History of Online Shop

History of Online Shopping: How it all began?

Online shopping is a common activity at this time. It is associated with numerous benefits. Firstly, you get the convenience factor sitting at home. Secondly, there are several discounts on various products. And finally, online shopping saves your time, efforts and market travel.

But, do you know about online shopping history? It is, indeed, interesting to know about its origin and brief history. Therefore, this blog aims at providing crucial information to all readers on the topic of online shopping history.


Before moving on to the brief history of online shopping, let’s understand the concept in short. Basically, ‘online shopping is an act of purchasing products from an internet seller.’

You must be thinking – ‘I knew this already!’ Yes, no points on guessing the definition. However, you can relate the constant progress made by online shopping in recent years.

Online shopping

Hence, this simple definition can absolutely serve vital to understand the potential of this concept.


The following is a brief timeline about some notable activities related to online shopping. I have covered crucial milestones. It is important to realize that I have included limited activities for simplicity.

1979Michael Aldrich connected domestic TV to a processing computer via a telephone line.
1984First online shopping takes place.
1989Tim Berners-Lee creates the first web server for online shopping.
1994Online banking, pizza shop, etc.
1995Initial activities of Amazon, eBay, etc.
1998Inception of PayPal.
1999Launch of Alibaba.
2001Entry in mobile domain by Amazon.
2005Amazon Prime membership.
2011Google wallet.
2014Apple pay.

Although the process of online shopping and e-commerce penetration began around 1980, the actual spark was lit around 1960. EDI (electronic data interchange) took place in the 60s. At that time, data was exchanged via telex messages.

Furthermore, FTP (File transfer protocol) came into existence in the 70s. This protocol enables files to get transferred between different sites.


In 1979, a British inventor Michael Aldrich initiated this tremendous revolution. A key point to realize in this vicissitude was the role of a supermarket. Notably, he wanted to simplify the tedious grocery shopping procedure.

Hence, he went through with an ingenious idea. Basically, he used a domestic television set to connect with a transaction processing computer. And, all through a telephone line! Voila!

This particular innovation paved the way to something spectacular. Isn’t this journey amazing? Notably, online shopping and e-commerce activities have grown rapidly. Hence, this shopping mode will surely see many revolutions ahead.


  • At this time, consumers use debit cards, internet banking, cash on delivery option, etc. But, how did these modes get included?
  • Online banking services started around the year 1994. Clearly, the payment transactions weren’t as easy as of today. There were few transaction service providers like Millicent and ECash in the 90s.
  • The decade from 2000 to 2010 saw several inclusions like Euro currency, contactless payment cards and mobile banking.
  • After 2010, the concept of e-wallets became popular. Hence, this innovation facilitated effortless online shopping activities. Furthermore, RTP, mobile app payments, credit card enhancements, etc. came into existence.
online shopping history


Customers can buy goods and services on famous e-commerce websites by using the following payment options:

  • Debit cards, credit cards.
  • Internet banking.
  • Electronic wallets.
  • Cash on delivery.
  • PayPal.
  • Amazon Payments.
  • Gift cards.

In addition to the above options, some consumers use other payment modes like electronic cheques, money bookers, etc. 


At this time, the majority of customers buy items through mobile applications. In India, almost 55% people shop via mobile device. Hence, the importance of well-designed mobile interfaces is immense for leading e-commerce platforms.


Online shopping history is interesting and fresh. Importantly, it’s just a matter of 40 years. We have witnessed a rapid advancement in e-commerce activities. However, you must be wondering – ‘Has this activity saturated?’ or ‘Are there any new possibilities?’

Well, the future of e-commerce is, indeed, intriguing.

  • The next couple of years will witness an increased penetration of online shopping. This might also be an impact of consumer preferences after the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • We can see more enhancements in e-commerce mobile applications. Furthermore, due to affordable smartphones, many people will buy products through these mobile apps.
  • Online shopping sites can include virtual reality and 3D viewing technology for better consumer interaction. Hence, brace up for some AI inclusion.
  • Finally, as more people spend time on social networking sites, we could observe a high level of integration amongst these websites. 


As a customer or avid reader, it is important to realize the essence of online shopping. Also, If you observe the pace of online shopping activities, one thing is clear – It kept on evolving continuously.

Online shopping history reveals the global consumer response. Importantly, it solved multiple real-life problems of people. Hence, the response from the consumer side was immense.

In a nutshell, online shopping is all about a web platform and fluent interaction module. In other words, you browse an e-commerce website and select a preferred product. Subsequently, you buy and select your payment mode.

Therefore, despite the technological enhancements, basics will always remain the same.


Online shopping is definitely a revolutionary form of service. Hence, it is always interesting to know the brief history of its origin. In reality, it is easy to neglect background information of daily activities. However, it’s always fun to explore the services which are connected to us.

At this time, e-commerce is developing rapidly. Customers, sellers and people concerned with logistics can certainly benefit after knowing the prospects of this service module. So, enjoy every aspect of this convenient shopping activity. After all, staying safe and saving money is a top priority for everyone. Therefore, next time you open your favourite e-commerce app, feel the journey and experience the fluent process!

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