2014 Leading Ecommerce Platforms for the Top 100 Online Retailers (America)

Earlier this month, Internet Retailer published the 2014 Top 500 Guide. Based on a thorough analysis of the top 100 online retailers listed in the Guide, I was able to gather the following information about eCommerce platforms used by the largest online retailers in America.

1. Most online retailers use in-house built eCommerce platforms.

The number of the top 100 merchants which use their own eCommerce platforms haven’t changed since last year and still comprises 41% of the market

2. Oracle ATG Commerce is the most popular eCommerce platform.

While last year Oracle ATG Commerce and IBM WebSphere shared the position of leading eCommerce platforms for the largest eRetailers, this year we have a clear winner – Oracle ATG Commerce. With 25 merchants from the top 100 using it as their eComerce platform, Oracle ATG Commerce is ahead of IBM WebSphere by 5 clients (IBM WebSphere was chosen by 20 companies from the top 100 eRetailers).

Note: I have focused my research on the number of clients served by eCommerce platform providers, as opposed to basing it on a dollar value. Therefore, other eCommerce platforms could have a higher ranking than Oracle ATG Commerce based on web sales of their clients from the top 100.

Previous Year Statistics:

3. The number of online retailers using Oracle Commerce has doubled since 2010.

Both Oracle ATG Commerce and IBM WebSphere have grown their client base in the top 100 eRetailers list during the last four years. Starting with 12 and 13 clients consequentially in 2010, the eCommerce platforms were always going head to head with the closest competitor, eBay Enterprise/GSI Commerce being far behind.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Oracle Commerce 12 ? ? 20 25
IBM WebSphere 13 ? 18 20 20
eBay Enterprise 3 ? ? 3 5

Note: Information in the table above is based on my own research as well as publicly available materials. No information for the year 2011 could be confirmed. Verifiable information for the year 2012 was only available for IBM WebSphere.

Other eCommerce platforms used by online retailers in the top 100:

  • Fry/MICROS
  • RedPrairie/JDA
  • Hybris/SAP
  • Demandware
  • Intershop
  • Digital River

Examples of the IR Top 100 eRetailers that use Oracle Commerce and IBM WebSphere:

Oracle Commerce IBM WebSphere
Neiman Marcus

Walgreens

Macy’s

Express

CVS

Kohl’s

Blue Nile

American Eagle

OfficeMax

Chico’s

Target

Abercrombie&Fitch

Costco

Bass Pro Outdoor

1-800-Flowers

L.L.Bean

Staples

Coach

Disney

Follett

See More Examples:

Note: In the ‘2013 Leading eCommerce Platforms for the Top 100 eRetailers in America’ report I had mentioned some online retailers that announced their plans to migrate to other eCommerce platforms. While the announcements were made, it will take months and, for some companies, years to complete a migration process. As a result, they still use their old platforms and were subsequently counted as being clients under their old platforms.

4. Some online retailers use multiple eCommerce platforms.

If you had a chance to read the ‘2013 Leading eCommerce Platforms for the Top 100 eRetailers in America’ report, you probably remember some examples of merchants using different eCommerce platforms in different countries or for different brands that were included in the report. In this year’s report I will share with you some new examples of such companies.

Saks Inc. currently uses multiple eCommerce platforms for their websites. The company has recently announced plans to move all of its brands to the same technology. The name of the technology, however, has not been specified.

 

1

While Costco’s eCommerce sites for the US and Canada use IBM WebSphere, its most recently launched online stores in the UK (launched in 2012) and Mexico (launched in 2013) run on Hybris.

2

According to Internet Retailer, Williams-Sonoma keeps using an in-house built eCommerce platform for its .com website while launching international sites on NetSuite at the same time.

3

5. Some online retailers switched to another eCommerce platform.

eBay Enterprise announced that Sony started using its new suite of commerce technologies in September, 2013. Sony was previously leveraging the IBM WebSphere eCommerce platform.

4

Barnes & Noble is actively hiring Oracle ATG Commerce specialists in 2014 (based on Java, Oracle and ATG developer jobs available at the company and published on indeed.com). Therefore, there is a high possibility that the retailer has migrated from its old platform to Oracle ATG Commerce.

