How many times have you stumbled upon an eCommerce website, a page, or a font, that you loved? Perhaps you wanted to use the same design on your website but couldn’t figure out what eCommerce platform they were using. Well, you can rest easy knowing that next time, you’ll be prepared. So, how can you tell what eCommerce platform a site is using?
If you are using Firefox or Chrome, you can right-click anywhere on the site and use Inspect to determine what platform the website is using by checking the source code. You can also use websites such as BuiltWith or extensions like Wappalyzer.
It’s important to know why you want that information in the first place. It'll heavily determine what the best option for you is. I’ll break down some of the easiest, most common ways to tell what eCommerce platform a site is using.
One last thing; if you're currently starting your own eCommerce website, then take a look at my guide to building an eCommerce website from scratch. It'll hopefully help you get started on the right foot.
How Can You Tell Which eCommerce Platform a Website Is Using?
There are numerous ways to find out what platform a website is using. The simplest way is the Google Inspect method, but if you need a more thorough analysis for any reason, you might be better off with a specialized tool or website.
Sometimes, even that can’t help you if the site in question chose to hide that information. Then, you’ll need a little digging. Let’s start with some of the most popular websites you can use to tell which eCommerce platform a website is using.
If you want more comprehensive data about which eCommerce platform a website is using, you can use BuiltWith to help you get it. It’s a specialized website that enables you to find out the platform a website uses and other helpful information. You might need it to generate leads and group them via the platform they use, or you want to research the competition.
Whatever it is, BuiltWith has got you covered. All you need to do is enter the website URL you want to know more about into the BuiltWith search field, and it will analyze it thoroughly. It will break down all the retrieved data into categories.
You can find out what web server and email services they use, check out their SSL certificate, or analyze the platform and CMS (Content Manager System) that they have in place. What’s excellent about BuiltWith is that it goes into detail. For instance, they might be using WordPress as their CMS, but WooCommerce as an eCommerce platform.
I highly recommend going this way if you’re not that great with code, as it will simply present data for you to understand all you need to know. Google Inspect might still be a more straightforward method, but BuiltWith is a close second for me.
Wappalyzer is a similar tool to BuiltWith, but it works a bit differently. Instead of going to the Wappalyzer website every time you want to check what eCommerce platform a site is using, you install Wappalyzer as a browser extension (add-on) and check the desired data on the spot.
It’s a very robust yet simple-to-use tool that works on Firefox, Chrome, and Opera. If you need quick but specific data, the Wappalyzer add-on is a great choice.
Both BuiltWith and Wappalyzer offer overviews of the market share when it comes to eCommerce platforms. They are updated regularly and can give you major insights into online trends.
For instance, WooCommerce still has the largest usage rate of all eCommerce platforms. Still, as Shopify is now integrated with WordPress easier than ever, it’s quickly gaining traction and rising and could soon catch up that number one spot.
If you’re searching for information about your competition, W3techs.com is the best choice you can make. Enter the desired URL, and you will get a well-organized review of all the technologies used to develop that URL’s website.
However, if you’re not sure what you’re doing, this tool might be a bit too detailed for you, as it dives deep into the programming languages, sight elements, etc.
It’s a powerful option that quite possibly gives you the most robust information, but it might be overwhelming if you don’t quite know what to do with the data you have.
Using Google Inspect to Tell What eCommerce Platform a Site Is Using
If you ever accidentally pressed F12 on your keyboard while using Chrome or Firefox web browsers, and suddenly a bunch of code appeared on your screen - voila, you’ve entered the Google Inspect too. You can also access it by right-clicking anywhere on a site and clicking Inspect, or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I on your keyboard (Windows users).
If you're not familiar with HTML or any other code, you might not be able to use Google Inspect to its fullest capabilities. Don’t be discouraged; you can still easily use it to learn the crucial data you need, and that’s finding out what platform was an eCommerce made on.
After you’ve right-clicked on a website and entered Inspect, navigate to the Sources tab on the right-hand side (right next to other tabs such as Styles, Computed, etc.). When you’re there, check what the extensions of all the source code files are.
If you can find cdn.shopify somewhere, the site is built with Shopify eCommerce platform. If you find wp-content, it means it was built in WordPress. However, you should always perform the Inspect method on the Shop Page of an eCommerce website if you want the correct data. A site can use WordPress as a CMS, but WooCommerce or Shopify as an eCommerce platform.
What I like to do here to make it more simple is, after entering the Sources tab, press Ctrl + F (CMD + F for Mac users) and type in “woo,” “wp,” “shopify,” etc. until I get a hit. It’s a quick way to find out the platform, but not a lot of other information. That is if you don’t know HTML.
If you do understand a bit of HTML, you can get incredible data from the Inspect tool. For instance, if you want to know what font they used, go to the Styles tab instead of Sources, mark the font on the website that you want to know more about, and scroll the Styles tab until you see “font-family.” That’s where you’ll find the name of the font you want.
Finding the Platform from the Design Agency
So, you’re a total beginner, and this all sounds like quantum physics to you? Well, there’s a slower way for you to find out what you want, and it might involve a bit more digging.
In almost every website’s footer, you can find information about the design agency that built it, including a link to their website. You can visit that website and see what platforms they usually use to build websites for clients. If they only use one platform, good for you. If they use multiple, you’ll have to do some more digging.
As WordPress, WooCommerce, and Shopify take up the most eCommerce websites online, play the numbers. Try using Shopify Theme Detector or WordPress Theme Detector. IF you happen to get a hit, you’ll get access to even more info along with the answer to your initial question.
What eCommerce Platform Does Amazon Use?
For huge eCommerce websites such as Amazon or eBay, a simple platform as WooCommerce simply won’t work. It’s not strong enough nor customizable enough to perform as many tasks as it’s needed to withstand such massive traffic. Therefore, if you want to make a colossal eCommerce site like that, you’ll need a unique, personalized eCommerce platform.
Amazon was one of the first companies to develop its own platform called AWS (Amazon Web Services). It was launched in 2006, and back then, it was pretty simple. However, as Amazon grew and the technology changed, so did AWS. Today, it’s a brilliant, ever-evolving platform comprised of over a hundred different services and tools packed into the platform.
Those services and tools include things like data management, computing, networking, security, analytics, AI, and much more. But what it enables Amazon to do is not to rely on a single tool to handle everything. Instead, each tool is customizable separately, and customization of one tool doesn’t compromise the other tools from working properly.
There are also tons of backups and safety measures to ensure the site doesn’t crash or fail in security, even when the traffic is at its highest.
That's basically it for figuring out which eCommerce platform a given website is using. If I should recommend a single method to you, I'd tell you to just throw in the given website address you want to check into BuiltWith.
It's the fastest and easiest way to get a ton of info from any given website.