It’s been quite some time since we took a look at growth and marketshare of WordPress eCommerce plugins, so today I’d like to revisit some statistics on plugin usage and compare data from BuiltWith.com and WordPress.org.
There are several eCommerce plugins available for WordPress, so we haven’t included every possible plugin or membership solution. I’ve tried to include the most popular and / or actively-developed plugins, along with those I can get statistics on. However, not every statistic is created equal, so here are some notes before we get started:
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce has consistently been the most popular plugin for WordPress eCommerce, and this year’s look is no different. While WordPress.org data for its usage hasn’t changed, seeing the difference in BuiltWith’s tracking was really cool.
- WP eCommerce: The grandfather of all WordPress eCommerce has had some statistics tracked under “GetShopped” (the old website) and “WP eCommerce” on BuiltWith, so while it looks like BuiltWith has this tracked pretty accurately over time, I’m not sure if this caused any hiccups in tracking.
- Easy Digital Downloads: While EDD isn’t the most-used plugin, it’s growth over the past 1-2 years has been really amazing, so I’d recommend taking a look at our previous articles and comparing its usage in January 2015 vs now. Incredible changes.
- WP eStore: As this is a premium plugin (no free version available), tracking usage is a bit tough since you have to rely only on BuiltWith, there aren’t WordPress.org statistics. Something to bear in mind while you read these stats.
- MarketPress: This has both a free and a premium version of the plugin, so stats from BuiltWith track both of these versions, which makes accurately tracking usage for this a bit difficult as well. WordPress.org usage will only be tracking the free version of this plugin.
- Shopp: This one is still included in our tracking, but this hasn’t gotten much in the way of active development over the past couple years since founder / lead developer Jonathan Davis took a position at Apple.
- Jigoshop: Jigoshop was acquired by Proxar before our first dive into usage statistics, and while it’s still actively developed, it hasn’t gotten major feature updates in a bit, as version 2.0 has been in testing for almost a couple years.
- Cart66: This is another tough one to track, as Cart66 uses a hosted platform plus an integration plugin for WordPress to connect it to your store, and data varies widely between what BuiltWith says for the platform, and what WP.org says for the connector plugin.
- Ecwid: Also a hosted platform, but for this one, the WordPress.org statistics are probably better to reference, as Ecwid can be used on several kinds of sites, not just with WordPress.
- Exchange: There’s no tracking in BuiltWith for Exchange, so there’s nothing to compare WordPress.org statistics to.
- WP EasyCart: This lacks tracking on BuiltWith as well, so only WordPress.org stats are available.
Dropped from this year’s list is WP eShop, which is no longer available in the WordPress repository.
While that covers caveats from the tracking side of things, we should also be aware of pros and cons of BuiltWith and WordPress.org statistics as a whole.
A good question as we go over this data is, “Which one is better?” Unfortunately, there’s not a “right” answer there; each source has some positives and negatives to using it.
BuiltWith provides data on almost every eCommerce plugin, as it’s tracking these by scraping data from the site frontend / page source. This helps for plugins that aren’t available on WordPress.org. However, because it’s tracking all sites, it may be including duplicate or staging sites in its metrics. It also may be missing some sites that remove the identifying information for a plugin, so it’s hard to know if the missing vs duplicate sites “balance out”.
As for WordPress.org, this tracks active installations, and attempts to remove duplicate or staging sites from this data by paying attention to the site name or IP address. This process isn’t perfect, so there still may be duplicates here or other development sites that are included.
Once usage tops 1 million, WordPress.org stops displaying increases, so you don’t know if there are 1 million or 5 million sites using the plugin. I’m also not sure if the WordPress statistics track sites with the plugin installed, or installed and activated.
Using both can at least give us some insight into relative usage and the percent change in usage over time when we look at our previous data.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at current WordPress eCommerce plugin usage metrics.
For plugins listed below the divider in this table, remember we may have some trouble tracking them accurately (see notes below).
|Plugin||BuiltWith Total Sites||WP.org Total Sites|
|WooCommerce||1,590,594||over 1 million*|
|Easy Digital Downloads||34,295||50,000+|
|WP eStore||11,683||n/a (paid only)|
|WP EasyCart||not tracked||4,000+|
*WordPress.org only shows 1 million+ for any plugin with over 1 million installations, regardless of actual installation number.
