Charles stack had the first online bookstore and pre-dated Amazon.com by three years. His website was at http://www.books.com and was called "Bookstacks Unlimited". Unfortunately I can't find any information that describes the implementation of his system. However, it's possible that he may be able to provide more detailed information.
The idea of using ...
BBS (bulletin board systems), reachable with analog modem via phone lines, had this concept decades ago, in the era of the Apple ][
New users had a download limit and could write only to some discussion boards, registered users could download more and write everywhere.
I thought this was litigated and these were invalidated for obviousness and prior art:
The claims in suit of the ’314 and ’492 patents are
invalid for obviousness over the CompuServe Mall system.
The claims of the ’639 patent are invalid for obviousness
Possibly this At&T viewtron video (from around 1985/1986 I think) is useful. It shows online shopping, including entering quantity and making payment:
Effects of Information Technology on Financial Services Systems (Washington, D. C.: U.S.
Congress, Office of ...
Zope, as an open source application server has been around since 1996. zope.org was operated in the manner described above (read-only access to anonymous users, (free) registration that allowed you to put documents, files, even code, on the central server). If that sounds interesting I can do some digging to get a specific statement from the original authors ...
I specifically remember buying CDs in 1992/1993 from cdconnection.com. You'd 'telnet cdconnection.com', be presented with a search interface, and could search for and select CDs. Once you were done selecting, you'd submit your payment information and they'd mail you the CDs.
I no longer have access to the mail account I used at the time, but I'm pretty sure ...