Ecwid vs Shopify: Professional Comparison & Insights by eCommerce experts [Detailed Review]

upqode | Sep 17th, 2020

Both Shopify and Ecwid are both eCommerce tools for selling products online. When considering Ecwid vs Shopify, note that you can use either of them to build an online store, to regularly manage your inventory, and uploading products to your store.

Unlike Shopify and different other platforms out there, Ecwid eCommerce is more a store plug-in than a site builder and a software. But regardless of the differences, the service you decide to use should be chosen depending on your targeted audience, your skills in web design, your expectations, and the amount you’re willing to put in towards the project.

But the questions to keep in mind are: how do you want your online store to look? What features should your store achieve? In answering these questions, you’ll be able to find the right ecommerce tool for your web store and even know the plugins you’ll need to create your desired web store.  

Ecwid vs Shopify: An Overview

The thing is, both Shopify and Ecwid have different backgrounds. Initially, Shopify was designed as a tool to help users set up a new, standalone web store. That means a functional website with your preferred domain.

Meanwhile, Ecwid was intended to help people sell their products on an already existing website whereby a snippet of code is added to it (thus the name ‘Ecwid’ derived from e-commerce widget).

However, in recent years, this has become a little fuzzy. Today you can integrate a product catalog from Shopify to your existing website. Also, you can use Ecwid in creating a standalone online store.

So, which is better Shopify or Ecwid? To answer this, it’s important that we start by looking at factors that make both these tools different.

Ecwid vs Shopify:  How Do these eCommerce Platforms Compare?

#1. Ease of Use

When building your online store, consider spending your time growing your brand name and selling your products, not in the overly technical and confusing back end.

Ecwid ease of use

Ecwid was designed to be easy to use, especially when looking at day-to-day store management.

Once installed, it allows you to design your layout, edit pages, and quickly add products through clicking on a media uploader to upload your content. Its side toolbar also mirrors other software options plus everything on it is labeled and intuitively organized.

Shopify ease of use

Through a drag-and-drop builder, Shopify lets you move and create modules, which makes the building and editing process of your site super simple.

All the important tools and buttons like the “undo” button have been labeled clearly. Its keyboard shortcuts even boost Shopify’s efficiency plus you don’t have to worry about the technical side of building your business website.

Shopify offers you a working framework that allows you to customize and design using its templates rather than have to create working parts from the ground up.

#2. Customizing Your Theme

By customizing your store, you are then able to build your brand and a storefront that feels unique and suits your store positioning.

Ecwid customization

Since Ecwid is a plugin, it means it does not work similarly to a builder. Rather than choose a theme and build your store in it, this plugin integrates into your existing site which then allows you to set up your online.

Ecwid customization

Though it lets you edit basic parts of your storefront, this feature gives limited customization options. For instance, changing the image size of your product can only be done to a limited resize option. It only offers you three choices: large, small, or medium.

Also, while you can adjust your color palette, you can only choose from the existing color picker. Although this gives you a smooth experience, it means you’ll forgo the more in-depth customization.

Shopify customization

Shopify lets you pick a theme whereby the themes you’re choosing from are again broken down by industry which assures the best fit. Next, you’ll design using templates to quickly set up a store, plus you can change templates as you change your mind.

Shopify customization

As for editing, Shopify gives you more control over each aspect, from color choices to page layouts. Also, you have access to several choices of free stock images that you can resize and further modify to suit your needs.

#3. Pricing

Getting a tool that fits into your budget is a huge part of the selection process.

Ecwid pricing

What does Ecwid cost? Well, Ecwid pricing comes with a long-term free option and it’s also fair. Although each plan offers a free trial, you can continue their indefinite $0 option.

Ecwid pricing

Again its capabilities are limited since it limits your sales inventory to 10 items and has restricted access to a specified number of themes. Nevertheless, for someone who only wants to sell a handful of items, it is a great option to offer you what you’ll need at zero cost.

Ecwid.s first paid tier is the Venture plan that costs $15 a month, or with annual billing of $12.50. This plan gives you access to more theme and inventory selection options plus more enhanced features.

Shopify reviews on pricing

As for Shopify reviews, their pricing is both affordable and pretty reasonable. Their plans start at $29 per month, or with annual billing at $26.10. Plus, you’ll get access to many features and flex and not have to go their $299 a month plan, or with annual billing $269.10 a month.

