When it comes to selling products online, there are many different eCommerce 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!
Ecwid is a turn-key solution that lets anyone create a professional online store quickly and easily.
It offers a range of features such as product management, order management, payments, shipping, and taxes. Ecwid is suitable for businesses of all sizes and industries.
Ecwid is a hosted solution, which means that they take care of the technical aspects of running your store — hosting, security, backups, upgrades, etc. Hence, you can focus on selling.
Ecwid is perfect for small businesses, artists, bands, photographers, restaurants, bloggers and anyone else who wants to start selling online. You can start with Ecwid for free and upgrade to a paid plan as your business grows.
In addition, Ecwid integrates with all major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp and online marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, so you can reach even more customers.
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.
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.
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.
- 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, Etsy, 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.
You can also try a theme designer for WordPress such as Themeforest that designs themes specifically integrated with Ecwid e-commerce technology.
Ecwid has over 70+ payment gateway providers you can use for your store.
Ecwid has a point of sale program that makes it simple and easy when you are in front of customers. It integrates with Square, Alice POS, 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.
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.
Here are the Ecwid pricing plans:
- Venture – $15 per month for monthly billing, or $12.50 per month for annual billing
- Business – $35 per month for monthly billing, or $29.17 per month for annual billing
- Unlimited – $99 per month for monthly billing, or $82.50 per month for annual billing
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.
As your store grows and your company morphs, you can increase the plan if you need to.
Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform that allows you to create an online store. Shopify was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada.
Shopify is simple to use, especially if you already have a product or service to sell. You can use Shopify to sell physical or digital products, and it has features and tools that allow you to do so.
For example, Shopify has an integrated shopping cart that lets you add products and checkout directly from your store.
Overall, Shopify is a great platform for starting an online store because it is easy to use and has all the features and tools you need to get started.
Merchants can use Shopify to sell online, on social media, and in-person. The platform also provides merchants with a powerful back-end office and POS system.
Shopify is one of the most comprehensive and most used ecommerce builders on the market today. Its 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 about 10 free themes and over 70+ 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.
Alternatively, you can get Shopify themes on third-party online marketplace like Themeforest.
Shopify supports over 7,300 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.
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 it is a popular online marketplace; hence, it would be wise to integrate your new store if possible.
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.
That way, you can be able to retain prospective online shoppers back to your online store.
Shopify is outstanding when it comes to shipping. They have partnerships with DHL Express, UPS, USPS, and FedEx 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.
You can take a look at available print on demand apps like Printful which helps you to sell customized products in your store.
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.
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.
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.”
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 five 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.
Here are the Shopify pricing plans:
- Lite – $9 per month
- Basic – $29 per month
- Shopify – $79 per month
- Advanced – $299 per month
- Shopify Plus – Starting at $2,000 per month
- Ecwid’s free plan comes with tons of features
- Ecwid makes it easy to convert an existing website to an online store
- Intuitive user interface
- Point of Sale functionality is available
- Available plugins for popular CMS like WordPress, Wix, and Drupal
- It integrates with third-party apps
- Supports multiple languages
- Tax rates are calculated automatically; hence, you don’t have to worry about calculating taxes and VATs.
- Ecwid is fully responsive
- It is easy to implement multi-currency selling
- Ecwid’s Instant Site plan allows you to own a store without owning a website.
- All Ecwid’s plans have Real-time carrier quote functionality
- Ecwid offers multiple dropshipping functionalities
- It has both Android and iOS apps
- Ecwid’s free plan lacks SEO functionalities
- Phone support is available to premium subscribers only
- Product URL cannot be edited for SEO purpose
- Merchants can’t create AMP versions of product pages with Ecwid
- Shopify has a fast learning curve
- It has tons of attractive and responsive templates
- All Shopify plans include the abandoned cart saving functionality
- It has automatic and sophisticated tax calculation tools
- You can create multiple versions of your site in 20 different languages with the Shopify, Advanced Shopify, and Shopify Plus plans
- Shopify is a fully hosted platform
- Shopify’s built-in email marketing tools let merchants send 10,000 emails monthly for free.
- Wide third party integrations
- Merchants can choose from over 100 payment options available on Shopify
- Excellent customer services
- Merchants can sell on multiple platforms, including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Merchants can list over 100 products on Shopify
- Shopify relies much on third-party apps for added functionalities
- Merchants who use other payment options on Shopify pay high transaction fees
- Shopify is expensive to operate compared to other eCommerce platforms
- Shopify’s email marketing tool is pretty basic
- Both Ecwid and Shopify lets you sell products online and manage inventory
- They both offer point-of-sale eCommerce functionality
- Both have plugin functionalities
- With either Shopify or Ecwid, you can integrate your online store with support payment gateways
- Ecwid is an eCommerce plugin that lets you add eCommerce functionalities to a website, while Shopify is an eCommerce platform for creating an online store from scratch.
- Ecwid has a completely free plan, while Shopify only offers a 2-weeks free trial period.
- Product listing on Shopify is unlimited, while merchants are limited to 100 product listings on Ecwid’s starter premium plan and only 10 for merchants on the free plan.
- Ecwid does not limit product options, while Shopify limits product options to three.
- Ecwid permits merchants to sell digital products only on paid plans, while Shopify allows merchants to sell products on all of its plans.
- Merchants can sell digital products up to 25GB on Ecwid, while merchants are limited to 5GB on Shopify.
- Ecwid uses third-party point-of-sales integration, while Shopify has a built-in point-of-sales functionality.
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.
So, for this Ecwid vs Shopify comparison, the winner is Ecwid.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.