Monday, June 14, 2010

When Did We Start Buying Things Online ?

Amazon.com is now the globe's largest book store capable of generating more than $1.2 billion in sales in just 10 weeks of holiday season shopping. The online air ticketing industry now generates more than $20 billion dollars annually. Thus, despite all of the security concerns over secure financial transactioning over the Internet, e-commerce has flourished. While clever e-mail marketing campaigns drove customers to sites where they could purchase product, e-commerce volume has been staggering, even to those who were early adopters.

So when did millions start entering their credit card and other sensitive information into online forms to have products shipped to them. Technology enabled online transactions in 1984, even before the advent of personal computers, through ASC X12, EDI or Electronic Data Interchange standardization. In 1992, CompuServe gave its customers  the chance to purchase online retail products and this permanently changed people's lifestyles. User-friendly Netscape arrived in 1994, offering users the option of surfing the Internet through a single web browser. Also, it provided Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), a safer online transaction technology.

So, from the launch of Netscape and SSL, rewarding oneself with products was just a click of the mouse away. Venture capitalists scurried to fund projects like eBay.com and Amazon.com in 1995 and the rest is history. E-commerce got a huge boost in 1998 when DSL or Digital Subscriber Line provided fast, always on-Internet Service to subscribers. In 1999, according to Business.com, retail spending over the Internet climbed to $20 billion annually. And then in 2000, an Internet tax moratorium was extended by the US government through 2005, giving the young industry an opportunity for continued growth. 
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