Ecwid, for starters, is not like most of the other ecommerce platforms we’ve reviewed before. But then again, it turns out Ecwid is not that different when it comes to online selling functionalities. Very contradicting when you come to think of it.
So, what is Ecwid, and what’s the difference between Ecwid and other ecommerce platforms?
Now, before we look into Ecwid’s system, allow me to ask this…Have you ever wondered if you’re using the right ecommerce platform for your ecommerce business? Do you sometimes stumble upon a new service that’s more functional and cheaper than what you’re using now?
Well, count yourself lucky if you have. But guess what? You might not be able to shift to the new ecommerce platform or even just modify your site at all. And that has, in fact, been one of the major problems facing small ecommerce merchants for many years.
Well, at least until solutions like Ecwid came along, and proved to be revolutionary.
Have you ever wondered if you’re using the right ecommerce platform for selling online? Do you sometimes stumble upon a new service that’s more functional and cheaper than what you’re using now? Starting a small business is all about keeping your costs low, and finding an ecommerce platform to help you with that is half the battle. Unfortunately, when you run a small business website it often becomes tricky when you want to bring on a new ecommerce platform or even just modify your site at all.
📢 Editor's note: This post was originally published on August 5, 2015 and has completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
👉 Read our Ecwid review to find out more about this solution.
What Is Ecwid?
For someone who knows the struggles that come along with trying to migrate websites- particularly when it comes to ecommerce – I’m always excited about solutions like Ecwid.
You can bet I’ve tried this one out on different types of websites already.
👉 Here’s the resultant review.
This in-depth review of the Ecwid system covers all the critical attributes you’d be interested in to see if it’s worth your time. By the end of it all, you’ll have learned about:
- How Many People Use Ecwid
- Ecwid’s Main Features
- Ecwid Ease of Use
- Ecwid’s Inventory Management
- Importing and Exporting your Product Data on Ecwid
- Dropshipping With Ecwid
- Ecwid SEO and Marketing
- Ecwid Security
- The Ecwid App Market
- Integrating Ecwid With Other Platforms
- Ecwid and GDPR
- Ecwid’s Customer Support
- Ecwid’s Pricing
- Ecwid’s Payment Gateways and Fees
- Ecwid’s Pros and Cons
- How Ecwid Compares To Other Ecommerce Platforms
- Ecwid POS
👉 Now, let’s explore every single aspect individually:
How Many People Use Ecwid?
I find it rather impressive that Ecwid has managed to serve millions of merchants since 2009. Cumulatively, Ecwid’s solutions have supported over 2 billion stores.
What's even cooler is that the Ecwid isn’t one of those services that tend to focus on only the US or Europe. Its merchants currently span over 175 different countries, making Ecwid a global platform.
That means even businesses based in developing countries are progressively leveraging Ecwid in setting up and managing their online stores. Many of them are taking advantage of the fact that they don’t have to trash their existing sites just to rebuild new ecommerce stores.
But, that’s not the only reason why Ecwid is increasingly popular. Even experienced ecommerce merchants are signing up in droves because Ecwid is now PCI DSS Level 1 certified. In case you're not sure what this is, it's pretty much the gold standard for security in the ecommerce world. You can rest easy knowing that you and your customers' data is safe and secure.
Don’t get me wrong though. Ecwid doesn’t exclusively target merchants who already have websites. As a matter of fact, it just so happens that Ecwid is one of the few ecommerce platforms that offer a site for free.
And yes, that’s typically accompanied by the essential ecommerce functionalities you might need as a beginner. Therefore, you can capitalize on Ecwid’s provisions by setting up a complete online store without spending a lot of capital.
In all fairness, however, it’s worth acknowledging that Ecwid has its weakness too. Just like other ecommerce platforms we’ve reviewed before. But, how bad can they get? Stay with me to find out.
Ecwid Reviews: Main Features
As we’ve mentioned already, Ecwid is a SaaS solution for setting up your own ecommerce website. Pretty much the same description you’d use for competitors like BigCommerce, Squarespace, Shopify, and the likes.
However, unlike these three, Ecwid makes strides in the market by catering to companies that don’t want to start a brand new site. The primary feature is that you can take your old site and quickly integrate the Ecwid system within a few minutes.
You can also mirror the system onto various other sites if you plan on selling elsewhere online. Ultimately, you get to manage all of these sites from one centralized place instead of switching between multiple dashboards.
And speaking of which, Ecwid provides a host of decent ecommerce management features. You can, for instance, add a wide range of products accompanied by their distinct attributes like weight, pricing, photos, etc. Then after establishing their shipping rates, you should be able to process different card payments as well as fulfill orders accordingly. In short, you’ll everything that comes with a standard ecommerce platform.
