The History Of Ecommerce

E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or EC; is the buying and selling of goods and services or the transmission of funds or data over an electronic network and this network is generally the internet. The business transactions that occur in E Commerce occur either on a business-to-business frontier, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer or a consumer-to-business frontier.

E-commerce is also generally interchangeably used with the term e business and a new term e tail is also used in reference to transactional processes around online retailing. E-commerce was first introduced in the 1960s in the form of an electronic data interchange (EDI) on value added networks (VANs). This form of business grew with the increased availability of internet access across populations and more and ever increasingly popular online retailers were established in the 1990s and the early 2000s.

One of these retailers was Amazon, which began operating as a book-shipping business in 1995. EBay was also introduced in 1995 where the enabled consumers to sell items to each other through online auctions and EBay achieved tremendous growth with the Beanie Babies Frenzy of 1997.

Similar to any form of digital technology or consumer-based purchasing market, the form of E- commerce has evolved over the past years. As smartphones become more and more useful and popular, the market of mobile market has established itself as a spate niche. Also the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest have also been a key driver in the growth of E- commerce.

E-commerce operates in a very dynamic an ever changing market this presents businesses with opportunities to improve their relevance and make further expansions in their market in the online world. Global E-commerce sales had totalled US $1.2 trillion in 2013 and the mobile sales in US had reached $38 billion, according to statista. Also over 40% of internet users (a billion in total) have purchased goods online and these figures will continue to climb as the usage of mobile phones and internet services becomes more widespread globally.

As listed before, E commerce can be broken down into the following 4 principal categories

  • B2B (business to business). This involves companies doing business with each other’s and examples include manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers.

  • B2C (business to consumer) this consists of businesses selling goods to the general public through shopping cart software, which doesn’t require any human intervention. This is the most typical perception of e commerce towards the general public and a popular example is Amazon.

  • C2B (Consumer to business) in this category, consumers post a project with a distinguished budget online and companies bid to receive the project. The consumers evaluates the bids and selects the company the prefer the most. An example of this is Elance

  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer) this category takes place among classified ads online, on forums or marketplaces where individuals can buy and sell their goods. Examples of this category are Craigslist, EBay and Etsy.

E-commerce poses many benefits and these include around the clock access and availability. The speed of access, availability of a larger variety of goods and services and international reach. However the perceived downsides included the limited amount of customer service, not being able to see a tangible being of the product before purchasing the product prior to the transaction and the time wasted in the shipping of product.


Businesses are required to authenticate business transactions, control access to resources such as webpages for registered or selected users, encrypt communications and implement security technologies such as the secure sockets layer in order to ensure the security, privacy and effectiveness of e commerce.

E-commerce has become rooted into modern society and this can be portrayed through the new unheard of vocabulary associated with e commerce which has now become familiar with people. This reflects the huge impact that e commerce has on the economy and society. For instance, B2B is a rapidly growing business in the world and it leads to lower cost and then improves the economic efficiency and also brings in growth in employment.

The issues listed below display how e commerce has impacted society and economy.

  1. E-commerce has changed the relative importance of time

  2. E-commerce offers consumers and businesses various information that they require and this results in total transparency, which forces enterprises with the inhibition of not being able to use advertisement to raise their competitive edge. Additionally, in theory, perfect competition between consumer sovereignty and industry can lead to the maximisation of social welfare.

  3. Economic activity of the past has shown the large businesses are consistently at an advantage of information resource and this occurs at the expense of the consumers. In the current time period, the transparent and real-time information protect the rights of consumers as they can use the internet to pick out portfolio to their own ends and benefits. Consumers. The competitiveness of businesses will be much more obvious now than before and as a result social welfare will be improved. Protection Status

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About the Author: George Chambers

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