During a recent research project for a large logistics and supply chain business we were tasked to look into various aspects of their business.

One of the things that stuck out during the research was that there is no consensus into what is the correct way to write and reference eCommerce / ecommerce / e-commerce.
Looking around the internet and there is no clear cut and authoritative answer to this question.

Google Trends

We started looking at Google Trends to see what the popular consensus is:

trends

As you can see back in 2004 e-commerce was the dominant term that everyone used to search for. But this has subsided over time and in 2009 users of Google (almost everyone) started to enter the term as ecommerce or eCommerce as Google ignores capitalisation.

Google Search

Google search results today ignores all of the derivatives and looks to give you the best result – the ubiquitous Wikipedia of course.

eCommerce Search

As you can see, Google also has added the Answer box to help you decide….but again this is just content pulled from Wikipedia.

Is Google really that smart?

Trying a couple of different options revealed the Google algorithm being a little too clever.

how to write ecommerce

Running a search for “how to write ecommerce e-commerce e commerce” you can see how Google tried to understand what I was looking for….yet just repeated what I wrote. There are some what circular recommendations within Google’s algorithm.

Google Spell Check

Running a spell check on GMail I noticed that Google looks to correct eCommerce and ecommerce to commerce – yet does not have an error for e-commerce.

Platforms

The biggest platforms on the market have a variety of options:

  • Magento, avoids the argument and uses straight commerce
  • DemandWare, uses eCommerce
  • Shopify, uses ecommerce
  • Bigcommerce, uses ecommerce

Conclusions
I’m sorry to report that we could not find the definitive and correct spelling for this. From an SEO point of view it should be ecommerce or eCommerce. As long as your consistent then you should be fine.