All that can be conducted on the Ecwid online system via your web browser. But, not entirely. It’s also possible to sync Ecwid between multiple devices, and as a result, sell on-the-go from your smartphone.
To facilitate that, Ecwid has built its own store management apps for Android and iOS devices. Although their functionalities cannot possibly match up to what’s offered on the web backend, you can rely on the apps for editing product attributes, uploading e-goods, adding product images, selling, etc.
Consequently, you can go to a tradeshow and still be able to make a few sales off your inventory. And all of these sales instances are bound to be reflected on the backend of your website in real-time.
The system is also designed to integrate well with social networks, so you can sell your items on Facebook if needed. Simply set the Ecwid system to add your items directly to your Facebook page, and voila! You’ll be able to sell and sync every single product accordingly.
Well, the same applies to marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. Ecwid allows you to export your product catalog to such platforms, then sync the sales data automatically as you sell items systematically across multiple channels.
The most outstanding channel, however, has got to be the Ecwid storefront. Expect Ecwid to revamp your site by turning it into a complete ecommerce storefront with capabilities like onsite payment gateways, one-page checkout, attractive product layout, item filtering, shipping service integration, and marketing automation.
Another part of Ecwid that we particularly enjoy is the shipping aspect. With real-time shipping integrations, you constantly know what is going on with your orders, and where they are being shipped to.
Then to top it off, Ecwid recently introduced a new feature called Starter Site. It’s a simplified one-page storefront for businesses that would like to proceed with Ecwid but are yet to set up a website. You can either run it on Ecwid’s primary domain or use your own domain name.
That said, you can think of Ecwid as some sort of ecommerce widget. And that, as a matter of fact, is the principal reason why we call it Ecwid in the first place. After inserting a brief HTML code, the entire system basically embeds onto an existing website like a typical widget, and then proceeds to display your storefront.
👉 Overall, the Ecwid features you get include:
Ecwid Reviews: Ease of Use
Going by the recent control panel redesign, it goes without saying that Ecwid is pleasantly simple and straightforward. It doesn’t take much to learn the ropes here. Even a beginner should, admittedly, have an easy time navigating the backend end functions.
Well, in my opinion, I think anyone who’s tried out a CMS system before should be able to figure things right off the bat. All the principal functions are laid out systematically on the left panel of the Ecwid dashboard, while the right side is reserved for their corresponding options. Just like we’ve seen on WordPress and other CMS solutions.
Thankfully, you can get started on Ecwid without paying for anything. This makes the setup process much easier because you just need to punch in your email and create a password to go straight to the backend interface.
Now, to get your store up and running, Ecwid provides wizards for every platform you might want to place your ecommerce site on. If you have a WordPress site, for example, it only takes about three steps to fully integrate Ecwid. You can alternatively click on options like Facebook and Joomla, depending on where you want to sell.
That said, the backend onboarding process is flawless, since Ecwid walks you through every site creation and integration step with some nice photos and text. You can start working on your storefront in no time by adding products along with their attributes.
💡 In the end, your Ecwid storefront design depends somewhat on the theme you have on your website. You don’t get any default templates for customizing your online store.
The visual editor itself comes with very basic editing settings. Even on its starter site option, Ecwid is only capable of tweaks like product layout arrangement and alignment.
But, fortunately, you can work your way around this by relying on a third-party editing app. Otherwise, if you know a thing or two about coding, you can customize your own Ecwid theme from scratch using CSS.
Well, if you’re willing to spend money on your online store design, you can go ahead and shop for custom themes from selected template marketplaces. Ecwid has partnered with a few reputable ones to avail a range of ready-made themes.
But then again, that might not be necessary since Ecwid is capable of adapting to your site’s current theme. It automatically scans, detects, and analyzes your original fonts plus colors, before applying them to your product display.
Moving on, the web backend is only one part of the holistic Ecwid platform. It’s nice knowing that Ecwid includes a native shopping application for both iOS and Android. As a result, merchants can download a native management application for iOS and Android at no extra cost.
That alone means you can manage your Ecwid store and sell on-the-go, while also giving your customers a chance to buy products from the mobile interface.
For customers who buy directly from the storefront, one exceptionally handy feature is the language tool. And the reason is simple – since running an online store generally requires you to reach out to people from all over the world, you're bound to stumble upon customers who would like to read product pages and other content in their native tongue.
Ecwid can automatically detect and translate more than 51 languages. Therefore, you can bet you’ll be able to sell comfortably to Non-English speaking buyers from all over the world.
