WooCommerce Powers 42% of All Online Stores

Last week Automattic published its annual “Year in Review” stats, including WooCommerce stats for the first time since the company acquired Woo in 2015. As of December, there are 1,594,894 active stores using WooCommerce and roughly 1/3 of those (530,000) are new in 2016.

One of the most exciting areas of growth is WooCommerce’s global market share. Although both the Year in Review post and the WooCommerce website have the software at 39%, Builtwith stats show WooCommerce powers 42% of all online stores. This is a huge leap from 30% a year and a half ago, when it was acquired.

WooCommerce market share is even higher in emerging markets like India (55% among stores using the .IN extension) and Mexico (56% among stores using the .MX extension).

WooCommerce in 2017: Evolving Storefront for Independent Stores

In May 2016, WooCommerce introduced WC Connect, its new Automattic-hosted SaaS architecture built on the WP REST API that makes it easier for users to add and configure store features. Real-time USPS shipping rates for US-based stores is the first of many planned hosted components. Version 2.6 introduced the new Shipping Zones feature and an updated design for account pages. In 2016, WooCommerce also released its Square integration to sync online and offline purchases and inventory.

The plan for 2017, according to the Year in Review summary, is to continue making setup and scaling easier. At WordCamp US I asked Matt Mullenweg, CEO of Automattic, what he looks for in a buying experience and how he hopes to bring that to WooCommerce.

“When I buy from an independent store online, I’m looking for it to be as friction-free as possible,” Mullenweg said. “I don’t want a lot of steps. I don’t want it to force me to register if I don’t want to. I don’t want the form to error out in weird ways – anything that breaks my trust. When I visit a website to buy something, how a site looks can increase or decrease my trust.”

WooCommerce’s official Storefront theme, which is active on more than 80,000 stores, plays an important part in shaping the buying experience for millions of customers. Mullenweg said Storefront has a lot of potential for improvement.

“With the Storefront theme there’s actually a lot we can do there to make it look like a really cool store out of the box, much like the default themes in WordPress,” Mullenweg said. “Part of the reason we change them every year is what was cool in 2012 is not cool in 2017. Fashions change, trends change. I think Woo should evolve Storefront in the same way. There’s kind of a look for independent stores right now. They’ve got a certain vibe. Let’s make it easy to do that vibe, so that you don’t have to be on Etsy or Amazon or one of the e-commerce monoliths to keep people coming to you and supporting your product.”

Mullenweg said there are features in the power packs and add-ons that could be good candidates for building into Storefront. The theme launched in 2014 and since that time has made mostly gradual improvements. The last major design improvements were released last May in version 2.0, but many store owners opt for a child theme if they want more extensive design changes to Storefront.

If WooCommerce market share continues to grow at the same rate, it could easily pass 50% of all online stores in 2017. With 53 meetups scattered across the globe – from Tokyo to Mumbai to Vancouver, the plugin is embracing the community factor that has made WordPress a success.

“I think both Jetpack and WooCommerce individually could each be bigger than WordPress.com,” Mullenweg said. “They’re both smaller than WordPress.com right now but I think each on their own could be several times larger. There are multi-billion dollar opportunities in both, so that’s what we’re working on.”


12 responses to “WooCommerce Powers 42% of All Online Stores”

  1. That is pretty amazing news – we’ve been thoroughly impressed with WooCommerce when we’ve used it on some small business ecommerce sites, the extensibility is awesome… if the client asks for a feature there seems to always be a plugin in existence to deliver it.

  2. The guys have really done a great job with WooCommerce. Instead of becoming more bloated instead they are slimming it down and improving performance which is always a concern with an online store.

    I recently did some load testing of WooCommerce and the results were not what most would imagine. It is extremely fast and light, you can see that here:


    Obviously this is a best case scenario and one people start packing it full of plugins, bloated themes etc it will slow down. But a good idea of what it is capable of.

    2017 should be a huge year for WooCommerce!

  3. I’m impressed by how well WooCommerce has evolved since using prior to the Automattic acquisition. If the platform can have integration with ChannelAdvisor, that would be icing on the already beautiful WP cake! :)

  4. Yep, I’m pretty happy with WooCommerce. I’ve started working with this tremendous Ecommerce platform recently for some of my clients and it’s been a great experience, so far.

    It is a very powerful gateway to giving people the ability to manage their own online experiences. So many turn to Etsy or Amazon to sell products. While those services have their benefits, business owners think launching an Etsy or Amazon shop will derive immediate benefits in terms of customer acquisition, but that is not the case. Business owners must still market their online stores, no matter where they happen to be.

    The benefit over Etsy and Amazon is that your own WooCommerce powered shop keeps you in control of how you sell, what you sell. The rules don’t change when you own your shop. Having ultimate control over your products and shopping experience is critical. When you combine WordPress and WooCommerce, you keep that control. Plus, why drive traffic to Etsy and Amazon? That does nothing for your long term strategy and only pushes your customers into those environments, where they can find other sellers and just maybe not order from you in the first place!

    Yes, it may be more expensive to hire a designer to stylistically design your WooCommerce shop and a developer to implement, but one can get away with simply launching WooCommerce on their base Ecommerce theme, Storefront, and have a shop up and running in minutes with no developers and limited effort. I just did this for my client, https://copperrivertrading.com, who now has a simple storefront and was able to sell products this Christmas season.

    One interesting plugin I found for another client gives the seller the ability to set a local pickup location. This is great for orders that can ship nationally, but can also be picked up locally.


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