eCommerce

Ecwid vs Shopify: Picking the Perfect eCommerce Platform for SMBs

seller with phone deciding between ecwid vs shopify

With millions of websites powered by Shopify across 175 countries, it’s undoubtedly one of the leading global eCommerce platforms [1]demandsage. “Shopify Statistics — Stores, Merchants & Revenue (2024)”. June 21, 2024.. While Ecwid numbers don’t come close, the platform is rapidly growing, showing a 51% year-over-year increase in 2023 Q4[2]storeleads.app. “The State of Ecwid in 2024”. June 21, 2024.. However, the two platforms cater to different business needs. This comprehensive comparison between Ecwid and Shopify will guide you through their offerings, from ease of use and pricing structures to sales tools and customer support. With an in-depth evaluation, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your objectives, whether it’s Shopify, Ecwid, or a different option.

Ecwid vs Shopify: A Quick Overview

seller with phone and card deciding between Ecwid vs Shopify

Ecwid, which stands for “eCommerce widget,” is a cloud-based eCommerce platform that allows users to add an online store to any existing website. It’s designed as a SaaS solution, simultaneously integrating shopping carts into multiple sites and managing them from a single dashboard. Ecwid integrates seamlessly into any website platform, including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and custom-built sites.

The platform is particularly beneficial for those who want to sell online without investing in a new, separate eCommerce website. It’s also well-suited to businesses with a web presence that want to add eCommerce functionality with minimal disruption.

On the other hand, Shopify is an all-in-one solution that lets users quickly set up online stores and process payments without worrying about hosting or technical maintenance. The platform caters to businesses from startups to large enterprises and is known for its scalability and reliability.

Shopify is popular among merchants for its around-the-clock customer support and customizable, professional storefronts. While its pricing is fairly reasonable, it may not be the cheapest option. Additional transaction fees, app extensions, and premium themes can increase costs.

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Pros and Cons of Ecwid

Pros

  • Offers a free plan
  • User friendly
  • Supports multi-channel selling
  • POS for in-person sales
  • Vast selection of free and premium apps
  • Free website templates
  • Free customization service by Ecwid developers on higher-tier plans
  • Create a custom iOS or Android app on the Unlimited plan

Cons

  • Limited product listings and features on bottom-tier plans
  • Bottom-tier plans don’t have access to phone support
  • Apart from the Instant Site, SSL and hosting are not included

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Pros and Cons of Shopify

Pros

  • All plans include hosting and SSL certificates
  • POS capabilities for in-person sales
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Abandoned cart notification feature
  • User-friendly interface for easy setup
  • Mobile-optimized
  • Thousands of add-ons and app extensions
  • Built-in dropshipping
  • Social selling integration
  • Supports international selling in 132 currencies

Cons

  • Additional fees when using third-party payment processors
  • No free plan
  • Chargeback fees apply

Ecwid vs Shopify: A Detailed Look

Ecwid and Shopify have similarities, but key differences exist when deciding which platform best suits your business needs. We compare the two e-commerce services side by side.

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Ecwid vs Shopify: Pricing

Shopify Plans and Pricing

Shopify provides various plans catering to businesses of all sizes. Startups can begin with a more basic and affordable plan and upgrade as they expand. To use a custom domain name without the Shopify branding in your URL, there’s an extra charge of $14 annually. However, all plans include hosting and SSL certificates.

(Note that an annual subscription comes with a 25% discount compared to month-to-month payments. Shopify pricing may differ based on your location.)

Shopify Starter is a feature for users wanting to sell on social media without having an online store. The plan does not allow you to build a website, but you can sell and take payments on channels like Facebook and Instagram. The monthly subscription fee is $5, and transaction fees are 5% of the sale amount.

Shopify’s standard plans are as follows:

  • Basic Plan. $25 when billed monthly. This plan is best for new eCommerce businesses and comes with two staff access accounts and basic reports.
  • Shopify Plan: $65 when billed monthly. This plan is best for small to medium-sized, growing businesses. It includes five staff access accounts and professional reports.
  • Advanced Plan. $399 when billed monthly. This plan is ideal for growing businesses that require advanced reporting. It comes with 15 staff access accounts, a custom report builder, and third-party calculated shipping rates.

Regardless of the tier, all plans include unlimited product listings, abandoned cart features, analytics, gift cards, customer segmentation, and POS features for on-the-go transactions.

There is also an enterprise-level plan, Shopify Plus. This plan offers custom transaction rates based on credit card sales volume. The comprehensive package costs $2,000 monthly and includes omnichannel and B2B features.

Ecwid Pricing and Plans

Ecwid offers four plans. As with Shopify, annual subscriptions save you 25% compared to monthly payments.