Shopify pricing

Shopify’s basic option is quite comprehensive, followed by a standard plan that has full access to their Exchange marketplace, the capability to sell offline as well as sync to inventory, and SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which helps protect sensitive data, numerous themes, and more.

#4. SEO Features

SEO in Shopify

When looking at Search engine optimization in Shopify vs Ecwid, Shopify generally has very strong SEO components that can easily be changed like page titles, headers, Metadata, URLs, and so on.

As for URL creation, you’ll create ‘cleaner’ URLs when using Shopify. While they aren’t as short as what search engines like (often prefixed by identifiers like ‘products’ or ‘posts’’), you can easily ensure that Shopify URLs are rather simple and include your targeted product keywords — which Google along with other search engines recommend.

As you look at Shopify vs Ecwid, another edge to consider involves the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format. Pages within this format tend to load faster, thus offering customers an enhanced mobile experience, and in the end some SEO benefits. Note that search engines are said to reward more the faster-loading pages then the sluggish ones hence they rank a little higher in search results).

SEO in Ecwid

On all these fronts, Ecwid will perform rather well (provided you’re using the paid plan). However, it’s worth highlighting two areas it’s no match for Shopify in SEO terms: AMP format and URL creation. 

Unfortunately, with Ecwid you have to do with whatever the system generates for you. But, when you ensure to use a product title that’s SEO-friendly, then it will appear in the Ecwid URL which counts. However, the Shopify system is without a doubt is better and more flexible as far as SEO goes.

Also, by using an additional third-party app with Shopify, you can display all your website content in the AMP format which is not achievable with Ecwid.

#5. Features

The features included in a platform determine its specialization abilities. Whether it offers unique templates or helps support sales and marketing, having the right features can help fine-tune your success.

Ecwid features

This being a plug-in, Ecwid offers an extensive feature list which includes multi-channel selling which supports social commerce, dropshipping for ship on-demand services, numerous ways to boost your visibility, sales, and marketing creativity.

As you start your setup, its assisted setup feature will help you create the right store step by step. It supports bulk inventory uploads plus lets you edit existing products. Also, you can use Ecwid’s shipping and automatic tax calculator when you’re sending out products.

From Ecwid reviews, you’ll also note that Ecwid provides lots of marketing integrations that cater to many promotional bases like placing Google ads, creating coupons, and promos that help increase customer retention.

Shopify features

E-Commerce platform Shopify offers amazing basic features that include high-quality dynamic themes, easy-to-use customization via draggable modules, plus sync capability for offline sales, built-in analytics, and excellent inventory management.

Shopify features

Shopify also offers great marketing integrations that you can use to promote your business or managing all contact points in your customer’s lifetime journey.

The Exchange marketplace is another unique feature that Shopify offers to ready-made stores. So, you can avoid building your online store from scratch by safely buying and taking over an existing online store. This is similar to a physical shop being under new management.

#6. Support

As concerns customer support, the best platforms ensure they offer resources in addition to live representatives that will users have all the information they need when starting.

Ecwid support

Ecwid provides a wide range of support solutions, starting from an extensive resources library and email support accessible to all plans even the free ones. With the higher-level plans, you get access to live-chat support while top tiers get exclusive phone support.

Their response times are fast for their live chat and email, and the solutions they offer are thorough and quite helpful. And that applies to all the phone support.

Another helpful option for top tier users is a dedicated consultant to help them set up their online store.

Shopify support

Shopify has excellent support with Shopify representatives available by email ticketing and on phone 24/7. Plus their support is reputable in offering helpful responses fast.

Besides the traditional representative support, this platform also offers an online extensive resource library, video tutorials and instructions to help you address the issues on your own.

#7. Build Time

When using Ecwid to build your online, you will not need to create anything since you already have your website. All you need to do is create your online store using the Ecwid control panel. Here’s is also where you manage orders or add products.

If you choose to build a “Starter Site” using Ecwid, the process shouldn’t take long, since you’ll be setting up a single-page store.

Compared to Ecwid, Shopify takes longer to set up since you’ll be creating your web store from scratch. Also, you’ll have to pick a theme, customize it, before setting up the functions of your store (like adding products or payment and shipping options).

