Market Share Technology Report (MSTR): eCommerce Platforms 2020

March 20, 2020 Scott Wallask

ECommerce platforms Market Share Technology ReportThis Market Share Technology Report (MSTR) from Datanyze examines eCommerce platform market share and trends over the prior 12 months. Vendors can use this MSTR report to track technology market share among competitors and learn about the frequency of customer implementations, while software end users can read about the industry leaders and trends that influence popular features in eCommerce software. 

Market Summary: Nearly One-Fourth of Respondents Involved in eCommerce Software Implementations or Upgrades

Every time a reader goes online to buy a book, a business orders supplies via the web, or a twenty-something uses a smartphone to purchase Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics, an eCommerce platform makes that transaction run smoothly. 

The options can seem overwhelming, as Datanyze monitors 577 eCommerce tools. “Choosing the right eCommerce software is not easy,” according to a tutorial by ECommerce CEO. “You need to carefully evaluate things like loading speed, features, compatibility with different payment gateways, compatibility with your business structure, your web developer skills, SEO-friendly features, and more.”

Leaders in eCommerce platformsFigure 1: A look at eCommerce software by estimated unit market share. Source: Datanyze.

Despite the challenges, in 2019, there was a huge spike in eCommerce projects that were underway -- up 71% from Q1 2019 to Q2 -- as measured by quarterly survey of business professionals conducted by ZoomInfo, the parent company of Datanyze.

ECommerce platforms let merchants build digital storefronts that allow customers to complete transactions online. The software automates important processes, such as tax collection and shipping calculations. 

Datanyze tracks unit market share, which is the number of units (i.e., tech installations) that vendors sell as a percentage of total sales in a market. It does not track market share by revenue, which may explain why enterprise-level offerings such as Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Oracle Commerce don’t place highly in our top 10 list compared to products aimed at millions of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Note that this article does not discuss eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba, which host pages for merchant sales as opposed to selling eCommerce software that allows companies to create online stores.

ECommerce platform market presenceWhat is the Market Presence of eCommerce Platforms?

There’s a dogfight among the high-ranking products on our eCommerce platforms list. 

“The thing to realize right away is that each of these eCommerce platforms offers basically the same set of ‘crucial eCommerce features’ – features that are essential for every online store,” wrote CodeinWP. Those common features include hosting options, payment processing services, and site themes.

ECommerce platform unit market share rankingsFigure 2: WooCommerce tops our eCommerce platform ranking based on unit market share. Source: Datanyze.

Instead, nuances separate the competitors. For example, WooCommerce (#1 in unit market share) is a free, WordPress-based eCommerce tool. Its owner is Automattic, which also runs and Tumblr, so WooCommerce makes a logical choice for an online store built on WordPress.

Meanwhile, Squarespace (#2) offers more merchandising options, while Shopify (#3) promotes its ability to help smaller companies grow. In fact, in 2016, Shopify helped Jenner take her successful online cosmetics store and bring it to life with a pop-up version in Los Angeles.

Shopify perhaps has the most name recognition of all the platforms in the top 10 list. “Shopify has worked to position itself as the online commerce solution with the experience and size to support fast-growing, digitally native brands,” Vox wrote in a profile about the company. During the 2019 stretch from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, merchants using Shopify’s platform processed 16,000 checkouts per minute, Vox said.

Adobe and Square Boost eCommerce Platform Offerings

A couple of branded eCommerce tools on our list have big-name owners that are taking advantage of eCommerce technology. One of those is Adobe, which bought Magento (#4) in 2018. Adobe credited upsells of Magento with year-over-year growth in Adobe’s content and commerce offerings in 2019.

Also, Weebly eCommerce (#6) is owned by payment processing company Square, which began integrating its products with Weebly in 2019.

Here are brief notes about other products on the list:

  • SAP Commerce Cloud (#10) gives advantages to customers who already use SAP’s ERP products. Commerce Cloud is part of SAP’s C/4HANA suite, a collection of customer relationship management offerings.
  • Wix Stores (#5) features drag-and-drop features to build an online market.
  • Rounding out the list, PrestaShop (#7) and OpenCart (#9) offer free, open-source eCommerce platforms.

ECommerce platform rising starWho is a Rising Star in eCommerce Software?

