Competition in the contemporary eCommerce niche is quite serious nowadays. Online store owners get much higher profits as compared to the owners of other commercial websites. That’s why, the developers of website builders value their skills and expertise quite high, especially if they are effective. It’s not a secret that creation of a nice online store is a complex task for the majority of people. That’s why, those services that make it possible to solve the task in the simplest and the most effective way at affordable cost are especially in demand these days.
Overview Comparison Chart
As a result, the number of eCommerce building platforms users know about is not that high, even though, the assortment of these companies is really impressive. General quality level, advertising, cost, eco-system – these are the major factors that affect the decision of a user to invest money into a particular website builder. We have decided to provide the detailed comparison of two renowned eCommerce systems once again as many users are interested in this topic. This time, we will focus on Ecwid and Shopify.
It goes without saying that these platforms differ a lot. Ecwid is a Russian product that has been introduced at the market in 2009. This is the AJAX application – the plugin, which allows launching a trading platform at the existing website. It’s functioning is based on the SaaS model – the one, which is used by most contemporary website builders. In this case, you will need to add a platform widget code to activate an online store at your website.
Shopify is a Canadian platform that was launched in 2004. It allows creating online stores with all the required attributes from scratch. However, it should be mentioned that there is a special plugin used to add online stores created with this service to other websites. Some website builders use it for this purpose, but this is the secondary purpose. The major specialization of the service is the creation of online stores of diverse complexity levels from scratch. It works well for small, medium and large businesses. The portfolio of the service enlists a rich number of renowned clients (Tesla, Google, Mozilla etc.).
So, we will compare a full-featured eCommerce website builder and eCommerce plugin to be integrated into an online store show window at the readymade websites and social network pages. Both tools are needed for one purpose only, but they notably differ in the realization approach and usage nuances. What’s better? Who will benefit from using the system and in what situations? Let’s discuss these aspects in details now.
Ease Of Use
- Ecwid. It doesn’t make sense to register here, if you already have a functional and well working website. As a rule, online stores are added to business websites, portfolios or even blogs. Thus, you won’t be able to create an individual online store from scratch, but you will have an opportunity to make it possible to sell something at your domain, which already has certain traffic results and search engines loyalty. The registration process is really simple as in the rest of the systems.
To integrate an online store widget (several code lines in the required web page body), you initially need to create it in the system dashboard. When it comes to the complexity of use, the interface can be compared to that of the leading website builders. There are many settings there, but it’s still pretty simple to use them. Generally, the platform is meant for newbies and small businesses.
- Shopify. Registration at the service is standard. There is nothing too complicated about it. The dashboard interface is thoroughly thought-over. It is not only visually appealing and intuitive, but it triggers the desire to work with it. There is nothing special lacking here, everything looks practical. However, the structure of the sections comes with a rich number of useful settings. What’s more, the purpose of using these settings is understandable right from the start and it’s easy to modify them.
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.
Ecwid vs Shopify. From the prospective point of view, it makes sense to explore Shopify. Website builder and plugin interfaces differ a lot, but it’s quite easy to work with them. The major difference is that Ecwid online store requires simultaneous work in two systems – the plugin itself and the website dashboard it will be connected to. This is the major problem for most users.
This means that you will have to manage 2 websites instead of one. Shopify, in its turn, is a sustainable system, in which all the events happen in a single ecosystem. This is much more convenient. If you still decide to create an online store from scratch with Ecwid, you will initially have to launch a separate website for it prior to proceeding to plugin integration. This is quite costly and inconvenient. And it doesn’t make any sense at all. Generally, it’s simpler and more pleasant to master Shopify and work with it.
Feature Set and Flexibility
- Ecwid. The use of the plugin doesn’t differ a lot from working with a niche website builder or CMS. It comes with nearly the same set of eCommerce options, 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.
This is exactly what we have got used to. There are no apparent problems or super bonuses here. If you don’t have a website of your own yet, the system will offer using its own subdomain during the web development process so that you could be able to control the procedure. This is a temporary solution. It’s impossible to sell something in your online store created on the basis of your Ecwid subdomain.
Another notable disadvantage of the plugin is that the online stores created with it are seen by the search engines not as content, but as JS script without any content at all. That is, due to the use of the AJAX, the interface of show windows looks quite decent and works fast, but such platforms are almost not applicable for standard SEO promotion. The system has a “Promotion” section, but it includes allied options only, such as discount coupons, Facebook apps, external trading platforms, mobile apps etc. That is, Ecwid doesn’t have standard and normal SEO settings as they just won’t work at this platform because of the technical properties.