The platform’s major advantage is that it offers a Forever Free plan. This plan is ideal for newcomers—but only allows you to list up to five products. While you can advertise on social media and link back to your store, there is no integration for direct selling on social channels. Features on this plan are somewhat limited, as is customer support, and you will not have a custom domain name.

Ecwid’s paid plans are as follows:

  • Venture plan. $19 when billed month-to-month. This plan allows 100 product listings and social media integration to sell on Facebook and Instagram. You’ll also have access to the app market for third-party integrations and can manage your store via a mobile app.
  • Business plan. $39 when billed month-to-month. In addition to the Venture plan, you can sell on Amazon and eBay, get two staff accounts, and abandoned cart features. Product listings are capped at 2,500.
  • Unlimited. $99 when billed month-to-month. This plan does not limit product listings. You gain all the benefits of the Business plan, automated email marketing, unlimited staff accounts, and priority support.
Laptop with green square and orange rectangle

Ecwid vs Shopify: Website Design

A well-designed website is essential for drawing in and keeping customers, ensuring seamless transactions, and reducing bounce rates.

Ecwid is beginner-friendly and very easy to use. It seamlessly integrates with your existing website, automatically adapting to match your site’s color scheme and branding.

The platform offers basic customization, such as adjusting product image sizes, modifying product layouts and descriptions, and altering navigation. However, customization is limited to a set range of predefined options. For instance, product images can be set to small, medium, or large but cannot be custom-sized to specific dimensions.

Any design updates in your Ecwid dashboard will automatically sync across all platforms. Therefore, changes to your Ecwid landing page will, for example, also reflect on your linked Wix website.

Shopify offers a variety of modern, customizable themes suitable for various industries to build a compelling site. You’ll gain access to a rich library of layouts and designs, but keep in mind that some come at an extra cost. These themes can be easily tailored to match your brand identity – no coding skills are needed.

Shopify also ensures online stores are optimized for mobile devices and supports key eCommerce display functions. This includes product variations, complex catalogs, easy checkout, and clear navigation.

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Ecwid vs Shopify: Sales and eCommerce Tools

Ecwid Sales Tools

Ecwid offers essential eCommerce tools to streamline your online business operations. It provides features such as:

  • Inventory tracking to efficiently manage stock levels
  • Automated tax calculations
  • Easy-to-create promotions and discounts to boost sales
  • Physical and digital product sales
  • Multiple shipping methods, including curbside pickup
  • Abandoned cart recovery to salvage potential lost sales
  • Integration with popular social channels and marketplaces like Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and eBay
  • Unlimited bandwidth to handle traffic without extra costs

These tools are fundamental for running a successful online store, especially inventory management, which can be time-consuming without automated assistance. Selling across multiple channels is also crucial for reaching customers where they are and enhancing sales opportunities.

Although Ecwid may not have as extensive a feature set as Shopify, it provides a solid foundation for small businesses to run smoothly. There is one catch—many of these features are only available on Ecwid’s paid plans, with top-tier plans offering the most comprehensive set of sales tools.

Shopify’s Sales Tools

Shopify provides a comprehensive suite of tools to support your store’s operations, even in its basic plans. Key features include:

  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Support for both physical and digital products
  • Robust inventory management system
  • Integration with numerous social channels and marketplaces
  • Automated shipping rate calculations
  • Abandoned cart recovery feature
  • Multiple delivery options
  • Dropshipping capabilities
  • Automated tax calculations
  • Customer account creation

Shopify’s inventory system ensures accurate stock level tracking and prevents overselling by automatically halting sales of out-of-stock items. It keeps your sales in sync across all channels.

Even with a high volume of orders, Shopify streamlines the fulfillment process. It allows you to prepare bulk orders and access discounted rates from shipping carriers. You can also leverage multiple social media and messaging channels, like SMS or email, to sell your products. With Shopify, you’re equipped with the essential tools to run and manage your business effectively and efficiently, even as your operations scale.

hand dropping coin into wallet

Marketing and SEO Tools

Shopify and Ecwid help you enhance your store’s SEO to increase visibility in search results. However, Shopify offers slightly more control over SEO specifics in areas like AMP format, URL creation, and meeting Core Web Vitals requirements. If you’re using Ecwid, you must be on a paid plan to use SEO advantages. Note that Ecwid is launching a host of new features to its service offering in 2024, some of which include improved SEO capabilities.

Both platforms can help you reach customers’ inboxes with email marketing. Shopify offers Shopify Email, an integrated system that automatically aligns your emails with your store’s branding. Other options include Shopify’s 241 email marketing apps available for integration.

Ecwid also offers an in-house tool to send automated marketing emails with its Business and Unlimited plans. Alternatively, you can integrate with popular email marketing apps such as MailChimp, Omnisend, Ecomailer, and Birthday Mail.

documents with lines of text

Blogging Tools

Ecwid excels as a shopping cart solution for content-driven platforms like WordPress and Wix. However, it does not offer a built-in blog feature, which can limit your SEO marketing strategy.