Lightspeed eCommerce had a busy year in 2019. The Montreal-based company, which sells an eCommerce platform as well as point-of-sale (PoS) services, made four acquisitions in 2019, the latest being its purchase of German company Gastrofix for $101 million in cash and stock. Gastrofix develops cloud-based PoS systems for the restaurant and hospitality industries.

Meanwhile, in February 2020, Lightspeed announced a partnership with Stripe as the former expands payment processing capabilities on its platform, according to BetaKit.

Lightspeed eCommerce’s estimated installations increased in the second half of 2019 and showed upward trends heading into February 2020, too.

Lightspeed eCommerce platform installations

Figure 3: Lightspeed’s installations headed upward in 2019. Source: Datanyze.

ECommerce platforms buyer trendsWhat are Buyer Trends for eCommerce Tools?

Nearly one out of four respondents to quarterly surveys from ZoomInfo -- 23.75% -- indicated they were in the midst of an eCommerce project at some point in 2019. 

That amount was highest in Q2 2019, during which 32% had an ongoing initiative with eCommerce platforms. That was nearly double the amount from the prior quarter. And in Q4 2019, there were still 30% of respondents who indicated they had projects in their midst.

There was also a slight uptick in new projects that were beginning in early 2020; further out into the year project interest was not as clear.

ECommerce platform project timelinesFigure 4: A look at eCommerce platform project timelines, with a noticeable bump in ongoing projects in Q2 2019. Source: ZoomInfo.

Survey respondents also indicated that spending on eCommerce software was on the rise as 2019 closed. Half of those participating in the ZoomInfo poll in Q4 2019 said they planned to increase investment in eCommerce, compared to 17% who indicated spending would decrease and 33% who weren’t sure.

To be fair, decreases in spending were also noticeable throughout 2019, so the biggest takeaway may have been that respondents were clearer about their investment plans -- whether it was spending more or less on eCommerce tools -- as the year ended.

Spending patterns for eCommerce platforms

Figure 5: Spending patterns of survey respondents showed a jump in investment for eCommerce software in 2019.

ECommerce platforms outlookWhat is the Outlook for eCommerce Platforms?

Online commerce activity is expected to grow in the coming years, which will provide opportunities for eCommerce software vendors.

“In 2019, retail eCommerce sales worldwide amounted to $3.53 trillion U.S. dollars, and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to $6.54 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022,” Statista wrote. These predictions were released before the coronavirus pandemic hit the globe in early 2020, which could drastically change these numbers.

B2B merchants would be wise to emulate the customer experience approaches taken by B2C companies, according to Beeketing, which sells marketing automation tools for online stores. 

“B2B businesses must improve and simplify their shopping journey, channeling the B2C ordering experience,” Beeketing wrote in a blog. “The B2B shopping experience is a lot more complicated than that of a B2C buyer. Because of the nature of the transaction, B2B buyers usually need to go through various steps, including sales representative interaction, negotiations, and approvals before they can make a successful purchase.”

As noted earlier, advancements for eCommerce platforms won’t come from core offerings, but rather specialized features that can set one product apart from those of competitors.

About our data collection

Datanyze collects technographic data by scanning more than 35 million web domains daily, using a combination of web crawling, third party providers, and natural language processing. Most technologies leave behind a footprint or “signature” that helps the crawler identify it from other elements of a website or mobile app. By finding and cataloging these signatures across millions of sites, Datanyze can determine how many companies use a given technology -- and take note of when certain technologies appear or disappear from a company’s site.

For technologies that leave no footprint (such as databases and CRMs), Datanyze uses natural language processing as an alternative method to identify tech deployment. This involves scanning and digesting unstructured data -- text from job postings, social media, press releases, and more -- to infer a relationship between a company and a particular technology. This method involves complex keyword targeting.

Also, ZoomInfo (the parent company of Datanyze) conducts quarterly surveys of a percentage of business professionals within its database, asking them detailed questions about technology purchases and upcoming projects. 

About the Author

Scott Wallask

Scott Wallask is a director of content at ZoomInfo and Datanyze. He has more than 25 years of storytelling and editing experience, and previously oversaw a series of enterprise tech news sites. Before that, he spent 12 years covering hospital safety topics. He holds a BA degree in journalism from Northeastern University in Boston.

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