When it comes to selling products online, there are many different platforms you can turn to.
One of the biggest differences between Ecwid (which stands for E-Commerce Widget) and Shopify is going to be whether or not you already have a website or not.
Today I’m going to break down the differences between the two different e-commerce website builders so that you can make a more informed decision.
So let’s dive right in!
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Ecwid is a great e-commerce option for small to medium-sized businesses. It’s designed more for business owners who already have a website, as opposed to someone who is starting from scratch.
Ecwid shipping options
Shipping is easy to do with Ecwid, and typically you can use an app called Inventory Source to find products to sell in your store. They do indeed have a drop shipping option using one of their dropshipping apps, but it is limited compared to Shopify as you will see later.
You can also see that they have various shipping apps to help with labeling, invoice management, etc.
Ease of use
Ecwid has a fantastic, easy to set up, and easy to use interface. The key here is the setup process. If you are a beginner or don’t have very much coding experience, Ecwid is going to be the way to go.
The dashboard is clean, as shown below, which makes it easy to stay on top of everything.
It has a very nice wizard that will walk you through setting up all of your products, shipping, and payment options.
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- Allows you to have a Facebook Store
- Allows you to create a store on Instagram
- Allows you to sell on other storefronts such as Amazon, eBay, and Google
- Integrates with most major website platforms such as Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, and several more. There is a user guide here on how to install the Ecwid store to your website using one of their plugins.
Ecwid themes/Store design
Ecwid is a little different and doesn’t have themes, but they have ways that you can enhance your current website by using some of their design apps. You can view some of their website examples here.
You can also try a theme designer for WordPress such as Themeforest that designs themes specifically integrated with Ecwid e-commerce technology.
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Ecwid has over 50+ payment gateway providers you can use for your store.
Point of sale options
Ecwid has a point of sale program that makes it simple and easy when you are in front of customers. It integrates with Square, NCR Silver, Clover, or Vend software to create a seamless process for you and your customers.
In your dashboard, you simply click on the “Payments” button and start setting up which payment provider you want to integrate with.
Selling from your iPad or mobile phone couldn’t get any easier. Simply download the Ecwid app onto your smartphone, and you are all set to go!
Ecwid has a “Buy Now” button that can be integrated into your site very easily. It’s really nice if you’re just selling a few items on your blog or website instead of having to go through the process of setting up an entire store.
All you have to do is install the code on the page that you want it to show up.
To generate the code for your site, you are going to go to your Ecwid cpanel find the “Catalog” link, then “Products” link and then you will find the “Buy Now” drop down where you can start working on your options for how and which products you want to show up.
Below you can see what it looks like when finished.
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Once you’ve chosen your options, the code will be generated for you to install into your website.
One of the nice things about Ecwid is they have unlimited product options for your store. There’s a great video that talks more about the options that they have available. Shopify does not offer as many product options as Ecwid.
Ecwid has four plans available as shown below. To see the complete list of features that come with each plan click here. Ecwid is great in the fact that they have a free plan available.
Of course, you are going to miss out on some of the advanced features, but for the basics, you can use the free plan to get you started.
They just added a Start Site as well, which is simply a one-page site used to sell a small group of products. As your store grows and your company morphs, you can increase the plan if you need to.
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Shopify is one of the most comprehensive and most used ecommerce builders on the market today. It’s amazing capabilities and powerful tools make this a great option for all sizes of businesses, including small mom and pop stores to large, multinational retailers.
Shopify has 10 free themes and over 50+ paid theme options to choose from depending on what your goals are for your store.
They break their themes down into categories such as “fun and lively,” “big beautiful imagery,” “great for small inventories,” and few more. Most of the theme options will run you between $50-$180, but are extremely well designed for speed, search engine friendly, and are all mobile optimized.
Shopify supports over 1,200 different apps that range from drop shipping, security, marketing, and inventory management to name a few. The list seems endless, and with all of these handy apps, you can continue to take your store to the next level as you grow over time.
