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Discover What eCommerce Platform Your Competitors Use

21/10/2016
It's a good practice to check what other web stores are doing in order to see how they compare and maybe draw inspiration for your own online business venture. Wondering about the eCommerce platform they're using is a common question and you don't have to be a hacker to figure it out. There are specific tools that can provide you with the answer and also give you details on the template or theme being used.

BuiltWith

Visit builtwith.com and insert the store's URL for a quick check. The website will then inform you of the eCommerce technologies used for shopping cart and payment option implementation. Along with these, you will get plenty of other details that may interest you, such as widgets and apps. The complete website technological profile will be available to you. The on-site software is so easy to use and efficient that it won't be necessary to use the browser extension.

Wappalyzer

Wappalyzer is used worldwide to reveal the technologies employed on millions of websites. You'll be able to use Wappalyzer as an extension with most browsers. It analyses each website by itself and displays an icon, right next to the address bar, informing you of the platform that's being used. There's also a drop-down menu to access further details. The same website will inform you on the top technologies preferred by every industry. For example, PayPal is still the leading payment processor while Google Maps is the first choice whenever maps and location are needed.

The current trends

Besides the technical aspects involved, knowing web store details can give you ideas about the design and appearance. You'll know which eCommerce solutions offer the best technical feature, but also be informed on the design possibilities. According to the information provided by both Wappalyzer and BuiltWith, web stores show a strong preference for WooCommerce, the eCommerce solution for WordPress. The Shopify platform along with Bigcommerce are the next favourites that keeps on growing further.

What will “Inspect element” show you?

As you right click and select the “Inspect element” option, you are provided with code information that may also contain the name of the platform, as well as that of the theme in use. In many cases, you may encounter a custom made theme. It's a handy way to inspect any such information that may be of importance to you. It's a bit more difficult with Bigcommerce stores and their themes, however. The CSS on the page source may reveal what you need to know.

Finding out a WordPress theme

About 40% of the sites everyone visits these days are made with WordPress. It's a huge percentage. The eCommerce solutions most often paired with WordPress are WooCommerce and Shopify. Also, there are many pre-made templates and themes in use. To find out about these, you can employ a simple tool. You will find it at whatwpthemeisthat.com and it's free to use. Don't be disappointed though if it returns no result – certain websites hide all theme information or use customised templates. By employing these tools, you will find out much more about the eCommerce websites that interest you. You can use your findings to build your own web store and understand your industry better, as well as the trends. This represents an important step in growing your business.
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