June 2017

What Makes E-commerce Hum

What makes e-commerce hum? Dozens of technologies and companies, most of which you’ve never heard of. These are the so-called “enabler” companies, the firms competing fast and hard to build the infrastructure for e-commerce in both the retail and business-to-business universes. From the front end to the back, they make the hardware, software, services, tools, and transactions platform that make the wheels of commerce turn.

Enabler companies with unsexy names and services drive the process.

The enabler group has sneaked beneath most of the news media’s radar, but not Wall Street’s. A quick glance at the latest Internet stock rankings from New York-based Pegasus Research International reveals an eye-opening fact: Seven of the ten best-performing Internet stocks in 2016 – companies with a majority of revenues or customers linked directly to business – aren’t true Internet companies at all. They’re all Internet-company enablers. (And that figure doesn’t even include VerticalNet, which is a hybrid, doing business over the Web and enabling others to do so as well.)