The Challenge of Store Systems: Winners, Losers, and Quirks

Despite the increasing importance of marketplaces for sales, a company’s own online stores remain an important pillar of e-commerce for several reasons. On one hand, they serve as a very personal figurehead, and on the other hand, less profit has to be handed over to third-party providers.

The E-Commerce Berlin Expo (EBE) and GFM Nachrichten have therefore taken a closer look at which platforms for setting up an online store are successful on the market. The fact that there is no universal answer to the right solution becomes clear when looking at market shares, which can differ significantly depending on the approach.

According to an EHI/Statista study evaluated by iBusiness, the top 1,000 German B2C stores in 2020 relied primarily on Magento (12.2%), although the trend was clearly downward. It is therefore quite conceivable that Shopware (11.5%) is now also number one in this area. It was followed by Salesforce (7.1%), Oxid EShop (6.5%) and SAP Commerce Cloud (4.3%). However, almost 40% of the store systems used could not be clearly identified, which makes for a fairly high number of unreported cases.

Shopify challenger

In more up-to-date figures on the overall market, the Covid-19 pandemic is clearly noticeable. While the data collected by Built With is not perfectly conclusive in this regard, as it also takes into account inactive stores and the smallest e-commerce applications, it nevertheless points to certain trends.

For example, Shopify’s install base has increased dramatically over the past two years, which presumably now makes it the frontrunner in terms of number of installs. This is understandable because Shopify is comparatively easy to set up as well as operate, which made it the first choice for many smaller merchants. In contrast, the challenger, BigCommerce, which already offers a broader range of functions and a similarly structured subscription model, has a comparatively small presence in Germany.

Here, the E-Commerce Berlin Expo exhibitor waives additional transaction fees when using certain payment methods. It is also superior to the native Shopify in setting up discounts, the flexibility of custom URLs, and the selection of item options, among other things.

Active during the pandemic

Other popular entry-level store systems such as Wix and the WordPress plugin, WooCommerce, benefited significantly less than Shopify from the e-commerce boom, according to figures from Built With. Here, Shopware (also represented at EBE) apparently had more success with its active advance.

For example, the company put together a solution package with various digitization offers for distressed merchants and waived their fees for a few months. The future of the system seems more than secure in this regard: on one hand, investment manager Carlyle and payment service provider PayPal invested a total of $100 million in growth capital in the company at the beginning of the year, and on the other, the software manufacturer is now additionally bringing all its solutions to the cloud.

Among the winners of the pandemic is also ePages, which offered active help to merchants too. Small store owners affected by government-imposed restrictions were able to secure their own free online stores via partner Payone as well as savings banks, which some certainly continued to operate later on, ePages is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized businesses looking for easy entry into the online economy. Through the pre-installed payment processing of Stripe, the payment aspect is now also excellently covered.

Would you like to learn more about the advantages of various store systems and find out whether or not they are suitable for your purpose? Then make a note of February 23, 2023 – on this date, numerous exhibitors and speakers will be waiting for visitors to the E-Commerce Berlin Expo (EBE) in Berlin.