Evolution Of Commerce

Commerce involves marketing of products. It consists of trade and aids to trade. It links producer and consumer. The evolution of commerce can be divided in the following stages:

1. Self-sufficient stage
In this stage, human wants were limited. Hunting and farming were important economic activities. People were self-sufficient. They consumed whatever they produced. There was no surplus for marketing. Therefore, commerce did not exist in this stage.

2. Barter stage
In this stage of commerce evolution, human wants increased. Families were unable to produce everything they needed. They were skillful in producing certain products. They produced such products in excess of their needs. They exchanged their surplus products with each other. They bartered goods for goods. Commerce made a beginning in barter stage.

3. Market stage
In this stage, markets developed. Cottage industries produced goods for sale. Traders appeared as middlemen. They linked producers and customers.
Money became medium of exchange. It became common measure of value. In the beginning shells, stones, metals, and cattle were used as money. They were later replaced by metal coins and paper notes.

4. Global stage
In global stage, global markets developed. Foreign trade became important. Industrial revolution made large scale production possible. Rapid advancements took place in transport, communication and financial services. Specialization in products increased for trade.

5. E-commerce stage
This is the current stage of development. In this stage, electronic commerce has developed. Commerce is getting on-line through computers and internet. Sellers and consumers are linked electronically.

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