While Shopify does support blogging, this is not its strong suit. It offers basic blogging features like categories, comments, RSS feeds, and blog-specific SEO. However, it lacks advanced options like blogging analytics, archive tools, social bookmarking, and a dedicated blog search function.

Shopify and Ecwid are both selling platforms first and foremost. If you need standard blogging tools, Shopify is a better choice. However, if blogging is the core of your business and eCommerce is a secondary component, you may want to consider choosing a different website builder.

website page with lines of text and gears in front of it

Apps and Integration

Apps and add-ons can enhance your store’s features and customization. However, adding too many can make maintenance and navigation more complex.

The Shopify App Store offers thousands of applications covering inventory management, accounting, marketing, SEO, and more. Whether your business needs advanced analytics, dropshipping solutions, or customer loyalty programs, there’s likely an app in Shopify’s vast collection to meet your needs. Additionally, Shopify’s larger user base and popularity attract more third-party developers to create and frequently update apps for the platform.

While Ecwid doesn’t have the massive selection of apps that Shopify has, it still has over 1500 integrations. You’ll find everything from print-on-demand services, dropshipping, and marketing tools to inventory management, reviews, and accounting tools.

SMBs will likely find the functionality they need in either platform’s app marketplace. However, not all integrations are free, so consider the additional fees when determining the cost of your eCommerce store.

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Reporting and Analytics

Ecwid provides essential sales statistics by default, including visitor count, order numbers, and total revenue. For more in-depth performance analytics, you’ll need to integrate a third-party reporting app. While several options exist, they may not all be free.

Shopify offers a similar suite of fundamental statistics accessible through the Analytics section in the control panel. Full, professional reports are reserved for the higher-tier Shopify plans. Otherwise, you’ll receive a basic sales stats dashboard.

Ecwid and Shopify users can use Google Analytics to track visitor behavior and sales comprehensively, but it requires additional setup. In summary, both platforms have room for improvement regarding built-in analytics capabilities.

dollar bill with blue circle and green dollar sign

Payment Processors

Offering a wide range of payment options increases your attractiveness to customers. Ecwid and Shopify both support integration with various payment gateways, such as PayPal, Stripe, and Square. Ecwid does not impose any fees for using these external gateways—you’ll only incur the transaction fees levied by your bank or the selected payment gateway.

Shopify supports a larger selection of payment gateways. This is expected, considering how it is available in more countries. However, using a third-party payment service incurs extra fees of 0.5%–2% per transaction, based on your Shopify plan. These fees are over and above the usual payment processing fee. To avoid these fees, use Shopify’s in-house payment gateway, Shopify Payments.

However, remember that Shopify Payments isn’t available in all countries. Merchants in unsupported countries must use a third-party payment gateway to accept payments on their Shopify store (and pay additional fees accordingly).

Transaction fees will vary depending on your payment services provider. Shopify payments, for instance, charge between 2.4% and 2.9% plus $0.30, with the percentages varying depending on your subscription plan.

customer support representative wearing headset

Customer Support

Shopify offers email and live chat support and a 24-hour phone service. However, if you have trouble with third-party apps, you must contact the app creator independently. The platform also makes a variety of guides, tutorials, and community forums available to its customers.

Ecwid support service depends on the plan you’re using. Support on the free plan is limited to email. However, various online support materials and video tutorials are available. The two top plans offer phone, email, and live chat support.

While Shopify support is available in over 20 languages compared to Ecwid’s seven, the latter offers a key advantage on its two top paid plans: customization hours. With an Ecwid Business plan, you receive two hours of personalized support, and with an Unlimited plan, you get six hours.

Shopify vs Ecwid POS: Terminals & Hardware

POS systems enable you to make sales in physical spaces such as markets, pop-up shops, or retail stores using your online store’s infrastructure. Both Shopify and Ecwid offer POS capabilities.

dark blue credit card and white credit card with orange magstripe

Ecwid POS

Paid Ecwid plans include a mobile POS through Square or PayPal Zettle. This allows you to easily accept in-person payments using a phone app. Note that Square and PayPal Zettle’s POS functionality is available in several countries.

Integrating other POS systems requires subscribing to Ecwid’s most expensive ‘Unlimited’ plan. The type of POS hardware you can use, such as card readers and barcode scanners, depends on the service provider and your location. Ecwid recommends using Lightspeed Retail POS for point-of-sale transactions, especially as Lightspeed now owns Ecwid. However, Ecwid is compatible with other POS systems like Square, Clover, Vend, and Alice.

If you already use any of these services in your physical store, Ecwid could make a great addition. Transaction and hardware fees will vary depending on your POS service provider.

check with pencil

Shopify POS

All Shopify plans include a mobile POS feature for in-person sales. You can accept payments using a mobile app or a card reader connected to your mobile device. However, you must process payments through Shopify Payments to use POS Lite.

