Ecommerce

Ecwid vs Shopify (2021) — Comparison, Full Pros and Cons

In our detailed review and comparison between two of the leading ecommerce tools and platforms for 2021, we will examine the main features, pros, and cons of Ecwid and Shopify in order to determine which one is better in the head-to-head Ecwid vs. Shopify competition.

Ecwid is one of the most popular ecommerce plugins in the world. It allows for easy adding of ecommerce functionality to an existing website and has more than a million merchants using it.

Shopify is the top e-commerce platform that allows entrepreneurs to build their own online stores from scratch and to run a successful retail business online, even if they lack any previous coding skills.

As you can see, Ecwid and Shopify are quite different ecommerce tools. As a whole, Shopify is the best ecommerce platform to choose to build a brand new ecommerce website, while Ecwid is the best option if you want to add ecommerce functionality to your existing website.

As a whole, which one is better, Ecwid or Shopify, depends on your business plans, preferences, budget, skills, and other individual factors.

1 Ecwid vs Shopify: Pros and Cons

Ecwid Pros:

  • You can add ecommerce functionality to an existing site, so there is no need for starting from scratch and throwing out your old website
  • It allows for multi-channel sales, so you can increase the audience of your products and online store
  • There is a completely free plan which you can use forever
  • It is suitable for beginners and doesn’t require any coding skills

You can try Ecwid for free today here.

Ecwid Cons:

  • It has limited design options
  • The ecommerce tools are not suited for growing businesses and for scaling
  • The free plan includes only limited ecommerce tools

Shopify Pros:

  • Thanks to the advanced built-in multi-channel sales feature, you can sell your products across all of your social media profiles and sync them with your store
  • It offers an excellent inventory system
  • All features and tools are of high quality and built to promote sales increase and business growth

You can try out the Shopify e-commerce platform for free for 14 days here.

Shopify Cons:

  • You will be charged with additional transaction fees unless you use the in-house Shopify Payments gateway for the sales
  • You can’t switch themes without reformatting the website
  • The free trial is only 14 days 

2 What’s the Difference Between Ecwid and Shopify?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, Shopify and Ecwid are very different ecommerce tools. Shopify is an e-commerce platform that will allow you to build and run your online store from scratch, while Ecwid is a plugin that will add ecommerce tools and functionality to your existing website. 

Ecwid is a more suitable option for adding online store functionality for small businesses or personal websites, and you can also use it to create a brand new single-page e-commerce site via the Starter Site free plan. 

At the same time, Shopify is a great choice for starting small, medium, and large businesses, as it is designed to promote scalability and sales increase. Shopify offers a much larger number and much more powerful ecommerce built-in tools and features, and access to hundreds of ecommerce apps.

You can try out Shopify for free for 14 days here.

3 Ease of Use

Since no entrepreneur likes wasting precious time and resources for starting up a new online business, the ease of use of these ecommerce tools is essential for determining who the winner in the Ecwid vs. Shopify competition is.

Ecwid is a plugin that is beginner-friendly and very easy to use. It just needs to be integrated into your website and won’t need any coding or advanced tech skills to do that. All you have to do is download it and install the widget to the backend of your site.

Ecwid prides itself on offering a plugin that makes starting selling online easier than ever. This makes Ecwid a popular plugin for website builder platforms like Wix, where it is even easier to install with just a click of the mouse. The other website builder platforms which offer access to Ecwid plugins and apps include Squarespace, Weebly, SITE123, Strikingly, WordPress, GoDaddy, and others.

Ecwid can also be added to your Facebook, eBay, Etsy, or other profile too.

In some cases, you will have to copy and paste code to your website’s backend in order to install Ecwid, but this is very simple to do, and Ecwid offers step-by-step instructions for this.

Although Shopify will allow you to build your very own online store from scratch, the task is actually straightforward and suitable for people with zero experience with coding.

Users will be guided along the process of setting up, customizing, and running their online stores on Shopify.

There is no need to worry about hosting, securing, updating, or coding, as Shopify will take care of everything for you and let you run your e-commerce site immediately after you are done with the setup.

