It's official! Magento is America's most popular shopping cart software
Regardless of whether you call it shopping cart software, eCommerce solution, or online store builder, the fact remains that Magento is by far the most popular way to build an eCommerce website in the U.S.
So if you're looking to start an online store, and want an eCommerce software solution that is widely used, well supported, highly rated, and super popular, then Magento is the answer.
And I can prove it!
Is the most popular shopping cart the best?
Before we look at the data, it's important to note that being the most popular shopping cart software does not necessarily make you the best - although it is a strong indicator.
And, "the best" is also a relative term - because the individual needs of your business may be best suited by eCommerce packages from any of the top eCommerce website builders.
In fact, I written several posts that analyze important features (i.e. SEO, mobile, etc) of the leading shopping carts. Check out:
- Which shopping cart software has the best SEO?
- The 3 best shopping carts for mobile eCommerce (m-commerce)
With that said, the eCommerce industry is fairly well established, so it is not really in dispute that Magento's success closely correlates to the value and quality of its offerings.
In fact, you can be assured of high quality in all the leading shopping cart solutions.
Most popular shopping cart software
In order to determine which eCommerce platform is the most popular, I turned to Google Insights (Trends). While Google trends may not necessarily have fine-grained accuracy, to a scientific degree, it is certainly good enough to draw strong conclusions.
My assumption for asserting that Magento is the most popular shopping cart software in the U.S. is the following:
"A product, business, or brand name that is more popular will generate a larger volume of organic search over time."
In a nutshell, the more popular you are in real life, the more people will search for you by name in Google.
You are welcome to disagree with this assumption and provide your reasoning in the comments. I think that, in general, this assumption holds up well.
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Google trends & the most popular shopping cart software
Here's what the Google trends graph for five of the leading eCommerce platforms looks like:
Combining the above graph with other data (taken from the forum question What is the most popular eCommerce software (shopping carts)?):
|Rank||Shopping cart||Search volume||Alexa rank|
|2||Shopify||60 500||2 633|
|3||Volusion||33 100||3 439|
|4||BigCommerce||18 100||4 975|
|5||Pinnacle Cart||2 400||35 004|
We can see that Alexa and Google AdWords correlate with the Google Trends data - which is good (although Alexa can only be used as a very rough guide).
However, it's also worth noting that Magento is not necessarily the same thing as Magento Go - Go is the hosted eCommerce version of Mangento.
Check out How popular is Yahoo's hosted eCommerce solution? for a comparison with Magento Go alone.
Analysis of Google Trends for the leading shopping carts
There are a number of interesting points to note about the Google trends data, and how it relates to the different eCommerce platforms (at the time of writing):
- there is a general upward search trend for shopping cart software
- Shopify has experienced the fastest recent growth
- Data is for the U.S alone, and is not necessarily representative of global popularity (e.g. where the race between Volusion and BigCommerce, for third and fourth place, is much closer)
What is interesting is that, taken globally, Magento actually increases its lead over the other platforms - to the extent where it dwarfs them completely.
Advantages of building a site with popular shopping cart software
There are a few advantages that any online store owner derives from going with the leading eCommerce platform:
- Better economies of scale - lead to more competitive pricing
- More resources for development - leading to a better sales platform
- Larger community - for support, custom development and networking
However, just because Magento is the biggest doesn't mean the others are small. Far from it. In fact, Shopify has a unique marketing angle that may well continue to accelerate its growth and put it in a position to challenge Magento.
Shopify encourages developers to build online stores, and sell these on to clients as customized, fully developed stores. The developer then takes a cut of the monthly fees received by Shopify.
This gives Shopify an army of incentivized, knowledgeable sales people, and a customer base that takes possession of already operational eCommerce sites. A marketing tactic that appears to be helping it gain popularity.
Cost comparison of the leading shopping cart software solutions
Remember that all of these leading eCommerce platforms provide free trials, or money back guarantees. But, you are looking at the following monthly costs to operate your online store:
|Rank||Shopping cart||Pricing (monthly)|
While there are substantial variations in the pricing for each of the starting packages, it's important to understand that you get different things from each one. It's worthwhile exploring all your options to find the one that is best for your online business.
Are you using one of these platforms to run an online store? Have you used more than one of these platforms recently? Share your experiences and tips for choosing an eCommerce software solution in the comments.
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