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The possibility of trading goods and services over the Internet has brought fundamental changes and opened
new opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
The possibilities offered by the World Wide Web (WWW) are particularly important for small and medium sized enterprises
(SMEs). Using relatively modest financial resources, it has become possible to realize new business models, test
new marketing possibilities and develop new markets. However, it is frequently uneconomical for SME to finance the development
of its own, individual shop software solution. Complete or standard web shop systems “out of the box” offer
traders an alternative.
This article reports an investigation of the development of standard web shop systems from 1995 (as the Internet and
WWW became a mass medium), starting with a definition of concepts and a general presentation of the development of
Internet trading. A literature search forms the basis of an examination of the functional scope of standard web shop software
systems since 1995.
The second part of the article analysis the Surveys to show how the development changes with time. This analysis leads to
the definition of five phases in the development of web shop systems from 1995 until the present day and presents an evolutionary
model for standard web shop systems. In the final section, currently recognizable development trends are described
and their importance is evaluated for standard systems.