The first true e-commerce transaction didn’t happen until 1994 with the advent of the Internet as we more or less know it today. Though Pizza Hut often gets credit for the first e-commerce transaction (they started selling pizzas online in late August 1994) the actual credit goes to Dan Kohn, a 21-year-old entrepreneur who ran a website based in New Hampshire called NetMarket.
On August 11, 1994, Kohn sold a CD of Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales album to a friend in Philadelphia, who used his credit card to spend $12.48, plus shipping costs, in a transaction that, for the first time ever, was protected by encryption technology.
“Even if the NSA was listening in, they couldn’t get his credit card number,” Kohn told Peter Lewis of the New York Times in an article the following day about NetMarket—what Lewis called “a new venture that is the equivalent of a shopping mall in cyberspace.”
Via Fast Company