Ecwid Inventory Management
The Ecwid inventory system is as simple as they come, since it doesn’t seem to include any of the unnecessary bells and whistles you might find on other ecommerce platforms.
You’ll notice that each step here is clear and concise. So, you can simply go to Ecwid’s Catalog menu option, and edit your products’ categories, description, name, price, attributes, and image. It’s also possible to set SEO settings as well as tax and shipping options of each product in your Ecwid inventory.
Other inventory management features offered by Ecwid include out of stock product tracking, mobile device inventory management, barcode scanning, stock control management, product duplication, and more.
Ecwid Review: Pricing
Apps aside the default Ecwid platform offers four plans, one of which is completely free. In fact, Ecwid markets the free plan quite aggressively, and it proceeds to assure you that they won’t be charging you at any point.
Well, from my previous experiences with Ecwid, the company continues to hold up to their end of the bargain by keeping the whole package permanently free. This is where Ecwid stands out, and in case you’d like to upgrade, you can bet that the premium payment plans won’t cost you much. They are all fairly affordable, especially going by the range of features they offer.
That said, the Ecwid's Free plan lets you sell 10 products, while the Venture plan increases the count to 100 products and you get extras like an iPhone management app. The Business plan, on the other hand, goes up to 2500 products for a reasonable price, accompanied by live chat support. Priority support, however, is only possible on the Unlimited plan, which also happens to accommodate an unlimited amount of products.
Eciwd Pricing Summary
Evidently, Ecwid is one of the cheapest solutions on the market. You can see that it's actually cheaper than many of the other platforms we've reviewed in the past. So, if you're looking for value, this might be the right plugin for you.
Importing and Exporting your Ecwid Product Data
Since you might need to import or export product data while you manage your inventory, Ecwid doesn’t leave this functionality out of its inventory management system. You can easily export and import product info in bulk via CSV.
Now, the best thing about this is that Ecwid allows you to take advantage of up to 25 CSV columns. In other words, you can import multiple products along with 25 of their distinct attributes, including images, URLs, SKUs, names, variants, etc.
That said, it turns out the export function isn’t limited to your product data. You can also export your customer details as well as orders in bulk through CSV. These are the types of capabilities you need to transfer data to other ecommerce or analytics platforms.
Dropshipping with Ecwid
All things considered, Ecwid was seemingly built for more than one business approach. It’s fully capable of going beyond the standard model of direct product selling, to support dynamic ecommerce merchants.
Case in point – if acting as the middle man between shoppers and suppliers is your kind of thing, for instance, Ecwid can come in handy for dropshipping.
But, here’s the thing. You can best achieve this by integrating a dropshipping app from Ecwid’s App Store. Thankfully, there are various options for different kinds of dropshipping businesses.
The most versatile ones can effectively coordinate between numerous customers and more than 100 suppliers on a single Ecwid dropshipping store. You can easily set up products, communicate with suppliers, track fulfillment plus shipping, sync your data accordingly, and more.
The Ecwid App Market
Adding application extensions is a sure fire way to scaling up or customizing your ecommerce site in a reasonable manner. And that’s why Ecwid comes with its own App Market, which features a wide range of decent applications for merchants who’d like to expand their functionalities.
Apart from typical ecommerce tools, you can get add-ons for reward schemes, customer support, accounting, analytics, shipping, product management, dropshipping and store management.
Although a handful of them can be installed for free, the best Ecwid app options come at a price. And if you’re curious about their corresponding price ranges, the pricing structure for the Ecwid App market is quite diverse. Some apps charge a one-off fee, while others come with a monthly subscription system, or in some cases, commission-based pricing.
What you choose in the end depends on your specific needs and budget.
Ecwid SEO and Marketing
Although Ecwid is a third-party solution to your current site, it makes a decent attempt at improving your overall SEO standing. You can, for starters, define your product plus page SEO meta-descriptions. Then Ecwid even helps you further by automatically pre-populating the relevant fields.
Sadly, you don’t get advanced SEO editing capabilities by default. On the bright side, however, you would typically have to implement additional SEO and marketing tools to really get the word out.
Moreover, Google now indexes AJAX sites. So, all Ecwid stores are indexed by Google without any extra effort. It gets even better with WordPress sites, since you gain access to additional SEO plugins and the default search engine functionality on the dashboard.
Then when it comes to sales promotions, Ecwid offers abandoned cart recovery tools, along with volume discounts, discount codes, and promotional pricing. You can set up additional discounts, but that would require you to integrate relevant extensions.
