AdRoll – Technology Growth Award Winner

This post is part of a series looking at some of the fastest growing web technologies online today. Using BuiltWith data, we’ve highlighted a handful of companies who have all seen significant growth over the last twelve months (or more in many cases). Last time we took a closer look at Inspectlet. Today, it’s the turn of AdRoll.

BuiltWith AdRoll Infographic

AdRoll was launched in 2007 and is now the world biggest retargeting platform, serving more than 10,000 advertisers across the globe. Retargeting is a relatively new concept that’s been making it’s way into the online advertising mainstream over the last few years and is proving to be very effective.

Retargeting is all about keeping track of people who visit a site (usually an eCommerce store) and once they’ve left, displaying adverts to bring them back. AdRoll explain the process well here, where they identify that only around 2% of shoppers become customers on their first visit to an online store. Retargeting is used to bring back the 98% of people who didn’t buy first time around in an effort to increase sales.

AdRoll was formed in 2007 but didn’t go to market with their retargeting offering until 2009. In the early days, AdRoll saw retargeting as something they could offer to customers for free as an addon to their other products. However, when the team noticed that their relatively unknown retargeting product was performing well and generating interest, a change of focus brought retargeting to the fore.

When first venturing into the world of retargeting, AdRoll were very aware that responding well to customer feedback would be essential to build a successful platform. With a lot of experimentation and investment in R&D, AdRoll has been able to demonstrate the power of retargeting and has grown into the platform it is today. Now, on average, AdRoll retargeting customers earn $10 for every $1 they spend on retargeting.

Boasting a customer retention rate of 97% with some big players like Hipmunk and Udemy jumping on board, it’s no surprise that AdRoll has experienced sustained and significant growth for the last three years.

Amount of sites in each top site group using AdRoll over time.

Amount of sites in each top site group using AdRoll over time.

AdRoll HQ is in San Fransisco and the company also has an office in New York. Last year, with a huge increase in European business, AdRoll opened a base in Dublin, Ireland, and looks set for some significant expansion over 2014. It seems that there’s just no stopping AdRoll – the march on Australia is next!

All of the usage data used in this post and the infographic above has been provided by BuiltWith. You’ll find more AdRoll data here. To find out more about BuiltWith and the types of data on offer head over to view our Pro Features.



Inspectlet – Technology Growth Award Winner

Welcome to the first post in a series which celebrates some of the fastest growing web technologies out there today. Using BuiltWith data, we’ve highlighted a handful of companies who have all seen significant growth over the last twelve months (or more in many cases).

To kick off this series, let’s take a closer look at one of those rapidly growing technologies, Inspectlet.

Inspectlet is a web application which helps webmasters gain a deeper understanding of what their visitors are thinking during interactions with their website. By using eye tracking heatmaps, screen-capture (actual recordings of the screen during visitor sessions) and user-interaction analytics, Inspectlet gives webmasters a way to observe their visitors’ actions naturally.

The vision for Inspectlet was born back in the 2011, when founder Rachit Gupta set about helping web designers understand their visitors more effectively. He put a team together and in June of that year, the first version of Inspectlet was launched.

Fast forward to 2013 and Inspectlet is seeing some impressive growth. The usage numbers are still modest when compared with similar competing technologies, however, they are growing at quite a rate. As you can see from the usage trends chart below, Inspectlet has grown consistently month on month over the last year

Top million growth of Inspectlet for 2013

Top million growth of Inspectlet for 2013

One of the reasons for this growth might be because at the core of the vision for Inspectlet is the desire to make this technology widely available. In an interview from the early days, Rachit said: “I wanted to create a full user experience suite that’s affordable to everyone, because I think everyone should care about user experience the same way they care about traffic numbers.”. In practical terms, that translates into Inspectlet offering a more substantial free package than many other competing products on the market. Not only is this is a great way of encouraging webmasters to improve user experience by giving them access to valuable data, it also lets users give Inspectlet a real workout so they can make an informed decision about whether it’s suitable for their needs.

