How e-commerce started

    Pizza Hut claims that the first online purchase was a large pepperoni with mushrooms and extra cheese in 1994. But the New York Times is confident that the first online purchase has nothing to do with pizza.

    To take a look at the history of e-commerce, you need to dig even deeper.

    Jane Snowball, the first customer in the network

    In 1969, the US Department of Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) created the ARPANET network, which was used for communication between universities. At first, the network included four scientific institutions, then in 1971 another 15 terminals were connected to it, and in 1973 it included foreign organizations from the UK and Norway. One ARPANET email cost 50 cents.

    What will students be able to do if they get the opportunity to communicate with the best minds from the best universities? In 1971-1972, a Stanford student bought prohibited substances of plant origin from a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But this cannot be considered the first online purchase, because it is illegal, and the process itself was a normal conversation, and not the use of a special site, basket and payment method.

    In the 1980s in the United Kingdom, Michael Eldrich combined a television with a telephone line processing system. This invention was intended for retirees and people with disabilities - so they can shop from home. The system helped to find out the weather, a TV program and news. The first buyer in this system was the 72-year-old Jane Snowball in 1984. She ordered margarine, oatmeal and eggs, paying for the purchase in cash after delivery.

    Videotex terminal. Photo: Wikipedia

    In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee proposed the concept of the World Wide Web. The project involved the publication of hypertext documents with hyperlinks to facilitate the search for information for scientists. On August 6, 1991, Berners-Lee posted the world's first website at Three years later, Dan Kohn founded Netmarket, and his first purchase was Sting’s CD - with online payment by credit card.

    In 2015, EMarketer predicts e-commerce volume of $ 1,672 trillion, and by 2019 this figure could grow to 3.5 trillion.

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