1960s, e-commerce now took off with the arrival of the World Wide Web and browsers in the 1990s.

E-Commerce were first developed in the early 1970s with innovations like:

  • electronic funds transfer (EFT) – funds can be routed electronically from one organization to another.
  • electronic data interchange (EDI) – used to electronically transfer routine documents, that expanded electronic transfers from financial transactions to other types of transaction processing.
  • interorganizational system (IOS) – a system which allows the flow of information to be automated between organizations in order to reach a desired supply-chain management system, which enables the development of competitive organisations.





EDI, or electronic data interchange, was standardized through ASC X12. This guaranteed that companies would be able to complete transactions with one another reliably.



Compuserve offers online retail products to its customers. This gives people the first chance to buy things off their computer.



Netscape arrived. Providing users a simple browser to surf the Internet and a safe online transaction technology called Secure Sockets Layer.



Two of the biggest names in e-commerce are launched: and



DSL, or Digital Subscriber Line, provides fast, always-on Internet service to subscribers across California. This prompts people to spend more time, and money, online.



Retail spending over the Internet reaches $20 billion, according to



The U.S government extended the moratorium on Internet taxes until at least 2005.




The growth of Internet has a special significance in the growth of e-commerce. It has the potential to involve general people into the process, thereby increasing its reach far beyond large companies.

Related links:


~ by JL on June 11, 2008.

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