It seems that Ecwid takes security seriously, since the company is a PCI DSS Level 1 certified service provider. In addition to that, the company states that every transaction that includes sensitive information is transferred through a secure HTTPS channel.
That means you can rely on Ecwid to protect your customers’ confidential information. And just for clarity’s sake, Ecwid doesn’t handle, collect, or store your customers’ payment data. All the transactions processed directly by your payment processor.
The rest of the site data, on the other hand, is stored safely on Amazon Web Services secure servers. Then to reduce the chances of a disastrous breach, the entire Ecwid network is scanned and backed up on a regular basis.
Ecwid and GDPR
Going by the European Union GDPR regulations, all EU-based and Non-EU businesses are expected to strictly abide by the data laws when handling EU traffic. The principal objective here is safeguarding the privacy of EU web visitors.
👉 In short, your site should:
- Handle and save data securely.
- Seek opt-in consents from your web visitors before adding them to your mailing list.
- Generate relevant cookie and privacy notifications.
- Allow your visitors to accept or reject your cookie requests.
Well, from our analysis, you shouldn’t have any problem implementing any of these conditions. The Ecwid backend helps you comply accordingly by providing a range of relevant site tweaks.
To seek mailing list consent from your shoppers, for instance, you could simply introduce a sign-up option on your storefront checkout page. Then when you need to track your customers through cookies, just proceed to the Tracking and Analytics section within the Settings area, and enable the GDPR Cookie Consent Banner. Your visitors will subsequently be allowed to accept or decline cookies on the storefront.
Ecwid Reviews: Customer Support
Ecwid offers a “Chat With Sales” feature which is always one of my favorite ways to talk with companies. Simply send them a query and you can work on something else until they respond.
The company also provides a powerful support section with FAQs, a knowledge base, email capabilities, and a forum.
Overall, the support outlets include phone support, online chat support and email support, keeping the response time short and support quality high.
In my opinion, the platform has everything you could want in terms of support.
Ecwid Payment Gateways and Fees
Come to think of it, it has never been easy to find an ecommerce platform that doesn’t charge transaction fees. But, interestingly, that’s exactly what you get with Ecwid. They never charge any sort of transaction fees on any of the plans they offer, making Ecwid a desirable ecommerce solution for any store trying to keep costs down or improve margins.
Speaking of which, it’s pretty easy to implement any of these systems, since Ecwid integrates with over 40 international payment options. However, it’s worth noting that each of these processors has its own transaction fees schedule.
Fair enough. Now, imagine you’d like to collect both online and offline payments. Is it possible to proceed with a point of sale integration?
💡 Well, the good news is that there are plenty of decent POS card payment options. Ecwid integrates with Square POS, Clover, Vend POS, iZettle and PayPal card readers, allowing Ecwid to turn your store setup into both an online and offline system.
Integrating Ecwid With Other Platforms
Ecwid and WordPress
WordPress, as you probably know by now, is just a CMS platform. That means it doesn’t come with online selling capabilities.
But, thankfully, you can add easily transform your WordPress-based site into an online store by integrating an external application like Ecwid. Well, Ecwid itself is extremely handy because it provides a dedicated WordPress plugin for that.
Connecting Ecwid and WordPress, therefore, is a pretty straightforward process. Simply install the Ecwid plugin through your WordPress backend, activate it, and voila! You’ll be on your way to setting up a fully-functional WordPress online store.
And yes, in case you’re wondering, the plugin is completely free of charge.
👉 For more info, check out our conclusive WordPress.org review.
Ecwid and Wix
Wix is a pretty decent website builder and hosting platform. And although you can add extra ecommerce functionalities to transform your standard site into an online store, it turns out dropshipping is still a major challenge.
However, you can solve that by integrating Ecwid with your Wix site. And just like we’ve seen with WordPress, this doesn’t take much since Ecwid has a specialized app for Wix users. Simply search for it among the third-party apps on Wix, and then integrate the extension with your Wix site. It really is that simple.
How Does Ecwid Compare To Other Ecommerce Platforms?
Ecwid vs Shopify
Ecwid, for starters, is essentially an ecommerce extension that allows you to transform a regular site into an online storefront. Shopify, on the other hand, is basically a complete closed-source ecommerce platform that allows you to create an online store from scratch, and before hosting it on the platform.
In a nutshell, therefore, Shopify is considered a powerful all-round ecommerce website builder (which inludes an ecommerce hosting solution), while Ecwid targets website owners who simply want supplementary online selling features on their sites.
👉 For more info, check out our conclusive Shopify reviews.
Ecwid vs Wix
Wix is one of the most dominant website builders on the market today. You can use it to create your own website, and then proceed to host it on the platform as you possibly embed online selling extensions.
