Ecwid – is a SaaS platform designed to meet eCommerce needs. On the one hand, it helps to build a new online store and have it connected to an already existing website. On the other hand, users will be able to create a new online shop from scratch using an integrated website building functionality. The tool comes with a bunch of marketing and promotion features to let merchants sell both physical and digital goods via multiple sales channels.
The system comes with a comprehensive eCommerce functionality. You will find it easy to create product pages and catalogs, enable payment and shipping options, track stats, and more. The platform is easy to use. Beginners will find it easy to manage goods and other digital assets. What’s more, users will get a chance to test the tool thanks to a free plan although with a limited set of functions.
It all seems pretty good on the paper. And how about real-life tests? In this review, we will highlight all the benefits and possible misses delivered by Ecwid.
1. Pros and Cons
If you look for a fast and simple way to launch an online store and start selling goods, Ecwid might be a good choice. It has a rich set of eCommerce features to sell, manage, and promote products online. At the same time, the system does not look complete with some of the functions missing:
| ✔ Full-scale eCommerce platform with shipping, tax calculation, and product management included.|
✔ A variety of payment gateways.
✔ Multi-lingual store and dashboard support.
✔ Multiple sales channels inducing marketplaces and social networks.
✔ Integrated website building technology.
✔ Compatibility with CMS and SaaS website builders.
✔ A completely free plan with baseline eCommerce functionality.
✔ Extensive App Market with plugins and widgets to connect.
| ✘ Some features rely only on third-party integrations.|
✘ Limited website building features.
✘ Some core SEO features are lacking for the product page.
✘ The free plan has minimum options.
2. What Is It Good for?
Despite possible misses, Ecwid is certainly worth trying, especially when considering a completely free plan, which looks very generous. At least, you will be able to examine the system and decide if it suits your needs without initially paying for the plan.
As for the main specialization, the platform was created with a focus on digital stores. So, it will suit only eCommerce projects. They may include already existing online shops. All you need is to add product pages, configure general settings, and have the store connected with a site built on WordPress, Joomla, and some other popular CMS. In addition, the system is compatible with different SaaS website builders such as Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, and many others.
What’s more, the platform will fit users who do not have a running store and what to build a new project from the ground without switching between two separate systems. Beginners will appreciate a simple building process although you should not expect much of this functionality in terms of web design and customization. Besides, they will have a chance to sell both physical and digital goods. It will suit small and medium shop owners, while bigger projects will require more flexibility to scale and you should use advanced Ecwid alternatives. Have a look at several online shop examples to see the system capabilities with already live projects.
A colorful and easy-to-navigate Spanish-based store that sells clothes for kids and adults. It combines several catalogs and collections under one roof. The project is mainly aimed at selling goods via Facebook and Instagram. It uses plenty of bright colors to create capturing posts and grab the attention of the target audience.
EAnother small shop with products for kids and adults in addition to a handbag and accessories collection. As stated earlier, Ecwid ensures multi-lingual shop support. This time, we can see a project targeting Dutch consumers.
A Hong Kong-based toy store with a vast selection of mini-figures. Here we can see an example of how thoughtfully the categories and products can be sorted and displayed. The shop offers a section of toys that refer to different themes and genres in addition to a limited edition, topical figures, etc.
3. Ease of Use
At first, the set of features may seem overwhelming for beginners. However, once you have started working with them too, you will see how easy it is to manage assets, connect different functions, or use promotion tools. All you need is to sign in and get access to all instruments inside the dashboard.
As stated earlier, Ecwid offers a no-obligation free plan. It means that you may use it for as long as you want. Of course, you should not expect it to have all features of a full-scale digital store. On the other hand, you will see with your own eyes how everything looks like from the inside.
First of all, you need to register using any of the existing Apple, Facebook, or Google accounts. Those who do not have them may benefit from a brick-to-mortar registration with your name, email, and password types in the spaces provided.
The next stage is to specify the baseline shop details. For example, the system will ask you to indicate your country and preferable currency. Besides, here you may choose the type of project you want to create.