**only includes the free version of the plugin, not the pro version as BuiltWith does
^ The statistics for Cart66 and Ecwid are included, but it should be noted that the BuiltWith statistics and WordPress.org are tracking different values. BuiltWith tracks all installations, and in the case of Ecwid, these could be non-WordPress sites. I’d trust the WordPress.org statistics more for these, as this number tracks the installs for the WP integration plugins for each, which better shows WordPress sites using these.
We’ll take a look at changes over time in these metrics shortly, but let’s take a look at marketshare first.
Within the data gathered from BuiltWith, there are 1,725,247 total sites being tracked using WordPress with an eCommerce plugin.
As we saw above, the majority of those sites are using WooCommerce, which is making up 92.2% of this count.
key — WooCommerce (87.5%)
key — WP eCommerce (2.1%)
key — Easy Digital Downloads (2.0%)
key — WP eStore (0.7%)
key — MarketPress (0.4%)
key — Shopp (0.3%)
key — Jigoshop (0.1%)
key — Cart66 (.28%)
key — Ecwid (2.0%)
Again, Cart66 and Ecwid may not be fully accurate here since we’re not sure about their BuiltWith statistics being accurate for WordPress sites, so that would influence this break down a bit and slant a higher marketshare towards WP eCommerce and EDD.
So while it’s obvious WooCommerce is taking up a large chunk of that pie, let’s see what the breakdown looks like if we remove it from the equation.
If we remove WooCommerce from the data set, we’re now looking at 134,652 sites tracked via BuiltWith.
We can see that the vast majority of sites use WP eCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, along with Ecwid. Again, however, this has all Ecwid sites tracked, so it’s probably a much lower percentage than we see here.
key — WP eCommerce (26.5%)
key — Easy Digital Downloads (25.5%)
key — WP eStore (8.7%)
key — MarketPress (6.0%)
key — Shopp (3.6%)
key — Jigoshop (1.5%)
key — Cart66 (3.5%)
key — Ecwid (25.1%)
To try to remove the overstated influence of hosted platforms in that breakdown, we can also look at the estimated 137,900 sites tracked by WordPress.org instead. This may be a bit more relevant, as it’s only tracking usage of WordPress plugins themselves, not the platform as a whole.
key — WP eCommerce (29.0%)
key — Easy Digital Downloads (36.3%)
key — MarketPress (3.6%)
key — Shopp (3.6%)
key — Jigoshop (7.3%)
key — Cart66 (0.65%)
key — Ecwid (14.5%)
key — Exchange (2.2%)
key — WP EasyCart (2.9%)
So in this light, we see that WP eCommerce and EDD are most likely eating up the large majority of non-WooCommerce sites.
Now the fun part: let’s see how WordPress eCommerce plugin usage has changed over the past year to see a percentage increase or decrease. We’ll take a look at BuiltWith data first, along with percentage change.
|Plugin||June 2015||Oct 2016||Change|
|Easy Digital Downloads||20,752||34,295||+67%|
The growth for both WooCommerce and EDD is pretty tremendous. WooCommerce has more than doubled usage, while EDD has picked up over 60% more sites since June 2016.
The rest of the WordPress eCommerce platforms are down in usage (and Ecwid again is tough to read, as we don’t know if that growth was within WordPress), but the WooCommerce growth has driven an increase in WordPress usage for eCommerce as a whole.
This most likely means that merchants who previously used other platforms could be migrating to WooCommerce or EDD instead, as other platforms have declining user bases.
We can also take a look at WordPress.org metrics, though these are estimated, and the data for WooCommerce isn’t as relevant (so I’m not going to add percentage change here).
|Plugin||June 2015||Oct 2016|
|WooCommerce||over 1,000,000||over 1,000,000|
|Easy Digital Downloads||40,000+||50,000+|
Before we wrap up, let’s throw one final, fun metric into play here. The usage for the Shopify WordPress connector plugin stands at 6,000+ installs according to WordPress.org. This would make Shopify one of the top eCommerce providers for WordPress as well, most likely behind WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, EDD, and Ecwid.
While eCommerce with WordPress is growing overall, this growth is definitely driven by WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, as the usage of many other plugins has declined in the past year.
WP eCommerce and Jigoshop haven’t had much active development within the past year, while Shopp has been inactive for some time, so this may contribute to the decrease we’re seeing.
WooCommerce being acquired by Automattic also most likely has some influence here, as it’s growth rate seems to have increased after the May 2015 acquisition (though we’d need better data to confirm this):