Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Ecwid and Shopify stack up.
Daniel Adams and Matthew Taylor
Last updated 2o July 2020
4.1 Stackupp rating
$ 15.00 / month
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.
4.8 Stackupp rating
$ 29.00 / month
Best forSmall and medium-sized retailers that need a fully-hosted solution that’s easy to customize.
Can't decide between Ecwid and Shopify?
Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Ecwid and Shopify. 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.
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.
With over one million users, Shopify is one of the most popular hosted ecommerce platforms on the market.
Shopify has gained a reputation for being extremely beginner-friendly, allowing retailers with no coding or development experience to build and manage a professional store with unlimited products.
If you’re looking for a solution that’s ready-to-go, easy to set up, and isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg, then Shopify could be the way to go.
Notably, Shopify offers features as part of its basic package, like multi-channel selling, that are often only available on higher-level plans on competing platforms.
Use Shopify if you’re just getting started or are transitioning your small or medium-sized store to a new ecommerce platform.
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 Ecwid and Shopify platforms are to run.
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.
Ease of use is one of the areas where Shopify really shines. All users have access to a website builder and intuitive content management system. Adding products is a doddle. And all orders are managed from an automatable fulfillment dashboard (which connects with popular fulfillment solutions). SEO and mobile responsiveness are both taken care of.
“I have built two websites using Shopify and it was a great experience. They have someone available all the time if you run into problems. I’m not a web designer and I was able to figure it out without any lengthy tutorials.”
“I've had a great experience with this platform and I highly recommend it!”
“I honestly don't know why there are so many bad reviews about Shopify. It is an absolutely amazing platform with an even better support team. I think people need to stop being so negative as there is nothing more you can ask from them.”
Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Ecwid and Shopify templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.
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).
There’s no doubt that Shopify offers some of the most beautifully-designed templates on the market. There are over seventy templates to choose from. The downside, however, is that most themes cost around $180. At the time of writing, Shopify offers eight free themes.
The design features in the website builder are intuitive and suitable for people with no coding background. Making tweaks to colors, buttons, images etc. is a doddle. What’s more, it’s possible to make straightforward CSS and HTML additions.
The main difficulty arises when it comes to making “deeper” backend changes. Accessing and amending the Shopify backend requires specialized knowledge which many retailers don’t have.
Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Ecwid or Shopify offers better value for money.
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.
Shopify offers great value for money. The basic package comes with a fantastic array of features, including unlimited product listings, 24/7 support, discount codes, and abandoned cart email automation. There are no set-up fees, and you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial. You’ll also get a discount when you pay for an annual plan.
The main downside to Shopify is that you’ll be charged additional fees for using any payment gateway other than Shopify Payments. While Shopify allows for a range of gateway integrations (including popular services like Paypal), it’s important to account for these extra charges before signing up.
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 Ecwid's and Shopify's support measure up?
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.
All Shopify plans come with 24/7 email, phone, and live chat support. Customer reviews are generally favorable when describing the quality of support. 24/7 email support is also offered in a variety of other languages. Shopify has one of the most active communities of users, and the forums are an excellent place to ask for help.
The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.
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.
Shopify is a model ecommerce platform - a fully-hosted, feature-rich retail solution at a reasonable price. Among the standout points are the intuitive site builder and content management system, the quality of the templates, and the complete package of features included even in the basic package.
A highly active online community, along with 24/7 support, makes it an ideal option for small and medium-sized stores that don’t have the resources to manage everything themselves.
It’s also notable that Shopify includes omnichannel selling (for social media and Amazon), discount codes, and a free SSL certificate as part of its value proposition. Retailers also have access to shipping discounts when using Spotify Shipping.
Here are two points before wrapping up. If you’re thinking of giving Shopify a test-drive, be careful to check the costs of using third-party gateways. Also, ensure you’re able to make backend changes if that’s something you need to do.
Overall, we found Shopify to be the better ecommerce platform.
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