E-commerce Fundamentals  «Prev 

History of e-commerce

ecommerce is the buying and selling of products or services by means of the Internet. For many Americans, ecommerce is something we participate in on a daily basis, like online bill payment or purchasing from an ecommerce store.
Nowadays the thought of living without ecommerce seems unrealistic, complicated and an inconvenience to many. It was not until only a few decades ago that the idea of ecommerce had even appeared.
Ecommerce was introduced 40 years ago and continues to grow with new technologies, innovations, and thousands of businesses entering the online market each year. The convenience, safety, and user experience of ecommerce has improved since its inception during the 1970's.

Early Beginnings

Paving the way for electric commerce was the development of the (EDI) Electronic Data Interchange . EDI replaced traditional mailing and faxing of documents with a digital transfer of data from one computer to another. Trading partners could transfer orders, invoices and other business transactions using a data format.
Once an order is sent, it is then examined by a (VAN) Value-Added Network and finally directed to the recipient's order processing system. EDI allowed the transfer of data seamlessly without any human intervention.
Michael Aldrich, an English inventor and entrepreneur is credited with developing the predecessor to online shopping. The idea came about during a stroll with his wife when Aldrich lamented about their weekly supermarket shopping expedition. This conversation sparked an idea to hook a television to their supermarket to deliver the groceries. Immediately after the discussion Aldrich quickly planned and implemented his idea.

Content Advantage
Ecommerce begins as businesses attempt to improve information exchange and security. EDI or electronic data Interchange, using private e-commerce networks provided VAN (value added network) providers, becomes a standard for the first generation business-to-business e-commerce. The prohibitive cost and high complexity of EDI, however, prevent its proliferation in a few vertical industries.

Online services emerge, using first generation news, email, and chat capabilities. The services led to first generation business-to-customer e-commerce.

The emergence of the browser and the web, based on the associated http protocol , are commercialized, making the home page a requisite component of having a business; businesses begin to think of how to use "the web" as an infrastructure for e-commerce.

"Dot-coms" emerge and use the web as their primary channel for products and service sales and distribution. The success and hype about dot-coms motivate brick-and-mortar (that is, established) companies to consider offering products and services over the Web. Most early e-commerce website development by dot-coms and brick and mortars (which become "click and mortars" once they offer products and services over the Web) is in the business-to-commerce arena.

Business and organizations understand that Web e-commerce works for business-to-business transacting just as well as business-to-consumer. The web becomes the home for first generation e-marketplaces, virtual business-to business and even business-to-consumer marketplaces.