Timeline of e-commerce

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



1970s–1980sVery 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–1990sDuring this time period, automated teller 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–2000sThe 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–2010sHundreds 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.


YearEvent TypeE-commerce TypeDescription
1969Major launchN/A CompuServe, the first major American e-commerce company, is founded. [5]
1979Invention, MilestoneN/AElectronic shopping is invented by Michael Aldrich. [6]
1982Major launch, MilestoneOnline marketplaceThe 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]

Major launch

Online marketplaceMinitel, a pre-Internet Videotex online service, launches. This service could only be used in France. [3]
1984Major launchOnline marketplace Electronic Mall by CompuServe, a popular online marketplace, launches. It offered pictures of products in full color. [9]
1986MilestoneN/AThe United States (US) National Science Foundation (NSF) limits use of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) for academic purposes only. [10]
1990Major launch, Milestone, InventionN/AThe 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.
1992Major launchOnline 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]
1994Major launchN/A Netscape launches Netscape Navigator, a very prominent web browser. [13]
1994Major launch, MilestoneN/A Ipswitch IMail Server became the first software to be sold online and then be available for immediate download.[ citation needed ]
1995MilestoneN/AThe NSF lifts its ban of internet commerce on NSFNET. [14]
1995Major launchOnline marketplaceAmazon.com, an extremely prominent online marketplace, is launched by Jeff Bezos. [15]
1995Major launchOnline marketplaceeBay.com, also an extremely prominent online marketplace, launches. Initially, eBay.com was called AuctionWeb. [16]
1996Major launchOnline marketplace IndiaMART, a prominent Indian online marketplace, launches. [17]
1996Major launchOnline marketplaceECPlaza, a prominent Korean online marketplace, launches. [18]
1995Major launchOnline advertising DoubleClick, a prominent and influential advertising launches. This one of the first services to serve ads on the internet. [19]
1997Major launchMedia 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. [20] [21]
1998AcquisitionN/ACompuServe is acquired by AOL. [5]
1998Major launchE-commerce payment system PayPal, a very prominent online payment system, launches. [22]
1999Major launchOnline marketplace Zappos, a popular online marketplace for shoes and other apparel, launches. [23]
1999InventionN/AAmazon patents its 1-Click service, which allows users to make faster purchases. [24]
1999Major launchOnline marketplace Tradera, an online marketplace similar to eBay.com in function, launches. [25]
1999Major launchOnline marketplace Alibaba.com, a very prominent Chinese online marketplace, launches. [26]
2000Major launchOnline marketplace StubHub, a very popular online marketplace for event tickets, launches. [27]
2000Major launchOnline 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. [28]
2000Major launchBrick and mortar retailer Walmart launches its website, allowing customers to shop online. [29]
2001Major launchE-commerce payment system Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers.com), a prominent online payment platform, launches. [30]
2001Major launchBrick and mortar retailerCostco launches its own business-to-business online shopping system. [31]
2001Major launchOnline marketplace Newegg, a very prominent online marketplace for technology, launches. [32]
2002AcquisitionN/AeBay.com acquires PayPal for $1.5 billion in stocks. [33] [34]
2002Major launchBrick and mortar retailer Safeway Inc. launches an online delivery service, allowing customers to shop online. [35]
2003Major launchOnline advertisingGoogle launches AdSense, allowing users to promote their goods on the web based on the product's relevance to the viewer of the advertisement. [36]
2003Major launchOnline marketplace Valve launches Steam, the most popular Digital rights management (DRM) and gaming platform in the world. [37]
2005InventionN/AAmazon launches its Amazon Prime service, which allows users to expedite shipping on any purchases for a flat annual fee. [38]
2006Major launchOnline storefront service Shopify, a prominent storefront service, launches. [39] `
2006AcquisitionN/ATradera is acquired by eBay.com for approximately $50 million. [40]
2007AcquisitionN/AStubHub is acquired by eBay.com. [41]
2007Major launchMedia streaming service Hulu, a popular subscription video on demand service, launches. Hulu is composed of various media organizations. [42]
2007Major launchOnline advertising Facebook launches its Facebook Beacon service to display more relevant information to users by collecting data on their web browsing outside of Facebook. [43] With this, Facebook can also promote products based on whatever is relevant.
2007Major launchOnline marketplace Flipkart, a popular Indian online marketplace, launches. [44]
2007Major launchOnline food ordering service Amazon Fresh, a very prominent online food ordering service, launches in Seattle. [45] It has since spread to dozens of cities across the US. [46]
2008Major launchOnline storefront service Magento. a popular online storefront service, launches. [47]
2008AcquisitionN/AGoogle acquires DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash. [19] [48]
2008AcquisitionN/A PayPal Credit (formerly known as Bill Me Later), is acquired by eBay.com. [49]
2008Major launchOnline marketplace GOG.com, a prominent online gaming marketplace that offers DRM-free games, launches. [50]
2009Major launchOnline storefront service BigCommerce, another popular online storefront service, launches. [51]
2009AcquisitionN/AAmazon acquires Zappos.com for $1.2 billion. [52]
2009Major launch, MilestoneE-commerce payment system Bitcoin, a very prominent cryptocurrency launches, and changes how consumers can pay for online purchases or even in restaurants. [53] [54]
2010Major launchOnline marketplace Groupon, a prominent online marketplace, launches. [55]
2010Major launchMedia streaming service HBO Go, a popular subscription video on demand service that offers streaming of exclusively HBO content, launches. [56]
2011AcquisitionN/AMagento is acquired by eBay.com. [57]
2011Major launchE-commerce payment system Google Wallet, a prominent online payment system similar to PayPal, launches. [58]
2011DefunctionOnline advertisingFacebook Beacon is shut down due to privacy concerns. [43] [59]
2012Major launchOnline food ordering service Instacart, a popular and growing online food ordering and delivery, launches.[ citation needed ]
2013Major launchOnline advertisingFacebook 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. [60] [61]
2013Major launchOnline 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. [62]
2013MilestoneN/AChina becomes the largest e-commerce market in the world. [63]
2014Major launch, MilestoneE-commerce payment system Apple Pay, a prominent payment system in the form of a mobile app that mimics a credit or debit card, launches. [64]
2014Major launchOnline marketplace Jet.com, an online marketplace, launches. [65]
2015Major launchE-commerce payment system Google launches Android Pay, a prominent payment system similar to Apple Pay. [66]
2014MilestoneN/A Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$9.3 billion. [67]
2015MilestoneN/ACyber Monday sales set a new record of $3 billion. [68]
2015Major launchOnline marketplace Pinterest enters the e-commerce scene by adding Buyable Pins, a feature that allows users to sell their pins to other users. [69] [70] [71]
2015MilestoneN/ASingles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$14.3 billion. [72]
2016AcquisitionN/AWalmart announces it will be acquiring Jet.com for $3 billion. [73]
2016AcquisitionN/A Alibaba announces it will be acquiring a controlling stake in Lazada Group for around US$1 billion. [74]
2016MilestoneN/ASingles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$17.7 billion. [75]
2018AcquisitionN/A Flipkart is acquired by Walmart. [76]

See also

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