Then users will have to indicate an existing shop address. This is necessary in case you plan to sell digital goods and what customers find your store on the integrated map.
The last thing you should do is to indicate the type of products you are going to sell as well as the previous building experience. Also, the platform will ask if you plan to create a store for yourself or someone else.
To be honest, we do not know how the answers will affect the building process. What’s more, you are free to skip stages from 2 to 4, which makes them totally useless. The good news is that this will not take you long to complete or you can go back to them later.
Setting the Store
Now, you are inside the Ecwid dashboard with all major instruments under one roof. You may start adding products right at once or go to general settings and add all the necessary information about the future store.
To go live, you will have two major options. The first one is to connect a new store to an existing website. We have already shown how flexible Ecwis is. It is compatible with many popular website builders and CMS. When you are done with the shop, you will need a piece of HTML code or plugin to have the shop integrated with your site.
The second option is to build a new store from the ground yourself. In this case, you will need a custom Instant Site solution. It is a simple web editor with baseline content management features. You can create a new shop, edit content, and upload new products, change layouts and grids to make your project look a bit more exclusive.
Users will be able to connect a domain or use a custom one provided by the platform. The main drawback here is the lack of features and customization options. On the other hand, you will come up with a separate fully operating digital store that does not require a separate backup.
4. eCommerce Functionality
Ecwid is all about eCommerce and selling. For this reason, it mainly delivers features that will meet merchants’ expectations. Here we have an advanced product management system with expanded catalog and sorting options, seamless payment gateway connection, and more.
You can manage all of your products right inside the dashboard. Here we have a full list of all items with a chance to add a new one with a couple of clicks. Each item can be displayed in 45 different languages, while the page itself can be seamlessly integrated with the POS solution if you plan to sell using physical sites.
Each product page comes with detailed settings. Users can upload several product images, indicated shipping details, add product titles and descriptions, and so on. What’s more, the system makes it possible to control products on stock, change the price, or disable the availability when you run out of specific goods.
Product Page SEO
Each product page comes with editable SEO configurations. Here you may customize or change met data to improve the SEO ranking. Besides, it has a preview mode to see how the product page will look like when sharing on social media or Google.
Product Variations and Types
With Ecwid, you can create not only comprehensive product catalogs but also sort out items by types and categories. This feature is great in case you have several variations of the same product and what it to be displayed properly on the page. All you need is to indicate options values for a specific item, their sizes, price, input type, etc.
To add a new product type, simply indicated the required attributes. Users will be able to show or hide specific item types and categories. The product page may contain additional info such as the brand name or UPC to ensure customers’ awareness.
Shipping & Delivery
Merchants will have a chance to select the way they will deliver their goods to customers. The two major options include:
- Shipping Services – the platform comes with support for major carriers with flat rates that are calculated automatically. General options include UPS, FedEx, and some others.Shipping Services – the platform comes with support for major carriers with flat rates that are calculated automatically. General options include UPS, FedEx, and some others.
- Self-Pickup – the feature delivers several options that include an in-store, drive-through, and curbside pickup.
Ecwid makes it possible to handle the delivery rates and fees yourself. However, this feature is available starting from the Venture plan.
By default, your customers will be able to pay in cash. In addition, sellers can enable other payment gateways such as Stripe and PayPal. The system is compatible with Square merchant solution that includes point of sale and payment processing as well. The main downside here is that you will have to pay extra fees and commissions (2.9% + $0.30 per every online transaction), while PayPal and stripe are free to use.
5. Ecwid Instant Sites
Ecwid can be used as a stand-alone website builder that lets you create your own store from the ground. The tool is very straightforward and easy to use. It definitely lacks design and customization options but in the end, you may have your own store built in several hours.
The system offers a standard layout for every store. So, you should not expect dozens of free templates and themes. You will actually use a single mockup that can be edited and customized. Users may choose from different cover layouts, change elements positioning, and so on.
In the editor, it is possible to change texts, upload your own images, and add shop title and description. In addition, you will be able to change the content in specific sections. For example, you may copy and paste your own text for the About section or specify relevant contact information.
