Ecwid vs. Shopify - Comparing Two Powerful eCommerce Solutions

Ecwid vs. Shopify - Comparing Two Powerful eCommerce Solutions

So, you are setting up a new online store? Maybe you are starting from scratch or already have a business and want to start selling online. Either way, an eCommerce solution like Ecwid or Shopify is a convenient way to begin quickly. So, I’ve created this comprehensive comparison of Ecwid vs. Shopify.

Both Shopify and Ecwid are industry leaders. Since its founding in 2006, Shopify has been incredibly popular, gaining over one million merchants and having a grand total of $82 billion sold through the platform. On the other hand, Ecwid was founded in 2009 and is a successful platform as well, having over one million online users. However, they are quite different from each other in core features.

In this article, I’m going to highlight all the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of these two platforms, so that you can compare them to your preferences. If you still have questions at the end, I would be happy to reply to your concern. So, without further ado, let’s get started and see the battle of Ecwid vs. Shopify.

Table of content:

What is Ecwid

Ecwid
Ecwid

Ecwid is a plugin that lets you add eCommerce functions to an existing website by adding a snippet of code to it. In recent years, Ecwid keeps adding more features, such as website builder, advertising, and cross-platform selling. Now, Ecwid is currently used by over 1 million business owners around the world.

The platform is designed to scale when a business grows, enhance the marketing capabilities on Google and Facebook, and simply design an online store. Beginners would find Ecwid to be friendly and take only a handful of time to master what it has to offer.

Ecwid has many tools that an eCommerce would appreciate, such as apps, themes, point-of-sale, and site integration. If you are a small and medium-size business, Ecwid proves to be a good choice.

What is Shopify?

Shopify
Shopify

Shopify is a world-wide famous eCommerce platform that enables the creation of an entire eCommerce website. It comes with a rich set of features, an extensive collection of tools, and many features that can increase the efficiency of an online store’s work process. Shopify is home to over 1 million merchants in 175 countries in the world.

Not only let you build a website from the ground up with no coding knowledge required, but you can also create regular web pages such as blogs, contact forms, and static pages (FAQ, About us, Testimonials). Shopify does allow you to customize your sites more if you can edit code, but the interface is beginner-friendly.

Shopify’s features make it a natural fit to implement positioning for any size of the business, while the sale features increase customer lifetime value without getting too complicated. If you are a new eCommerce company that looks to launch with ease, Shopify proves to be a good choice by being the selection for Tesla, Kylie Cosmetics, and Budweiser.

Ecwid and Shopify main differences

Both platforms are well-known players in the eCommerce world. However, there are some significant differences in how they are meant to be used.

Ecwid was created as an eCommerce plugin, which means you add it to an existing website to add online selling functionality. This is a great option for smaller businesses that are looking for a way to engage with online customers and expand the operation. They have a site builder, but it is made to be more like a landing page to showcase necessary information about a business.

Shopify is a dedicated eCommerce platform that was built to create an online business with all aspects involved. Shopify is packed with tools for many stages of a growing business, making it the ideal option for both large and small companies. You don’t need coding to build a store like Ecwid, but the store’s power is nothing compared to what Shopify can build.

The biggest difference is this: Ecwid lets you build a very basic website builder to create sort of a landing page for your store. This is a handy feature, but it is not designed to build websites. Meanwhile, Shopify is made to build a totally functional store, which can grow and withstand eCommerce demands such as big traffic, large inventory, and out-of-the-box customization.

In a nutshell, Ecwid is best for personal and small business levels, who want to try eCommerce or add selling functionality to an existing website. On the other hand, Shopify is best for those who want to set up a new and fully functional eCommerce business that is expected to scale on many levels.

Pros and cons of Ecwid and Shopify

  Ecwid Shopify
Pros - Start where you are – it’s quick and easy to turn an existing website into a new online store
- Beginner-friendly - No coding skills are required to use, and you can save time setting up too
- Multichannel selling - many extensive tools to sell and manage across many platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, WordPress.
- Powerful eCommerce tools - Tools, apps (both free and paid) will help you easily manage your store.
- Excellent multichannel integration - you can sell across multiple channels, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
- High-quality store builder - Your store will get top-notch sales features to bring customer satisfaction.
- Good customer support - 24/7 support through email, live chat, phone, and email
Cons - Small-scale tools - Ecwid is a great option for small stores, but a lot of growth is hard to scale.
- Limited store design - although there are many themes, they are quite similar in layout, making customization difficult.
- Free plan - it is very basic and limited in features, you get used to the features but will find it quite difficult to start selling only with this plan
- Higher cost - Monthly costs can add up through using apps.
- Transaction fees - Unless you use Shopify Payments (which is available in limited countries) or you will have to pay transaction fees.
- Limited trial time - You only have a free trial of 14 days before paying for a plan.

