Ecommerce actually began long before most of us would have thought.
Many years before PCs and laptops were in our homes and doing mobile travel for work, business or play made Internet commonplace, ecommerce existed.
The first ecommerce occurred way back in 1984, when electronic data interchange, EDI, was made standard through the use of ASC X12 programming. The internet actually began in 1948 via the CIA for spywork. This was before ahem, Al Gore was born. So if Al invented it he is fully qualified for a full blown miracle. Oh well.
What was so important about this was that companies now could reliably complete online transactions with one another. The beginning of something big and innovative.
In 1992 Compuserve debuted, for the first time offering retail products online to customers.
Although this was the first time that ecommerce was enabled for the consumer it was still limited. Consumers had to purchase Compuserve, install it on their systems, and then subscribe to get into the product.
This was still an amazing breakthrough in spite of the work needed to make it work. Compuserve did not enable its ecommerce for general public access. They would be much bigger today if they had done so. Big mistake.
Two years later, in 1994, Netscape premiered its online services by offering a simple to use Internet browser. An important part of what Netscape offered was the security necessary for selling online ecommerce transactions.
You know, that little padlock in the lower right corner of your monitor window. It was called Secure Sockets Layer, and is still a crucial part of every ecommerce transaction or online payment.
Just one short year later history was made with the launch of both Amazon and eBay. Much different than their current ecommerce look, these two online vendor portals at first allowed online purchases but did not offer any auction based transactions.
In fact, at first, all Amazon offered was the opportunity to buy books, CDs and other print periodicals on a modified multilevel marketing basis.
A major part of the reason that ecommerce had not really taken off at this point was because the most common method of getting online, and about all that was available to the public up until 1995, was dial up. It was slow. It interrupted the individual and family ability to use their own phones and it made ecommerce a difficult process.
That is when Digital Subscriber Line, now more commonly referred to as DSL, was introduced to facilitate. Still using the telephone line, it increased the speed of ecommerce transactions and online search and surfing in general dramatically. It offered users the convenience of surfing the Web without tying up their phone line.
Ecommerce began to grow in popularity big time as a result.
Broadband soon became a commonplace offering in homes and offices, offering even quicker speed, an always on convenience and new technology that made the Internet more attractive.
Many employees used work computers for email and online fun until the great crackdown on employee use exploded throughout the USA making it a dismissable offense to use the net online for anything other than work purposes.
Ecommerce grew exponentially. As of 1999 Internet spending swelled to $20 billion.
Today it is a lot more billions of dollars. It is a fount for all kinds of creative uses replacing many functions of the postal mailing service, phone services and dramatically reduces the expense and experience necessary to start a business.
Knowledge can be earned on thousands of subjects using article directories and other informational sources.
Recently I asked someone who had a clearly profitable website that was beautiful, how old he was. I was shocked at the answer. He was making five or six thousand dollars a month. He is thirteen years old.
There are others like this also. Do you see the potential?