Correct Spelling: ecommerce

How is this word that has been around for almost 30 years now, actually spelled? Over the years there have been plenty of variations by many sources to settle this question. Let’s check out some of the old reliable sources then.

Webster’s Dictionary is always a great go-to for all things spelling. Almost considered the definitive source in fact. As you can see, they chose e-commerce. Now, they are not always the final word in these matters so let’s check out an old trusted resource.

Since most people on the web find a lot of their answers on Wikipedia, I figured they would be able to provide a reliable answer. They seem to agree with Webster’s in the spelling of e-commerce. For me though, just because two reliable sources provide what they consider to be the final answer on all things, does not exactly settle the matter for me.

wikipedia e-commerce
Source: Wikipedia

I mean, if you take a quick look here, as I was writing this article even WordPress had an auto-suggestion that came as a surprise. The seem to be on the side of e commerce.

wordpress auto suggest e commerce

To me though, especially because I like SEO so much, I prefer to see what and how people search. I turned to one of my most used tools online, Ahrefs. Turns out, people search a lot for this topic and by a wide percentage, they lean toward ecommerce.

ahrefs keyword planner ecommerce
Source: Ahrefs

To back this up, I thought it would be useful to see not only see the searches by users, but the trends over the years. I conducted a search using all three versions as comparisons and went back as far as I could go, 2004. For a while, e-commerce was definitely in the lead, however over time, ecommerce became the clear winner over time. Even over the last ten years, e commerce has outpaced e-commerce.

Conclusion: Wikipedia and Webster’s may have established the official spelling 20 some odd years ago, but clearly over the years, people have adopted a different spelling. As for me, I want my content to be recognizable by the largest audience so I will go with the trend.

Language is always changing whether it is a new word or an agreed upon change over time. As for which one is correct, as of right now, there is no wrong answer. All three variations are acceptable.

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