All you need to do is pick a suitable theme for your sphere of business, then customize it and start adding your products. All these tasks are easy and fast to complete.

Shopify has built-in tools to help you manage your inventory, get shipping quotes, help with your sales, and others.

Ecwid vs Shopify – Ease of Use: Verdict

In the ease of use Ecwid vs. Shopify round, the winner is Ecwid. Although both are easy to do, Ecwid can be set up with just several clicks, and you can start selling your products right away.

With the Shopify e-commerce platform, you will set up an entirely new online store, which will take you a bit longer. Still, in the long run, Shopify will make running your online store much easier thanks to its useful ecommerce tools, which are integrated into the plans.

You can try Ecwid for free today here.

4 Design Flexibility

How a website looks and its ease of navigation of use are essential if you want to attract and keep visitors on your site rather than having them bounce off immediately.

This is why design and customization are essential features that we have added to our Ecwid vs. Shopify comparison.

Themes

Since Ecwid is a plugin that is integrated into an existing website, there are no themes to choose from. Rather, your online store will be built-in to the existing themes and design of your website.

On the other hand, Shopify allows users to pick from 60+ different professionally designed themes, 10 of which are free and the others costing $140 to $180 each.

The themes offered by the e-commerce platform cover most industries and are all mobile responsive. One downside is that once you select a theme and make your online store public, you will need to reformat it if you decide to switch themes.

Each of the themes includes features that are specific for the line of business they are designed for. Plus, you can customize them to your liking easily.

Customization

Ecwid will automatically fit onto your website and will be optimized on different screen sizes automatically as well. This is good news for merchants who don’t want to be bothered with editing and customizing their storefronts. In fact, customizing the Ecwid design is quite limited and includes simple things like changing the image or font sizes, editing the colors, and customizing the layout of the products in your store.

The good news is that customization on Ecwid is very simple, and there is a preview window where you can view how the website will look with the changes you are making.

If you are familiar with coding, you can customize the colors and themes on Ecwid via CSS.

There are also apps that can help you edit and customize the design of your Ecwid based online store.

Shopify, on the other hand, allows for complete customization of the themes and layouts of online stores.

You can edit just about any part and feature of your e-commerce site, choose from the free images, edit them, and more. This will allow you to get creative and to make your online store stand out from the rest.

If you have coding skills, you can further customize your Shopify online store via CSS and HTML.

Shopify, too allows merchants and other users to preview the storefront in real-time during the editing, which makes setting up an e-commerce site even easier and quicker.

Ecwid vs Shopify – Design Flexibility: Verdict

Shopify wins again in the design and flexibility challenge, thanks to its great choice of templates and easy to use editing tools.

With Ecwid, you have limited customization options and will need to use code to personalize your storefront.

You can choose the best Shopify theme for your online store here.

5 Build Time

Today when new online stores are being set up every minute around the world, time-saving is essential if you want to start selling online as soon as possible.

The build time required for setting up an Ecwid online store is equal to the time you will need for adding your products to the control panel. Ecwid is installed for seconds to your existing website, so there is zero build time.

Shopify is also fast to set up but will no doubt take longer than Ecwid. You will need to browse through and choose the best theme, then customize it, add products and features, and more.

Ecwid vs Shopify – Build Time: Verdict

Ecwid is the winner in the Build Time challenge. It is much faster to set up and start running than Shopify is. While Shopify, too, is designed to be as easy and quick as possible to set up, it is still more time-consuming than simply installing a plugin to your existing website.

6 Ecommerce Tools and Features

Not only do you need tools to create an online store, but you will need e-commerce tools and features to actually run it.

Features

Ecwid offers all of the tools and features you will need to start running an online store on your website, including:

  • Easy checkout of the shopping cart
  • Seamless shopping
  • Multi-channel sales for your social media pages
  • A smart calculator for shipping
  • Favorite product list saving for customers
  • Automatic language detection
  • Customer profiles and address books
  • Inventory tracking
  • Discounts, coupons for customers
  • Product options management by categories, colors, size, and more
  • Providing different shipping options
  • 50+ payment gateways and options including PayPal, Square, Stripe, and more
  • The ability to sell digital products
  • A native dedicated mobile app

Here is a complete list of all e-commerce features offered by Ecwid.

