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–1980s||Very basic systems of electronic commerce emerge, using new technologies electronic funds transfer (EFT) and electronic data interchange (EDI), used by a relatively small amount of people.|
|1980s–1990s||During this time period, ATM 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.|
|1990s–2000s||The 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.|
|2000s–2010s||Hundreds 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.|
|Year||Event Type||E-commerce Type||Description|
|1969||Major launch||N/A||CompuServe, the first major American e-commerce company, is founded.|
|1979||Invention, Milestone||N/A||Electronic shopping is invented by Michael Aldrich.|
|1982||Major launch, Milestone||Online marketplace||The Boston Computer Exchange, a prominent bulletin board system-based (BBS) marketplace for selling used computers, launches. This is one of the first, if not the first, ever platforms for e-commerce.|
|Online marketplace||Minitel, a pre-Internet Videotex online service, launches. This service could only be used in France.|
|1984||Major launch||Online marketplace||Electronic Mall by CompuServe, a popular online marketplace, launches. It offered pictures of products in full color.|
|1986||Milestone||N/A||The United States (US) National Science Foundation (NSF) limits use of the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) for academic purposes only.|
|1990||Major launch, Milestone, Invention||N/A||The first ever web browser called WorldWideWeb is released by Tim Berners-Lee. Millions who have access to the internet can now browse e-commerce platforms with greater ease.|
|1992||Major launch||Online marketplace||Book Stacks Unlimited, an online marketplace for selling books, launches. Initially, it launched on BBS, then moved to the internet in the form of www.books.com.|
|1994||Major launch||N/A||Netscape launches Netscape Navigator, a very prominent web browser.|
|1994||Major launch, Milestone||N/A||Ipswitch IMail Server became the first software to be sold online and then be available for immediate download.|
|1995||Milestone||N/A||The NSF lifts its ban of internet commerce on NSFNET.|
|1995||Major launch||Online marketplace||Amazon.com, an extremely prominent online marketplace, is launched by Jeff Bezos.|
|1995||Major launch||Online marketplace||EBay.com, also an extremely prominent online marketplace, launches. Initially, Ebay.com was called AuctionWeb.|
|1996||Major launch||Online marketplace||IndiaMART, a prominent Indian online marketplace, launches.|
|1996||Major launch||Online marketplace||ECPlaza, a prominent Korean online marketplace, launches.|
|1995||Major launch||Online advertising||DoubleClick, a prominent and influential advertising launches. This one of the first services to serve ads on the internet.|
|1997||Major launch||Media 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.|
|1998||Acquisition||N/A||CompuServe is acquired by AOL.|
|1998||Major launch||E-commerce payment system||PayPal, a very prominent online payment system, launches.|
|1999||Major launch||Online marketplace||Zappos, a popular online marketplace for shoes and other apparel, launches.|
|1999||Invention||N/A||Amazon patents its 1-Click service, which allows users to make faster purchases.|
|1999||Major launch||Online marketplace||Tradera, an online marketplace similar to Ebay.com in function, launches.|
|1999||Major launch||Online marketplace||Alibaba.com, a very prominent Chinese online marketplace, launches.|
|2000||Major launch||Online marketplace||StubHub, a very popular online marketplace for event tickets, launches.|
|2000||Major launch||Online 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.|
|2000||Major launch||Brick and mortar retailer||Walmart launches its website, allowing customers to shop online.|
|2001||Major launch||E-commerce payment system||Skrill (formely known as Moneybookers.com), a prominent online payment platform, launches.|
|2001||Major launch||Brick and mortar retailer||Costco launches its own business-to-business online shopping system.|
|2001||Major launch||Online marketplace||Newegg, a very prominent online marketplace for technology, launches.|
|2002||Acquisition||N/A||Ebay.com acquires PayPal for $1.5 billion in stocks.|
|2002||Major launch||Online marketplace||Bossgoo, a prominent business-to-business (B2B) online marketplace, launches.|
