Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how BigCommerce and Ecwid stack up.
Matthew Taylor and Daniel Adams
Last updated 26o December 2019
Best forSmall to medium retailers looking for a hosted and easy-to-use platform at a reasonable price-point.
Best forAll 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.
Can't decide between BigCommerce and Ecwid?
Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of BigCommerce 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.
BigCommerce is a popular ecommerce platform with a number of solutions for small and medium-sized retailers. Custom enterprise plans are also available.
BigCommerce appeals particularly to users with limited development skills because of its usability out-of-the-box. That said, those wishing to make more complex backend changes can do so.
Smaller retailers experiencing growth are also drawn to BigCommerce because of its scalability features. The BigCommerce feature-set has everything you would expect, including responsive website templates, shopping cart, and payment integrations, single-page checkout, analytics, and more.
Retailers looking for a fully-hosted solution at a reasonable price point will find BigCommerce appealing. Customer service ratings are consistently high, and BigCommerce customers can take advantage of an active, helpful community of fellow users.
Use if you are a small to medium-sized retailer with limited development skills (or budget) and expecting your store to grow.
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.
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.
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 BigCommerce and Ecwid platforms are to run.
BigCommerce is very easy to use. After signing up, you’ll be guided through the process of setting up your store.
You can access essential features from the central BigCommerce dashboard, including product listings, customer information, analytics, app integrations, and more. Once your store is ready to go, day-to-day tasks of managing orders and content can be handled easily through the main interface. Adding new products and running reports are straightforward tasks.
One reason that BigCommerce doesn’t score a straight 10 out of 10 is because designing extra functionality beyond what’s offered directly can be tricky.
I've been on BigCommerce since 2010 and it's terrific. Support is great, and they're always improving the platform and coming out with new features. The app directory is robust but almost everything you need is already part of the main package.
We have been using Big Commerce for over 7 years now and love the functionality of it compared to other platforms. The online technical support is great too and we use this very often!
BigCommerce has been good to work with. The e-commerce store is easy to manage.
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.
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.
Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do BigCommerce and Ecwid templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.
BigCommerce offers a robust default design along with dozens of free and paid themes in the theme store. The themes on offer are well-optimized and cater to a range of ecommerce sectors and site preferences, including for both large and small catalogs.
Crucially, BigCommerce offers an intuitive storefront editor for managing your store’s frontend design, and you can tweak most aspects of the default theme. It’s possible to make limited CSS and HTML changes. Developers that want to build a theme from scratch can take advantage of the BigCommerce framework.
One drawback is paid themes can be quite pricey, running into several hundred dollars for the paid options. Nonetheless, you have a range of free themes to take advantage of.
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).
Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if BigCommerce or Ecwid offers better value for money.
BigCommerce has three pricing options: £$29.95/month, $79.95/month, and $249.95/month. There is also an enterprise edition that includes unlimited API calls, price lists, and ShipperHQ (a leading rules engine for working out shipping prices). You can save a little on the monthly fee by opting to pay annually. There are no up-front fees for getting started, and 24/7 support is included at all price-points. There is also a two-week free trial to sample the platform before jumping in.
Features are generally uniform over most of the paid plans, although the middle “Plus” plan includes some features you may need which aren’t included in the “Standard” plan, such as the “cart saver” for remembering abandoned carts. Paid templates usually average around $200.
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.
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 BigCommerce's and Ecwid's support measure up?
BigCommerce routinely ranks as one of the best ecommerce platforms for customer support. Seek out any review site online and you will find glowing praise for the level of customer service.
24/7 live agent support is provided on all plans. API and priority support is offered for the enterprise plan.
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 final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.
BigCommerce is an excellent choice for small and medium-sized retailers that need an easy-to-use platform that is ready to scale. Superb management functionality, covering product listings, orders, and reporting, combines with an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard. This streamlines the process of carrying out routine day-to-day ecommerce tasks.
Users also get a lot of bang for their buck. All plans allow for unlimited products and unlimited customer entries in your CRM. Furthermore, BigCommerce retailers can take advantage of a library of templates and add-ons (for Facebook, MailChimp, Quickbooks, etc.). 24/7 customer service is provided on all plans. On the downside, themes can be expensive, often reaching several hundred dollars. Equally, if you are eager to make extensive design changes to your frontend, BigCommerce might not be for you. That said, the development framework is an option for advanced developers.
Oh, and there’s a 15-day trial. So you can dip your toes in the water before diving in.
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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