Big Cartel vs. Ecwid

Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Big Cartel and Ecwid stack up.

Daniel Adams

Daniel Adams

Last updated 2o July 2020


Big Cartel

4.0  Stackupp rating

Pricing from

$10/month

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

Big Cartel has carved out a specific niche in the ecommerce space. It’s a platform designed specifically for creatives that want to sell original work.

Ecwid

4.1  Stackupp rating

Pricing from

$15/month

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

All retailers that need a powerful store added to their existing site - without the need to change their CMS (content management system), site design, or hosting - will find Ecwid an attractive option.

Big Cartel or Ecwid: Which is best?

Can't decide between Big Cartel and Ecwid?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Big Cartel and Ecwid. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is Big Cartel right for you?

Big Cartel is a fully-hosted ecommerce solution built specifically for small-scale creatives. If you sell original work, like art, jewellery, woodwork, refurbished furniture, and so on, then Big Cartel is ideal.

While the general look-and-feel and functionality are minimal and straightforward, Big Cartel doesn’t skimp on features or support. Users have access to a comprehensive suite of ecommerce tools, including payment gateways, promotional features, and integration with social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. What’s more, Big Cartel is very well-priced, with plans starting at $10/month and a “forever free” option.

Retailers that need more than three hundred product listings and a more powerful set of features, however, will have to opt for another solution.

Advantages

  • Beautiful and artistic collection of themes.
  • Highly intuitive and easy-to-use.
  • Possible to set up your store in minutes.

Drawbacks

  • Robust but limited set of features.
  • Difficult to customize.
  • Maximum of three hundred listings on the premium plan.

Use Cartel is you’re a creative (with an inventory of fewer than 300 products) looking for a hassle-free, cost-effective solution.

Is Ecwid right for you?

Ecwid fills a clear gap in the ecommerce solution market. It’s a fully-fledged platform for retailers that want to add a store to their existing site, whether it’s hosted on WordPress, Adobe Muse, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace or even Tumblr. Other platforms are also supported.

Ecwid also offers a number of industry-leading features. These include support for over fifty languages, in-built omnichannel selling (Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, etc.), and a raft of advertising and promotional features.

Ecwid ensures that your new store fits exactly with your current design and branding. If, however, you’re looking for a fully-hosted solution to build a new ecommerce site from scratch, alternatives like Shopify or BigCommerce are more feasible.

Advantages

  • Integrates seamlessly with existing websites.
  • Forever free plan.
  • Multiple languages and third-party channels supported.

Drawbacks

  • Not a fully-hosted solution.
  • Certain essential features only included in top-tier plan.
  • Unlimited product listings only on top-tier plan.

Looking for a robust ecommerce platform to add to your existing site? If you're also in the market for a solution that offers support for multiple languages along with in-built functionality for multi-channel listings, then Ecwid is a great option.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the Big Cartel and Ecwid platforms are to run.

How easy is Big Cartel to use?

Rated 5/5 for Ease of Use

Big Cartel is one of the easiest-to-use platforms on the market, and gives hyper-intuitive products like Weebly and Wix a run for their money.

Users are initially guided through a step-by-step set-up process and will be prompted to configure their store and add their first product. Themes can be customized via a WordPress-style editor, and all products and orders are managed from a central dashboard.

What Big Cartel customers are saying...

“We would recommend Big Cartel without reservations.”
“I would definitely recommend using Big Cartel. They have a lot of ready made layouts that are really easy to use (especially for people like me who have zero knowledge in website building).”
“We’ve been using BigCartel since 2010 and have been very content with their shopping cart and ability to easily customize our store and portfolio.”

How easy is Ecwid to use?

Rated 4/5 for Ease of Use

Ecwid’s central dashboard, from where users manage product listings, inventory, and shipping, is straightforward and intuitive. Because Ecwid is designed with multi-channel selling in mind, it’s also easy to list and manage products on third-party platforms like Facebook, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, and others. Installation on platforms like WordPress and Wix is also very streamlined.

What Ecwid customers are saying...

Clean and easy to interface with our website and Square for payment processing.
I have really enjoyed using Ecwid. Their customer service is very speedy and things are easy to use.
I've liked it so far. It's easy to use, and easy to add on new products.

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Big Cartel and Ecwid templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.

How good are Big Cartel's themes?

Rated 3.5/5 for Design

Big Cartel is designed for retailers with little or no coding experience. Because of this, the site editor is very easy to use and provides control over key design elements like the logo, colours, layout, font-size, and so on.

The theme library, which includes just under twenty themes, is relatively small compared to other ecommerce platforms. This is more than made up for, however, by the quality of themes, all of which are free. They ‘re beautifully-designed and will appeal to a variety of creatives.