|2002||Major launch||Brick and mortar retailer||Safeway Inc. launches an online delivery service, allowing customers to shop online.|
|2003||Major launch||Online advertising||Google launches AdSense, allowing users to promote their goods on the web based on the product's relevance to the viewer of the advertisement.|
|2003||Major launch||Online marketplace||Valve Corporation launches Steam, the most popular Digital rights management (DRM) and gaming platform in the world.|
|2005||Invention||N/A||Amazon launches its Amazon Prime service, which allows users to expedite shipping on any purchases for a flat annual fee.|
|2006||Major launch||Online storefront service||Shopify, a prominent storefront service, launches.`|
|2006||Acquisition||N/A||Tradera is acquired by Ebay.com for approximately $50 million.|
|2007||Acquisition||N/A||StubHub is acquired by Ebay.com.|
|2007||Major launch||Media streaming service||Hulu, a popular subscription video on demand service, launches. Hulu is composed of various media organizations.|
|2007||Major launch||Online advertising||Facebook launches its Facebook Beacon service to display more relevant information to users by collecting data on their web browsing outside of Facebook. With this, Facebook can also promote products based on whatever is relevant.|
|2007||Major launch||Online marketplace||Flipkart, a popular Indian online marketplace, launches.|
|2007||Major launch||Online food ordering service||AmazonFresh, a very prominent online food ordering service, launches in Seattle. It has since spread to dozens of cities across the US.|
|2008||Major launch||Online storefront service||Magento. a popular online storefront service, launches.|
|2008||Acquisition||N/A||Google acquires DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in cash.|
|2008||Acquisition||N/A||PayPal Credit (formerly known as Bill Me Later), is acquired by Ebay.com.|
|2008||Major launch||Online marketplace||GOG.com, a prominent online gaming marketplace that offers DRM-free games, launches.|
|2009||Major launch||Online storefront service||BigCommerce, another popular online storefront service, launches.|
|2009||Acquisition||N/A||Amazon acquires Zappos.com for $1.2 billion.|
|2009||Major launch, Milestone||E-commerce payment system||Bitcoin, a very prominent cryptocurrency launches, and changes how consumers can pay for online purchases or even in restaurants.|
|2010||Major launch||Online marketplace||Groupon, a prominent online marketplace, launches.|
|2010||Major launch||Media streaming service||HBO Go, a popular subscription video on demand service that offers streaming of exclusively HBO content, launches.|
|2011||Acquisition||N/A||Magento is acquired by Ebay.com.|
|2011||Major launch||E-commerce payment system||Google Wallet, a prominent online payment system similar to PayPal, launches.|
|2011||Defunction||Online advertising||Facebook Beacon is shut down due to privacy concerns.|
|2012||Major launch||Online food ordering service||Instacart, a popular and growing online food ordering and delivery, launches.|
|2013||Major launch||Online advertising||Facebook 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.|
|2013||Major launch||Online 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.|
|2013||Milestone||N/A||China becomes the largest e-commerce market in the world.|
|2014||Major launch, Milestone||E-commerce payment system||Apple Pay, a prominent payment system in the form of a mobile app that mimics a credit or debit card, launches.|
|2014||Major launch||Online marketplace||Jet.com, an online marketplace, launches.|
|2015||Major launch||E-commerce payment system||Google launches Android Pay, a prominent payment system similar to Apple Pay.|
|2014||Milestone||N/A||Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$9.3 billion.|
|2015||Milestone||N/A||Cyber Monday sales set a new record of $3 billion.|
|2015||Major launch||Online marketplace||Pinterest enters the e-commerce scene by adding Buyable Pins, a feature that allows users to sell their pins to other users.|
|2015||Milestone||N/A||Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$14.3 billion.|
|2016||Acquisition||N/A||Walmart announces it will be acquiring Jet.com for $3 billion.|
|2016||Acquisition||N/A||Alibaba announces it will be acquiring a controlling stake in Lazada Group for around US$1 billion.|
|2016||Milestone||N/A||Singles' Day sales on Alibaba sites reach US$17.7 billion.|
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