How to Tell What eCommerce Platform a Site Is Using
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
Figuring how to tell was ecommerce platform a site is using can give you valuable insights into their business and give you ideas on how to improve your own.
In this article, we will explain how to do this using three different methods.
We will also discuss the benefits of knowing what platform your competitors are using in a little more detail.
How to Figure Out What eCommerce Platform a Site Is Using
There are many services, websites, and add-ons out there that can help with this, but we’ve narrowed it down to three options: two websites and one good old fashion technique.
Think of BuiltWith as a detective for the internet.
It gives you a full rundown of the technologies used on a given website.
It's useful for marketing and sales intelligence, for example, if you want to sell products to ecommerce stores, you can use BuiltWith to find out what platforms they're using and then tailor your pitch accordingly.
You can also use it to keep tabs on your competition’s ecommerce platform use or simply satisfy your curiosity about how a particular website is built.
Essentially, BuiltWith gives you the ability to see under the hood of any website, and that makes it a valuable tool for anyone who wants to understand the mechanics of the web and get a deeper looking into ecommerce.
W3Techs is a website that provides detailed information on the usage statistics of different web technologies.
It is run by the research and data team, and it covers a wide range of topics such as web hosting, web frameworks, and website architecture.
In addition to providing overviews of each technology, W3Techs also offers comparisons between different technologies and between different companies that use them.
Of course, it can also tell you what ecommerce tools are being used. To use it, simply enter the website you want to take a look at in the “Sites” tab, and it will do the rest.
Inspect the Source Code
Now for the classic, albeit harder path: Inspect element.
This is a browser tool that allows you to view and edit the HTML and CSS of a web page.
To use inspect element, right-click on a web page and select "inspect" from the drop-down menu. This will open the inspector window, which will show you the HTML code for the selected page.
From here, go to the source’s tab, and look through the information you see there. To find out what ecommerce platform is being used, you might have to do a little digging, but if you see mentions of “Shopify”, then the store is using Shopify, which is one of the most used saas solutions. If you see mentions of “WP”, then it’s using WordPress.
Be sure that you’re on the site’s ecommerce section if it’s a site with multiple sections. Otherwise, you may not find what you’re looking for.
Benefits of Knowing The Platform of Competitors
As an online business owner, it's important to stay ahead of the competition. One way to do this is to find out what ecommerce platform they're using.
This information can give you information can tell you what ecommerce website software they’re using and, therefore, how they’re running their business from a technical standpoint.
It can also help you to make informed decisions about your own ecommerce platform.
Figuring out which platform is best for you can take some time, but if a competitor you wish to emulate is already using one, they’ve done some of the work for you, and now you just have to work on getting the tools yourself.
As a side note, sometimes, if you want to know how to find out what website builder was used, it’s as simple as checking the bottom page.
Some sites leave that information visible, and it will say something like “built with WiX”, for example.
Several website builders will display such info automatically.
Now you know how to tell what ecommerce platform a site is using.
Note that these methods aren’t foolproof.
You may stumble upon a niche site that’s using something W3techs or BuiltWith can’t identify. In that case, it’s better to identify what it is you like about the site specifically and see if you can find a way to replicate it.
Also, note that the potential of what you can achieve differs depending on whether you’re going at ecommerce through SaaS or taking a more DIY approach, but that is a topic for a different article.
Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.