As we start up the new year resolved to make better use of our marketing technologies, we did some research into the technologies other successful small businesses are using. We know a lot of the big names, as I’m sure do you. So while we wanted to see what’s being used and what isn’t, we also wanted a view into what folks are using that we weren’t even looking for. Where are the unexpected gems hiding and can we uncover a few?
We looked at 2 of the most universal applications used by online marketing teams: Ecommerce and Analytic applications. We wanted to see how businesses are driving their online sales and how they are measuring success.
We used BuiltWith reports based on MailChimp users to ensure the businesses are currently engaged in online marketing. From there we broke them into groups based on total monthly technology spend: $0-5k/mo, $5-10k/mo, $10-20k/mo and $20-50k/mo. The $20-50k/mo range is a much broader spend group as the total number of companies in that range are much fewer comparatively. We were anxious to see how the technology differed between the spend categories. Are the big guys using drastically different tools than the start-ups and small businesses or are we all using the same tools to varying degrees? To reduce confusion, moving forward we’ll refer to segments as Start-up, Small Business, Growing & Mid-Market.
While the monthly technology spend is not a direct correlation to revenue and there are certainly outliers throughout the categories we find it to be a good base of comparison.
Additionally, we ran our segment searches twice – first looking at only paid services and then again looking at both free & paid services across both technology categories. The hope was to understand how the use of free technology moved across the spending segments and whether the tools changed dramatically when free tools were introduced.
Across the board Shopify, WooCommerce & Magento led the field in ecommerce technology in all 4 segments. Even when introducing free technologies they held their lead and only lost a little ground in the Mid-Market category when Demandware stepped in.
What are Start-ups using that larger teams aren’t?
Weebly is a top 10 ecommerce technology in both the Start-Up and Small Business segments but was less widely used in the Growing and Mid-Market segments. A new to us name that popped up down the list in both the Start-Ups and Small Business segments is E-Junkie. While they also facilitate the sales of tangible goods, their focus is on the sale of downloadable links targeting artists, hackers, crafters, and DIYers’. An interesting niche that likely helps them stay viable in a sea of big names.
What services are the Mid-Market guys using that smaller teams aren’t?
DemandWare made a presence in the Mid-Market segment but is missing from all smaller groups. Being a part of the Salesforce Cloud they likely market to enterprise teams. Hybris and Oracle were other noticeable contenders showing up not much further down the list in the Mid-Market group but were completely missing from the Start-Up category.
Perhaps the greatest surprise in the ecommerce space was simply the lack of adoptions overall. But that may only be noticeable when pitted against the larger Analytics adoption.
It was not too surprising to find that Google Analytics was the clear winner when looking at analytics use among all segments. The appeal of the Google brand coupled with a freemium plan causes their lead to be substantial and represented the bulk of the reported analytics services.
The closest contender in terms of percentage of adoption by segment was comScore, but only in the Small Business segment. According to their website, comScore is a leading cross-platform measurement company that precisely measures audiences, brands and consumer behavior everywhere. They maintained higher percentages in the Growing Business and Mid-Market segments as well.
When we rule out free offerings and look at only paid services new market leaders come into view, Rapleaf and Omniture. Rapleaf is now TowerData and according to their website, provides demographic and lifestyle data based on US email addresses. Omniture, part of Adobe Analytics, apply real-time analytics and detailed segmentation across marketing channels to discover high-value audiences and power customer intelligence.
Who are the Start-Ups using that the Mid-Market teams aren’t?
Snowplow was a top paid analytic tool among the Start-ups but doesn’t show up in the top 10 of any of the other groups. They are an event data pipeline. Focusing on tracking events across all channels and providing real time access.
What about the Mid-Market segment? Who are they using?
The names are familiar here, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel and comScore, but adoption of Google Analytics climbed to almost 100%.
Signal was a less familiar name that showed up in the top 10 technologies in the Small Business and Mid-Market categories, and not too far down the list of the Growing category but missing completely from the Start-Up. Signal promotes a cohesive ‘centralized customer view’.
Except for a few interesting and notable outliers, the bulk of marketing teams are using similar apps to manage their Ecommerce and Analytics needs regardless of their technology spend.
- Shopify, WooCommerce & Magento are front runners across all spending segments.
- Weebly made a showing in both Start-Up and Small Business segments while Demandware took the lead in Mid-Market.
- Adoption rate of ecommerce tools paled in comparison to Analytic adoption.
- Google Analytics was the clear front runner as Analytic App across all spending segments.
- comScore is a significant player in the Small Business, Growing and Mid-Market segments.
- Start-ups are using Snowplow in addition to the more familiar names.
- Facebook Pixel & Domain Insights were in the top 10 across all segments.
While there is some variance among the spending segments, largely the tools are the same across spending segments. It appears that while there are some interesting folks to keep an eye on, the tools of the online marketing trade are often the tools of the online marketing trade regardless of the money you have (or don’t have!) to spend.