The term "e-commerce" seems to have first appreared on the scene in
1994 in a smattering of published works. Although it mostly found use
as a convenient shorthand of "electronic commerce" for use by headline
writers, it also began creeping into article text in 1994 as well.
And once again, the federal government played a prominent role in
bringing this new aspect of the internet to the forefront.
Here are some of key uses of the term that I found by searching the
Factiva business news database for the terms [ e-commerce OR "e
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SET FOR ELECTRONIC BUYING
21 September 1994
Corporate EFT Report
Vol. 14, Issue: 18
"The GSA has already published implementation guides for most EDI
transactions and an interagency task force will soon issue rules for
Federal e-commerce. The Clinton Administration's push for a
streamlined, electronic federal purchasing is right on schedule, and
electronic data interchange (EDI) traffic between the government and
its suppliers could begin this fall..."
U.S. encryption policy hurting E-commerce
5 December 1994
[this was a headline-only use of the term...it does not appear in the
article text itself].
STERLING INTRODUCES UK E-COMMERCE NETWORK
20 October 1994
[again...another headline-only use of the term. The actual article
text looked like this:]
"Sterling Software has launched...its electronic commerce VAN, forming
part of a planned pan-European service roll-out. The Commerce:Network
will offer a complete suite of electronic commerce facilities...and
will support a number of advanced electronic commerce activities to
provide customers with competitive edge and cost benefits..."
[and on the first day of 1995, another headline-only use...]
Federal Blueprint for E-Commerce
1 January 1995
Industries in Transition
Vol. 22, No. 9 ISSN: 0085-0003
Business Communications Company, Inc.
"Following up on President Clinton's initiative to reform the federal
government's procurement regulations, the U.S. General Services
Administration (GSA) and the Dept. of Defense (DOD) today released a
report outlining a blueprint for an electronic commerce acquisition
program throughout the federal government...."
So the little-known EFT report seems to win the prize for being the
first use of the term "e-commerce" and did so in the text of its
writing, rather than as a headline-only use.
And as they say....the rest was history.
Before rating this answer, please let me know if you need any
additional information on these cites -- or on anything else I've
mentioned here. Just post a Request for Clarification if you need
anything else, and I'll be happy to assist you further.