Inspectlet has been receiving positive reviews since its launch, and if the usage trend continues to grow as rapidly as it has this year, the future looks very bright for Rachit and the team.

All of the usage data used in this post and the infographic above has been provided by BuiltWith. For more Inspectlet data see our Inspectlet Trends, updated weekly.

For more information on BuiltWith and the types of data on offer see our Pro Features.

Memory Indexing

We added a new method of detecting what technologies websites are using by looking at loaded websites memory signature. It compliments our full index retrieval system to show what functions and variables are in memory when a web site has loaded.

In Memory Indexing

The biggest advantage this provides us is the ability to track technologies that are loaded from compressed javascript and/or 3rd party loaded javascript.

Take as an example, as of writing this we compress most of the JavaScript for the site into a single file called bw.min.js – hiding most of the attributes we’d use to be able to track technologies. Using this new technique we are able to find technologies that are loaded once the webpage has fully loaded. On our site alone it increases technology tracking coverage by 25%.

We’ve been doing in-memory indexing since September 2013 and tracking will be back-dated as we roll out this new tracking technique starting from today.

Moz study examines Technology Choices and Search Rankings

Our friends over at Moz recently performed a study into how technology choices affect Google Rankings.

They found there wasn’t much of a correlation, which is good news, imagine if using one hosting provider over another gave you some sort of unknown unfair advantage?

Moz Hosting Findings

Moz Hosting Provider Chart using BuiltWith Data

Checkout the findings over on the Moz Blog and a big thank you to Cyrus ShepardDr. Matthew Peters and the Moz team for researching and publishing this.

Technology Versioning Now Online

We’ve recently started to deepen our technology coverage of websites by providing versioning information for technologies where we can track them, in free lookups, Trends and Pro reports.

nginx sub-versions

nginx sub-version report on free lookups

We’ll also be backdating all of our technology coverage in Pro to the start of 2011 for this, so you can see what versions of software websites used at any particular point in time.

This also gives us the ability to offer insights such as -

  • What hosting providers used older versions of software
  • What companies are on the bleeding edge of software releases
  • How popular and how fast websites move from version to version
Sub version reports in trends.

Sub-version reports in trends.

Version Specific Reports will now appear on the parent technology (jQuery, Apache, nginx for example) we’ll update these numbers to reflect internet wide statistics in the coming weeks and also provide an interface to see how technology versioning changes over time.




BuiltWith Enterprise Admin Features

We’ve just added some new Enterprise features to the BuiltWith Pro product that we wanted to share here so we can direct potential Enterprise customers here in the future to see how they can administer their Enterprise accounts on BuiltWith Pro.

To access the admin interface select the “Admin” button on your Pro dashboard.

Manager Enterprise Accounts

Use the enable/disable accounts tab of enterprise tool to control who can access your Enterprise subscription. Providing the user has signed up with a domain that matches your corporate domain they will appear in your admin interface.

Enable accounts using this Enterprise admin interface.

Enable accounts using this Enterprise admin interface.

 Bulk Add Accounts

Save time by enabling multiple people within your organization at once. All new accounts will get password reset emails and be enabled on Enterprise right away. If they previously created an account it will be upgraded to Enterprise.

Bulk add accounts to your Enterprise Subscription.

Bulk add accounts to your Enterprise Subscription.

 Manager Administrators

Don’t be burdened with managing your Enterprise account yourself. You can elect other people within your organization to administer users.

Add managers to your Enterprise account.

Add managers to your Enterprise account.


Merchandise Management

All enterprise accounts get free merchandise for their team. Administrators can select the quantity and types of clothes they want for their team -

Select what you want for free!

Select what you want for free!

If you’ve got any questions about BuiltWith Enterprise please let us know we are happy to talk.

The Top 5 Most Popular eCommerce Platforms

In my last post, I began running through the top 10 most popular eCommerce platforms in use on the web today. In that post I started in tenth position, and covered all of the technologies in the bottom half of the list. In this post today, I’m going to resume the countdown and move from fifth to first, revealing the most prolific eCommerce technology online today.

