If you are interested in eCommerce, you might have to compare Ecwid vs. Shopify in order to make the best decision for your business. Either one of these eCommerce solutions might be right for your online store. Both of these options are very popular, but they are best suited for different tasks.
Let’s explore Ecwid vs. Shopify in more detail, learn about the specifics of each eCommerce tool, and compare them to see which is best for your business.
Ecwid and Shopify: eCommerce Made Easy
Both Shopify and Ecwid aim to make eCommerce easier for businesses. When these solutions were first introduced to the world, they both approached the online store in a different manner. As time has passed, both Ecwid and Shopify added features and capabilities that made them more like one another. Before we compare these two eCommerce solutions, let’s look at their individual histories.
Ecwid was initially released in 2009. The idea behind Ecwid was to allow existing websites to add an online store through the use of an eCommerce widget (this is where the name Ecwid comes from). If you already have a website, Ecwid makes it easy to add an online store.
In recent years, Ecwid has added additional functionality that allows users to create standalone online stores. The complexity and customization of the standalone online stores you can build with Ecwid leave a lot to be desired. However, the functionality is there, and this functionality will likely only improve in the future.
Shopify was released back in 2006, and it is one of the most popular eCommerce website builders in the world. If you have no online presence and you want to create an online store, Shopify is likely the best choice for your business. With Shopify, you can build completely custom websites that highlight your brand’s individuality.
Shopify makes it easy for people with little to no technical expertise to build a functional eCommerce website. There are also Shopify Plus Partners that you can choose to work with who are experts at creating custom Shopify websites.
In recent years, much like Ecwid branched out to include website building, Shopify now allows users to embed a Shopify “Buy Button” on their website. This acts more or less like a checkout that can be added to an existing website to sell products.
Comparing Ecwid and Shopify
Now that we understand each of these eCommerce solutions better, let’s compare Shopify and Ecwid. The main points we will compare are:
- eCommerce tools
As we have already mentioned, Ecwid and Shopify both allow users to create an online store and add eCommerce functionality to an existing website. However, each of these solutions excels in one of these functions and not so much in the other.
Ecwid allows users to create and add an entire online store to their website, but the website building functions of Ecwid leave a lot to be desired. There are limited options when it comes to what functions you can add to your Ecwid website, but it is possible to build a simple one-page website.
Shopify gives users the ability to create rich eCommerce websites, but the Shopify “Buy Button” functionality that can be added to existing websites is not as in-depth as the solution Ecwid offers. The Shopify “Buy Button” gives users the ability to sell lone items or collections of items on their existing website, but it is not an entire online store.
While Ecwid and Shopify have added additional functionality that matches what the other solution offers, neither of these added functions can match the offerings originally provided by Shopify and Ecwid.
When it comes to the customization of design elements, Shopify really shines. Shopify offers users a lot of different themes to choose from, but users can also custom develop their own themes or choose to work with an experienced Shopify Plus Partner who can manage this project for them. The design possibilities in Shopify are nearly endless.
On the other hand, Ecwid is hardly customizable. Developers do not even have access to the base HTML code in Ecwid. However, if you add an Ecwid online store to an existing website, you can make the colors of the store match your website’s branding. You can also adjust the size of products, descriptions, and other small things, but you will have very little control over design.
There are a lot of concerns you have to account for in retail, including collecting tax, shipping, and inventory management, just to name a few. That is why it is important to use an eCommerce solution that offers you robust tools.
Ecwid offers the basic tools you will need to successfully run an online store, but when you compare the tools offered by Ecwid and those offered by Shopify, Shopify is the clear winner. Shopify offers the basic tools that are necessary to run an eCommerce store and adds high-end features that help with everything from inventory management and shipping to tax collection and point of sale integration.
If you want to be able to use a large collection of eCommerce tools, Shopify is the better choice for your business.
Shopify and Ecwid both offer users the ability to integrate apps to their online store through an app store. These apps can help with things such as customer support through a chat window, printing shipping labels, and more. Ecwid offers a good number of different options on their app store, but Shopify offers far more.
Shopify offers users over 5,000 different apps to choose from to extend the functionality of their online store. It is true that Shopify is already loaded with a ton of great features out of the box, but adding apps to your Shopify website can help you excel at customer support, SEO, and so much more. On the Shopify app store, you will be able to find the perfect app integration for your business.
When we compare costs between these eCommerce solutions, we are not talking about transaction fees. We will cover fees in our next section. Both Ecwid and Shopify offer a number of different plans. Ecwid offers a free plan, but users are restricted to 10 items or less. Shopify doesn’t offer any free plans, but they do offer a 14-day free trial.
Every one of Shopify’s plans allows users to upload and manage unlimited inventory items. Ecwid limits the items that can be uploaded in every plan except their unlimited plan. Shopify also offers a “Lite” plan, which is basically the Shopify “Buy Button” integrated on an existing website.
Now that you have a rough idea of how much each solution costs, it is time to look at the transaction fees each charge. Ecwid does not charge transaction fees, but Shopify does charge transaction fees. The transaction fees charged are in addition to the payment processing fees that are assessed by the payment provider. It is important to note that Shopify offers almost twice as many payment provider options for businesses, and they don’t charge transaction fees when you choose to use Shopify Payments as your payment gateway.
Running an online business is hard, and sometimes you need help from support. It is important to consider the support options each eCommerce solution offers, as it may be very important to you. Shopify offers more robust support options for all of their plans. There are only a few support features you don’t get unless you are at the highest tier.
Ecwid, on the other hand, hardly offers support to free plan users, and even higher-tier plans have less support than their Shopify counterparts. Ecwid doesn’t offer social media support, and Shopify does. Both solutions will provide chat and live phone support for their paying customers.
Final Thoughts: Ecwid Vs. Shopify
If you’re trying to choose between Ecwid and Shopify, you need to weigh all of your options and needs. A basic way to choose would be based on if you have an existing website or not. If you have an existing website that you want to keep, it is likely easier to add an online store using Ecwid. However, if you want to design your own store and have more robust options, Shopify is likely the better option.
If you need help deciding which option is best for your business, reach out to an app development partner. Lean on their experience in the industry and their technical expertise to help you weigh Ecwid vs. Shopify.