PayPal, Pinterest, and everything in between — an online store analysis

When was the last time you bought something online? Chances are it’s not that long ago. In the United States 79% of consumers buys products through the Internet, and in Europe 68% of consumers shops online. Those are some pretty big numbers — they make it no surprise that the eCommerce industry is on the rise. Trillions of dollars make their way through sites selling products each year and it looks like that number will only grow.

At we collect a lot of data from eCommerce websites all around the world, so we thought we’d have a closer look at some of their characteristics.

America First

With 29 percent of all online stores, the United States is a dominant player in the industry. They are followed by Germany with 10 percent of all eCommerce sites and China where we find 8 percent of all e-retail. A look at continent-level shows a slightly different picture: Europe is in the lead with almost half of all online stores based in one of its countries and North America follows with a 35 percent share.

The in-house developed shopping cart

Platforms like Magento, WooCommerce and Shopify make it possible for anyone to open an online store. The ready-made eCommerce solutions are gaining popularity with the big crowds. We currently find Shopify in 11 percent of all online stores and WooCommerce in 10 percent of all eCommerce sites we indexed. They are, however, not as widespread as in-house developed systems to accommodate online shopping. Our data on shopping cart systems shows that 27 percent of digital shops uses an unidentifiable cart. This frequently means that these websites have developed something themselves.

PayPal still reigns the market

There are few surprises when it comes to the payment methods that are available in online stores. The big players in the market dominate: PayPal (70 percent), VISA (56 percent) and MasterCard (47 percent). Then there are some odd ducklings in the list of most used payment methods. One of those is Bitcoin, currently available in 5 percent of all eCommerce sites. Others are national payment solution like the Dutch iDeal (5 percent) and the German Sofurtuberwerung (3 percent).

Payment methods in online stores (source:

Shopping through social media

There are multiple social media platforms that can really benefit eCommerce websites. They can use for example Facebook to get in touch with potential customers and add the ‘buy button’ the advertisements on the platform to have a positive impact on their sales. Inspite of this, social media is not that popular with online store owners at the moment. Just under 40 percent of e-retail websites has connected their store to Facebook. These numbers are even smaller for Twitter (21 percent), Instagram (19 percent) and Pinterest (8 percent).

We could soon see a shift in this social media strategy though. A recent study by eMarketer states that Instagram is testing new advertisements that should convince the large number of young users on the platform. This can also make the photo-sharing application more attractive for eCommerce owners.

Let’s get technical

We are slowly moving away from our desktop computer to go shopping and prefer using our mobile phone. The mCommerce industry now accounts for 60 percent of all eCommerce — making it essential for online stores to offer a mobile version to their customers. Luckily website owners who focus on e-retail have also understood this shift, just under 80 percent of them has optimized their website for mobile shopping.

Another technical feature that is increasingly needed to convince shoppers is the inclusion of product videos on your website. Whether it is a model showing how a skirt moves or a quick demonstration of how a product works. Video viewing is quickly becoming one of the main activities of Internet users everywhere, so it would be wise if eCommerce websites follow this trend. However, just over 3 percent of online stores currently offers videos on their site. There is a lot to be gained on this front in the coming year.

What’s next?

There are plenty of trend articles when it comes to the eCommerce industry. They predict that chatbots will take over online stores, that everyone will start using voice commands and that digital retailers need to take an omnichannel approach.

We have decided to leave our crystal ball at home for this one, but will keep a keen eye on the developments in online stores and keep you updated in the future.

If you would like more information on our data regarding eCommerce websites, contact us via

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