To compile this list and to find out which websites are using each platform I’m digging into just some of the BuiltWith data. Feel free to have a look at the data for yourself, which covers much more than just the eCommerce platforms being presented here. For some of my research I’ve tapped into data available through BuiltWith Pro, which is even more revealing. You can find out more about that here.

So, without further ado, let’s pick up where we left off last time with the eCommerce platform in fifth position.


5 – osCommerce

osCommerce is one of the most popular open source shopping carts available online (although not the most popular, as we’ll see later). Built by a team of self professed geeks, this popular eCommerce platform has been running for over 12 years. In that time, hundreds of thousands of online stores have been created and various other products (including one that will feature further down in this list) have been based on the software.

The platform has enough features enabled by default for it to provide a complete “out of the box” solution, but osCommerce can also be enhanced and has a huge number of add-ons available. osCommerce is well regarded for being simple to implement for users setting up a fairly basic shopping cart, although it’s perhaps a little more difficult to modify the design and appearance of the cart than some of the other available platforms.

The image below shows osCommerce in action. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ubuntu would implement an open source eCommerce platform, and sure enough, they’ve gone for osCommerce.

Ubuntu Website


4 – WooCommerce

Next up is WooCommerce. This platform has been built specifically for WordPress users and promises to “transform your WordPress website into a thorough-bred ecommerce store for free.” WooCommerce is widely praised for being easy to use by store owners and customers alike. True to form for a WordPress based application, there are loads of themes to choose from to customize the look and feel of the store front.

Whilst the basic WooCommerce package is free, and really can be used straight “out of the box”, there are additional extensions which can be bought to add extra functionality. It’s likely that in many cases, the basic shipping options and few payment options aren’t enough and at least some of the extensions would make a worthwhile purchase.

Looking at the BuiltWith trends data for WooCommerce, this platform has to be one of the fastest growing eCommerce platforms out there. The number of websites in the top million sites using WooCommerce has roughly doubled in the last six months.

The image below shows WooCommerce put to good use on the sewing blog and store Sew Mama Sew.

Mama Sew


3 – Magento

In the bronze medal position is Magento, the eBay owned eCommerce platform. Magento comes in three different flavours, two of which are paid versions tailored towards either small or mid-large size businesses and the third is a free open source Community Edition. Perhaps more well suited to larger stores, Magento is a powerful platform with a strong reputation.

Looking at the trends data for Magento, this is another technology that’s becoming more and more popular. Magento is slowly but surely closing in on the top two spots.

Magento is being implemented by all kinds of stores all over the web. Perhaps the biggest brand using Magento is Walmart, who are using Magento to power their liquidation auctions store as you can see in the image below.

Walmart Liquidations


2 – Zen Cart

It’s getting serious now, we’re into the top 2. The second most popular eCommerce platform on the web today is Zen Cart.  Yet another open source software package, the heritage of Zen Cart is the same as osCommerce discussed above in fifth position. The Zen Cart development line split from osCommerce back in 2003 when new architectural changes were made to the code, although the two platforms still share a range of features. As with most open source software, Zen Cart is distributed under a GNU General Public License, which means it’s free for anyone to use, change or modify.

Whilst powerful and popular, Zen Cart is another platform packed with features that might be intimidating to someone looking to quickly set up a simple eCommerce store. Having said that, there is a range of different training materials and support out there.

In the image below you can see Zen Cart in full flow on



1 – VirtueMart

The most popular eCommerce platform on the web today is VirtueMart. It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is yet another open source platform. VirtueMart is an eCommerce platform build on the Joomla! content management system (meaning Joomla! must also be used on any eCommerce store using VirtueMart).

Whilst VirtueMart is free to use, there are a whole load of additional extensions that can be bought to enhance the look, feel or functionality of a a store. The platform has a good reputation and has enough features for most stores without needing to change too much.

