The history of eCommerce is not only interesting but has proven to be one of the greatest developments of humankind over time. eCommerce also known to as electronic commerce, can be used to refer to the act of conducting business transactions and communication over electronic device such as computers. It involves the buying and selling of goods and services over digital communication networks and encompasses electronic transactions such as smart cards and electronic money transfers.
There has been a lot of confusion regarding the difference between eCommerce and e business. To explain the difference between the two, one will need to look at the manner and location in which the business is conducted. E business involves the conducting of business over internet networks. It is purely an internet affair and encourages buying, selling and collaboration with partners online so that unlike eCommerce where the business is conducted at a specified location, e business is conducted online anywhere and anytime. This difference as we will see later has its bearing on the history of eCommerce.
The first form of eCommerce was conceived in the late 20th century when electronic technology was used for the transfer of information and for conducting business transaction between different business entities. The enabling technologies at the time were the electronic funds transfer and the electronic data interchange. Drawing from this part of the history of eCommerce, many businesses came up with ways through which they could expand their influence within the market and these efforts and innovation gave birth to what are now used as automatic teller machines (atm’s), credit cards and telephone banking systems.
A time went by and with the introduction of high-speed internet connections and relevant security mechanisms; the history of eCommerce was fast tracked for the business idea to become what is it is today. More businesses and especially those within the banking industry saw a lot of growth over short periods of time. However, the eCommerce businesses experienced their lowest points during the ‘dot-com’ collapse that saw a great number of internet businesses crumble to their knees.
Calm was restored a few years later when most of the businesses and especially those in europe began to embrace eCommerce. History was written once again when business transactions, driven by the desire to serve the increasing worldwide customer service demands and regardless of size and nature were conducted over the internet. The most remarkable companies during this time were amazon, eBay and dell that despite conducting small internet transactions have grown to become the most formidable electronic business entities in the history of eCommerce.
eCommerce has made life much easier than it was two centuries ago. It has taken into account how busy life has become so that not many people enjoy the luxury of shopping from one store to another without any time constraints. Buyers are now able to shop for whatever they want just by a click of a button. You are also able to compare prices of goods and services from stores worldwide but from the comfort of your home. Like all things good, eCommerce has enlightened most people on the importance of technology. It has also made it possible for businesses to appreciate just how much a simple invention can change the face of your business. Such is the history of eCommerce.