Ecommerce or E-Commerce: The Great Debate on How it’s Spelled

In the world of online shopping and electronic commerce, there’s a longstanding debate about the correct way to spell the term.

Should it be ecommerce or e-commerce? Both versions are commonly used, and it’s not uncommon to see both spellings in the same document.

As a content specialist, marketer, or retailer, it’s essential to know how to spell the word consistently and correctly.

This blog post will dive into the history, spelling variations, and preferred use of the term, helping you make an informed decision.

History of Ecommerce

Since the beginning of electronic commerce, the term ecommerce has been around.

However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the word gained widespread popularity.

The history of ecommerce shows that it has evolved from simple ecommerce purchases to a complex industry involving multiple platforms, like Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce.

Ecommerce or E-Commerce: A Matter of Style

When it comes to the way of spelling the term, different style guides and dictionaries have their preferences.

The Associated Press (AP) and Cambridge dictionaries prefer the spelled with a hyphen version, i.e., “e-commerce.” On the other hand, Merriam-Webster leans towards the non-hyphenated variant, “ecommerce.”

A quick Google Ngram search reveals that the hyphenated version has been more popular historically. However, more recent data indicates that the non-hyphenated form is gaining ground.

E-Commerce vs Ecommerce: Which is Correct?

Both variations have merit, with dictionaries and style guides providing their recommendations.

For instance, the Associated Press Style Guide suggests using the hyphenated version for generic terms such as e-commerce.

It’s important to consider your audience, industry, and personal preferences when writing ecommerce content.

Abbreviations and Capitalization

When it comes to abbreviation and capitalization in the term, there are a few rules to follow. Use “e-commerce” or “ecommerce” when referring to the industry as a whole.

When it appears at the beginning of a sentence, it should be capitalized. Otherwise, the lowercase form is preferred.

For example, “Ecommerce has revolutionized the way people shop.”

The Ecommerce Website Landscape

In the world of ecommerce, various platforms have emerged to help businesses succeed. Magento is one such platform, alongside other popular choices like Shopify and BigCommerce.

It’s important to note that ebusiness and ecommerce have some subtle differences, with the former encompassing all online business activities and the latter focusing solely on online transactions and sales.

Examples of Ecommerce Success Stories

In the ever-evolving ecommerce space, some companies have made a significant impact. Amazon and eBay are prime examples of ecommerce success stories that have revolutionized the way people shop online.

These giants have demonstrated the potential of ecommerce and paved the way for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed in the online marketplace.

By studying their strategies, aspiring entrepreneurs can learn valuable lessons and implement best practices to excel in the ecommerce world.

In Conclusion: How to Spell Ecommerce Confidently

In summary, both “ecommerce” and “e-commerce” are widely accepted spellings for the term.

The choice between the two ultimately depends on your personal preference, the style guide you follow, and the context in which you’re using the term.

While “e-commerce” is generally preferred by dictionaries and certain industries, “ecommerce” is gaining popularity and may be the right choice for more informal settings or modern marketing materials.

Key Takeaways

Choosing the right spelling for your brand can have a significant impact on the way your content is perceived by your audience.

To maintain consistency, it’s essential to select a preferred way and stick to it throughout your website, marketing materials, and other forms of communication.

By understanding the nuances between “ecommerce” and “e-commerce,” you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your brand’s values, industry standards, and audience expectations.

Embrace both spellings, and be open to their usage in various contexts to gain a unified understanding and appreciation for the dynamic world of electronic commerce.


What is the difference between ecommerce and e-commerce?

Both terms refer to the same concept, electronic commerce. The difference lies in their spelling: “ecommerce” is written without a hyphen, while “e-commerce” is written with a hyphen.

Is there a correct way to spell ecommerce?

There isn’t a universally correct way to spell the term. The choice depends on your personal preference, the style guide you follow, and the context in which you’re using the term.

Which spelling is more popular, ecommerce or e-commerce?

Historically, “e-commerce” has been more popular, but “ecommerce” has been gaining ground in recent years, especially in more informal settings and modern marketing materials.

Do different style guides have different preferences for spelling ecommerce?

Yes, different style guides have their preferences. For example, the Associated Press Style Guide prefers “e-commerce,” while Merriam-Webster leans towards the non-hyphenated version, “ecommerce.”

Is there a difference between ebusiness and ecommerce?

Yes, there are subtle differences. Ebusiness encompasses all online business activities, while ecommerce focuses solely on online transactions and sales.

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