However, not everyone is convinced by the power of VirtueMart. As you’d expect from an open source platform, the support isn’t at the same level as you’d want from a paid-for package. WooCommerce (currently sitting in fourth position) released a case study earlier this year explaining why one of their users had moved from VirtueMart to their platform. In there they mentioned support as one of their biggest gripes (although you could argue that there isn’t much incentive for the case study to present VirtueMart in a totally balanced light).

The quality of VirtueMart stores is quite low, it could be considered an e-commerce relic with many newer solutions offering easier to integrate functionality. It’s growth doesn’t match some of the competing products though, so it may only be a matter of time before it’s knocked off the top spot. To see it in action, VirtueMart provides the backbone for the store on, a board game store.



Wrapping Up

So there you have it, the top ten most popular eCommerce platforms on the web today. If you’d like to get your hands on detailed, customized reports on all of these eCommerce technologies and more, BuiltWith Pro might be for you. Have a look at what’s on offer with a Pro account here.

Global eCommerce Sales Trends

Today we’re pleased to launch a whole new section of BuiltWith called BuiltWith eCommerce. We are now providing global eCommerce volume and sales trends as well as access to lists of eCommerce stores from over 1.7 million eCommerce categorized businesses.

Our volume and sales trends data is sourced from over 100,000 participating online shopping stores and for the first time ever, lets you see and track international eCommerce volume.

This chart shows relative global shopping volume change across multiple ecommerce regions.

This chart shows relative global shopping volume change across multiple ecommerce regions between October and November 2013

Basic and Pro customers of BuiltWith can download lists of eCommerce categorized websites, as well as apply the same analysis functionality that BuiltWith provides for technology based lists. So for example, you could generate a list of all clothing stores in the US and then create a sub-list of all of the Magento stores in this list, or all of the stores using a premium EV SSL certificate.

A sample of British clothing based stores

A sample of British clothing based stores

Visit BuiltWith eCommerce here and please send us any questions or comments you may have, we love feedback.

The Most Popular Ecommerce Platforms On The Web

Over recent years the internet has made it easier for producers and suppliers to reach new and existing customers with their products. This is the age of the online store. Because of this massive opportunity, there are a whole host of platforms competing to provide the foundations of the online stores we all know and love.

I’ve been having a look through the BuiltWith data on ecommerce technologies (of which there is a lot!) and thought it’d be interesting to highlight the top 10 ecommerce platforms in use on the web today. This is most definitely a congested market, with lots of companies all vying to provide the backbone of online stores, big and small, around the world. Using the BuiltWith data, I’ll pick out one or two examples of the stores that use each technology so we can see each of the ecommerce platforms in action. Over this post and the next I’m going to run through the top ten most popular ecommerce platforms.

Today, let’s look at the technology sitting in the bottom half of the top 10 list.


10 – Etsy

In the number ten spot is Etsy. More commonly known as a website in it’s own right, than an ecommerce technology used around the web, Etsy is a platform which allows users to set up stores to sell their handmade and vintage goods. Etsy has grown and grown over the last few years and their home page receives over 1.5 billion page views each month. The reason Etsy is appearing in this list though, is because Etsy offer their store owners a widget that can be embedded into their own web pages. There are over 800,000 store owners on Etsy (that was a year ago, and it’s definitely grown since then) so there are a lot of potential users of their shopping widget. Integrating the widget on your page won’t give you the freedom of most of the other ecommerce platforms but it’s a simple, quick and easy way to start selling straight away (as long as you want to sell items that fall within those allowed by Etsy).

Frugally Sustainable is an example of one of the bigger sites using the Etsy plugin. As you can see from the image below, this sustainability blog is using the plugin to sell handmade herbal and natural goodies.

Etsy Plugin


9 – UberCart

Next up is Ubercart. This open source ecommerce package fully integrates an online store front with Drupal and has been designed to allow developers to add or alter Ubercart features to fit in with virtually any ecommerce need. Ubercart boasts that it’s the most popular Drupal ecommerce platform and supports the sale of physical products, digital downloads and also subscription based billing. Despite it’s strong features, Ubercart has a bit of a reputation for being quite difficult to set up and work with. A lack of documentation is identified by some as Ubercart’s biggest problem, which is a shame since it’s clearly a powerful ecommerce solution when it’s up and running.

