A History of Online Shopping

E-commerce has come a long way in more than five decades. Giving Assistant researched the decades-long history of online shopping that enabled us to instantly order same-day delivery on Amazon Prime Day. 

1971: Illegal drugs are sold on ARPANET

“Sold” is more symbolic here, as the infamous 1971 deal between Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was not finalized or paid for over the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. ARPANET is considered the earliest form of what became the internet, using technology like TCP/IP protocol that eventually formed the network architecture we still use.

Elderly Jane Snowball was part of a cutting-edge computing experiment in 1984. In what's arguably also the first “smart TV,” her television set was connected to a phone line, which enabled an interface she navigated with her TV remote. 

1984: Online shopping invented

After decades of “online shopping” that stopped short of a credit card transaction, the world's first encrypted retail transaction occurred in 1994. 

1994: First encrypted retail transaction

After the first secure transaction in 1994, some major projects followed to let consumers buy things online. eBay was one of the first in 1995, allowing users to buy and sell their items directly to other users (minus a user fee, of course). 

1995: eBay is launched

Apple has long led the way in revolutionizing consumer tech, from its game-changing iMac G3 in 1998 and the iPod in 2001 to the now-ubiquitous iPhone and Apple Watch. Apple Pay marked another of the company's moves to transform how consumers pay for goods.  

2014: Apple Pay launched