State of the Global E-channel: 13% more Platform Diversity, Live Use of Product Data and PIMs on the Rise during 2018

Martijn Hoogeveen
By
Platforms World Map E-channel 2018

Product data is literally downloaded by e-channel partners from almost any country in the world. The most active product data users and platforms can still be found in the northern hemisphere: Europe, Northern America, Russia, and India. 199 countries or territories were included in the Icecat 2018 poll.

Platform diversity increased by 13% in 2018

Platform diversity has increased during 2018 by 13% year-on-year to 5,562 different e-channel platforms downloading product content from Icecat. They were jointly responsible for 6.8 billion PDS (product data-sheet) downloads, an annual increase by 7% on the Icecat platform.

An indication of the diversity of e-channel platforms using product content can be found in Italy, The Netherlands and Germany. In Northern-America, Mexico shows a comparable activity as the United States. Russia, India, Brasil and South-Africa are in the Top 30, notable representants of the BRICS. China is not visible in this top 30, as it’s e-channel diversity is lower, and a relatively small number of platforms is responsible for a very large number of product data downloads.

JSON Data Connections On the Rise

The around 80,000 connected Icecat e-channel users make use of around 5,600 technical connections. Around 50% of the users of Icecat, purely rely on technical, automated data connections through 1. XML, 2. JSON (JS), and 3. CSV/Excel downloads.

Platform Users: data connections (xml, csv, json) growing at the expense of manual (portal) look-up.

Looking at Product Data-Sheet (PDS) downloads, the automated data use counts for 80% of the downloads. Manual lookups for less than 20% and decreasing. The Live use of PDSs – through JSON or JavaScript-based html inserts (live) – counts for only 2% of the total annual download volume of 6.8 billion, although this is double the percentage of last year.

In the data download mix: 80% of use is automated downloads. Live – real-time html insert – doubles but counts still for only 2% of PDS downloads

It all fits the trend that e-commerce companies prefer to have raw product data imported into their own ebusiness infrastructures, which more and more includes a separate Product information Management (PIM) system.

What Tech Platforms Import Product Data?

Most Popular Tech Platforms for Product Data 2019
Product Data Import Destinations Reported by Icecat users

Literally, thousands of different tech platforms are used to import product data. Over the years, we kept asking our users about the technologies they use, so that our 2019 stat is currently based on a poll of some 62K users. In-house/custom solutions based on LAMP (Linux-stack) or Microsoft (.NET etc.) are most frequently seen. The most popular standard, web commerce solutions include Magento Commerce by Adobe, PrestaShop, WordPress/Woocommerce, and Joomla/VirtueMart.

The most popular platforms, for which users integrate product data are not surprisingly Ebay, Amazon, and Alibaba/Taobao.

The most popular PIM solutions, a new rising category are: SAP Hybris, Batavi (Iceshop PIM), and Oracle. Noticed PIM solutions among Icecat users – below the fold – are further IBM, Stibo Step, Akeneo and Pimcore.

See also Icecat add-on for popular tech platforms.

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Martijn Hoogeveen

Founder and CEO of Icecat NV. Investor through iMerge. PhD Multimedia at Delft University of Technology. Former Professor Multimedia/E-commerce at Open University Netherlands.

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