#8. Payment Options and Fees

Next, let’s dive into fees and payment options. What number of payment options can you choose from? Will Shopify or Ecwid charge you transaction costs? Let’s find out!

Ecwid Payments Options and fees

The fun part when selling is getting paid, but you first also need to choose and create your payment gateway. Ecwid supports a total of over 50 payment gateways, but the major ones include:

  • Stripe.
  • Square.
  • WePay.
  • PayPal.

These gateways allow you to receive online payments, but be sure to choose one that is supported within your region or country. Also, you can accept offline payments, for instance,  wire transfers or cash on delivery.

Ecwid Payments Options

Ecwid will not charge you transaction fees whenever you make a sale. Even then, ensure to confirm the terms and conditions from the payment provider you’ve chosen. This is because they could charge you fees.

Such fees are referred to as processing fees, and the payment gateway will charge for handling your transactions. WePay, for instance, can charge to about 2.9% plus $0.30 of the total transaction. With a higher Ecwid plan, you’ll be charged a lower processing fee.

Even then, since different payment providers will charge different fees be sure to always confirm their terms.

Shopify payment options and fees

Shopify provides more than 100 payment gateways and the major gateways include:

  • Apple Pay.
  • PayPal.
  • Stripe.
  • Google Pay.
  • Amazon.

In addition, Shopify supports manual payments like cash on delivery and even alternative payments such as BitPay and cryptocurrency.

What’s more, Shopify offers an in-house payment gateway known as Shopify Payments. With this option, it means you won’t have to go for third-party gateway options since it comes fully integrated into your online store.

Note that third-party payment providers pay Shopify transaction fees. This is in addition to any processing fees that provider charges. However, transaction costs don’t apply for the manual payments like Point of Sale (POS) or cash on delivery orders.

However, when you opt for Shopify Payments, their in-house payment gateway, Shopify will not charge you transaction fees.

Also, note that Shopify Payments have lower processing fees when used in partnerships with other providers like PayPal. Therefore, if you’re looking for a low-rate, fee-free option, then Shopify Payments is worth considering.

#9. Integration with Other Software

When looking for an e-commerce tool, it’s important that you consider how well it works with other software in a field that’s dependent on payment gateways, marketing, security, etc. When your ecommerce solution doesn’t offer you all the necessary integration capabilities, then your sales will equally be limited.

Ecwid integration options

Since Ecwid is a plug-in that does not mean it will not support the integration of different eCommerce features.

It meshes well with many other apps which then helps boost your store visibility, diversify marketing, create sales promotions, and more.

Ecwid intagrations

What’s more, it offers you a resourceful app market that you can browse by category. However, note that most of these add-ons come at extra fees.

Shopify integration options

Shopify works with integrations which include finance and accounting apps to more than 100 payment options and even several sophisticated marketing integrations. This eCommerce platform offers you a wide range of apps to cover all areas and more.

Shopify integrations

Note that Shopify also uplevels on social media selling with “click to buy” buttons not mention integrations for advertising in different channels.

Ecwid vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Shopify Pros

  • The App store;
  • Theme Customisation;
  • Good performance;
  • 24/7 Support;
  • Easy to use Admin Area.

Shopify Cons

  • Transaction Fees;
  • A complicated Automatic Collection system;
  • No option for bulk printing invoices.

Ecwid Pros

  • Free package;
  • Multi-Channel Selling;
  • Product options;
  • Order Management;
  • Layout Display for the category and product pages.

Ecwid Cons

  • Restricted Theme Customization;
  • Lack of bulk product update.

Ecwid vs Shopify: Which eCommerce Platform is Right for My Business?

For those who are looking to build from scratch a complete ecommerce website, then the Shopify platform is a better option of the two. This is because it’s more a complete website builder and it does more things well.

Also, as far as building a standalone store goes, Ecwid may not be the best choice for a website builder. This is because its strengths are in integrating with software like WordPress, whose features help balance where Ecwid’s website builder is lacking. When combined with software like WordPress, Ecwid then will offer you a capable setup.

Despite all differences between Ecwid vs Shopify, both platforms make great alternatives for ecommerce websites, plus their strengths can be found in different areas. However, it’s worth giving each platform a try for you to find the one that is best for your eCommerce business.

Filed under: Ecommerce News

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