If you're new to the world of e-commerce and want to hit the ground running, you'll be wondering what kind of platform best suits your needs. So, we've put together this comprehensive Ecwid vs Shopify comparison.
They're both industry leaders, Ecwid first came onto the market back in 2009. Since then it's been used by over one million online merchants. Shopify (as you may already know) is also incredibly popular. It launched in 2006, and to date, its users have sold over $82 billion worth of goods!
So, with those stats in mind, let's dive into the nitty gritty of this review!
Ecwid vs Shopify: What Kind of E-commerce Solution Suits Your Needs?
If you've done some research, you might already be aware there are two types of solutions available for building online stores:
- Software enabling the creation of an entire e-commerce site.
- A program permitting the design of a store you can ‘plug' into a site that's already up and running.
In a nutshell, these differences are the core distinguishing features between Shopify and Ecwid.
Generally, all Shopify pricing plans are better suited to anyone wanting to create an ecommerce store from the ground up. Whereas, Ecwid is better for entrepreneurs who already have a website or social media following up and running.
So, your choice of solution mostly comes down to whether you've already own a site you're happy with.
Shopify in Greater Detail
Let's explore Shopify in greater depth. It's a fabulous e-commerce solution that offers customers the benefit of both a website and an online store builder. So, not only can you sell your products but you can also create regular web pages. For instance:
- Blog posts
- Contact forms
- Static pages (About us, FAQ's, Testimonials, etc.)
You get the idea!
Shopify users also get access to over 100 payment gateways. So, there's a good chance you'll find one that best suits them. They should be able to easily purchase your products via a credit or debit card transaction. It's worth noting that Shopify has a slight edge over Ecwid in this regard. Ecwid only offers 55 to choose from (which is still pretty good going!)
Plus, if you opt for Shopify Payments, you won't have to waste your profits on transaction fees. However, you'll only be able to access ‘Shopify Payments' if you're running your business from the following countries:
- The U.K.
- The U.S.
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
However, when it comes to calculating your bottom line, you'll still have to factor the cost of credit card processing fees. It doesn't matter which payment gateway you opt for; these fees still apply. The amount varies depending on your chosen Shopify plan and the country you're located in. For example, if you're based in the US, your credit card rates will span between 2.4% to 2.9%.
Shopify's Buy Button vs. Ecwid's Functionality
With the rise of Ecwid's popularity (and other similar programs) Shopify added a new feature known as the ‘Buy Button.' This enables Shopify users (on all plans) to embed a button onto their existing websites which allows them to sell lone products or whole collections of merchandise by copying and pasting a few lines of code.
Although this functionality is similar to Ecwid's, it's not as sophisticated. With Ecwid, you can create an entire online store and add it onto your site whereas, the Shopify ‘Buy Button' functions more like a checkout page.
Shopify POS vs. Ecwid: POS
Unlike other comprehensive e-commerce builders, Shopify offers a point-of-sale functionality enabling entrepreneurs to sell products in-house. Business owners can utilize their own iOS devices or purchase tills, barcode scanners, receipt printers, etc. to get started with in-person selling.
You can still use POS features with lesser plans, but you'll be limited to what you can do.
Just like Shopify, Ecwid also offers its users point of sale options. You can utilize Ecwid's card reader (powered by Paypal) which integrates with ease with the following POS brands:
However, if you want to use more than just a mobile device and make the most of the full range of Ecwid's POS hardware, you'll need to purchase the most expensive Ecwid payment plan.
You should also be aware, if Square's your choice of POS integration, you'll have to be operating your business from one of the following countries:
- The US
- The UK
Ecwid in Greater Detail
If you're using WordPress to run your site, you'll be pleased with how smoothly Ecwid integrates with this platform via its plugin.
Ecwid is also compatible with the following solutions:
- SITE123 (read our SITE123 review)
- Wix (read our Wix review)
- Weebly (read our Weebly review)
- GoDaddy (read our GoDaddy website builder review)
However, you should be aware that with Ecwid, you can only build a one-page site showcasing your digital shop. Naturally, the functionality is nowhere near as comprehensive as Shopify, but it does the job.
Similarly to Shopify, Ecwid enables you to publish online catalogs of products, insert product photos, update the weights of the goods, and modify prices, etc.
You can also set specific shipping rates and edit the various design elements comprising your sales page.
For greater control of the overall design, you'll need to be well-versed in web coding as you'll have to modify the CSS stylesheets to bring your vision to life. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, web designers don't have access to their HTML code.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Advantages of Using Shopify Over Ecwid
One of the best things about using Shopify is the sheer number of professional-looking templates available to you. These are amazing for creating and launching online stores that reflect your brand.
