While Shopify is the most popular platform to build your e-commerce store, it is not the only platform out there. You can build your store in WordPress through WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Ecwid, and a whole lot more.
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Today, let us focus our attention between Ecwid and Shopify. Both companies have platforms where you can easily build an online store without knowledge about computer programming.
The things you will learn today are:
- Shopify and its features
- Ecwid and its features
- Advantages of Shopify over Ecwid
- Advantages of Ecwid over Shopify
- Shopify Pricing
- Ecwid Pricing
- A Table of Comparison
- Which one should you use?
Let’s jump right in and see what they have to offer. By the end of this article, you should have adequate information that would help you decide which choice is better.
Shopify and its features
Shopify is the most popular platform for e-commerce and dropshipping. As the leading platform, it has announced in 2019 that it has plans of creating its own fulfillment center, something like what Amazon does.
It is a dependable and world-renowned brand. It is so effective that celebrities like Kylie Jenner use the platform to sell her cosmetic product. It is easy to use, and it is great for beginners. Even if you do not know how to code, you can build a store with its drag-and-drop templates.
1. Shopify Pricing
Shopify comes in several price points. The lowest plan is called Basic Shopify, and it costs $29 per month. The other two plans are:
- Shopify – $79 per month
- Advanced Shopify – $54 per month
Please note that these plan prices may change according to Shopify’s discretion. All these plans give you the benefit of building a store. Know that as the tier goes higher, the more features you get.
For a more detailed information on Shopify pricing, please read my blog: Shopify Pricing: What Are the Different Features Between the Plans?
The Shopify platform comes with a blog at any price point. As you know, a blog is a crucial part of your SEO strategy. Not only can you blog on the platform, you can create categories for it and tag each post. The blog posts at the back end control panel also allow you to change your meta-title, meta-tags, and create snippets that are Google-friendly.
As one of the biggest platforms, you have access to thousands of apps from the Shopify App Marketplace. Apps here are both free and paid. These apps provide you with functionalities to make your store look better, or help you make it more efficient.
For example, you can integrate an app that is used for email marketing. With an app like this, you can capture the email addresses of your site visitors. You can also use apps specifically made for discounts, creating coupons, gamifying your website, creating shipping options, and a whole lot more.
The Shopify universe has hundreds of payment processors. No knowledge is needed on how to install API or code at the back-end framework. All you need to do is to select from a dropdown. Out of these hundreds of payment options, you can use several at the same time, not just one.
It is also easy to activate. If you want to use PayPal, just select from the drop-down, and it will ask you for a PayPal seller ID, which you can get from your PayPal account. Input that ID, and then Shopify and PayPal would integrate.
Once that is done, your site visitors who checkout their shopping cart would be taken to the PayPal payment processing system, and their payment would reflect on your PayPal balance. From your PayPal balance, you can transfer the money to your bank account.
Shopify also has its payment processing system, so there is no need to register or enroll on others just to receive payments.
Ecwid and its features
Ecwid is also a store builder, and it is as easy to use as Shopify. You can build a store in minutes as the system is intuitive and it guides you step by step. The thing with Ecwid is that it was built to integrate with other web building platforms like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Site 123.
1. Ecwid Pricing
Ecwid, being a widget, has several price points. The first one is free, and the other three plans are shown below.
- Venturee – $15 per month
- Business – $35 per month
- Unlimited – $99 per month
To better understand the differences between these price points, please visit the Ecwid Pricing page.
2. Ecwid Widget
Ecwid is a technical support app or plug-in for your existing website. The name is coined from the words “e-commerce” and “widget”. So, what does it do?
You see, it is likely that you already have a website but it is not a store. One day, you decide to monetize your website and turn it into a store. One big issue is that you may need to abandon that website altogether and then start from scratch.
If you do that, it would take a lot of hard work. But with Ecwid, you can maintain that website and just add the store to it. It is like an app to build stores inside a website that is already up and running.
3. Landing Page
If you subscribe to the low-tiered plans, Ecwid allows you to build a landing page. Once a customer gets here, you can lead the customer down your sales funnel. You can also integrate Ecwid with your Facebook Shop.
After a customer finds your landing page and clicks on a product on Ecwid, the customer would be taken to your Facebook store, and then checkout based on which payment processor your chose.
4. Ecwid Store
At the second highest plan, you can use Ecwid to build a store from scratch. The cost of building one is only $15 per month. This is the plan you need to build a website if you do not have an existing one yet.
Advantages of Shopify over Ecwid
Should you use Shopify or Ecwid? Below are some features of Shopify that make it a better choice over Ecwid.
1. Domain Name
On Shopify, the first thing you would do in the store-building process is to choose a domain name. Over here, you can choose to use .COM or .NET. Some domain names are free, and some have a cost.
What matters is that your Shopify store does not carry the name .SHOPIFY.COM with it. If you do not have the budget for a domain name, then your e-commerce store is going to carry Shopify’s domain.
Let us sat that you may have chosen ABCCOMPANY. If you do not pay for that name, your web store URL would be ABCCOMPANY.SHOPIFY.COM.