You can sell across multiple channels and have a Facebook Shop, connect with customers through Facebook Messenger, have an Instagram store, as well as Amazon and eBay stores which are vital in today’s digital environment.
You simply go to your dashboard and select “Sales Channels”, and you will see a drop-down list come up where you can choose which social media channel you want to set up.
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Your store should be able to adapt to the media at any given time. The Shopify store will let you do this through its crafty integration tools. The integration of Shopify with Amazon is another huge win because with 49% of the US ecommerce spend coming from Amazon, it would be wise to integrate your new store if possible.
Abandoned cart recovery
This is a great feature that can help increase your sales. Shopify has a great tool that will automatically send an email to that person who leaves your store without checking out.
It’s truly amazing at how many people will leave a store without checking out.
Shopify is outstanding when it comes to shipping. They have partnerships with DHL Express, UPS, USPS, and Canada post to help offer you the best pricing possible. Smooth and efficient shipping is vital to a good ecommerce business, because you want customers to come back over and over again.
You can go to “Settings” and then “Shipping” to set up your options.
When you are first trying to add products to sell on your store, you can look through their large array of drop shipping apps designed to help you. Their most popular drop shipping app is Oberlo which helps you find products to sell in your store.
Ease of use
Shopify has truly combined ease of use with a powerful system that allows you to create a beautiful ecommerce website. You don’t have to know any special coding to get simple, clean, and enticing ecommerce store designs built.
When you first log in you will see that everything is in a clean, easy to read user screen.
Their drag and drop builder is amazing and makes it extremely user-friendly for the first time user.
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Shopify has over 100 payment gateways to choose from for your store. These include some of the common ones that you are used to such as Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and Amazon Pay.
The one thing I love about Shopify is that they are the only platform to enforce its own transaction fee with Shopify Payments. If you use Shopify Payments, you will not get charged any additional fees that you would otherwise be charged through a 3rd party payment gateway system.
You can see the quick chart below that shows that additional charges if you use a 3rd party payment gateway.
Another nice feature about Shopify Payments is that you can use it to sell in different currencies.
Point of sale options
Shopify has an exceptionally well put together point of sale tool. It is definitely more refined and robust than Ecwid’s tool. The POS system has an incredibly large amount of features that help with maintaining a well-managed storefront.
One thing I really like about the user interface of the POS is the analytics that shows for your store.
It’s simple, at the end of each day, you can see how many gross sales you made, if you gave any discounts, and if you had any returns, etc. – just a great overview for the time-crunched entrepreneur.
Integration is an important comparison to make between Ecwid and Shopify, because they both act a little differently when trying to integrate the storefront into an existing website. The way that Shopify does it is through their “Buy Button.”
The Buy Button allows you to add products to your website or blog. Essentially you are taking embed coding and placing it on your website wherever you want the products to show up.
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When it comes to setting up your products on Shopify, one thing you might notice is that Shopify only allows you three different product options. So for example, you can have size, color, and texture variables on a product, but you can’t have size, color, texture, and length options.
There are workarounds to this by adding some apps or more coding, but it can get a bit complicated.
Shopify has a 14-Day Free Trial, but it doesn’t have a free plan, such as Ecwid does. They offer three different pricing options to get your store started. You can see the full pricing plans and what they offer by clicking on the pricing page of their website.
Shopify also just added a “Lite” plan for $9/month, as well as a program called Shopify Plus, which is considered their enterprise plan for large companies.
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Final Outcome – Ecwid Vs Shopify
In the end, as mentioned before, I truly believe much of choosing Ecwid or Shopify comes down to whether or not you have a website already or not. Both of these ecommerce website builders offer tons of great features.
I have to mention that after reviewing the product in depth, Ecwid would be a little easier for someone who is just starting out with their first online store due simply to the setup process being less time-consuming than the Shopify process.