Thus, your online store will be searched by the materials of your website, in terms of which the plugin-connected product show window will be displayed. You can also use social networking promotion options. As to the rest of functionality aspects, there are no problems associated with them. An opportunity to add your Ecwid online store code at any of the available websites or social network accounts is worth to be mentioned independently. Once you create a show window in terms of the service, you can integrate it as many times as needed.
- Shopify. This is a classic and brilliant sample of an eCommerce website. It allows building a website at your own domain, having upgraded its design and functionality.
It also comes with convenient means of statistics collection, SEO promotion, e-mail marketing, an opportunity to install applications (there are over 1000 free apps here), cooperation with distribution channels (Amazon, eBay, Houzz, BuzzFeed etc.), mobile app for convenient online store management, import/export products from CSV files, a nice CRM-system and more.
Shopify also offers obvious functionality, such as an opportunity to connect a blog to your online store, work with navigation, shopping cart settings, payment acceptance, notification settings, discounts, taxes and delivery options. These features are available in the system to the advantage.
Let’s be honest: the platform contains all the required set of tools and options, which are at least somehow connected with the process of selling products or services. You will be able to create an online store of any complexity level or volume here – the power of the website builder will be more than enough for that.
Ecwid vs Shopify. Online store created with the services can be compared to the migrating trading booth, when it comes to Ecwid and to the classic trading service, when launched with Shopify that has its permanent location with the sign board on it. As to the show window SEO promotion options, the plugin notably lags behind a full-fledged website builder. You will have to rely on the social network promotion of website materials, which will also include an Ecwid show window.
From the functional point of view, the plugin is simpler as well. Basic settings are nearly the same, but Shopify is much better, when it comes to nuances. It can boast flexible settings of your online store design, shopping cart, online forms, blog connection options, SEO, mailouts and notification settings and a rich choice of extra free applications.
The scale of the systems differs as well. Ecwid is a guest variant for a small business. It’s difficult to take it seriously because of the AJAX plugin. The system also has serious problems with SEO promotion. Shopify works great for small, medium and large businesses. The services belong to different categories and have diverse approaches to the process of trading platform creation. Generally, Shopify is much more interesting.
|Number of Themes:||0||50+|
|Free Themes||n/a||✔ YES|
|Paid Themes Cost:||n/a||$140-$180|
|Responsive Design||✘ NO||✔ YES|
|Sort by Industry:||✔ YES||✔ YES|
|CSS Code Editing:||✘ NO||✔ YES|
- Ecwid. The plugin doesn’t offer an opportunity of template selection, which is a common practice for website builders. It goes without saying that a universal show window that should be used at any website has to look appealing and quite neutral at the same time. This is how it can suit the majority of external interfaces.
Ecwid totally adheres to these requirements, including images, black fonts and white background for everything. There is nothing to come down on here. The design will not look pretty well only at websites with a dark background and white fonts. This, however, is quite easy to fix, if you have specific CSS skills and are able to create your own theme from scratch.
It’s also possible to choose between three color schemes of a single design here, namely standard, beige and white. The stock template comes with the settings of a separate element preview, such as the visibility of the access button, product item number, catalogue sorting options, product pages etc. These things also have serious impact upon the general look of your online store.
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. The system comes with 51 paid ($100-$180) and 10 free templates. This is a lot, considering a narrow specialization of a website builder and high design quality. Themes differ a lot from each other.
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. Free samples are also of high quality, especially taking into consideration powerful and simple design and structure customization options.
You can change the sequence and type of sections, add new ones, set up the design of each of them, typography, shopping cart display parameters, color schemes etc. It’s possible to upload your own template, download the available code of a website on your computer or edit code design right in the dashboard. The number of options is really unlimited here and you can choose them with regard to your preferences and skills. Anyway, you will get the required design.
Ecwid vs Shopify. It goes without saying that the plugin 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. You will hardly have the desire to change something in the settings. Shopify, in its turn, offers almost the unlimited freedom of convenient template design and structure editing. This can be done either through the simple visual editor or a code, depending upon your preferences.
Obviously, Ecwid cannot withstand competition with a full-featured website builder in terms of web store design. The external plugin cannot offer a set of versatile templates because of its dependence upon the exterior of the basic website. So, what we get is the minimum amount of options and settings. Shopify is the obvious leader in this comparison parameter.
- Ecwid. Paid system subscribers have access to the individual tech support via the email or online chat. What’s more, there is the forum, FAQ as well as the blog with news and a rich number of useful articles. The quality and responsiveness of the tech support are on the mid level.
- Shopify. Tech support is provided via the live chat and email here. The quality 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. There are also text FAQs here, which are well-written and properly-structured.
Ecwid vs Shopify. When it comes to the quality of the readymade information materials (forum, FAQ), both systems look pretty nice, with a little Shopify prevalence. As to the quality of individual tech support, Ecwid demonstrates worse results because of its poor reaction speed and medium informativity level. This is the major difference between the systems in terms of this parameter.
The services have similar format of profit generation – subscription fees based on the paid plans chosen. Shopify offers a free 14-day trial, after which the web store will stop working without the further payment for one of the chosen plaid plans. Ecwid has a free plan, which allows adding a show window with 10 products.
The majority of useful features will be blocked during this time. This may seem strange, but in this case, the use of a free version seems a more preferable option. The thing is that there are certain reasons that make the creation of a large online store a nice solution in terms of plugin use only. It also doesn’t make any sense to pay for advanced plans here. Instead, it’s better to launch a full-featured online store in another system. This is a much better solution.
• 10 products to sale;
• Facebook store;
• Moblie responsive cart.
Thus, if you have a promo website and a few products or services you’d like to sell online, then Ecwid will be the best choice for you. Just to try this option, add 5-7 items of your own and watch the result. This variant won’t work well for all website types and business specializations, of course, but it can still be used for this purpose. For example, you make hand-crafted toys and you don’t have rich assortment of these products yet. Another example is when you hold different events and don’t have a long list of services you can currently offer to your clients.
To sum it up, Ecwid is a nice choice to be used in a short list of cases. You will also be able to distribute your mini show window info in social networks. This is quite a standard approach today. Let’s have a look at the cost of using both systems at all the available plans they offer.
Shopify and Volusion Pricing Comparison Chart
|Pricing Plans:||✔ Lite ($9/mo);|
✔ Basic Shopify ($29/mo);
✔ Shopify ($79/mo);
✔ Advanced Shopify ($299/mo).
|✔ Venture ($15/mo);|
✔ Business ($35/mo);
|Features:||✔ Real time shipping quotes; |
✔ Free SSL-certificate;
✔ Fraud analysis;
Abandoned cart recovery;
✔ Discount codes & Gift Cards;
✔ Live Support.
|✔ Digital Products; |
✔ Unlimited Traffic;
✔ Free Startup Website;
✔ Social Accounts Online Store;
✔ Mobile App;
✔ Live Support.
There is also an important factor to be mentioned here: Shopify Lite is nearly the same service as Ecwid. This is a widget to be added in social networks and other websites. However, there are no product limits here. In other words, full Ecwid functionality costs around $9/mo at Shopify. This statement is enough to end up the price comparison discussion.
• Unlimited products to sale;
• Facebook store;
• Sell products on Messenger;
• Custom orders.
Nonetheless, we should mention that Shopify charges sales commission fees from their clients. The percentage depends upon the paid plan chosen. The more expensive the plan is, the less the commission fee proves to be. It ranges between 0.5% and up to 2%. At the same time, it’s important to point out that Ecwid doesn’t charge any sales commission fees at all. This is the only strong point of the system as compared to Shopify.
Generally, you can start creating a full-featured Shopify web store for $29 right away. When using Ecwid, you should also consider the expenses for the plugin addition to the main website, if you don’t have the one yet. Lower plugin plans additionally contain strict restrictions regarding the number of products, namely Venture -100, Business – 2500. Even if you are serious about your business, this volume will not be enough to build a decent web store.
Thus, Shopify proves to be a less expensive solution due to the Lite version, which works on the same principle as Ecwid. Full-featured websites will cost you more, but you will also get more benefits from using them. Generally, Shopify is more profitable than Ecwid, whatever goals and resources you initially had.
Ecwid is a great plugin from the point of view of its functionality. It comes with almost all the required eCommerce options. The disadvantage is the one and this is the online store format. The AJAX plugin requires a basic website for effective show window display, offers serious SEO promotion and show window design restrictions. This format allows Ecwid to be a flexible and easy-to-integrate system, except for… one nuance. The disadvantages and the aftereffects of this approach don’t make it possible to treat the plugin features seriously. This is a variant for newbies and for small businesses. It makes sense to use a Free Plan here as it’s not beneficial to invest into your Ecwid web store. The cost of the paid plans is eventually high, considering all the nuances.
Shopify is a sustainable eCommerce website builder, which makes it possible to complete all the tasks Ecwid can cope with. However, to do that, you should use Shopify Lite version as an extra addition to the features of the basic online store. There are no obvious restrictions and you can do that for less cost. This is a secondary tool, of course, but it still exists and can be effectively used to support your basic web store.
If you are serious about making sales on the web, then using a classic web store on your own domain is definitely a better solution. This is exactly the type of an online store you will be able to launch with Shopify – the most powerful and convenient eCommerce website builder in the contemporary market. Ecwid lags behind it in many parameters.