Retail businesses are moving online in growing numbers. 

Compared to Q4 2013, last quarter’s US online sales rose 14.6 percent to a staggering $79.6 billion dollars. This accounted for 6.7 percent of the total US retail sales market. Major trends fueling this growth include the proliferation of mobile devices, faster online checkout flows and improved fulfillment practices.

The availability of open source e-commerce platforms is helping some offline business with the move online. Much like WordPress provides free, customizable CMS solutions, popular open source e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and PrestaShop offer a variety of pre-built templates and plugins that DIY retailers can customize to build and grow an online business from scratch.

To get a feel for the size of this trend, here’s a current snapshot of the top providers and number of websites they power.

Leaders of the Pack


According to Datanyze, a company that tracks popular technology providers across over 40 million websites, WooCommerce and Magento lead the pack powering 335,534 and 149,646 websites around the globe respectively. Looking at the data, these two platforms are growing fast, pulling in more than 78,000 websites combined in the last 12 months.


This rapid growth has solidified Magento and WooCommerce as leading providers in the open source e-commerce market, accounting for at least two thirds of the total market share across all website Alexa rank ranges. Here’s a current look at the open source e-commerce market as a whole, including data on five other notable providers.

Learning Opportunities


A Closer Look at WooCommerce vs. Magento

According to the above chart, WooCommerce appears more popular with lower trafficked e-commerce shops, owning roughly 48 percent of the market share across all 40+ million websites. By contrast, Magento has a strong hold on higher trafficked websites, including roughly 38 percent market share across the Alexa 1 million and approximately 48 percent across the Alexa 10,000.

When looking now at the annual revenue of websites powered by WooCommerce and Magento, a similar trend emerges.

According to the below chart, it appears that companies making between $0-10 million in annual revenue prefer WooCommerce as their e-commerce solution, while companies making over $100 million prefer Magento. Note that the $10-100 million revenue range is fairly even -- perhaps this is where these two providers compete the most.


Looking to the Future

With US e-commerce sales expected to reach $414 billion by 2018, the adoption of open source e-commerce platforms is also predicted to rise. Looking ahead, it will be important to consider the following questions when analyzing the growth and maturation of this market:

  1. Will Magento and WooCommerce continue to dominate or will a third player like PrestaShop or OpenCart emerge?
  2. Will Magento or WooCommerce look to make a play on the $10-100 million revenue market? How will this affect market shares?
  3. How will the top open source e-commerce platforms fare against top hosted e-commerce providers like Shopify and BigCommerce?