5

Toys R Us also started hiring Oracle ATG Commerce experts. For instance, according to the job posting for an IT Manager position published on LinkedIn on May 16, 2014 Toys R Us is looking for an Oracle ATG Commerce specialist whose responsibilities would include ‘…work

[ing] with key members of the management team to define and drive technical strategy and architectural direction for Oracle ATG-based eCommerce platform’.

6

Disclaimer: I did my best to provide the most current and accurate information in this post by analyzing information about the Top 100 eRetailers published on the Web. However, up-to-date information about some retailers’ eCommerce platforms was not always available. Subsequently, while data provided in this post are based on the most current information available online, there is a chance that some retailers switched to another platform but haven’t announced it yet. If you find it to be the case, please let me know and I will be happy to make the necessary changes. Lets keep this post current together!

2017-12-12T01:10:28+00:00May 29, 2014|All|

About the Author:

Elena Rybalchenko is a Marketing Professional with a background in engineering. She has been focused on improving communication between technical and business professionals in the eCommerce industry through translating technical information for non-technical audiences, as well as analyzing eCommerce and IT markets and sharing industry insights and trends.

25 Comments

  1. Robert Moore May 31, 2016 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Elena what are the downsides to a in-house built eCommerce platforms?

    • Elena Rybalchenko June 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm - Reply

      Robert,
      Mostly it is the cost of building and maintaining an in-house platform.

  2. Josh Barnes May 26, 2016 at 1:13 am - Reply

    Do you have any information on which search engine technologies the different retailers use?

    Is there a search technology that comes with each of the different platforms? IE does IBM WebSphere make its own search technology? Do the retailers utilize that, or do they use something different, e.g. Amazon A9?

    Also – While we’re here – do all of these ecommerce platforms come with their own proprietary shopping cart technology? Do retailers sometimes use 3rd party shopping cart technologies?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!
    Josh

    • Elena Rybalchenko June 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Josh,
      As far as I know, all enterprise level platform come with shopping cart technologies and search solutions. Most companies choose to use prepackaged search solutions, some integrate 3rd party search solutions instead. It really depends on each company’s needs.

  3. Vinod May 1, 2016 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Hi Elena,

    As an ATG developer, I have always loved the blog of sparkred and it really provides lot of information with respect current E-commerce market. The discussion and comparison of technologies for various clients are really helpful how the E-Commerce is thinking. I was not able to find 2015 and 2016 “Leading Ecommerce Platforms for the Top 100 Online Retailers” post.

    Best Regards,
    Vinod Kumar Singh

    • Elena May 16, 2016 at 6:13 am - Reply

      Hi Vinod,

      I am glad you find our blog useful! Unfortunately, the 2014 report is the latest report that I have put together. I will try to analyze and publish more recent data sometime this year.

  4. Sansibar March 9, 2016 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Hi Elena. I hope youu’re doing fine.

    What do you think of Shopify?
    Where do you see them positioned? i.e. large retailers vs small.medium

    Thanks a lot for your input.

    SS

  5. Atif Naser October 23, 2015 at 3:12 am - Reply

    Your research was very helpful in our analysis of eCommerce software providers. really really thanks for sharing appreciate the effort

    • Elena November 2, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

      Thank you, Atif!

      I am glad you found it useful.

  6. Kevin September 4, 2015 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Good evening,

    Very interesting reading. Thank you.

    I’ve also found that builtwith.com is a good resource for research on market share and adoption data.

    http://trends.builtwith.com/shop

    All the best,

    Kevin

  7. Lin Shearer July 9, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Elena –

    Looking strictly at scale even the report you cite lists Scale as a strength of Magento Enterprise Edition.

    Scale: Magento Enterprise Edition can support customers with large volumes of transactions and product catalogs; based on publicly released data. Some users are supporting more than 10 million SKUs in their product catalogs, and more than 2,000 orders per hour. Reference users gave positive feedback on overall satisfaction and platform scalability and stability, with some references and Gartner client inquiries reporting commerce revenue in excess of $100 million using Magento.

    And again, if TOMS is your benchmark for “large merchants” then clearly the Magento platform serves merchants that exceed TOMS volume – and therefore is indeed suitable for large merchants.

    You have a funny way of defining “long way to go” – at least by one measure of market share: Magento overtook IBM on the IR Top 500 and as a company eBay Enterprise overtook Oracle to become the number 1 provider to the IR Top 500 this year.