Users can manage the way their products are displayed on the page. It is possible to modify and change thumbnails, resize them, or change text alignment, aspect ratio, etc.
The shop looks good on mobile devices. The main downside here is that you cannot add additional elements or sections. What’s more, you will have to stick to the default page structure without a chance to rearrange the blocks.
6. Features & Flexibility
While Ecwid was designed with a focus on eCommerce, most of its features are merchant-oriented. However, the system offers additional options to enhance its flexibility. For example, users will appreciate automated language detection, separate SEO configurations for product pages, and the website in general. You will get access to a huge App marketplace with dozens of third-arty services to connect with a click. Let’s have a closer look at what it offers.
Merchants will have enough marketing tools to promote their products and keep customers aware. Apart from the baseline Google Ads option, you will be able to run marketing campaigns on Facebook, use promo codes and discounts, reduce cart abandonment, and more.
For each option, there is a detailed setup guide to help you get started. Unfortunately, some of the marketing tools are available in paid plans only. So, you will need to upgrade in order to use them.
With Ecwid, you get multiple channels to sell and promote your products. They include some of the biggest online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon in addition to an integrated POS solution. If you focus mainly on social media, you may sell via Facebook Messenger or Instagram.
The platform does not have a built-in reporting feature, which is strange considering the focus on eCommerce. To track stats and monitor sales, you will need to connect a separate app. The good news is that some of those reporting apps are free to use. You will only need to have it installed in the dashboard. The bad news is that you will still need to upgrade in case you require detailed insights.
The App Market is really huge. You will find different widgets and third-party services to market and promote your shop via different channels. Here we have a Google Shopping app, product widgets, email marketing tools, web customization tools, accounting services, and more.
7. Customer Support
Users will never find it difficult to contact the support team or get the information they need to resolve different issues. Although it does not offer assistance on the phone, you may use the Live Chat or email to get in touch as soon as possible.
In addition, the platform comes with an enormous Help Center and knowledge base that contains endless articles, video tutorials, guides, and general system overviews. You will learn how to set the store or connect a custom domain. Besides, you will find additional details inside the dashboard with handy configuration tips and instructions.
8. Plans & Pricing
Ecwid is a subscription-based platform. It means that you will be billed monthly or annually to keep your store running and continue using all the features. Users may choose from 4 different plans depending on their business needs. The first one is free. It offers only baseline functionality with limited options and the ability to manage up to 10 products. If you want to scale your shop and make the most of the promoting capabilities, you may choose from the following:
The plan costs $15 per month and $12.50/month when billed annually. It offers all major promotion and marketing tools to manage not more than 100 products. You will be able to sell on Facebook and Instagram or connect a point of sale solution. With this plan, you also get a mobile responsive shopping cart, as well as a custom app to manage your shop on both iOS and Android devices.
Ecwid Business Plan starts at $35 per month (if you pay annually, the price will be $29.17/month). With this plan, you will get additional sales channels including Amazon and eBay in addition to automated email marketing campaigns and MailChimp integration. The package lets you manage and sell up to 2500 products.
It costs $99 per month and $82.50.month when billed annually. It lets you sell unlimited products and benefit from a personally branded iOS and Android mobile shopping app. Unlimited users will get priority customer support and additional free customization services for up to 12 hours.
9. Website Examples
The system is good for different kinds of shops and merchants who deal with both digital and physical goods. Have a look at some of the good Ecwid store examples that operate in various niches and eCommerce fields.
Sharks Palermo Football
Store – DH6
Ecwid is a good online store builder to meet small and medium business needs. It helps to create digital shops and have them connected with the existing websites or create a fully featured stand-alone eCommerce website from scratch. Apart from marketing and promotion tools, it has a free plan that lets you get started with a small shop with not more than 10 products. Not bad.
But this is where downsides may occur. Some of the core features like reporting mainly rely on third-party apps. The platform does not have a custom integrated analytic tool to track stats. Besides, an integrated website builder has very few options in terms of web designing and customization. The only way to make the most of this tool with all great options like marketing and sales channels is to upgrade to at least Business or Unlimited plans. Otherwise, it will make no sense for scaling eCommerce projects.