Timeline of E-commerce
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Timeline of E-commerce

This page is a timeline of e-commerce. Major launches, milestones and other major events are included.


Decade Description
1970s-1980s Very basic systems of electronic commerce emerge, using new technologies electronic funds transfer (EFT) and electronic data interchange (EDI), used by a relatively small number of people.[1][2]
1980s-1990s During this time period, ATM Machines and Credit cards laid down the foundation for the growing world of e-commerce. The Boston Computer Exchange and Minitel become among some of the first most notable e-commerce platforms in the world.[1][3][4]
1990s-2000s The advent of the World Wide Web opened the door for many new e-commerce services to have a global scope. Services like Amazon.com and eBay were some of the most notable e-commerce websites to be released in this time period.[1]
2000s-2010s Hundreds of e-commerce services such as online food ordering, media streaming, online advertising, online marketplace, brick and mortar retailers, e-commerce payment systems and online storefronts emerge.


Year Event Type E-commerce Type Description
1969 Major launch N/A CompuServe, the first major American e-commerce company, is founded.[5]
1979 Invention, Milestone N/A Electronic shopping is invented by Michael Aldrich.[6]
1982 Major launch, Milestone Online marketplace The Boston Computer Exchange, a prominent bulletin board system-based (BBS) marketplace for selling used computers, launches.[7] This is one of the first, if not the first, ever platforms for e-commerce.[8]
1982 Invention,

