OK, quick: Pop quiz (but this isn’t a trick question):
How do you spell the word for your personal, digital address with an @ symbol in it—the one that leads to your digital mailbox?
Wait for it…
It’s “email,” right?
I’m sorry—there’s no prize money to be had here, and chances are pretty good you got it right.
In 1972, the first piece of electronic mail was sent. And over the 30 years since it began, email had a whole gamut of different ways to illustrate the phrase “electronic mail.” Different spellings, hyphenations, and capitalizations arose through the years - but at some point in the mid 2000s, we started to accept a singular spelling.
Today, four-out-of-five of the best known online dictionaries and both major style guides prefer it spelled one way: email.
The coalescing of spellings was so noteworthy when the AP acknowledged a singular spelling it even made news the day they enacted the change.
But wait - we’re not talking about email here… are we? We’re not, but we are talking about an important emerging “electronic” version of something: commerce.
Let's Give Ecommerce the Dignity It Deserves
We won’t put anyone on blast here, but Google the word “ecommerce” and look at how many different spellings you receive on the first page. Go ahead. Do it. See what happens. Here, we’ll make it even easier for you - just click right here to see how many different versions of ecommerce the internet returns.
The day I wrote this blog post, Google’s front page offered this variety of options:
- E Commerce
Between ads and organic results, Google returns seven different spellings and capitalizations of the one word, ecommerce.
Where, oh where, does this lack of consistency come from? This lack of unity?
When electronic mail became email, it indeed took some time for us to rally around a singular spelling—but we did do it.
Has commerce not earned its place in the “electronic” lexicon? Without confusion, complication, or variation? Is the concept of buying online in the year 2018 not established enough for this concept to deserve a unified, declarative spelling? A banner under which we can all live?
And when it comes to joining hands together under that banner, should we not consult the the top brands in the ecommerce space, and see which spelling they use to steer us in the right direction? Brands like Shopify, BigCommerce, Smart Marketer, Sumo, and so many more?
Or even Drip ECRM competitors in the ecommerce space, like Zaius, Bronto, Klaviyo and more—all who use the same ecommerce spelling and styling?
Should we not believe in the tradition that’s come before and the brilliant minds at the world’s top publications as they declared electronic mail best represented as email? As ubiquitous a thing and spelling that it deserved to be simplified to its core?
If we cherish the ecommerce space enough to say we all belong to it, let’s unite around the spelling. Let’s stop with the lowercase, hyphenated, uppercase gobbledygook that makes things harder to read, seemingly less official, and more disparate.
Let’s come together. Let’s holler it from the rooftops. Let’s honor the precedence email has laid out before us.
Let’s agree on the version that feels simply—right.
It’s ecommerce, people.
Join the fight and let's unite the world in how we spell ecommerce.
Click below to tweet this post and our pre-written revolutionary declaration at the world's major dictionaries and style guides!
One ecommerce spelling for all!