Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large scale (between cities, countries or between parts of a country). More specifically, commerce includes all activities related to the distribution of goods and services from the producers to the consumers on a large scale. Commerce not only includes trade, which is the actual transaction, exchange or transfer of goods and services, but also the auxiliary services and means which facilitate such trade. These auxiliary services include transportation, communication, warehousing, insurance, banking, advertising, packaging, etc. In other words, commerce encompasses a wide array of political, logistical, legal, regulatory, social, and economic aspects of trade on a large scale. From a marketing perspective, commerce creates time and place utility by making goods and services available to the customers at the right place and at the right time by changing their location or placement.
The English-language word commerce has been derived from the Latin word commercium, from com ("together") and merx ("merchandise").
Historian Peter Watson and Ramesh Manickam date the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago.
In historic times, the introduction of currency as a standardized money facilitated the exchange of goods and services.
Banking systems developed in medieval Europe, facilitating financial transactions across national boundaries. Markets became a feature of town life, and were regulated by town authorities.
1 The activity of buying and selling, especially on a large scale.
Taken over by towns, the markets grew apace with them.