Early Development of E-commerce

The meaning of e-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.

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

An early example of many-to-many electronic commerce in physical goods was the Boston Computer Exchange, a marketplace for used computers launched in 1982. An early online information marketplace, including online consulting, was the American Information Exchange, another pre Internet[clarification needed] online system introduced in 1991.

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the WorldWideWeb web browser and transformed an academic telecommunication network into a worldwide everyman everyday communication system called internet/www. E-commerce commercial enterprise on the Internet was strictly prohibited until 1991. Although the Internet became popular worldwide around 1994 when the first internet online shopping started, it took about five years to introduce security protocols and DSL allowing continual connection to the Internet. By the end of 2000, many European and American business companies offered their services through the World Wide Web. Since then people began to associate a word “e-commerce” with the ability of purchasing various goods through the Internet using secure protocols and electronic payment services.

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