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BuiltWith Founder Gary Brewer on the Future of Web & eCommerce Technologies

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Gary Brewer
Founder
BuiltWith

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BuiltWith has been around since the early days of online advertising, and has provided an extremely valuable service around showing people which web technologies different websites use. What was your original vision for BuiltWith and how has it evolved today?

BuiltWith’s original vision was basically a tool to find out what websites were built with. That functionality hasn’t changed since 2007, so basically you can come to the site type in a website address and find out the technologies that websites is using. It’s only really from customer feedback that things like being able to buy lists and view trends for technologies came into existence.

You are able to track Web and eCommerce Technology trends, usage, and marketshare by company. Can you explain to us more on how your technology works? How many websites and individual technologies do your track in your index?

As of today there’s over 19,000 Web Technologies in our database, finding the simple ones like the indicators for Google Analytics in HTML source code was out starting point, now we track the obscure, like technologies you only find in loaded JavaScript and technologies you can only detect by looking at servers one hop away from the website. Everything we detect is public, i.e. it’s not behind logins or firewalls etc.

 

BuiltWith can be used for Lead Generation, Market Analysis, Sales Intelligence, and exploring the Data Coverage of certain technologies. Who are some of your typical customers and what are some typical use cases for each?

The typical custom is using BuiltWith to find either competitor technology customers or they are looking for complimentary technologies. I.e. if you are an eCommerce design firm in Los Angeles then looking for sites using Shopify or Magento with an address in Los Angeles is a good starting point for new leads. That is the main use case but we have some edge uses cases such as fraud detection and also as alternative data for investment purposes.

 

From the scope of data you see, are there any up and coming web technologies, within the context of digital advertising and analytics?

There’s so many technologies that we track we created a tool to help people find this. It’s called the Investor Center – https://trends.builtwith.com/investor-center – it lets you see what technologies are growing either by a multiple or a site count total, it’s really useful to find those sorts of technologies as the multiple growth can help find technologies that might have doubled in size but really only gone from 10 customers to 20, those sorts of technologies get lost in the big picture normally.

 

What are your thoughts on mobile, and tracking mobile app technologies? Do you have plans to implement the tracking and indexing of mobile app technologies in the near future?

We index sites as if they were being visited from a mobile web browser which lets us find different technologies in use on them but in terms of indexing apps like on the App Store I think there might be difficulties with accessing the paid ones and in an automated fashion within these walled gardens.

 

There are such a huge variety of technologies a company can now choose from: from Analytics and Measurement, Advertising, Monetization, eCommerce, CDNs, Widgets, etc. Do you see the total number of technologies growing over the next few years and how do you think a webmaster / company can best decide which of these technologies are best suited for their needs?

In 2015 we did some analysis on the Entire Internet index https://blog.builtwith.com/2015/01/28/entire-internet-technology-insights-jan-2015/ and found consolidation within the premium technologies group (tools you have to pay for to use), we found that domains were using premium tools across less premium tool providers – this might mean there will be a few winners and lots of losers eventually. Anecdotally it feels like the web is maturing, if you looked at a snapshot of websites in 1997 then 2007 and finally 2017 I suspect the jump in evolution from a 1997 website to a 2007 is far greater than the 2007 to 2017 jump.

 

I know you are based in Sydney, Australia and there is a booming digital and data-centric start-up ecosystem there. BuiltWith has really pioneered this having been around since 2007. How did you start off in the digital and analytics space and how do you see it evolving in both Australia and Oceania over the next few years?

I’ve always been interested and involved in computers, I am from the UK originally and started off in the City of London working at a startup (before they were called startups) then moved to Sydney after a few years. Sydney is a relatively small city but it means that if you want to be involved in the tech scene then there’s a good chance you can find and get connected to everyone here. There’s some good people working in the tech scene here in Sydney that can help open doors to global growth and I can only see that improving in the future.

 

From your internal data, is there anything you can share with us about the eCommerce space? (growth in total players, growth in total web technologies they are using, fragmentation, etc)

I think the eCommerce space will also become consolidated into a few players, these are currently Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. The mistakes of the past can be learnt by companies now, they can see why other shopping cart systems have failed and avoid those mistakes in the future.

 

Advertising has really been the main business model that has funded web businesses since the dawn of the internet. However, many are saying there is now an existential crisis of digital players due to the rapid adoption of ad blocking. What is your take on this, and do you see any alternative viable business models for the web in the near future?

Until I started indexing ad tracking technologies on websites where we fully loaded and executed JavaScript I had no idea of the complexity of advertising technologies, systems loading pixels which then triggered other pixels which then bidded for the ad slot, all within a few milliseconds. It makes it very difficult to track the advertising industry because different technologies get called based on personalization cookies etc. It’s a tricky subject, block ads and the advertising industry will have to find other ways to get their message across which mean embedding ads into content you think isn’t an ad – is that worse?

 

Lastly, what is your take on the future of web and mobile technology usage by companies? (will the total # of technologies grow? will the total number of internet/digital companies grow?)

I think the future for successful web technology companies now is going to be developing first within specific niches, finding those pain points for customers that the bigger solutions will never support and building up from there.

In terms of technology growth there will always be growth and consolidation, web hosting for example is already quite consolidated, it is an “old” technology in that regard, newer web technologies such as live chat are less so. They will eventually start to consolidate but then new technologies such as AI driven tech will take its place and the cycle will begin again no doubt.


BuiltWith is a web site profiler tool, competitor intelligence tool and website optimizer. BuiltWith provides website technology trends analysis and competitor intelligence products to businesses. Our products help companies find out who their competitors are and who is using their product. BuiltWith also helps small businesses with its website optimizer tool which provides website optimization and monitoring to help improve a website owners internet presence.

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The post BuiltWith Founder Gary Brewer on the Future of Web & eCommerce Technologies appeared first on Thalamus.



This post first appeared on Thalamus - Digital And Mobile Advertising News & A, please read the originial post: here

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