Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is eCommerce a sector?

Every so often the same debate crops up online. "Is eCommerce a sector?" is generally the sort of question that kick-starts an animated discussion. It then typically ends up changing into a rant or argument about the progress / maturity / understanding of both agencies and clients in the eCommerce space.

My own opinion is that eCommerce is not a sector but a discipline that crosses the different established sectors of technology, retail and online / digital.

What's the difference in these two definitions? Well for me, a sector is more defined by the size and scope of the market rather than the actual work done. For example... if you compare Information Technology (a sector IMHO) with eCommerce (a discipline) then obviously IT is much broader in its range. There is also a lot more people and skill-sets contained within it. eCommerce, although using a fair amount of technology skills (amongst others), doesn't cover anything like the scope that IT does.

Personally I'm happy that eCommerce as a discipline straddles the sectors of online and digital marketing and delivery, retail and consumer shopping as well as technology and its assorted areas. It adds to the mix of projects you can find and the different people you can work with.
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