How many ecommerce websites are out there?


Our company is providing a service to ecommerce websites, and we're struggling to find reliable stats on how large our potential base is.

Does anyone know where to obtain a reasonable estimation of how many ecommerce websites are currently online?

Ecommerce Website

asked Oct 30 '09 at 16:51
Ar Vee
143 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

3 Answers


If you want to wade through it, the US Census put out a comprehensive report on their view of the "Electronic Economy" earlier this year.

But without exact numbers, I can tell you there's hundreds of thousands worldwide. And that means two things for you:

  1. There are more than enough potential clients out there to make a business with an amazing product and great marketing and solid business sense very successful.
  2. The majority of those "e-commerce" sites are pretty low-budget operations running off of open source solutions like Magento, Zen Cart, etc. You're going to have to have a compelling value offering to get people to pay for your product.

My point overall is this: The number of e-commerce sites out there is not relevant to your market analysis at this stage of the game. Whether there's 100,000 or 1,000,000 of them doesn't matter.

There's enough, and you need to focus on evaluating whether you can actually make money from the ones that are out there.

answered Oct 31 '09 at 06:28
Gabriel Hurley
785 points
  • Thanks Gabriel for the thoughtful response. We're actually targeting those that fall into #2 (SMB) and are busy integrating our product into many of these hosted cart solutions. I absolutely agree with your point, and we definitely execute according to that; our digging for the stat is merely to provide an answer to investors that almost without fail tend to ask the question. – Ar Vee 14 years ago


I agree with Gabriel Hurley regarding the insignificance of how many there are.

You need to work on improving your target market, so, if you are looking for e-commerce sites that have revenue above or below a certain amount, then you will need to look at what you offer that they need.

I will guess you are looking for e-commerce sites that need some help to grow, then you will run into the fact that they are having problems in part due to lack of resources, and the fact that the field is so crowded that they will have a hard time standing out.

Once you have pared down your target market, then you can start to get a better idea as to how many companies might be out there for you, but remember, a company may have several e-commerce sites, so the number of sites are actually useless, the number of companies that have e-commerce sites would be more useful.

answered Oct 31 '09 at 09:35
James Black
2,642 points


I too am trying to find information about the number of e-commerce businesses out there. I am looking for specific e-commerce retailers by product type/category. I'm pretty sure the information is not readily available.

In response to the other question, IBIS World has a report on e-commerce, and the free preview has a total number of businesses: I completely understand the distinction between top down and bottom up approaches. I agree that bottom-up makes more sense, however the top down approach can help to provide a framework to structure one's thinking about an opportunity and potential business models.

answered Feb 20 '12 at 09:18
1 point

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