Ecommerce Economics by David VanHoose

Understand the Underlying Economics

Ecommerce Economics by David VanHoose
Ecommerce Economics by David VanHoose.

Ecommerce businesses have taken the retail world by a storm. As a "so called" ecommerce expert, I always worry that some of the trends in ecommerce are not sustainable, and will end up weakening the industry. Two such notable, and interrelated, trends are (i) the crazy amounts of money ecommerce businesses are willing to spend on acquiring new customers (ii) the large amounts of venture capital that is being invested into ecommerce.

So when I saw a book that promised a rigorous treatment of ecommerce economics, I could not wait to get my hands on it. That is the motivation for this review.


This is a text book. The main implication of this is that it is not for the faint hearted. When you are pursuing an academic program in economics or business, you are probably expecting to read books where the author's primary objective is not necessarily to be "interesting." At the other end of the spectrum are those nice little trade books that are often written by people whose primary skill is "writing," and not necessarily an expertise in the topic being written about.

Being a book on ecommerce economics, it looks at the level and nature of competition in the ecommerce industry. It applies evergreen principles of economics to various aspects of ecommerce to draw conclusions that will intrigue the ecommerce professional.

The second part of this book deals with "information," its creation, availability, and dissemination.

This book goes on to study the effect of regulation, public policy, and market dynamics on ecommerce. If you are not familiar with economic concepts, it will take you a little time to understand some of the discussion in this book.

Finally this book looks at ecommerce and its place in the world of money, finance, and banking.

David VanHoose teaches Economics at the business school at Baylor University, Texas. His depth of knowledge in economics gives this book a scholarly flavor.


  • A rare book that studies the economics of ecommerce.
  • A thorough scholarly approach to ecommerce economics.


  • Like most text books, it is tough to read.


Details of the Paperback Edition

  • Pages: 496
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • ISBN-10: 0415778980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415778985



On the one hand, ecommerce has turned the business world topsy turvy. On the other the world of ecommerce itself seems like it is standing on its head. For sanity to prevail in this scenario, it is best to ensure that your business has a strong economic rationale. That is why I recommend that you read this book.

Using sound economic principles, this book evaluates various aspects of ecommerce. On the one hand this leads to a deeper understanding of where we are. But more importantly, if helps us get some clarity of where we are headed. Surely that is something that all ecommerce professionals should be clued into. That is why you should read this book.

If you want somewhat lighter reading, here are some more ecommerce related books that I have reviewed: