Ecwid and Shopify are two eCommerce web building tools that utilize diverse approaches to the process of web store creation. Whatever service you will go for, it will let you start and manage an eCommerce website to come up to your particular web store creation needs. The question is: how would you like your eCommerce project to look and what features should it accomplish? Having answered this question, you will be able to decide which service exactly will work better for your eCommerce web design needs.
Ecwid is an eCommerce plugin, which is integrated into an existing website to give it eCommerce functionality. It is also possible to build a simple one-page online store with the plugin to display the show window of your best products. Shopify is the world-known eCommerce software, which comes with a rich feature set, extensive selection of eCommerce options, abundance of niche tools, website templates and other features that contribute to the efficacy of the web development process.
Website Builders Comparison Chart
|Best for:||eCommerce websites||Powerful and large-scale eCommerce projects|
|Templates:||One Starter Site only suitable for customization||Multiple free and paid responsive designs|
|Technical Support:||Email communication, informative blog, community forum, extensive knowledge base, YouTube tutorials||Help Center, Live Chat, Forum, eCommerce University|
|Blogging Options:||No integrated blogging engine||Quality blogging platform|
|SEO Options:||Mediocre SEO settings||Powerful SEO settings|
|Pricing:||Starts from $15/mo||From $9/mo|
|More info:||Ecwid Review →||Shopify Review →|
If you currently face the problem of picking the right web store development tool, you may give preference to any of these platforms depending upon your eCommerce creation needs. To help you with the choice, it makes sense to explore and analyze both tools in details to find out their major characteristics, pros and cons as well as distinctions. The following Ecwid vs Shopify review should give you a hint on what platform to go for in the long run.
Ecwid vs Shopify: General Overview
Ecwid is a popular eCommerce plugin, which has distinguished itself as a quality tool used to start and manage small online stores. It will work great for users, who already own their websites and intend to give them eCommerce focus. By integrating the plugin, it is possible to start selling physical/digital products via your project. That’s quite convenient and easy.
The plugin was first introduced to the market in 2000, having gained popularity with online entrepreneurs around the world. According to current statistics, the overall user base of the system constitutes 923 485 members, while the number of live projects has exceeded 725 019 websites. With Ecwid, it is now possible to design product catalogues, upload items you intend to offer for sale as well as their photos and descriptions, track web store statistics, manage online orders along with payment and shipping parameters.
Shopify now rightfully deserves the title of the best eCommerce software ever – so feature-laden, functional and powerful the system is. It grants access to the impressive variety of advanced features, eCommerce tools and high end solutions, smart application of which eventually results in the creation of professional eCommerce projects.
The system was launched in 2004 and it quickly developed into a top notch web store creation platform used to run feature-laden eCommerce projects. Currently, the general number of the system subscribers has reached 3 600 518 users, while the number of live web stores it powers now constitutes 1 596 587. These figures are really impressive and they definitely speak for themselves.
To sum it up, Ecwid and Shopify have both distinguished themselves as quality eCommerce tools. As a standard plugin, Ecwid cannot ensure the same functionality and flexibility as Shopify, which is a real eCommerce giant. The software comes with multiple niche features and tools that make it possible to start high end websites with advanced performance.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Which One Is Easier to Use?
Ecwid features exceptional ease of use, which matters a lot for inexperienced users, who already run their own websites and wish to add small web stores to them to offer something for sale. There is no need to create a separate account here or build an eCommerce website from scratch. Just reach the dashboard of the system, specify the domain and special parameters of your website and start customizing your online store.
Plugin integration implies the insertion of several code lines into the required web page body. This doesn’t take much effort, time and programming knowledge. You’ll be offered a set of tips provided by the system’s wizard to help you complete the task in the best way possible and with no hassle at all.
The interface of the system is logical and visually appealing. Offering multiple settings, it ensures easy navigation and comparatively simple process of web store creation. The progress bar available in the dashboard will be a helpful tool that will make you aware of the current stage of your web store readiness.
When your web store is ready, you will be able to manage it by filling out the fields available in the menu (My Sales, Catalog, Marketing, Reports). Completing these steps won’t be a problem as well due to the intuitive nature of the platform.
As to the customer support options, they are quite limited here, especially for free plan subscribers. These users can only get access to email communication with the system’s support team. They can also visit a free blog that provides helpful service-related articles, recommendations, guides and eCommerce tips. Ecwid grants access to the community forum and informative knowledge base, where each user can find answers to the available questions. The platform also has a free YouTube channel with video tutorials available any time of the day.
Premium subscribers have access to the individual tech support via the email or live chat. Priority phone support is provided here as well. To use this option, you can leave the call-back request so that the team members could contact you whenever you wish. Annual plan subscribers are offered 12 hours of custom web store development. The service is viable for all paid plan users and its cost starts with $100.
Shopify will impress everyone by its simplicity and logical structure. Whether you are a newbie exploring the nuances of the system for the first time or a web design expert willing to create a large online store, doing this with Shopify won’t be a challenge at all. The dashboard interface is thoroughly thought-over. It is not only visually appealing and intuitive, but it triggers the desire to keep working with it. The dashboard is so user-friendly that it’s impossible to overlook something here – just follow the steps listed in the wizard to create and customize a web store.
Shopify also has much to offer to those business owners, who are frequently too busy to remain in the office and, thus, have the need to manage their web stores on the go. It makes it possible to download free Shopify apps for Android and iOS to let you update your eCommerce website from any place you are in.
All in all, the system creates an impression of a powerful website builder, which is still quite easy to master. It works similarly for newbies and more proficient web builders. Rich functionality combined with stunning ergonomics of the dashboard and neat interface design won’t leave anyone indifferent.
The customer support service is on the top notch level, which definitely comes up to its cost. There is a powerful forum with lots of topics and branches to match user inquiries. Shopify clients can also get access to multiple articles, how-to guides, tips, FAQs and recommendations the system offers to everyone, who needs this support.
What’s more, the software stands out from the crowd due to its advanced live chat with Shopify Guru and email communication option. The quality of customer support assistance is nice, the managers respond to the queries fast and, what really matters, professionally. The system has its own YouTube channel with a rich choice of educative videos.
Whatever system you will go for to build a website, you won’t have any serious problems with it. Being a plugin, however, Ecwid is less understandable, not to mention the fact that you should know how to connect it to your ready made website. Shopify, in its turn, is a sustainable system, in which all the events happen in a single ecosystem. The software provides deep flexibility and offers a logical control panel, which abounds in settings that are not difficult to explore as well.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Design and Flexibility
Ecwid and Shopify both offer quite an impressive set of features, which are mostly centered around web store creation. Each system allows starting quality eCommerce projects. The thing is about the size and functionality of web stores you can start with these systems. As a plugin, Ecwid mostly works well for small and medium stores, while Shopify makes it possible to start even huge hypermarkets with thousands of digital/physical products offered for sale. To figure out the system, which has more to offer to the target audience, it makes sense to analyze the main parameters of both services. That’s exactly what we are going to do right away.
Ecwid application doesn’t differ a lot from using standard niche website builders or CMS. It comes with nearly the same set of eCommerce options provided out-of-the-box, including a product catalogue, client base, reports, shopping cart, delivery, taxes, payments, notification settings, social network integration, eBay and an opportunity to install extra paid app packages to expand the basic website functionality and iOS/Android mobile apps.
The plugin also comes with POS (Point of Sale) feature, which lets you sell the products not only in the web store, but also in the local retail storefront. If you have built an eCommerce website on the other platform and then decided to switch to the Ecwid-powered web store, transferring your product list won’t be difficult at all. The system makes it possible to export/import items offered for sale in the CSV format applicable in the majority of contemporary website builders.
Along with plugin integration, Ecwid makes it possible to launch a standalone website. Mind, however, that the functionality of the system will not be enough to create a large online store. What you can create here is a small one-page web store to showcase your products. With Ecwid, business owners will be able to use several sales channels to sell your products across different platforms, managing them from a single control panel. This is also quite convenient. If you wish to sell something in the social networks, the plugin allows choosing between several social media platforms and marketplaces.
Ecwid is also known for its extensive online store management options. Users cannot only sell digital and physical products, specifying their characteristics, but also create product lists and discounts, utilize different inventory management tools and abandoned checkout recovery features, set up SEO parameters etc. To attract user attention, entrepreneurs can use automatic tax calculators, checkout options, enable language selection, offer real-time shipping rates and detailed product reviews etc.
Mind that not all features are provided within a free plan. Many of them are available on paid plans only.
Shopify really excels at integrated eCommerce functionality – not in vain is the software considered the best web store creation platform in the world. The system currently has much to offer to its subscribers willing to start and manage feature-laden online stores.
The software developers have introduced the advanced Augmented Reality tool. It helps customers explore the products they are interested in from different sides to get the idea of their special parameters that are not visible at first sight. What’s more, the platform comes with multilanguage and multichannel support by default. The system has long-lasting partnership relations with eBay, Instagram, Facebook and other platforms.
Shopify developers pay special attention to the safety of their users’ information and payment transactions. To safeguard your web store from all kids of frauds, you can connect the SSL Certificate or use the Fraud Protect feature the system has introduced not long ago.
Apart from web design and customization, Shopify offers extensive marketing features. Among the most popular, meaningful and useful features, it initially makes sense to mention the POS (Point-of-Sale) software. The system makes it possible to start and manage small, medium and large online stores as well as local retails storefronts. This can notably boost the sales volume and maximize the revenue.
With Shopify, you can find out detailed web store statistics, apply email marketing options, adjust and modify SEO parameters, cooperate with multiple distribution channels (Amazon, BuzzFeed, eBay, Houzz etc.), install various apps (the system currently has over 1000 free applications), use mobile app for effective web store management and complete other steps.
When it tackles the eCommerce aspect, Shopify definitely goes first. The software makes it possible to start all types of online stores featuring distinctive functionality and specialization. Web stores created with Ecwid are less functional and they are also smaller in size.
Ecwid doesn’t have integrated blogging functionality. In other words, it is impossible to start or connect a blog to your web store. This is one of the most crucial downsides of the platform yet this is what the plugin currently provides. The thing is that blog availability matters a lot for effective eCommerce website promotion as it helps encourage users to browse your web store and to stay aware of your current business trends. Absence of this feature may have negative impact upon your project popularity and even search engine ranking. If you already have a blog, you can add a link to it to your web store pages.
Shopify blogging engine ranks really high as it makes it possible to connect a blog to your web store and to run it with regard to your business needs.
As soon as you launch the one, you will be able to add, edit and update posts, create appealing show windows and lookbooks, categorize articles based on the niches they refer to, set up Future Publishing feature and other important options.
As to the blogging feature, there is nothing to compare here. While Ecwid doesn’t provide any blog building opportunities, Shopify comes with a powerful blogging engine. It lets you get the most out of your blog building experience.
Ecwid integrations are not quite impressive. The plugin grants access to the limited set of applications and widgets you can integrate into your online store built with the plugin. Currently, you can pick and use the following extensions provided by the third-party services: LiveChat, ShippingEasy, ShipStation, Xero, Mailchimp, Zapier, Lucky Orange, Freshbooks, 71lbs, Printful, AfterShip and more. What you should know about these integrations, though, is that you have to subscribe to one of the premium plans the system offers to use them.
Shopify excels at integration options, granting access to multiple extensions and widgets offered by third-party systems. They are available in the App Market of the platform. When browsing them, you can choose from multiple free and paid applications to come up to your eCommerce website development needs.
Thus, if you have the Amazon account already, you can integrate it with that on Shopify to grow customer base and sales volume. Synchronization of your account with accounting apps like Quickbooks or Xero, for example, will also contribute to your web store performance. Just pick those extensions you need for your project and go ahead to integrate them into your project.
As to the integration options, both platforms make it possible to browse and pick useful third-party apps and widgets. Shopify, however, provides a more extensive choice of extensions, which lets you bring your web store performance to the brand new level.
Ecwid is an eCommerce plugin and, thus, it does not offer any template choice opportunity. You just integrate it into your pre-designed website and customize the available parameters.
The number of characteristics you can change here is not large as well, but they still allow creating an appealing show window to present your products in the most favorable light. With this purpose, you can choose between three color schemes of a single design here, namely standard, beige and white as well as modify the major design customization settings.
There are also applications, which make it possible to create individual designs for Ecwid show windows. They can be purchased in a brand store (thus, “Custom Themes” are available for $435). Generally, the design of a web store will be initially affected by the design of a website it will be connected to. The settings of the show window interface are minimal, although, this may be a nice solution for someone.
Shopify currently has a pretty nice collection of niche templates. You can choose between free and paid designs. The number of free themes constitutes 9 items, while that of paid templates is 64.
The final cost depends upon the major template parameters and depth of customization implied. The average cost of Shopify themes still ranges between $140 and $180. Whatever template you will eventually go for, you can be 100% sure in its quality and customizability. Mind that paid themes are more feature-rich and versatile. They also have more exquisite look and customization options. You can choose a template to meet any taste, including those with diverse menu positions, quantity and type, full-screen headers, with/without sliders, with/without a show window at the home page etc. All the possible web store design components are available here as well (see the best Shopify store examples).
The website builder offers an exclusive opportunity to fully customize the selected template by means of using Shopify Liquid tool. It will be of great help to newbies and proficient web developers, who intend to support their eCommerce partners, offering a brand new and unique design customization experience. The tool has everything you need to launch a one-of-a-kind template. It includes technical tips, how-to guides, Liquid language resources and other features that might be in handy to users, who wish to create immersive and appealing eCommerce themes.
Speaking about design customization options, it goes without saying that Ecwid comes with a minimum set of show window design settings. It’s problematic to give individuality to it or adjust to the available website design. This is either expensive or inconvenient. Shopify, in its turn, offers almost the unlimited freedom of convenient template design and structure editing. The eCommerce software is the undeniable leader in the design aspect comparison.
Ecwid vs Shopify: General Pricing Comparison
Ecwid offers a free plan you can use for the unlimited period of time. The plan makes it possible to sell up to 10 products and use a set of useful features, including unlimited bandwidth, mobile shopping cart, free start site creation, zero transaction fees, opportunity to add a web store to any website and sell simultaneously on multiple websites. However, if you intend to start a full-fledged web store with Ecwid, a free plan won’t come up to your needs. Thus, you will have to upgrade to one of premium subscriptions the system comes with. Here they go.
- Venture Plan ($15/mo or $12.50/mo with the annual subscription) – lets you sell 100 products and use professional features like discount coupons, automated tax calculation, CSV file export/import etc.;
- Business Plan ($35/mo or $29.17/mo with the annual subscription) – makes it possible to sell up to 2500 products and use extra features like custom invoices, wholesale pricing, marketplace integration etc.;
- Unlimited Plan ($99/mo or $82.50/mo with the annual payment) – allows selling the unlimited number of products and using advanced features like custom mobile store app, Square POS integration, priority support etc.
Shopify has a 14-day trial provided at no cost at all. The trial allows testing the major features of the system to define whether you are ready to pay for one of its higher plans. Speaking about paid subscriptions, there are 4 of them here. They differ in their integrated features, toolsets, product/ web store management options, marketing features, payment/shipping parameters and other eCommerce-related aspects. Premium subscriptions currently include:
- Shopify Lite ($9/mo) – unlimited product amount, sales tracking and “Buy” Button, 70+ payment gateways, global tax and currency support settings etc.;
- Basic Shopify ($29/mo) – free SSL Certificate connection, website and blog integration etc.;
- Shopify ($79/mo) – professional reporting option, gift cards etc.;
- Advanced Shopify ($299/mo) – advanced report builder, real-time carrier shipping etc.
The software offers a 14-day money back guarantee. Additionally, the platform charges commission fees for the transactions made within the system. The fees range between 0.5% and %2 based on the plan you are subscribed to. Mind that the higher plan you use, the lower the commission fees will be (in some cases, no transaction fees are charged at all).
As to the pricing aspect, it’s possible to conclude that Shopify proves to be a more beneficial and cost-effective solution. The system has a Lite Plan that provides almost the same functionality as Ecwid. There is no sense to pay more for a similar feature set. If you need a functional website, you’ll have to invest more into it. However, you will avail extra benefits in the long run, so, the plan will certainly be worth the investment.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Which One Is the Best for SEO?
Shopify is a SEO-friendly eCommerce software. This means that all the web stores it powers rank quite high in the search engines. The system lets you access a SEO section in the dashboard, where you can make the required settings. This is the place, where you can fill out meta tags for website pages and sections.
Likewise, you can add titles, descriptions, ALT tags for images – everything it takes to ensure quality search engine ranking for your web store. The system also automatically generates the sitemap when you just start working on your web store development. Shopify allows integrating with advanced statistics/analytics tracking tools to check your project status and solve the problems on time.
When talking about the SEO aspect, Shopify also has more to offer. The software ensures plenty of search engine-related parameters that make it possible to efficiently optimize your web store for the search engines. It’s possible to independently fill out SEO settings for your eCommerce project. The same cannot be said about Ecwid, which notably lags behind its major competitor.
Key Differences Between Ecwid and Shopify
|Ease of Use:||Ecwid is a specialized eCommerce plugin, which allows connecting and starting small and medium online stores that differ in integrated functionality and specialization.||Shopify is a powerful eCommerce software, which is now considered the best in its niche. It comes with intuitive dashboard and integrated drag-and-drop editor that helps avail great result with minimum time/effort investment.|
|Functionality:||The system offers a nice pack of eCommerce tools and features out-of-the-box, being a simple solution for all user categories. It comes with eCommerce integrations, web store/product management tools, design customization options – everything you need to get started with your eCommerce project.||The only sphere of Shopify application goes down to web store creation/promotion and this is where the system doesn’t have any competitors at all. The platform grants access to myriads of eCommerce-specific features and tools. They are needed for effective product and web store management, sales/clients tracking and proper design customization.|
|Design:||As an eCommerce plugin, Ecwid doesn’t offer a template collection. Instead, it comes with one Starter Site theme users can customize to create a one-page standalone web store. However, the system comes with responsive design and it allows for CSS code editing to create personalized design.||Shopify template collection is not quite extensive, but all the designs are of high quality. There are over 70 free and paid responsive templates available for customization here.|
|eCommerce:||Ecwid grants access to multiple eCommerce features and tools. The plugin allows for effective web store/product/order management, marketing and integration options, multichannel support and other related advantages.||Shopify is a unique eCommerce software and, thus, it excels at features and tools, which help start, manage, update and promote all types of web stores, including large hypermarkets.|
|Blogging:||Ecwid doesn’t have an integrated blogging engine and, thus, it is impossible to run a blog with it.||The platform comes with quite a worthy blogging engine, which lets you connect and manage a feature-laden blog. It helps boost user engagement rate, keeping web store visitors aware of your business news and updates.|
|Small Business:||The system makes it possible to start a small business website, which is geared towards eCommerce specialization.||Shopify can be a good choice for small business websites, which are meant for eCommerce use. For this category of projects, Shopify is the best solution to go for.|
|Pricing:||Ecwid has a free neverending plan and three premium subscriptions. Their cost starts from $15/mo.||The software comes with a 14-day free trial and four paid subscriptions. Their cost starts from $9/mo.|
|SEO:||The plugin offers quite limited SEO options, which don’t ensure high positions of your web store in the search engines.||Shopify is a SEO-friendly software. It allows optimizing web stores created with it for the search engines. This is done by filling out special parameters, using analytic and statistics tracking tools.|
|Customer Support:||Email communication, informative blog, community forum, extensive knowledge base, YouTube tutorials.||Shopify Help Center, eCommerce University, Rich Forum.|
Which One Is Better for Online Store: Ecwid or Shopify?
Ecwid and Shopify are quality eCommerce building tools, which utilize different approaches to the web store creation process and offer versatile features to successfully complete the task. The choice of the service should be based upon the audience you plan to target, your web design skills, expectations and budget you are ready to invest into the project.
While Ecwid allows creating a web store by means of plugin integration, Shopify unveils more extensive and powerful options. Ecwid comes with limited functionality, which makes it a good choice for newbies and small businesses only. Shopify is a sustainable eCommerce software, which grants access to the advanced feature set, abundance of design customization options and affordable pricing policy.
If you have serious web design aspirations and long-term goals, then you should certainly create a web store on a separate domain. Shopify is exactly the type of the platform to do that. The system will work best for users, who intend to establish credible web presence for their businesses, aiming at sales growth, traffic attraction and profit generation. This is definitely the best eCommerce software available in the contemporary niche.