Ecwid vs. Shopify

In this section, we are going to look at all the major factors that an online business needs from an eCommerce solution. Ecwid vs. Shopify on all these aspects will give you a detailed overview of their features and make your decision easier. Let’s get started.

Pricing

It is the elephant in the room that anyone would need to consider when choosing Ecwid or Shopify, so I’m going to address it first. Fitting into a budget not only is a big part of the selection process but also allows your store to grow more steadily. The most expensive car may be faster, but it won’t necessarily take you to the finish line.

Ecwid's pricing
Ecwid's pricing

Ecwid offers four pricing plans with a free plan to try out some features. There are three paid plans starting at $15, but you can always continue with an indefinite $0 option. The capabilities are limited to a sales inventory of 10 items and a small number of themes, but if you are only starting out, this is a great way to get just what you need at no cost.

The key features for each plan are:

Free Venture Business Unlimited
0$ / month $15 / month $35 / month $99 / month
- Online store
- 10 product limit
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free starter site
- Sell on multiple websites
- Everything from Free plan
- 100 product limit
- Sell digital goods
- Inventory management
- Access to App Market
- Discount coupons
- Multichannel selling
- Everything from Venture plan
- 2,500 product limit
- Abandoned cart saver
- Automated abandoned cart recovery
- Product dimensions
- Staff accounts (2 max)
- Everything from Business plan
- Unlimited products
- Point of Sale
- Square POS integration
- Branded shopping app
Good for starting a simple online store Managing your small online store and encouraging growth Expanding your online store Scaling your eCommerce business an increased revenue sources

As you can see, the features become more extensive as you pay more — providing features like abandoned cart saving, point of sale features, gift cards, and more comprehensive support depending on the plan. If you pay annually, you can save more money on each plan too.

Shopify's pricing
Shopify's pricing

Shopify has three basic pricing plans and two special plans called Shopify Lite for selling through an existing website and Shopify Plus for enterprise levels. The three main pricing plans start at $29 per month, then increasing to $79 for the second plan, and reaching $299 per month on the highest plan.

Every Shopify plan comes with a 14-day free trial, and during this time of social distancing, you can try all plans with a 90-day free trial. This gives you more than enough time to try everything before you buy. If you buy annually, you will save 10% for all plans, and if you buy for two years, you can save 20%.

The key features for each plan are:

Basic Shopify Shopify Advanced Shopify
$29 $79 $299
- Online store
- Unlimited products
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Discount codes
- Multichannel integration
- Print shipping labels
- Access to Shopify App Center
- Shopify POS app
- Staff accounts (2 max)
- Everything from Shopify plan
- Gift cards
- Professional reports
- More shipping discount
- Less transaction fees
- Staff accounts (5 max)
- Everything from Advanced Shopify plan
- Advanced report builder
- Third-party calculated shipping rates
- More shipping discount
- Less transaction fees
- Staff accounts (15 max)
Launching a fully-functional online store Growing an online store with more data Scaling up an established business

Shopify’s starting price is higher than Ecwid, but it provides immediately all the features you need to successfully run an online store. Even the lowest Basic Shopify plan has some features that only Ecwid’s most expensive plan has, such as Point of sale, two staff accounts, and unlimited products. Shopify is designed for serious eCommerce businesses looking to sustain scalability and push growth.

The extra plan - Shopify Lite can be considered a direct competitor with Ecwid at only $9/month. It lets you add a “Buy Button” to an existing website, sell on social media channels, and sell in-person using Shopify’s Point of Sale app. And you get to keep these features when you upgrade to a Basic Shopify plan.

It is clear that Ecwid and Shopify are targeting different business sizes, although they do step on each other’s territory. Ecwid is best suited for personal stores, or who are just starting out. There is room for growth, but not too much if you don’t upgrade to higher plans. Shopify is great for businesses of all sizes that focus on long-term growth. Its plans are more expensive, but your money returns more value in the long run.

In terms of pricing, it is a draw between Ecwid and Shopify. The winner will depend on your own needs and values, as well as your strategy in the short or long term.

Functionality

Once you’ve had a platform for your online store, you wouldn’t want to waste any time. After all, time is money. You can speed the process up by measuring the functionality of the solution. That is what we are taking a look in this section of Ecwid vs. Shopify.