In contrast, Ecwid users have their own websites before they even consider leveraging Ecwid. And while Ecwid is a bonafide ecommerce solution, Wix is just a website builder that happens to support a wide range of ecommerce integrations.
👉 For more info, check out our conclusive Wix review.
Ecwid vs BigCommerce
BigCommerce is a lot like Shopify. It’s a fully-fledged ecommerce platform with website building and hosting features. However, it locks your website in the platform as soon as you get it up and running.
Well, Ecwid cannot match up to BigCommerce when it comes to ecommerce functionalities. And that, when you come to think of it, makes Ecwid less complicated.
All in all, Ecwid is suitable for startups and small business merchants who already own websites, while BigCommerce is built for growing businesses that are setting up online stores from scratch.
👉 For more info, check out our conclusive BigCommerce review.
While Ecwid is popularly recognized as an ecommerce platform, it can be much more than that. Dynamic merchants seeking to supplement their online stores can set up an omnichannel commerce framework comprising of various online channels, as well as brick-and-mortar offline locations.
The trick here is capitalizing on Ecwid’s POS (Point of Sale) functionality. It’s built to support offline selling across standard brick-and-mortar stores, plus mobile in-person sales.
All these sales fronts are connected and controlled from a centralized Ecwid dashboard. The whole Ecwid framework is subsequently monitored in real-time to keep all the critical variables synced at all times. Therefore, even the slightest inventory or sales information adjustment is reflected across the system as soon as it occurs.
Now, if you intend to take advantage of Ecwid’s POS feature, you might want to invest in a suitable card reader. While online card-not-present transactions are processed by payment processors, in-store transactions are largely facilitated by card processors via card readers.
That said, other hardware peripherals required to set up a typically complete POS system include cash drawers, receipt printers, barcode scanners, etc. The good thing about Ecwid’s POS is that it’s pretty flexible. So, you should be able to embed any universally acceptable point of sale hardware (here can fin some of the best POS systems available).
In the end, therefore, what you ultimately choose for your retail store depends on your specific needs and budget.
Ecwid Pros and Cons
👍 Ecwid Pros
- Ecwid’s free plan comes with decent features.
- There’s a Starter Site package for merchants without websites.
- Ecwid accommodates dropshipping businesses.
- Ecwid provides plugins for integrating with many of the dominant web hosting platforms.
- Ecwid is pretty responsive.
- You can set up a multilingual online store on Ecwid.
- Ecwid is GDPR compliant
- Ecwid offers a wide range of ecommerce features at considerably reasonable plan prices.
- You can take advantage of Ecwid’s POS functionality to put up a supplementary offline store.
- The Ecwid App Store offers a range of useful ecommerce applications.
👎 Ecwid Cons
- Ecwid’s Free Plan doesn’t offer SEO editing capabilities.
- It’s impossible to edit your products’ URLs for SEO purposes.
- Ecwid doesn’t support product page AMP versions.
- You can’t build a complete ecommerce website on Ecwid.
- Phone support is only available to premium subscribers.
Ecwid Negative User Reviews
Ecwid is one of those platforms that continue to attract way more positive reviews than negative remarks. But, let’s face it. Although they are few, there are some pretty genuine negative reviews about Ecwid.
A good number of the complaints, for example, are on Ecwid’s customer support. Don’t get me wrong though. Users are satisfied with the level of support offered. The only problem is the number of options available to Free Plan users. It seems you can only get specialized live chat and phone support after upgrading to one of the paid plans.
And that brings us to another frequently recurring complain. That the Free Plan offers very limited features. Now, this is a double-edged sword if you ask me. Because free stuff always comes with a caveat.
What Are Others Saying About Ecwid?
Overall, Ecwid enjoys solid scores on customer review forums across the web. Most of its users are satisfied that for a considerably affordable rate, they get to upgrade their websites by transforming them into online stores. Then to top it off, the Ecwid grants them omnichannel sales capabilities across various online and offline channels.
Ecwid Reviews: Conclusion
Evidently, Ecwid is not an all-round ecommerce platform and you cannot build an online store or host one on Ecwid. Even the Starter Site option is a very limited version of a storefront.
But, Ecwid is extremely reliable if you already have a website. And it’s pretty straightforward. Simply integrate it as a plugin, and you’ll end up with a pretty sleek storefront at a very reasonable price.
In a nutshell, Ecwid is ecommerce made easy for small dynamic merchants who need flexible omnichannel commerce capabilities.
Share your thoughts in the comments section below if you have any questions about this Ecwid review. Have you ever used ecwid? Do you plan on checking it out after reading this?