Shopify provides its customers with every feature and tool which they will need to set up and successfully run their online stores, including:

  • A custom domain name
  • Unlimited products, including digital products
  • Full blogging platform
  • Unlimited bandwidth and free SSL security
  • Automatic shipping rates from a wide range of carriers
  • Customizable shipping rates
  • An in-house Shopify Payments gateway and over 100 other payment gateways
  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Language detection of 50+ languages
  • Mobile friendly store
  • Customer profile setup
  • Dropshipping
  • Refunding
  • Customizable customer lists and groups
  • Setting up a fulfillment network or joining one
  • Customizable email marketing
  • SEO tools, Google Ad credits
  • Multi-channel integration and social media integration
  • Inventory management
  • Product options and variation categorizing
  • Setting up discount codes
  • Subscriptions
  • Analytics tools
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • A mobile app

Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan, which costs just $9 and will allow you to set up an online store on your Facebook page or another functioning website.

You can check out a complete list of the e-commerce and web building and hosting tools that Shopify offers here.

App Markets

Ecwid has an App Market, which includes free and paid apps that you can use for your store design, marketing, dropshipping, accounting, shipping, customer support, catalog and order management, analytics and reporting, and more.

Shopify offers a much wider range of in-house and third-party apps at its Shopify App Store.

The store is searchable and has categories and collections of apps you can browse through to improve your online store. The categories include product searching, store design, marketing, sales locations, sales and conversion, inventory management, orders and shipping, finances, customer support, reporting, productivity, and more.

Costs and Differences

You may be wondering how much do all of these amazing e-commerce features and tools cost on Shopify and Ecwid.

While Ecwid has a free plan, it limits the number of products you can sell and limited access to some of the great e-commerce features and to the App Market.

If you want to take advantage of the more advanced settings and the apps on Ecwid, you will need to sign up for one of the other three paid plans, which range from $12.50 per month when paid annually for the Venture Plan to the Business Plan costing $35 per month, and up to $99 per month for the Unlimited Plan.

Shopify lacks a free plan and offers only a 14-day free trial. In order to use Shopify, you will need to sign up for one of the three Shopify plans, including Basic Shopify for $29 per month, Shopify for $79 per month, and Advanced Shopify for $299 per month.

There is a Shopify Plus plan for the largest businesses and a simple Shopify Lite plan costing just $9 per month.

Plus, the more paid apps you decide to buy on both Ecwid and Shopify, the higher the price will be.

Ecwid vs Shopify – Ecommerce Tools and Features: Verdict

Shopify is the winner in the e-commerce features and tools category. It has a huge range of built-in features and tools and provides access to hundreds of apps, all designed to grow your business and increase your sales.

You can test the Shopify features for 14 days for free https://www.shopify.com/here.

7 Payment Options and Fees

Apart from the fees for the different subscription plans, it is good to know the other ongoing fees for using Ecwid or Shopify.

Payments Options

Ecwid supports the use of more than 50 payment gateways, including PayPal, Square, WePay, Stripe, and many more. Owners of the online stores can also set up and accept wire transfers or cash on delivery payments.

Shopify supports 100+ payment gateways, including all the major ones like PayPal, Google pay, Apple Pay, Amazon, Stripe, and more.

It also has its own in-house payment gateway, which is built-in to the store.

Shopify users can also set up other payment types, such as cryptocurrencies, cash on delivery, and more.

Fees

You will not be charged transaction fees when you sell a product on Ecwid. But the payment gateway may charge processing fees for handling the payment. The processing fees decrease the higher your subscription plan on Ecwid is.

Shopify, on the other hand, charges transaction fees for all payments made via third-party payment gateways, in addition to the processing fees charged by the gateways themselves.

Shopify does not charge transaction fees only for its own Shopify Payment gateway.

Other types of manual payments like point of sale or cash on delivery are not charged with additional transaction fees either.

