tl;dr

The answer is Ecommerce at the start of a sentence, otherwise ecommerce.

The Question

The age-old question in our industry…
What is the official / real / grammatically correct way to shorten Electronic Commerce?

I’ve gone over and over this myself as there’s so many contradicting answers out there, and I did find an official-looking answer I initially liked: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/e-commerce

e-commerce when used in the body of a sentence or paragraph. e-Commerce when used at the beginning, or in the body, of a headline or title where all significant words are capitalized. E-commerce only when used at the beginning of a sentence.

The e-Mail problem

The discrepancy comes when we look at the very similar case of shortening Electronic Mail. If we apply the same logic as above we would expect to always see e-Mail in headlines or titles, and e-mail or E-mail elsewhere.

In fact the majority of the time nobody includes a hyphen and it is capitalised like any other English word; “Email” at the start of a sentence, otherwise “email”.

Conclusion

Treat it the same as “email” and things suddenly become very simple:

  • Write Ecommerce at the start of a sentence.
  • Write ecommerce in the middle of a sentence.
  • Never capitalise the ‘C’.

Queue flurry of disagreements in the comments section below 🙂

Photo by Diomari Madulara on Unsplash.

Published by Joseph McDermott

A certified Magento solution specialist with eleven years experience leading ecommerce development projects, converting complex problems into elegant technical solutions.

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