In the image below Ubercart is put to good use on, the online home of North America’s oldest continuously published periodical.



8 – BigCommerce

In eighth position is Big Commerce. This shopping cart has been growing steadily for years now and seems to be continuing the trend. Packed with features, this platform has built quite a reputation for being highly customizable and user friendly.

BigCommerce has several pricing options which means that, to the annoyance of some, one or two of the most prized features are not included with the cheaper packages. It’s hardly a surprise that this solid platform would upsell to it’s users with the promise of even more useful features though. Any ecommerce platform worth it’s salt should be doing just that. It’s clear that this popular shopping cart is doing things right, and its number of users is growing month on month.

One of the bigger sites using Big Commerce is PetaPixel, the popular photography blog. In the image below you can see Big Commerce fully integrated with the site, offering an attractive store front.




ECShop is another open source ecommerce platform. Whilst quite popular with sites from across the entire web, the use of ECShop is all but non existent on bigger websites. Written in Chinese and with a unknown reputation outside of Asia, there are probably more suitable ecommerce platforms out there for readers of this post.

Nevertheless, here is ECShop in action on



6 – Shopify

Shopify is in sixth position. This ecommerce platform is looking to be the one stop shop for anyone wanting to set up an ecommerce store. Shopify make their position quite clear on their website where they offer “All the features you want, none of the clutter. Shopify handles all the hassles of online retail.”

Powering over 60,000 stores, Shopify has really accelerated it’s growth since 2011 and the trend doesn’t look like it’s slowing down. It’s user-friendly interface with plenty of templates has been crafted to be used by merchants themselves instead of developers or designers. Shopify has a good reputation and is especially well regarded by people who have used it to set up new online stores.

Shopify powers the ecommerce parts of quite a few popular sites including InstructablesBritannica and National Review. It’s clearly a powerful solution, and is the preferred platform of many ecomerce store holders. In the image below, you can see Shopify in action on yet another popular site: Github.



Wrapping Up

So that brings us to the half way point in the list of the top 10 most popular ecommerce platforms on the web today. If you’d like a sneak preview of the technologies I’ll be looking at next time, check out the BuiltWith Trends data. In my next post I’ll be breaking into the top 5 and looking at the really big players in the ecommerce technology market.

If you’d like to get your hands on detailed, customized reports on all of these ecommerce technologies and more, BuiltWith Pro might be for you. Have a look at what’s on offer with a Pro account here.

Introducing Competitor Comparison

Competitor comparison is a new customer acquisition tool in BuiltWith Pro that lets you compare technologies on a week to week basis back to January 2011.

Access competitor comparison on your Pro dashboard by selecting the “create new report” button.

What does it let me do?

  • See which websites are moving between competitors on a weekly basis
  • See who is trialing a competitor product
  • See which technologies are increasing their global market share quicker than others

But that’s not all, the competitor comparison system is broken down into separate parts, which includes an overview section which provides an idea of how many active websites we are tracking in total for the group of technologies you have selected -

Active website for technologies in our live system.

Active websites for technologies in our live system.

This gives you an idea of how many websites a group of competitors have as a total of the entire market share. One of the use cases of this is determining if a technology is growing at a slower rate than the market itself.

The customer movement trends tab shows the amount of websites that made full switches between the competitors, as in, they stopped using one technology and started using another one.

Net gain or loss to competitors over time.

Net gain or loss to competitors over time.

This chart can be used to determine which competitors are taking your customers away.

The customer movement lists tab shows the actual websites that are moving between the groups. This lets you create a live view of where customers are moving between and with one click of the create report button you can get the full report on technology movement between technology providers. You can also create crossover technologies (i.e. websites trialing other providers) by modifying the technology start and end dates on the report once it is created.

The actual sites moving between competitors.

The actual sites moving between competitors.

If you’ve got any queries of questions about BuiltWith Competitor Comparison please contact us we’re happy to help.