It have always been my interest to see how companies are adopting different kinds of technologies. I’ve recently conducted a comparison between Fortune 1000 companies – comparing US and Canadian business titans and how they differ in terms of online technology usage and adoption (Fortune 1000 Technology Comparison Between US and Canada). I’ve decided to perform a similar type of research and look at large e-commerce retailers. My attention got drawn to the ComScore E-Commerce Retail operators list that holds some of the biggest and well known retail brands.
I wanted to identify what are the techs and platforms used by biggest e-commerce companies, what’s popular and not in terms of digital tools and solutions. Diversity, category driven technology adoption and its popularity were my main objectives. My test ended up including most of ComScore E-Commerce Retailers list – that brought me to roughly 1300 companies (Later in this article, when I refer to % from total or frequency it will be in relation to the above number). In addition to my blog post I will share all of the companies that I have considered for this blog post as well as master data file listing all of discovered results: top 150 tech list sorted by categories, top 200 unsorted, and raw list with all technologies considered (As well as a list of domains with all e-commerce retailers evaluated during this research initiative).
To be more concise I would like to focus around most popular – top 150 techs that I’ve seen (During this research initiative I’ve considered and identified over 2700 unique technologies). If you feel that I’ve missed one of the platforms and you’re curious to learn the adoption rate for it – I invite you to visit the master data file and look-up the solution of interest.
I would like to start with adoption and usage of Web Analytics tools and platforms. Whether I look at Fortune 1000 companies or e-commerce retail operators Google Analytics is an unbeatable leader. GA is being used by 87.9% of companies on the list (Surprisingly only 17.1% have enabled Universal Analytics). It is being followed by Omniture with 25.3% adoption, and Facebook Domain Insights – 25%.
If I have a chance to compare and draw a quick parallel with US Fortune 1000 list 21.7% from that list are Omniture users. With Facebook domain insights there is a big difference as Fortune 1000 US sees only 5.9% adoption (25% for E-Commerce Retail List). I will be honest I’ve expected a bit more from heat-map and click intelligence tools i.e. ClickTale 2.6% and CrazyEgg 8.0% – this usage seems quite low especially for e-commerce businesses.
Overall web analytics tools had quite a selection taking 2nd place in terms of variety of solutions being used - I’ve noted 26 + solutions / platforms that had significant usage volumes – this list would probably triple if I were to count other tools and platforms that had a lesser usage volumes:
|WEB ANALYTICS||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
|Google Universal Analytics||222||17.1|
|Facebook Domain Insights||325||25.0|
|Google Analytics with Ad Tracking||265||20.4|
|Omniture Adobe Test and Target||109||8.4|
|Visual Website Optimizer||32||2.5|
|Yahoo Web Analytics||32||2.5|
|Facebook Conversion Tracking||31||2.4|
My next category of interest was e-commerce solutions, and platforms. This category was less diverse – 13 unique names were considered (list could’ve been slightly longer if I were to include less frequently solutions). Cart Functionality was the leader in this category with 342 (26.3%) of companies using the solution. It was followed by Magento (5.8%), Channel Advisor (5.7%), Certona (4.7 %), ATG Commerce (3.7%), IBM Webspere Commerce (3.6%) :
|ECOMMERCE TOOLS AND SOLUTIONS||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
|IBM Websphere Commerce||47||3.6|
Audience data management, audience targeting and related tools was my next target – I’ve considered 13 / 14 platforms for this category. I had a much higher expectations in terms of technology adoption for this category. Majority of tools and solutions ended up being under 10% – this was a bit of a surprise especially for e-commerce list of companies (one would expect a stronger intent to work and analyse audiences among this type of organizations).
Audience solutions category ended up a bit of a mixed aggregate and could probably be split into a 2 – 3 subcategories based on solutions listed. comScore ended up being a leader in this category with 12.5% usage. It was followed by Quantcast (9.6%) – again, my expectation was that this number would be a bit higher. For audience management and targeting tools like BlueKai (8.3%) and Lotame (6.5%) that are quite often integrated directly into Demand-Side Platforms my expectation was again to see a much higher numbers for e-commerce list of companies.
|AUDIENCE DATA, TARGETING, MANAGEMENT||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
|Lotame Crowd Control||85||6.5|
Marketing automation platforms was a short list of well known tools – Marketo, Centro, Eloqua, Hubspot, Bronto. If by any chance I have missed one of the solutions that you’re interested in – take a look at a master data file.
I’ve also had high expectations from this category and it ended up being a bit surprised with scores of marketing automation tools that are being used by top online retailers.
|MARKETING AUTOMATION||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
Cross-Channel Media Acquisition ended up becoming one of the most interesting technology categories. I’ve noted 26 platforms for this category and if I were to merge it with Retargeting and Behavioral Targeting list would be at 38 + platform mark (Adding less frequently used platforms would’ve easily doubled this list).
There were a couple of strong leaders that appeared well above the crowd – Google DoubleClick (65.4%) and AppNexus (33.2%). There were also a few strong performers that would expand into 10% mark Mediamath, Turn, …etc. It was interesting to see AdRoll (13.4%) adoption – it’s usage is above most of the platforms in cross-channel media acquisition (Google Remarketing and Criteo excluded). Google Remarketing (20.3%) could’ve been at much higher level but I anticipate that companies with adopted dsp or alike platforms organize their retargeting excluding Google tools. Last but not least Criteo (14%) retargeting platform also showed strong performance highlighting the importance of remarketing among comScore e-commerce retailers list.
Separate spot within this section I would like to reserve to Facebook Exchange FBX – 343 companies or 26.4% usage detected. Combine this with AdRoll stats and later on with social tool usage – this surfaces a strong interest and adoption trend among the e-commerce retail companies on the list.
Below is a detailed breakdown for both cross-channel media and retargeting categories (If I missed one of the platforms that might be of interest I invite you to take a look at the master data file):
|CROSS CHANNEL MEDIA ACQUISITION||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
|The Trade Desk||83||6.4|
|X Plus One||64||4.9|
|RETARGETING & BEHAVIORAL TARGETING||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
Social tools, buttons, plugins… etc. is a category that highlights the importance of Facebook to the companies on the list. For example Facebook for Websites (46.3% adoption), Facebook Like (34.8%), Facebook Like Button (23.8%). This is the type of category that can be overstretched with plugins and extensions – hence, I chose to simplify by comparing Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and social sharing buttons. Here is a detailed list:
|SOCIAL TOOLS AND PLUGINS||FREQUENCY||% FROM TOTAL|
|Google Plus One Button||172||13.2|
|Google Plus One Platform||245||18.8|
|Google Plus One Snippet||30||2.3|
|Facebook for Websites||602||46.3|
|Facebook Like Button||310||23.8|
|Twitter Follow Button||61||4.7|
|Twitter Tweet Button||66||5.1|
There are a few more categories that go into my analysis, but instead of listing them here I would like to invite you to explore them on your own by looking at the master data file. These categories include Email Tools, Live Chat Tools, Tag Management, Video Platforms, PPC Platforms… There were over 2750 technologies detected while I was conducting this exercise – highlighting the diversity of various tools, platforms, solutions that are being used by e-commerce operators.
Within this article we’ve explored Web Analytics, E-Commerce, Audience Data and Targeting, Marketing Automation, Cross-Channel Media Acquisition, Retargeting, and Social Tools categories. I’ve highlighted many solutions that were frequent among large e-commerce retail operators (Listed by Comscore). I invite you to explore the subject further and download complete data file with above and many other technology categories.
If you would like to learn more about any of AdGear ad platforms or cross-channel media buying solutions I invite you to reach out to us – firstname.lastname@example.org