Alternatively, you can add full retail checkout capabilities with scanners and receipt printers for an additional monthly fee. Hardware also incurs an additional one-off purchase. Shopify’s POS system fully integrates with its online store, syncing inventory, orders, and customer data between physical locations and online sales. Depending on your plan, Shopify charges between 2.4% and 2.7% for in-person transactions.

Ecwid or Shopify: Which Is Better for Your Business?

When choosing between Ecwid and Shopify, the best option will depend on your business type, size, and unique needs.

building with blue and white striped awning

Small Business

Shopify offers a comprehensive, standalone online store with extensive customization, robust features, and scalability, ideal for businesses eyeing significant growth. Ecwid is best for integrating eCommerce into existing websites with a straightforward, less expensive approach.

For a business seeking a full-fledged store with room to grow, Shopify is the superior choice. However, Ecwid can present a simpler, cost-effective solution for small operations wanting to add shopping capabilities to their current site.

pie chart with an orange circle with dollar sign

Middle Markets

Shopify’s extensive customization options, vast app ecosystem, and scalable infrastructure supports growing businesses’ complex needs. It enables high control over the user experience and seamless expansion capabilities.

Meanwhile, Ecwid is advantageous for businesses aiming to integrate eCommerce into an existing site with minimal fuss. Mid-size businesses using Ecwid should opt for an Unlimited plan to ensure access to all the features a growing business needs. While Ecwid can be more cost-effective, it may lack some features you’ll need as your business expands.

credit card with magnifying glass

Corporations

Shopify Plus, the enterprise level of Shopify, offers a powerful, scalable, and customizable eCommerce platform tailored to large-scale businesses. It supports international sales, offers advanced analytics, and can handle high-volume online transactions.

While Ecwid is suitable for small and medium ventures, it doesn’t match Shopify Plus in terms of the extensive integration capabilities required by large corporations to manage complex operations and multichannel marketing strategies.

Grow Your eCommerce Business With the Right Payment Processor

Sellers in front of a computer screen discussing Ecwid vs Shopify

When deciding between Ecwid and Shopify, consider your business size, budget, and future goals. Ecwid is a cost-effective solution for newcomers and those who already have a website but need to add eCommerce functionality. Shopify excels as an out-of-the-box eCommerce website builder. It offers a comprehensive and scalable platform with various advanced features suitable for businesses anticipating growth.

Running a successful online business requires offering convenient payment options to attract and retain customers. PaymentCloud specializes in customized payment processing solutions for businesses, regardless of size. Our services include a secure, PCI-compliant gateway, easy integration with shopping carts, and fast transactions. We also cater to high-risk industries and protect against fraud and chargebacks.

Enhance your sales by providing flexible payment methods for your customers with an eCommerce merchant account. Connect with us today!

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Shopify vs Ecwid FAQs

Which Is Better for Beginners, Ecwid or Shopify?

Ecwid is often considered the easier option for beginners due to its simplicity and plug-and-play model that integrates with existing sites. It’s user-friendly for those new to eCommerce, offering a free plan to start. Shopify, while powerful, can have a steeper learning curve and higher initial costs.

I Have a Small Number of Products – Which Should I Pick?

Shopify is well-suited for merchants with a tight product portfolio who seek a dedicated, feature-rich online store—and it’s also scalable for business growth. However, Ecwid could also prove more advantageous due to its ease of integration, free starter plan, and simplicity. Remember that if your business grows, you must upgrade to paid Ecwid plans to list more products.

Can I Sell High-Risk Products on Ecwid or Shopify?

Selling high-risk products is subject to specific regulations and each platform’s policies. Both platforms have guidelines regarding what constitutes a high-risk product and may restrict the sale of certain items and services.

Shopify allows the sale of some high-risk products but requires merchants to use third-party payment gateways, as Shopify Payments may not support these sales. Ecwid also allows the sale of some high-risk products. However, similar to Shopify, merchants must comply with applicable laws and regulations and may need to secure a high-risk payment processor.

It’s essential to review the terms of service and acceptable use policies of both Shopify and Ecwid. You may also want to consult legal experts to ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations before selling high-risk products.

Can I Migrate My Store From Ecwid to Shopify (and Vice Versa)?

Yes, you can migrate between Ecwid and Shopify. Migration between eCommerce platforms is common as businesses evolve and their needs change. Remember that migrating can be complicated, so preparing for a seamless switch is important. Hiring experts in eCommerce migration can help protect your data and minimize disruption to your business during the transition.

Article Sources

  1. demandsage. “Shopify Statistics — Stores, Merchants & Revenue (2024)”. June 21, 2024.
  2. storeleads.app. “The State of Ecwid in 2024”. June 21, 2024.


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