One of the attendees of our Austin WooCommerce meetup asked a simple question, “What percentage of online stores are built on the WooCommerce platform?” Easy peasy — Even though the new, not so improved WordPress.org plugin directory removed the ‘Active installs’ stat a while ago —Bless their hearts… I hit the WooCommerce home page thinking that surely they would feature an exact number of WooCommerce downloads prominently displayed…OK, not so much.
Before we dive into comparative numbers, let’s state right up front, you shouldn’t let the popularity of one software solution over another be a determining factor in your choice. Your stated defined specifications for your eStore, now and the near future should be you decision-driver. That said it is good to look at industry trends and build a sense of what platform your competition is using
Everyone and their pet wombat know that WordPress powers over 30% of the web development market..but what about their purple-haired step-child, WooCommerce?
Builtwith offered the clearest description of eCommerce Usage Distribution in the Top 1 Million Sites using eCommerce technologies. According to Builtwith, as of December 2018, of the top 1 million sites, 21% of the web uses WooCommerce to power their stores. That’s followed in second by Shopify at 18%. The graphic chart is very helpful and shows the current market share at a glance.
Buried in the data was interesting sales trend. WooCommerce is an amazingly powerful and flexible eCommerce Platform, but no one would ever describe it as user-friendly for beginners.
The Shopify platform, on the other hand, is a ‘Point and Click’ wonder that invites beginners to open a store, add product and sell. However, Shopify has some specific, immutable limitations, not found on the WooCommerce platform.
When you examine the data there is a definite crossover point. There are more beginners learning the eCommerce game on Shopify, but the experienced eTailers tend to move to the WooCommerce platform when the needs of their online businesses expand.
You can understand why, when you examine the two very different ways WooCommerce and Shopify create and manage your online store.
How is WooCommerce stacking up against Shopify
WooCommerce is self-hosted. That means your store’s files are located on your own server and you’re free to modify everything on your store as you see fit. With almost unlimited choices comes flexibility and a level of complication that is not beginner-friendly.
Shopify is hosted, meaning Shopify is a Saas (software as a service) and manages the eCommerce software for you. Shopify has a limited number and type of changes you are allowed to make on your store’s site. That is why Shopify is easy for beginners, complicated is off the table. These are constraints that you won’t encounter on WooCommerce.
For more eCommerce market share information visit https://kinsta.com/wordpress-market-share/