You should note: when you purchase the ‘Basic Shopify' plan (or higher), you'll get full access to your CSS and HTML editor, so you have the freedom to bring your entire vision to life (if you know a thing or two about coding!)
Shopify also calculates shipping costs automatically based on the country you're shipping to and the weights of your products. Entrepreneurs also love how easy it is to optimize their online store for SEO. You can edit the meta descriptions, text on the page, subheadings, titles, URL's, image alt texts, etc.
In comparison to Ecwid, it's far easier to create a clean looking URL. You can ensure they remain relatively short and contain the keyword you're trying to rank for. Whereas, with Ecwid, you don't have a choice! They generate a URL for you, and that's the one you have to use. As such, the onus is on you to create an SEO-friendly title to ensure it's included in web page's URL.
Shopify users can also utilize the ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages' format. This encourages web pages to load faster when customers access their site using a mobile device. Not only does this provide a better customer experience but it's also great for SEO. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Ecwid doesn't offer this feature.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Advantages of Using Ecwid Over Shopify
One of the significant drawbacks to using Shopify is that you're only allowed to list three options per product. So, if you're selling merchandise with a lot of variations (colors, sizes, shapes, designs, etc.), this poses a difficulty. Obviously, you can download and use third-party apps to work around this, but users often describe this solution as ‘complicated.'
Whereas, Ecwid doesn't limit the number of product options to such a small amount. Ecwid also enables entrepreneurs to request and store the info they need from their customers to process customized orders (for example, a button to upload a photo or a text box to insert the copy for their engraving, etc.) Please note, you'll need to invest in one of Ecwid's paid plans to access this feature.
One of the other benefits of Ecwid is that you can present your storefront in 45 different languages. This isn't something you can do as simply with Shopify. Ecwid also creates a mobile app for your store which you can then publish for customers to download via the Apple Appstore and/or Google Play.
How Much Will Shopify or Ecwid Set Me Back?
There are three pricing plans for you to choose from:
- The Basic Shopify Plan ($29 per month): This provides all the basics you need to kickstart your online selling venture.
- The Shopify Plan ($79 per month): This bundle's better suited to entrepreneurs looking to grow their business
- The Advanced Shopify Plan ($299 per month): This is by far the most advanced plan and is useful for scaling businesses.
Be sure to check out this article for more info on Shopify's pricing structure.
Extra Shopify Costs
As we've alluded to throughout this review, you can purchase ‘apps' to improve the overall functionality of your online store. However, these often cost a little extra.
You can also upgrade to paid-for Shopify themes, these are crafted by talented web designers and tend to look a tad more sophisticated. To purchase one of these you're looking at an average one-off fee of around $140-$180.
There are four price plans available:
- The Free Plan: This is ideal for newbies looking to launch an online business
- The Venture Plan (£15 per month): Access to various features that enable you to manage your digital store
- The Business Plan (£35 per month): This bundle provides you with more advanced e-commerce solutions.
- The Unlimited Plan (£99 per month): As the name aptly suggests, this is Ecwid's most comprehensive package for selling online.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Customer Support
Customer support is often a clincher for consumers, so we thought it best to make a quick comparison.
Ecwid‘s customer support options are somewhat limited, and the quality of the support given depends on the plan you're on.
For example, the free program allows you access to Ecwid's support team via email. Alternatively, if you have an issue, you can check out their blog. Over there you'll find tons of guides and tips for making the most out of their software. You can also put your questions to the Ecwid community and wait for a response.
However, if you have a paid-for Ecwid plan, you're also entitled to live chat and priority telephone support where you can request a call-back. That ensures one of Ecwid's support team get back to you at a convenient time.
As you may have already heard, Shopify‘s customer service is A-grade stuff. Their forum is incredible. There are tons of topics where you can get answers to your questions- that's in addition to their exceptionally informative blog.
Moreover, Shopify's advanced live chat is fantastic for anyone wanting a near-on instant response with answers that genuinely help!
Ecwid vs Shopify: Which Should I Choose?
All in all, if you're after a quick and easy solution to launching an online store, Shopify is the software for you. Whereas, Ecwid‘s (usually) best if you just want a plugin enabling you to sell products from a website that's already live.
It saves you having to go through the hassle of designing a new site to host an online store. This is also a better option if you're taking multichannel selling seriously. You can have your store up and running near-on anywhere online providing you're able to and have then permission to modify the web code.
Have you got any experience or have any opinions on either Shopify or Ecwid? If so, we'd love to hear them in the comments section below. Speak soon!