Ecwid is very easy to use and beginner-friendly – all you need to do is integrate it with your website. You won’t need to worry about hosting, coding, updating, or even installing anything. Adding Ecwid to a website is straightforward by adding a widget to a site’s backend. Websites that have special Ecwid plugins are:

  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Strikingly
  • SITE123
  • GoDaddy

This means you just need to enter the app store, select Ecwid, and your website is reborn with eCommerce features. Ecwid is also available for marketplaces like Etsy, eBay, or Facebook. If your website is not in Ecwid’s list of integrations, you will need to follow simple instructions to copy and paste the needed code into your site.

If you decide to create a new online store with Ecwid, you won’t have much hassle too. Just answer a few simple questions, and Ecwid would create a simple store that you can edit later. Editing process is done by dragging and dropping, just like kid’s paintings.

Shopify can sound like more work because you are creating an entirely new online store, but doesn’t that just make it sound more impressive? There are more aspects to building with Shopify, but you have guidance for every step of the way in a streamlined process. Like Ecwid, you won’t have to think about hosting or managing updates.

You can simply select a theme you love and customize it, then you can start adding products and tracking your sales through analytics. Customizing is easy with a drag and drop system, while Shopify can automate some important and time-consuming tasks for you.

You have the tools to track inventory and give real-time shipping quotes from a chosen courier, with a ton of apps to help with other tasks. If you are interested in dropshipping, Shopify has dedicated apps for it too. Through its functionality, Shopify makes scaling your business a natural step through times.

For functionality, Shopify is the winner. Ecwid may be easier to use, but Shopify makes the long road look way better. Ecwid’s integrations for popular website builders do make it an attractive design to get into eCommerce, but Shopify is what you need to be a master.

Store design

Store design
Store design

Variety is what website design is all about. Afterall, if your site doesn’t stand out, it will be forgotten like millions of other sites. Nobody wants to visit dozens of websites that look exactly like each other - how you design your store will decide how customers remember you.

Because it is a plugin, Ecwid doesn’t work like a store builder. Rather than picking a theme and building your store around it, Ecwid can integrate into the existing site and build an appearance that is similar in colors and font. You can edit the basics of the storefront, but there are limited customization options. For example, you can change the product image size between small, medium, and large, but no preferred size options.

You can also tweak the color palette, but there are only a number of available colors. This makes the experience smoother but does sacrifice in-depth customization. And, in the free plan, you can’t access the app store to have more functionality in designing.

Shopify starts off by picking a theme among 72 ones that are broken down into industries. From there, you design with this template to create a store. This template can be switched out anytime if you change your mind.

When editing, you have more control over designing, from page layouts to color choices. You can also select great images from the available stock library so you can further modify and resize to meet your expectation. All the editing is done by dragging and dropping, so you won’t have any trouble learning how to use it.

In terms of store design, Shopify wins outright. Ecwid does have the basics and smooth experience, but Shopify provides complete control with better customization.

eCommerce features

Both Ecwid and Shopify have the basic features that you would expect from an eCommerce solution, which allows you to host a catalogue of products, create shipping rules, and accept online transactions. However, there are some more features that are worth exploring for more depth comparison.

Product limits: As you may have noticed, Shopify is more generous than Ecwid when it comes to the number of products in your store. With Ecwid, you are limited to 10 products on the free plan, 100 on the Venture plan, 2500 on the Business plan, and unlimited on the Unlimited plan. For Shopify, all plans can host unlimited numbers of products.

Point of sale (POS): If you are thinking of selling goods at a physical location such as a retail outlet, market stall, or so on, Shopify is probably a better option. From the lowest plan of Shopify Lite at $9 per month, you already have this functionality. Ecwid only allows store owners to access POS features on the Unlimited plan. POS is also built-in in Shopify so it is easier and cheaper to use.

Dropshipping: If you want to sell goods without having anything in stock, dropshipping is the option. Dropshipping in Shopify is simple with adding an app like Oberlo (and more) to pick goods and put them on your site live. For Ecwid, you can use apps such as Wholesale2B. But the Shopify app store is much bigger and has more options available.

Abandoned cart saving: Automatically send abandoned cart recovery emails can recover 15% - 28% of lost revenue - so this functionality is quite important. For Shopify, you have this option at all plans, but Ecwid requires users to be on a $35+ plan or higher to have this.

Multi-currency selling: If your visitors see their country’s currencies, you generally get more online sales. For Shopify, the Shopify Plus plan has this feature, or you can install a free app such as Bold Multi-Currency. Similarly, Ecwid users would need a third-party app such as Currency Converter to have this feature too, but it doesn’t show local currencies in the checkout stage. With Shopify, the app can display local currency on every page of the store.

