The development of web shop systems took place directly after the Internet became a mass medium. This was a result of the launch of the browser Mosaic in 1993 and Netscape in 1994. It created an environment in which web shops were possible. The Internet therefore acted as the key infrastructure developments that contributed to the rapid diffusion of the e-commerce. E-commerce (as a subset of e-business) describes all computer-aided business transactions. In 1998 a total of 11 e-business models were observed, one of which was the e-shop business model for a B2C (Business-to-consumer) business - also called the “online shop”. The two terms “online shop” and “electronic” or “e-shop” are used inter-changeably.
The term “online shopping” was invented much earlier in 1984; for example TV shopping often used the term before the popularity of the online method. Today the term primarily refers to the B2C transactional business model. In order to enable “online shopping” a software system is needed. Since “online shopping”, in the context of the B2C business model, became broadly available to the end consumer, internet-based “online shops” evolved.
For online shopping systems in this context the narrower term “web shop” is used. No term has become solidly established for a B2C e-commerce software system. Whereas in the German-speaking region terms such as “web shop software” or “online shop software” are used, the term “shopping cart software” has become established in the USA
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