You cannot create your domain on Ecwid because Ecwid will assign it to you. The exception is if you purchase the plan for the store builder.
2. SSL Certificate
This is an important security feature, as browsers and search engines are notified that your website is safe and secure.
Without SSL Certificates, the site visitor would receive a warning either from the browser or search engine that the website they are trying to access is unsafe or risky, and you will lose traffic because of this.
Shopify comes with free SSL certificate. Once your store is up and running, the URL would start with HTTPS://, not just HTTP://. The extra letter “s” stands for “secure” so it means that the website is safe.
On Ecwid, you do not get a free SSL certificate. You have to buy your certificate from authorities, and the price ranges between $5 and $10 per year.
3. Customer Support
Shopify offers 24/7 support system for all its subscribers. On Ecwid, the priority support is reserved for those who pay $99 per month.
Shopify allows you to do live chat any plan. If you are not in a rush, you can create a ticket for your issue. Shopify customer service reps would respond to you via email within 24 hours.
4. App Market
There are thousands of app developers in the Shopify platform. If you build your store on Shopify, the plans allow you to create a fully functional web store, with no further need for apps. But if you want more juice, then by all means get some apps in the marketplace.
But with apps, you can customize it even further. You can use get back-end functionalities to make your e-commerce store more efficient.
If you are a dropshipper, you can integrate an app like Spocket to the Shopify platform. From Shopify, you can access your Spocket dashboard and upload products, edit them, and fulfill orders.
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Ecwid also has a marketplace, but most of the apps here are paid. On Shopify, there are hundreds of free apps. These apps are free in their basic version, but they have a monthly cost if you want to squeeze more juice out of them.
5. Shipping Label
If you are not a dropshipper, chances are you ship your own products to your customers.
In Shopify, you have the capability to print a shipping label from your dashboard. You can use providers like USPS, DHL, and others. If you print your labels on the platform, you can get discounts of up 74% because Shopify is partnered with some shipping couriers.
Advantages of Ecwid over Shopify
While Ecwid is primarily a widget, it does have some advantages of over Shopify. These are integration, pricing, customization, and more.
Ecwid is compatible with a lot of platforms, which means you can use your social media channels and convert them into a store by using Ecwid.
You can integrate Ecwid with the following platforms:
- Any website that you built
- Google Shopping
This integration is possible on the paid plan. If you registered for the free plan, you can only build a starter site.
3. Free Webstore
Speaking of the free plan, this is the most basic plan you can sign-up for on Ecwid. On this plan, you get a free website.
On Shopify, you can only start a dropshipping store at the Basic Plan. Shopify only offers a 14-day free trial. During the trial, you can build a functional store. After the 14 days are over, you have to subscribe after that or your store will be locked.
Once you sign up for Ecwid’s free starter plan, you would get the following features and benefits:
- Maximum of ten products on your website
- A functional e-commerce website
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Integration with other web-building platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Joomla
- Zero transaction fees
- Mobile-optimized shopping cart
The free plan for Ecwid is free forever, so you only need to upgrade should you decide to sell more products. You cannot accept payments if you are in the free plan.
4. Customizable Site
On Ecwid, you can ask the team to customize your website for you. This, however, is a service for those who purchased either the Business Plan or the Unlimited one. Your request will be processed by the Ecwid team provided that the work you requested can be done on two hours.
If you are in the Unlimited Plan, you can ask for free customization for any kind of work that the Ecwid programmer can complete within 12 hours. So, while it is free, there is a limit to what you can request.
5. No Transaction Fees
Shopify charges you a monthly fee plus transaction fees for every sale you make. Even if you do not accept money through Shopify Payments, you will still be charged a fee. On Ecwid, there are no transaction fees. There is also no monthly subscription unless you decide to upgrade.
A Table of Comparison
To help you make a decision, I put together a simple table here to compare the two. I selected the Basic Shopify Plan which costs $29, and the Ecwid Business Plan which costs $35. These two plans should be able to compete with each other toe to toe.
|Cost per Month||$29||$35|
|Instagram Store||Varies per country|
|Facebook Store||Varies per country|
|Manual order creation|
|Free SSL certificate|
|Abandoned cart recovery|
|Print shipping labels|
|Shipping Discount||Up to 64%|
|Online credit card rates||2.9% + 30¢||0%|
|In-person credit card rates||2.7% + 0¢||0%|
|Mobile responsive shopping cart|
|Android and iOS store management app|
Which one should you use?
Ultimately, your decision must be based on what makes building a store easier for you. See my recommendations below.
When to use Ecwid:
- Great for those who want to start a free business
- Ideal for sellers who are focused in social media channels
- Best for products with low product margins because there are no transaction fees
When to use Shopify:
- Great platform for small and even large businesses
- Ideal if you want an independent, fully functional, branded store online
- Best choice if you can afford a monthly budget of $29
It is easy to build a web store, but making a sale requires a lot of hard work. What both Ecwid and Shopify do is to help you reduce the effort required to put up an online store. You can set up both platforms in minutes. After that, your real e-commerce journey begins.
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