History and Future of eCommerce (I)


History and Future of eCommerce (I)

eCommerce is simply Electronic Commerce; an online platform that allows buying and selling of products or services. This recently became the foremost medium of transaction in Nigeria and many eCommerce sites have emerged such as Jumia, Konga among others; and the long existing platforms such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba etc.
The history of eCommerce dates as far back as 40 years ago with a continuous expansion day in day out. Every year new businesses enter the online market to take advantage of the fast-growing business disruption. Online shopping evolved with the emergence of the internet; Amazon.com was one of the first ecommerce sites which started in the US.

When did Online Shopping Start?
Online shopping was pioneered in 1979 by Michael Aldrich in the United Kingdom. He started by connecting a modified domestic television via a telephone line to a real-time multi-user transaction processing computer. The system was marketed beginning in 1980 and offered mainly business-to-business systems that were sold in the UK, Ireland, and Spain. One of the earliest consumer shopping experiences was Book Stacks Unlimited, an online bookstore created by Charles M. Stack in 1992.

The First Online Transaction.
The first online transaction was, by some reports, marijuana sold by Stanford students to MIT students via the Arpanet account at their artificial intelligence lab in 1972. However, the first online shopping transaction on the Internet took place some 22 years later.

eCommerce History: 1st Generation(1960-1982)
eCommerce gained entrance through the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI); this replaced the traditional mailing and faxing of documents. Business transactions became easier using formats such as ANSI ASC X12.
Michael Aldrich, an English inventor, innovator and entrepreneur is credited with developing the predecessor to online shopping. An idea reported to come during a stroll with his wife, Labrador and Aldrich lamented about their weekly supermarket shopping expedition. This conversation sparked an idea to hook a television to their supermarket to deliver the groceries. Immediately after the discussion Aldrich quickly planned and implemented his idea.
In 1979 Aldrich connected a television set to a transaction processing computer with a telephone line and created what he coined, “teleshopping,” meaning shopping at a distance.

eCommerce History: 2nd Generation(1982 – 1990)
The next generation kicked off with the introduction of Minitel by France, a precursor to the internet. The Minitel was free to telephone subscribers and connected millions of users to a computing network.
By 1999, over 9 million Minitel terminals had been distributed and were connecting approximately 25 million users in this interconnected network of machines. The Minitel system peaked in 1991 and slowly met its demise after the success of the Internet 3 years later. Eventually, in 2011, France Telecom announced its shutdown of the Minitel service system. Unfortunately, it had not become what it had hoped to be, the Internet.

eCommerce History: 3rd Generation (Early 1990s)

The Early 90s recorded the arrival of the World Wide Web. In 1990, Tim Berners Lee together with his friend, Robert Cailliau proposed to develop a “Hypertext project” called, “WorldWideWeb.” The inspiration for this project was modeled after the Dynatex SGML reader licensed by CERN.
That same year, Lee, using a NeXTcomputer created the first web server and wrote the first web browser. Shortly thereafter, he went on to debut the web on Aug. 6, 1991 as a publicly available service on the Internet. When Berner’s Lee decided he would take on the task of marrying hypertext to the Internet, in doing that, the process led to him developing URL, HTML and HTTP.

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