ecommerce and shopping carts

From: Fred N. van Kempen <>
Date: Thu Oct 14 10:51:25 2004

On Thu, 14 Oct 2004, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:

> > June-July of '94 my company (Bibliobytes/ released
> > "OrderBook", which was basically a front end that would let you enter
> > some SKU's and credit card info and would email us an encrypted copy
> > of the order to be processed and fufilled. You got the SKUs from a
> > catalog downloaded seperately from a web page, by ftp, or whatever.
> >
> > Around August 2004, NetMarket, a startup done by four guys from
> > Swarthmore, started selling CDs over the web.
> Wow, I didn't realize e-commerce was being deployed even this early.
> > Anyone know of any other shopping-cart and/or automatic payment
> > systems that were up and running or publically described
> > before October of '94?
> I've got a few very early web directory books from this timeframe that
> might shed some light.

In late 1993 (oct-nov), my company (InfoMagic, Inc) started using our
online "intranet" site for dealing with larger customers (usually
resellers, store chains and such) for ordering. This was much like
the Bibiobytes setup: we emailed out SKU lists, and they just entered
them into the site, after which our order processors got the info in
encrypted format so they could pull it through the financial and
logistical packages for processing. Later, sometime mid-1994, this
was enhanced to be mostly automated; no more encrypted email, but
a pipe straight into the logistics system.

I guess this indeed is a form of eCommerce, tho at the time, we just
liked it 'cos it saved us from having many people around, typing in
numbers .. ;)

Much later, "regular" ordering sites for the general public were put
into place.. this is ~1995 or ~1996 or so.


Fred N. van Kempen, DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) Collector/Archivist
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Received on Thu Oct 14 2004 - 10:51:25 BST

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