  8. Lin Shearer June 30, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Based on a review of the 2015 IR Top 500 guide data, eBay Enterprise now has 11 merchants in the Top 100 who list one of our platforms as their ecommerce platform: 6 that list eBay Enterprise (our hosted solution) and 5 that list Magento (our licensed / open source solution).

    Also, you’re statement that Magento is not a good fit for the largest online businesses is incorrect. Magento supports merchants with more online volume than TOMS – looking at this year’s IR Top 500 guide alone, jomashop.com ($140M) and Zumiez ($109M) both are on Magento and both list higher transaction volume than TOMS ($97M). There are numerous other merchants now doing more than $100m on Magento as well.

    The major industry analyst firms in their benchmark reports have confirmed that Magento scales to support upper mid-market and enterprise retailers and brands.

  9. Matt Rhys-Davies March 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Woah – not a single Magento site in there? That’s quite surprising actually.

    • Elena March 9, 2015 at 5:38 am - Reply

      Hi Matt,

      Magento is popular among IR Top 500 companies and is a better solution for mid-market businesses. However, it is not a good fit for the largest online retailers. TOMS is a great example of the company that has overgrown Magento. They used to have Magento-based site but moved to ATG as Magento couldn’t support their business growth (http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/2047370)

  10. Douglas December 2, 2014 at 11:26 am - Reply

    have you done similar research for smaller e-commerce companies in the IR Second 500? What do companies in the $10-$25 million online sales range use?

    • Elena December 3, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Hi Douglas,

      Unfortunately, I have not. The article below might provide you with some helpful information. According to it of the 251 e-retailers with 2012 online sales in the range of $20 million to $75 million, according to the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, 94 rely on in-house staff to build and maintain their e-commerce platforms, the software that typically handles such tasks as managing product descriptions and prices, processing orders and handling payments. The remaining 157 retailers use technology from 41 providers.https://www.internetretailer.com/2013/12/27/why-online-stores-switched-e-commerce-platforms

  11. Sanjay September 21, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Very informative Elena:
    I was just wondering if you had any information on Ecommerce Marketplace platforms ?

    • Elena September 29, 2014 at 4:57 am - Reply

      Sanjay,

      Thank you for your comment!
      Unfortunately, I did not do research on eCommerce Marketplace platforms. I will let you know if I find one on the Web.

  12. michael September 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    Elena,

    Your research was very helpful in our analysis of ecommerce sofware providers. I would be interested in your opinion of our new business model for retailers. we are in the SAP Startup Focus program and offer the Optimus Advantage Marketplace solution for retailers.

    Thank you.

    Michael

    • Elena September 29, 2014 at 4:53 am - Reply

      Thank you, Michael!
      I am glad it was helpful.

  13. Kevin Vandever September 17, 2014 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Thank you! That helps much.

  14. Kevin Vandever September 17, 2014 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Hi Elena. Good article. Can you point me to resources that might explain why so many companies use in-house solutions?

    Thank you!

    • Elena September 17, 2014 at 10:44 am - Reply

      Hi Kevin,
      Unfortunately, there are no good resources to learn about the reasons why retailers choose to build in-house eCommerce platforms. Based on my experience, there are 2 types of retailers that use in-house platforms:
      1.Retailers who had to build platforms in-house a long time ago when there were no good/very limited number of feature-rich enterprise eCommerce platforms to choose from. While these companies have been growing, their in-house systems would have been getting more and more complex. Migrating these kinds of systems from in-house to pre-built platform is an extremely complicated, time and money consuming process. Understandably, retailers are very cautious when it comes to making such fundamental changes to the core of their business. 
      2.Taking into account that many retailers in the IR Top 100 are leaders because they offer unique products and/or services, they sometimes have very unique systems requirements (that are very different from the other large retailers). While existing enterprise eCommerce solutions constantly add new features and capabilities to their platforms, they are mostly focused on adding those of them that would have the highest demand in the market (i.e. will reach the largest number of prospective clients).

      Also, almost every company that uses a pre-built eCommerce platform customizes it to meet business needs.
      Below is a link to the press releases talking about why Symantec moved in-house
      http://www.dmnews.com/symantec-launches-own-e-commerce-site-will-end-work-with-digital-river/article/152121/

      I hope it helps!

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