The tech behind Singapore’s top 7 E-commerce sites

by Jan 5, 2018Marketing, Technology

In the age of ever growing e-commerce market share, the technology which allows it all forms the basis of bread and butter for millions of individuals. This study will try to dismantle, the technologies used to power E-commerce sites which are on the top of their game, the list of sites has been based on iPrice’s interactive map, ranking Singapore’s E-com sites which at least receive 50,000 monthly visitors or have equal number of social media followers.


The purpose of this study is to identify what skills are highly valued for the developers, or the presence thereof which dictates in choosing a certain technology in against of the other. The reason to side with one technology over the other, depends on many things but putting technicalities aside it all boils down to the basic economies of scale, supply and demand of talent in the Singaporean market.


Statistics based upon the data from builtwith and Wappalyzer

The programming languages / frameworks used to build were found to be heavily reliant tried and tested technologies such as PHP and ASP.NET, with both having three of the top 7. The only odd one standing out was for Shopee, which was found to be using Python/Django to power it. EZbuy also showed to be using a Lua alongside of ASP.NET framework.

This study avoids the core languages of the web is that JavaScript, HTML and CSS. The focus was intentionally kept towards those technologies which form the basis of their E-Commerce application. [ It is to be noted JavaScript is used for creating server side full stack applications but in the context of the selected sites, there were no signs of full fledged use of JavaScript to power the E-Commerce aspect of it ]

Statistics retrieved from LinkedIn on 5th Jan 2018

LinkedIn results on the number of people having the said skills in Singapore shows that, ASP.NET and PHP reign over the top. Ruby on Rails though not used in any of the top 7 E-Commerce sites in Singapore, it does powers Shopify and thousands of stores running on that platform globally and thus was included for the sake of comparison as how it stacks against the talent pool of PHP and ASP.NET. The skill which had the least number of people was found to be Python/Django.

This data corelates with the technology used to build the top 7 E-Commerce sites in Singapore, as how the supply and demand of the talent effects the usage of technology. Though this does not indicate that it is the only reason for the founders/developers to choose one technology over the other, but the data weights down on the fact that it does contributes significantly.

Statistics retrieved from LinkedIn on 5th Jan 2018


The data again correlates to the availability of persons having the skills. Although the number of jobs posted on LinkedIn is not exhaustive of all the Jobs in Singapore, it can still give a pattern which confirms that ASP.NET and PHP have the most demand and supply, following with Ruby on Rails and then lastly Python/Django.

Statistics based upon the data from builtwith

In the Analytics section, every one of the 7 sites utilized Google Analytics to analyze and monitor traffic on their website. New Relic came in second with three out of the seven sites using it.

Statistics based upon the data from builtwith

The advertising technology was one of the most diverse data set, with just DoubleClick.Net reigning at the top and implemented into 4 out of 7 sites, with Criteo right behind it with 2 out 7.

For those who would like to pursue their dreams and start creating their own E-Commerce ventures in Singaporean market, it would help if you have the skills as discussed previously but it’s not necessary, often the very first iteration of any project is a MVP or minimum viable product. So, you can get started with off the shelf E-Com platforms such as Shopify or Woo Commerce, then later when you have tested the market you can move towards the custom-built solution.

In conclusion this study signifies the importance of knowing all the variables and taking the best course of action, if you are a startup just in the ideation phase thinking for building the next big E-commerce application, then definitely this data will assist you in your decision-making process. Similarly, if you are looking to position yourself in the E-Commerce market with the right set of skills, you can take advantage of these insights to adapt your skill set for the changing needs of the market.

Notes about the study

Data gathered for the technology stack was cross referenced from Builtwith platform, Wappalyzer Chrome Extension, present and past employees skills and work history in relevant categories. Though there are tons of technologies such as tracking snippets, widgets, hosting providers, content delivery networks, payment gateways and JavaScript libraries used in each of the sites, they were omitted for the sake of clarity as the key focus was on the primary technology and not the underlying subset of those. Since the data for Jobs and Skills is only sourced from LinkedIn it may not represent actual market condition across the job boards.