History of ecommerce dates back to the invention of the very old notion of "sell and buy", electricity, cables, computers, modems, and the Internet. Ecommerce became possible in 1991 when the Internet was opened to commercial use. Since that date thousands of businesses have taken up residence at web sites.

At first, the term ecommerce meant the process of execution of commercial transactions electronically with the help of the leading technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) which gave an opportunity for users to exchange business information and do electronic transactions. The ability to use these technologies appeared in the late 1970s and allowed business companies and organizations to send commercial documentation electronically.

History of ecommerce is unthinkable without Amazon and Ebay which were among the first Internet companies to allow electronic transactions. Thanks to their founders we now have a handsome ecommerce sector and enjoy the buying and selling advantages of the Internet. Currently there are 5 largest and most famous worldwide Internet retailers: Amazon, Dell, Staples, Office Depot and Hewlett Packard. According to statistics, the most popular categories of products sold in the World Wide Web are music, books, computers, office supplies and other consumer electronics.

Amazon is one of the first ecommerce businesses to establish an affiliate marketing program, and nowadays the company gets about 40% of its sales from affiliates and third party sellers who list and sell goods on the web site. In 2008 Amazon penetrated into the cinema and is currently sponsoring the film "The Stolen Child" with 20th Century Fox.

One more company which has contributed much to the process of ecommerce development is Dell Inc., an American company located in Texas, which stands third in computer sales within the industry behind Hewlett-Packard and Acer. Launched in 1994 as a static page, Dell.com has made rapid strides, and by the end of 1997 was the first company to record a million dollars in online sales. The company's unique strategy of selling goods over the World Wide Web with no retail outlets and no middlemen has been admired by a lot of customers and imitated by a great number of ecommerce businesses. The key factor of Dell's success is that Dell.com enables customers to choose and to control, i.e. visitors can browse the site and assemble PCs piece by piece choosing each single component based on their budget and requirements. According to statistics, approximately half of the company's profit comes from the web site.

E-commerce growth continued to dominate the global retail market in 2016, reaching more than $1.9 trillion with an ongoing growth rate projected to be 23.7 percent – nearly three times the growth of retail sales as a whole, according to eMarketer. More than half (53 percent) of global internet users made at least one online purchase in 2016, at an average spend of $1,036 across the top 10 countries with the largest online markets.

Earlier in 2017, The American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI) released its inaugural e-commerce benchmark report, produced in conjunction with Amber Road, a global trade management software provider. The report found, for the most part, businesses are aligning with the e-commerce trend. Only 25 percent of companies surveyed for the report have yet to establish an online sales channel. And of those, 65 percent assert that they will establish a web sales plan soon.

Zeroing in on cross-border e-commerce, a 2017 report from DHL forecasts it will grow at twice the rate of domestic e-commerce through 2020. And Pitney Bowes notes that with 40 percent of online buyers having completed a cross-border transaction in 2016, it’s clear shoppers have opened up to the idea of shopping internationally – unlocking big potential for global online retailers.

The same growth holds true for import-export e-commerce trade outside the retail sector. U.S. B2B e-commerce alone is predicted to hit $1.18 trillion by 2021.Globally, B2B cross-border e-commerce has the potential to top $6.7 trillion by 2020, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan. It could go even higher, based on accelerated adoption of online selling in manufacturing and distribution: according to a 2016 survey, 44 percent of businesses in manufacturing offer an e-commerce sales channel, and 50 percent of those that do not are planning to implement one within the next year.