On the downside, retailers that need to make deeper code changes will struggle. Only limited HTML and CSS changes are possible.

Big Cartel Examples

  • Roda
    Roda
Item 1 of 3

How good are Ecwid's themes?

Rated 4/5 for Design

Because Ecwid integrates with existing sites, users don’t have access to any templates or a site-builder. In terms of look-and-feel, your Ecwid store will sit in the “wrapper” of your current design.

You can adjust individual page settings - such as the size of product images and the layout of elements like the “Buy Now” button and the product description - from the “Design” tab in Ecwid. It’s also possible to make CSS changes via the CSS editor.

Ecwid offers a library of apps which further extend the functionality of the Ecwid editor. A straightforward site-builder is available on the free plan (which is the only option that is fully hosted on Ecwid).

Ecwid Examples

  • JustSaiyan Gear
    JustSaiyan Gear
Item 1 of 3

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Big Cartel or Ecwid offers better value for money.

How much does Big Cartel cost?

Rated 4/5 for Pricing

Big Cartel offers reasonable value for money. Users have access to a solid package of features, including analytics, discount and promotional codes, shipping tracking, and more. Retailers can also take in-person payments with a Square reader (useful for taking orders at trade fairs, conventions, markets, etc.) There is also a “forever free” plan that allows for five products and a small selection of features.

The big downside is the limited number of product listings. The basic plan only allows for twenty-five products, and the premium $29.99/month plan has a maximum of three hundred products. What’s more product options (such as different colors or sizes) are only available on the higher-level plans.

How much does Ecwid cost?

Rated 4/5 for Pricing

Ecwid is generally very competitive on price. The entry-level “Venture” plan is $15/month, and the top-tier business plan costs $99/month. There are discounts for paying annually.

What’s more, the “free forever” plan, which includes hosting by Ecwid (the other plans do not), is one of the best on the market.

Just remember, because Ecwid is an integration, rather than a fully-hosted solution, you will have to take care of hosting, domains, bandwidth, etc. This will certainly add extra costs to the overall price.

The one downside of Ecwid is that some features - like POS (point of sale), unlimited products, and priority support - are only available on the top plan.

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Big Cartel's and Ecwid's support measure up?

How good is Big Cartel support?

Rated 3.5/5 for Help and Support

Support is available via. email from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 6 PM EST. While support is only available on workdays in working hours, reports about the quality and speed of support in these times are generally very good. Phone and live chat options are not available.

How good is Ecwid support?

Rated 4.5/5 for Help and Support

The support options available depend on the plan that you subscribe to. Only support tickets are offered on the free plan (with a 24-hr maximum turnaround). Live chat is available on the “Venture” plan, and phone callbacks are included on the mid-tier “Business” plan. The “Unlimited plan” provides priority support which pushes your request to the front of the line. It’s a slight drawback that Ecwid doesn’t offer more support options on the lower plans.

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

Big Cartel: Our Verdict

Big Cartel is one of the most interesting and unique ecommerce platforms we’ve reviewed on Stackupp. At first sight, enforcing a limit of 300 listings on the premium plan would seem ridiculous. Serious retailers need unlimited products, right?

But this seemingly arbitrary limit on product listings ties in with Big Cartel;’s core value proposition as a “tight-knit company, built to stay small, independent, and do right by our team and artists for years to come.” The whole package is designed to give small-scale artists a professional, easy-to-use platform that stands head-and-shoulders above other entry-level options like Wix and Weebly.

If you’ve got a limited selection of products but want a beautiful online storefront to showcase them, along with the ability to take in-person orders at craft fairs, then Big Cartel is worth checking out. If, on the other hand, you run a more traditional ecommerce store, you’re better off seeking an alternative solution.

Ecwid: Our Verdict

Overall, we were very impressed with Ecwid. It targets a clear section of the retail market - businesses that want to add a store to their existing site while maintaining their current design and backend - and offers a feature-rich, intuitive platform. It’s also difficult to argue with the “forever free” plan.

We also like the high degree of functionality for omnichannel sales, with native capabilities for Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Amazon, and a host of other third-party marketplaces. Support for over fifty languages is another added bonus.

Finally, the central dashboard is intuitive and easy to use. While the overall look-and-feel of the store will be determined by the “parent site” (Wix, WordPress, Squarespace, etc.), making edits to templates for product listings, category pages, or the store homepage are simple processes.

So what about the downsides? While support options could be more varied, and certain features are not available on the lower-priced plans, there aren’t any major issues. Just remember, if you’re looking for a fully-hosted solution that allows you to build a new site from scratch and manage everything from one central dashboard, Ecwid isn’t suitable. If, however, you have an existing site, or you want to use your favourite CMS or website editor, then Ecwid is well worth considering.

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