Lot’s of people like to tell you that WooCommerce powers 42% of e-commerce stores on the internet.
It’s not true.
I spend a fair bit of my time consuming e-commerce related media. Nobody is talking about WooCommerce. Maybe it’s just confirmation bias on my part. I tried using it for Spielpro.com, but didn’t like how much time I needed to spend trying to make it perform. Despite that, WooCommerce is a stable e-commerce platform that is popular and free. I just don’t think it is a pervasive as POWERING 42% of e-commerce.
Anyways, curiosity got the best of me, today I decided to reach out to BuiltWith and ask them how they came up with the number.
Here’s how Gary Brewer from BuiltWith explained it.
We’ve just added a new method for WooCommerce called ‘WooCommerce Add To Cart’ that will start to populate next week – we might move WooCommerce to Ecommerce (non-platform) shortly because what has happened over the years is theme developers have built WordPress themes with WooCommerce compatibility – the WC signals are still in the code for non-ecommerce sites and I personally think it’s over counting for that reason.
Just because a site is enabled for e-commerce, it doesn’t mean people are actually using it to power any e-commerce. Lots of people download free software like WordPress. Lot’s of people download themes and plugins for WordPress. And the little bots that scrape the internet while we sleep are only looking for bits of code that identify something as WooCommerce. They are not asking if the person is actually using the site for e-commerce.
So, 42% of bullshit is bullshit..right?
Kind of. The number is not bad, it’s just the way people are using it.
Does the large usage of WordPress mean that lots people are near WooCommerce infrastructure. Yes.
Is that market you can serve to make money? Yes.
Is WooCommerce powering 42% of e-commerce stores. No.
So quit it. Quit using that number. And don’t get me started on the inflated WordPress metrics. Does Uncle Bob’s site from 2001 that has one post and two comments really count as WordPress usage?