Selling digital goods: Both Ecwid and Shopify lets you sell digital goods such as music, video, ebooks, and more. Ecwid lets you sell digital goods from the Venture plan of $15 per month with files up to 25GB in size. In the case of Shopify, you can do this on any plan, but you will need an app to accompany.

In terms of eCommerce features, Shopify is a bit stronger with good support for POS and product limits, there are also many apps that can help. Ecwid proves to be a good competitor with efficiency at an affordable price.

Payment methods

Now, let’s talk about payment methods and the following fees. How many payment options are there? Will Ecwid or Shopify charge transaction fees? Let’s find out!

Ecwid supports over 50 payment gateways in total, and the main ones are PayPal, Stripe, Square, and WePay. Pick a gateway that is supported in your country or region and you are good to go. You can also accept offline payments like wire transfers or cash on delivery. For transaction fees, Ecwid won’t charge you this, but there are still processing fees - which are charged by the payment gateway. For example, WePay can charge up to 2.9% + $0.30 each transaction.

Shopify supports over 100 payment gateways, with major names like PayPal, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Apple Pay, Google Pay. Manual payments such as cash delivery and alternatives like cryptocurrency are also supported. There is also an inhouse payment gateway called Shopify Payments - which doesn’t charge transaction fees. Other payment gateways have transparent transaction fees that you can see on the pricing page.

If you are in a country that allows Shopify Payment, you can also lower processing fees through a partnership with payment providers like PayPal. It is a fee-free, low rate option that any eCommerce business would love to have.

For payment methods, it is a draw between Ecwid and Shopify. But if you are in a country that has Shopify Payments, then you can unlock a 0% transaction fee with competitive processing rates - which is the best option.

Support

Support
Support

If you need to send help signals because of a problem, you don’t need to write SOS on the sky, because Ecwid and Shopify both have pretty solid customer support.

Ecwid has a range of support system in place, which are:

  • Priority support (highest plan only)
  • Phone support (premium plans only)
  • Live chat (premium plans only)
  • Email support
  • Video Guides
  • Community forum
  • Help Center

If you are on a free plan, your source of help would be the Ecwid Help Center. This has helpful guides, videos, and a series called Ecwid 101 which will walk you through the basics. For next-level support, you will need to upgrade to more advanced plans. This unlocks live chat and phone support, and if you are on the Unlimited plan, you get priority to have faster support.

Shopify also has a great support options that is speedy and stress-free. These include:

  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Social media support
  • Help Center
  • Community forum
  • Video tutorials
  • Email support
  • Advanced specialist support (highest plan only)

All the support is available to every pricing plan, so you are definitely assisted on the way to success. When you request help in the site’s editor, you will be taken straight to a relevant page in the help center. This saves you time and stress searching for the relevant articles.

Combine that efficiency with 24/7 live chat and phone support, you have high-quality customer support that users can really appreciate. When you sign up for Shopify Plus, you even get a dedicated support agent to help whenever you need it.

So, in terms of support, Shopify wins this round. While Ecwid does have great options, it is limited to the lower-priced plans. Shopify gives full-on support from the start and has a wide range of help options - which can save you time and effort on running an online store.

Ecwid vs Shopify: Which should you choose?

So far, we have compared Ecwid and Shopify against each other in all the important areas. Along the way, we have weighed up the pricing, functionality, features, payment methods, and support. If you have followed the battle, you would say it is quite a neck-to-neck competition.

In conclusion, we can safely say that:

Ecwid is the best option for those who already have a website and want to add eCommerce features. Its free plan has an easy to use the system so you can get around quickly and easily launch an online store. For small scale businesses, Ecwid has all the basic tools needed to encourage online selling.

Shopify is a dedicated eCommerce solution that can help you set up an original online store. It has powerful tools and features to support growth in the long run, and you have all the fuel needed to scale an eCommerce business quickly. If you are thinking of an eCommerce empire, Shopify is the right choice.

There are different platforms with different target customers, but overall, I will give the title to Shopify. It has more powerful sales tools to make a business run smoothly for long-term success. Ecwid is great for getting started, but for big growth and profitability, Shopify is obviously the full package option.

Final words

All in all, the choice is still in your hand. Whether you choose Ecwid or Shopify, pick the car that has the best speed and features suitable for your business’s needs. Both platforms can have your store up and running in a little time and start making online sales, so you can take time trying their free trials to see which fits you more.

Have you got any experience with Ecwid or Shopify? Which platform is your ultimate choice? Share me your thoughts in the comment section below, I would love to hear it. And as always, best of luck on your eCommerce journey!

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