When Did E-commerce Begin? 

If you are curious as to when did eCommerce begin, you might be wondering what led to the evolution of online marketplaces. Amazon, eBay, PayPal, and other major players in the industry are all examples of what started eCommerce. But how did these businesses become so popular? Here are a few historical facts that might help you answer this question: 

(Looking for icons digital marketing? Contact us today!)

Online marketplaces 

When eCommerce began, online marketplaces were first created. This concept came about after Michael Aldrich developed a way to send and receive data between two computers in a secure manner. This technology was the basis for email. In 1982, the Boston Computer Exchange launched and became the first online marketplace. Sellers could upload items for sale and buyers could view them on a computer bulletin board system. This system quickly became an important part of online shopping. 


In the 1960s, the term “eCommerce” was used to describe electronic commercial transactions, such as buying and selling products. This technology had two major stages. First, it developed E-Data Interchange (EDI) technology, and later, it evolved into Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The evolution of these technologies has made it possible for consumers to buy and sell products and services without ever leaving their homes. Today, nearly every product and service can be bought and sold via the internet. 


When did eCommerce begin? The first e-commerce transaction took place in the 1970s, and it was between two Stanford University students using the network Arpanet. Two entrepreneur friends shared a sting CD on their computers and the transaction was a success. It marked the dawn of a new era in communication. Today, eCommerce sites display commodities, consumers enter their information, and purchases are complete. 


PayPal was founded when e-commerce started and quickly became an important part of American society. PayPal is a financial technology company headquartered in California that operates the online payment system used in most countries. This electronic alternative to the traditional paper method of payment has revolutionized the world of eCommerce. Today, millions of people use PayPal to pay for goods and services. It also offers many other services, including electronic bill payments. However, before eCommerce can truly take off, it must be able to continue to grow and develop. 

Internet economy 

The Internet economy began when e-commerce took off, but the digital landscape has many challenges ahead. It requires better regulatory frameworks, more digital readiness for small businesses, and the reskilling of women. Countries should focus on building an ecosystem that supports e-commerce, including improving public policy, business practices, trading infrastructure, and legal frameworks. A pandemic can further worsen the digital divide, which threatens the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

Coronavirus pandemic 

The novel coronavirus, which swept the U.S. in early 2020, has already taken its toll on public health and countless other industries. Ecommerce, travel, and finance were all affected by this virus. As a result, the question of when did eCommerce begin has gained heightened significance. Despite the challenges this virus presents, it will continue to drive global economic growth in the years to come. 

Early days of eCommerce 

Ecommerce applications were first developed in the 1980s when Michael Aldrich connected telephone lines to television sets. He came up with the idea while out for a walk with his wife, figuring it would be easier to order supplies through a TV. As the Internet evolved, so did eCommerce applications. Web publishing, browsers, and security protocols like Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) became more sophisticated and more secure.