Major launch

Online marketplace Minitel, a pre-Internet Videotex online service, launches. This service could only be used in France.[3]
1984 Major launch Online marketplace Electronic Mall by CompuServe, a popular online marketplace, launches. It offered pictures of products in full color.[9]
1986 Milestone N/A The United States (US) National Science Foundation (NSF) limits use of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) for academic purposes only.[10]
1990 Major launch, Milestone, Invention N/A The first ever web browser called WorldWideWeb is released by Tim Berners-Lee.[11] Millions who have access to the internet can now browse e-commerce platforms with greater ease.
1992 Major launch Online marketplace Book Stacks Unlimited, an online marketplace for selling books, launches. Initially, it launched on BBS, then moved to the internet in 1994, in the form of www.books.com.[12]
1994 Major launch N/A Netscape launches Netscape Navigator, a very prominent web browser.[13]
1994 Major launch, Milestone N/A Ipswitch IMail Server became the first software to be sold online and then be available for immediate download.[14]
1995 Milestone N/A The NSF lifts its ban of internet commerce on NSFNET.[15]
1995 Major launch Online marketplace Amazon.com, an extremely prominent online marketplace, is launched by Jeff Bezos.[16]
1995 Major launch Online marketplace eBay.com, also an extremely prominent online marketplace, launches. Initially, eBay.com was called AuctionWeb.[17]
1996 Major launch Online marketplace IndiaMART, a prominent Indian online marketplace, launches.[18]
1996 Major launch Online marketplace ECPlaza, a prominent Korean online marketplace, launches.[19]
1995 Major launch Online advertising DoubleClick, a prominent and influential advertising launches. This one of the first services to serve ads on the internet.[20]
1997 Major launch Media streaming service Netflix, an extremely popular subscription video on demand service, launches. Netflix also offers a DVD delivery service. Netflix only began offering online video streaming in 2007.[21][22]
1998 Acquisition N/A CompuServe is acquired by AOL.[5]
1998 Major launch E-commerce payment system PayPal, a very prominent online payment system, launches.[23]
1999 Major launch Online marketplace Zappos, a popular online marketplace for shoes and other apparel, launches.[24]
1999 Invention N/A Amazon patents its 1-Click service, which allows users to make faster purchases.[25]
1999 Major launch Online marketplace Tradera, an online marketplace similar to eBay.com in function, launches.[26]
1999 Major launch Online marketplace Alibaba.com, a very prominent Chinese online marketplace, launches.[27]
2000 Major launch Online marketplace StubHub, a very popular online marketplace for event tickets, launches.[28]
2000 Major launch Online advertising Google launches AdWords, an advertising service that allows users to show an advertisement in Google search results that is related to the viewer's search.[29]
2000 Major launch Brick and mortar retailer Walmart launches its website, allowing customers to shop online.[30]
2001 Major launch E-commerce payment system Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers.com), a prominent online payment platform, launches.[31][32]
2001 Major launch Brick and mortar retailer Costco launches its own business-to-business online shopping system.[33]
2001 Major launch Online marketplace Newegg, a very prominent online marketplace for technology, launches.[34]
2002 Acquisition N/A eBay.com acquires PayPal for $1.5 billion in stocks.[35][36]
2002 Major launch Online marketplace Bossgoo, a prominent business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace, launches.[37]
2002 Major launch Brick and mortar retailer Safeway Inc. launches an online delivery service, allowing customers to shop online.[38]
2003 Major launch Online advertising Google launches AdSense, allowing users to promote their goods on the web based on the product's relevance to the viewer of the advertisement.[39][40]
2003 Major launch Online marketplace Valve Corporation launches Steam, the most popular Digital rights management (DRM) and gaming platform in the world.[41]
2005 Invention N/A Amazon launches its Amazon Prime service, which allows users to expedite shipping on any purchases for a flat annual fee.[42]
2006 Major launch Online storefront service Shopify, a prominent storefront service, launches.[43]`
2006 Acquisition N/A Tradera is acquired by eBay.com for approximately $50 million.[44]
2007 Acquisition N/A StubHub is acquired by eBay.com.[45]
2007 Major launch Media streaming service Hulu, a popular subscription video on demand service, launches. Hulu is composed of various media organizations.[46]
2007 Major launch Online advertising Facebook launches its Facebook Beacon service to display more relevant information to users by collecting data on their web browsing outside of Facebook.[47] With this, Facebook can also promote products based on whatever is relevant.
2007 Major launch Online marketplace Flipkart, a popular Indian online marketplace, launches.[48]
2007 Major launch Online food ordering service AmazonFresh, a very prominent online food ordering service, launches in Seattle.[49] It has since spread to dozens of cities across the US.[50]
2008 Major launch Online storefront service Magento. a popular online storefront service, launches.[51]
2008 Acquisition N/A Google acquires DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash.[20][52]
2008 Acquisition N/A PayPal Credit (formerly known as Bill Me Later), is acquired by eBay.com.[53]
2008 Major launch Online marketplace GOG.com, a prominent online gaming marketplace that offers DRM-free games, launches.[54]
2009 Major launch Online storefront service BigCommerce, another popular online storefront service, launches.[55]
2009 Acquisition N/A Amazon acquires Zappos.com for $1.2 billion.[56]
2009 Major launch, Milestone E-commerce payment system Bitcoin, a very prominent cryptocurrency launches, and changes how consumers can pay for online purchases or even in restaurants.[57][58]
2010 Major launch Online marketplace Groupon, a prominent online marketplace, launches.[59]
2010 Major launch Media streaming service HBO Go, a popular subscription video on demand service that offers streaming of exclusively HBO content, launches.[60]
2011 Acquisition N/A Magento is acquired by eBay.com.[61]
2011 Major launch E-commerce payment system Google Wallet, a prominent online payment system similar to PayPal, launches.[62]
2011 Defunction Online advertising Facebook Beacon is shut down due to privacy concerns.[47][63]
2012 Major launch Online food ordering service Instacart, a popular and growing online food ordering and delivery, launches.[64][65]
2013 Major launch Online advertising Facebook begins letting users sponsor posts, which helps give their posts or products more publicity among their friends, followers, and those to whom the post is relevant.[66][67]
2013 Major launch Online food ordering service Google Express (formerly known as Google Shopping Express), a service similar to AmazonFresh and Instacart launches in several cities across the US, starting with San Francisco.[68]
2013 Milestone N/A China becomes the largest e-commerce market in the world.[69]
2014 Major launch, Milestone E-commerce payment system Apple Pay, a prominent payment system in the form of a mobile app that mimics a credit or debit card, launches.[70]
2014 Major launch Online marketplace Jet.com, an online marketplace, launches.[71]
2015 Major launch E-commerce payment system Google launches Android Pay, a prominent payment system similar to Apple Pay.[72]
2014 Milestone N/A Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$9.3 billion.[73]
2015 Milestone N/A Cyber Monday sales set a new record of $3 billion.[74]
2015 Major launch Online marketplace Pinterest enters the e-commerce scene by adding Buyable Pins, a feature that allows users to sell their pins to other users.[75][76][77]
2015 Milestone N/A Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$14.3 billion.[78]
2016 Acquisition N/A Walmart announces it will be acquiring Jet.com for $3 billion.[79]
2016 Acquisition N/A Alibaba announces it will be acquiring a controlling stake in Lazada Group for around US$1 billion.[80]
2016 Milestone N/A Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$17.7 billion.[81]
2018 Acquisition N/A Flipkart is acquired by Walmart.[82]

See also


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  6. ^ 2009 Tkacz,Ewaryst,Kapczynski,Adrian 'Internet Technical Development and Application ' Springer p255 ISBN 978-3-642-05018-3 'The first pilot system was installing in Tesco in the UK [first demonstrated in 1979 by Michael Aldrich]..
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