The first step into creating what we now call online shopping was taken in 1979, when Michael Aldrich introduced electronic shopping by connecting a modified TV to a transaction-processing computer via telephone line, this made it possible for closed information systems to be opened and shared by outside parties for secure data transmission — and the technology became the foundation for modern e-commerce.1 Michael Aldrich, describing the process, said: ‘’ In 1979, there was no such thing as on-line shopping so when I invented it, I called it teleshopping, meaning shopping at a distance. Unknown to me, in 1977 in the USA, a TV selling technique called infomercials (effectively paid advertising programs on TV with a pitchman urging viewers to make a phone call to buy goods) was also being called teleshopping. Over the years in USA TV terminology ‘teleshopping’ succeeded ‘infomercials’ and my ‘teleshopping’ – real-time transaction processing from home via a Television or PC – became ‘on-line shopping’. The terms ‘e-commerce’ and ‘e-business’ are from the 1990s. We never used those terms. ‘’2
E-commerce has since developed with the rise of technology into becoming what we commonly know it as today; companies like Amazon and eBay (both created in 1995) became the destination of millions of online shoppers all around the world, and online payment systems such as PayPal (1998), were introduced.
In 2004, Shopify; an important e-commerce platform for online stores and point-of-sale systems, launched.
In 2011 Google introduced Google Wallet as a digital payment method, and later partnered with Android Pay to jointly create what is now known as Google Pay.
Apple introduced Apple Pay in 2014.
Most recently, Instagram introduced shoppable Instagram in 2017, the service later expanded to include additional e-commerce platforms and allows Instagram users to immediately click an item, and go to that item’s product page for purchase.
On a national level, these online shopping websites and services are not available in Sudan, where shopping is mostly done off-line. However, we can notice the appearance of several online shopping operations done through new emerging Sudanese online shopping websites as well as Facebook and WhatsApp groups.