Best Shopping Carts Compared: What are the Top 5 eCommerce Platforms for 2022?

Choosing the best eCommerce platform is not an easy task for any online business.

If you are an eCommerce beginner, this process is even more complicated and stressful.

But it's also not an easy decision for the established online businesses hoping to take their webshop to the next level by moving to a better eCommerce platform.  

For those who do not know me, I work at SIA Central Europe (at FirstData / Fiserv before that), and eCommerce transaction processing is my bread, butter and tofu.

Here is the truth about most online eCommerce platforms comparisons:

There is a lot of content and studies on the internet comparing top shopping carts, and explaining (mostly from a biased perspective, or based on theory) what are the 5 online platforms for eCommerce you should be using in 2022.

So that's why I wanted to shed some light on this topic from a completely different perspective.

Let me explain,

Instead of analyzing the top 10 or 20 eCommerce platforms and comparing their capabilities, pros and cons head to head, I have decided to take a different approach.

Instead, I will turn to big data and data-geek-friends at W3Techs to see what the raw, unbiased internet usage statistics show.

In order to keep things simple, I have eliminated all but the top 5 most used eCommerce platforms.

Namely, the top 5 most popular online platforms for eCommerce are Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and PrestaShop.

Let's see how each of the top 5 stands and if one (or more) is actually ahead of the pack.

So let's dive right in.

The eCommerce Platform Market Share Statistics

As shown in the graph below, the data clearly reveals that high-traffic online businesses prefer Magento and Shopify over WooCommerce.

Obviously, there’s a reason for that.

On the other hand, WooCommerce is used on more websites in total.

And there’s a reason for that as well.

best ecommerce platform comparison chart

On top of everything, in the last 12 months, WooCommerce usage grew from 6.7% to 8.7% (Source: W3Techs Dec 7th, 2021.).

That's more than Magento, Shopify, PrestaShop, OpenCart, and BigCommerce combined.

So does such a rapid growth rate indicate WooCommerce is much better than all the other online shopping platforms?

Might be.

Or is there something else at play?

I'll get to that in a minute.

It's clear that according to data, WooCommerce is the most popular and certainly one of the best ecomm shopping cart software available today.

You could argue that comparing Woocommerce with Magento or other leading ecomm platforms is similar to comparing apples to oranges. Or iPhone to Samsung, where the final choice is subjective and largely depends on personal preference or actual needs.

If you fast rewind 40 years back, there was a similar example: comparing VHS vs. Beta - for those old enough to remember the epic battle of VideoTape formats in the eighties.

Well, the last example reminded me that the advantage in product capabilities or superior technical specs don't always determine the winner (Spoiler alert for those who do not remember: VHS won the war over superior Sony's Beta).

The conclusion is that the best, winning product does not have to be superior in all aspects. Massive product popularity can bring things that might be more important for users - like widespread acceptance, support, and a constantly growing list of accessories.

Got it? Great, let’s continue.

WooCommerce Market Domination Explained

Let's go back to our WooCommerce story. Why is Woo so popular?

Due to wast majority of supporting themes, addons, and plugins? Or because of the huge developer community and support?

Well, it is all true. But I think the main reason behind WooCommerce success lies in the fact that it is technically dependent on its mother platform - WordPress.

And for those who are not aware - WordPress is powering more than 43% of the whole web!

So it’s no surprise why WooCommerce dominates the eCommerce market, considering the sheer volume of WordPress websites.

Actually in the last 12 months, WordPress grew from 39% to 43% market share.

That's 3x the growth of Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace combined (Source: W3Techs Dec 7th, 2021).

Best eCommerce Platform: Final Thoughts

The data is clearly showing that many online businesses have chosen WooCommerce for building their online storefront.

It doesn't imply that Woo is the best ecommerce platform, but it certainly is the most popular.

And the reasons behind such huge popularity are quite practical. Not only it's entirely free and open-source shopping cart software, but it also offers a certain advantage for those who want the latest functionalities but do not have their own team of in-house (or freelance) developers.

With tons of already available extensions and plugins to further extend your webshop capabilities, only a small number of merchant would not directly benefit from using such a customizable online platform.

So to conclude:

For those just starting out with eCommerce - you cannot be wrong if you follow the pack and start selling online today using WooCommerce.

What about those who already managed to grow their traffic and bring online sales to a new level, and are seeking a more advanced eCommerce platform that will better fit their needs?

Well, many high-traffic merchants who have chosen Shopify or Magento can't be wrong, so it might be worth looking into those two platforms in more detail, until you choose the one that fits you best.

What do you think?

Sources used in this article (December 7th 2021):


Author: Drasko Georgijev

I'm a financial technology professional with 15+ years of experience in payment cards, eCommerce, transaction processing and switching.
From time to time, I'm sharing some helpful tips, tactics, and news about Digital Commerce and Fintech.
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