Take an already analytical person, add a degree in Chemistry, plus a career as a Division I softball player, and you get someone that really loves math, tracking data, and statistical analysis (ballplayers love stats — also, this is me). As a result, I typically think of things in terms of percentages. I like knowing what part of the whole something represents, and I like to see how it changes over time — stats, in the long run, are very insightful.
This led to me being curious about statistics on WordPress eCommerce plugins, and I periodically look them up. I’ve put together an overview of my most recent look into stats on how many shops are using each WordPress eCommerce plugin to share a bird-eye view of WordPress eCommerce.
Before we begin, note that I’m typically looking up stats from BuiltWith, so I don’t have insight into their accuracy. With that being said, I think that any errors are probably systemic so we can at least bet on being proportionally and directionally correct (if stats are off, they’re probably proportionally off for everything, and we can probably get an idea of whether they’re going up or down).
Does this represent every site using WordPress for eCommerce? Probably not. I haven’t included every single plugin out there, and I’m sure there are custom carts or generic ones that have been installed but then customized / altered that aren’t being accounted for.
So aside from the fact that these stats are coming from a third party, here are a couple things to note:
- I’ve omitted Ecwid and Cart66 from this analysis since they’re plugins that integrate with hosted services. I originally decided to omit Ecwid since I had no way to tell if its stats were WordPress-specific, so I then axed the Cart66 cloud stats as well to focus purely on installable plugins. If you’re curious, there are 23,650 total shops listed as using an Ecwid plugin, and 8,139 listed as using Cart66, though I don’t know if that represents the cloud service or the pro plugin (another reason it’s omitted).
- BuiltWith doesn’t have any data on iThemes Exchange or WP EasyCart. I’m not sure if this is because usage is too low or how new they are. They didn’t have data on Easy Digital Downloads until about 4-6 months ago, so perhaps novelty is the issue. Regardless, they’re not included because stats were unavailable.
I included major eCommerce plugins that I could find statistics for, so this breakdown includes WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, Jigoshop, WP eShop, WP eStore, MarketPress, and Shopp.
WooCommerce leads the pack in terms of WordPress eCommerce marketshare at 78.4%. WP eCommerce comes next with close to 10% of the WordPress eCommerce plugin market. Here are the percentages of shops using these plugins as well as the absolute numbers in the table below:
key — WooCommerce (78.4%)
key — WP eCommerce (9.8%)
key — Easy Digital Downloads (2.7%)
key — Jigoshop (1.0%)
key — WP eShop (2.4%)
key — WP eStore (2.6%)
key — MarketPress (1.6%)
key — Shopp (1.5%)
I was most surprised by the statistics on WP eShop, as it’s one of the oldest eCommerce plugins and hasn’t been updated in over a year. It doesn’t take advantage of much of the WordPress 3.0+ architecture, such as custom post types, so I wonder how many of these are active sites or if they’ve just not been able to update or migrate to another cart.
I’m also impressed at the marketshare held by EDD when it’s far more specialized than the rest of these plugins. While WP eStore focuses a lot on downloadable goods (head-to-head of these here), it’s meant to be a general eCommerce solution capable of selling shippable goods as well. Easy Digital Downloads is the only plugin completely focused on one kind of product (downloadable / virtual goods), and yet it’s third in terms of total sites using it.
The total number of sites included in these BuiltWith statistics is 505,409. The breakdown of active sites using each plugin is as follows:
|Easy Digital Downloads||13,813|
Since WooCommerce is taking up a large part of that pie, I was curious to see more when it was excluded to get an idea of how other eCommerce plugins stack up against one another.
Here’s an overview of the 109,149 stores tracked in BuiltWith that are using something other than WooCommerce.
key — Easy Digital Downloads (12.7%)
key — Jigoshop (4.6%)
key — WP eShop (11.0%)
key — WP eStore (12.0%)
key — MarketPress (7.6%)
key — Shopp (6.8%)
I also noticed a new breakdown that was recently added by BuiltWith: WooCommerce by version. This is meant to show the total number of stores using each version of WooCommerce, and it already includes version 2.3, which is currently in beta.
Unfortunately I don’t think it’s entirely accurate, as the “unknown” version statistic is generated by me — after adding up the totals for WooCommerce 1.5 to 2.2, there were 108,999 stores unaccounted for. I’m not sure if the version couldn’t be detected, or if they just haven’t been analyzed since BuiltWith started tracking this statistic.
The most recent version of WooCommerce (2.2) leads the pack with 1/3 of all stores using it. With the version 2.3 release upcoming, I’ll be very curious to see how this changes.
key — version 2.2 (33.7%)
key — version 2.1 (22.2%)
key — version 2.0 (14.1%)
key — version 1.6 (2.1%)
key — version 1.5 (0.4%)
key — unknown (27.5%)
The number of stores still using WooCommerce 2.0 is disconcerting, as this was released almost 2 years ago. Typically stores avoid upgrading if their theme doesn’t update WooCommerce support or if they’ve added custom code, but the fact that 55,772 stores are running completely out of date software isn’t the best news. I’m guessing that part of this may have to do with the version 2.1 changes, which affected themes that improperly override several templates (as lots do, which is a poor practice). Since version 2.3 also affects the core templates, I’ll be keeping an eye out to see how many sites upgrade to this version or if some hang back to upgrade themes and custom code.
Keep in mind that the overall marketshare percentages for each eCommerce plugin are overstated, as some plugins were excluded due to unavailable or unclear statistics. This isn’t meant to be the definitive guide to WordPress eCommerce plugins by marketshare, but provides a comparison of some of the top plugins available.
We’ve also excluded other plugins that aren’t used for ‘traditional’ eCommerce, such as membership plugins like MemberPress, but these could be thrown into the mix if you wanted a better WordPress eCommerce plugins comparison (though the same problem exists — there are no stats on active use).
I’m a bit surprised that plugins like eShop are still holding strong, but knowing how time-consuming it can be to migrate cart systems, I’m not necessarily surprised that there are legacy shops out there. I do think that the growth plugins like Easy Digital Downloads have seen is fantastic, especially when you consider that it’s the newest eCommerce plugin in this comparison and it’s extremely specialized.
Anything that you find surprising, or would you have guessed at these statistics? Even if BuiltWith isn’t 100% accurate, I enjoy keeping an eye on the trends and overall numbers for each eCommerce platform, and I’d be curious to hear from those of you who do the same thing.
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