Ecwid vs Shopify – Payment Options and Fees: Verdict

The result of the payment options and fees comparison in this Ecwid vs. Shopify challenge is a tie. While Ecwid doesn’t charge extra fees for the sales you make, it offers half of Shopify’s payment gateway options.

Shopify charges transaction fees but does have its own Shopify Payments option, which charges no transaction fees and has attractive processing fees.

8 Help and Support

Having reliable and timely customer support will ensure that your online store is online and running properly at all times, night or day.

Both Shopify and Ecwid offer excellent and extensive customer help and support options.

Ecwid offers:

  • Live chat and phone support for paid plan users
  • Email support for free plan users
  • An extensive searchable Help Center
  • Access to guides and video guides, API documentation, status monitoring, and others
  • There is also a useful community forum
  • The merchants who use the most expensive plan will receive priority support

Shopify offers its users the following:

  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 24/7 phone support by the customer care team
  • An extensive Help Center
  • A friendly community forum
  • Social media support
  • Email support
  • Video guides and tutorials
  • Subscribers to the highest plan get personal advanced specialist support

Ecwid vs Shopify – Help, and Support: Verdict

Shopify wins the Help and Support round thanks to its wide range of customer service options.

Ecwid provides great support as well, but it is limited to free and lower price plan users.

Both e-commerce platforms have excellent Help Centers, though.

9. Pricing

Pricing is an essential feature when choosing the best option for starting your own online business.

While both Ecwid and Shopify will cost you less than hiring a professional web developer to set up and manage your site or online store, there are still some costs which you will need to consider when signing up for either of these e-commerce tools.

Ecwid offers four plans to choose from, including the free forever plan for $0. The other three plans include the Venture Plan for $15 per month when paid monthly, and $12.50 when paid once a year, the Business plan which costs $35 per month, or $29.17 per month when paid annually. The highest-priced plan is the Unlimited plan costing $99 per month, or 82.50 per month when paid annually.

The free plan has a limit of selling up to 10 products and doesn’t allow for accessing the apps on the app store.

The Venture Plan has a limit of selling up to 100 products and includes inventory management, multi-channel selling, discount coupons, digital product sales, and more. This plan is suitable for starting, growing, and managing a new online store.

The Business Plan allows for selling up to 2,500 different products and adds more features such as abandoned cart recovery, product dimension options, two staff accounts, and more. It is a suitable choice for online businesses looking to expand.

The Unlimited Plan allows for selling unlimited numbers of products and adds excellent features like Point of Sale, Square POS, a branded shopping app, and more. This is the top choice for online businesses looking to grow their online, mobile, and retail sales.

You can pick the most suitable Ecwid plan for your needs here.

Shopify offers three paid plans, as well as a Shopify Lite and a custom Shopify Plus plan.

The plans are:

  • Basic Shopify plan, which costs $29 per month, or $26.10 per month if paid annually. It offers unlimited products, 2 staff accounts, multi-channel sales, up to 4 sales locations, discount codes, SSL certificate and security features, abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, 133 currencies, Shopify POS Lite, fraud analysis, print shipping labels, shipping discounts, and more
  • Shopify plan, which costs $79 per month or $71.10 per month when paid annually. It includes everything from the Basic Shopify plan, 5 staff accounts, 5 locations, professional reports, USPS Priority mail pricing, bigger shipping discounts, lower transaction fees, manual foreign exchange rates, and international domains.
  • Advanced Shopify plan which costs $299 per month, or $269.10 per month when paid annually. It includes everything from the Shopify plan, as well as 15 staff accounts, 8 locations, advanced report builder, third-party calculated rates for shipping, even greater shipping discounts of up to 74%, lower transaction rates (as low as 0.5%), up to 5 language options, and more.

You can choose the best Shopify paid plan for your needs here.

There is a bonus plan called Shopify Lite, which can be a direct competitor to Ecwid, as it allows for integrating an online store on your existing website, including on your Facebook page. It costs just $9 per month and will allow you to start up an e-commerce store without needing to set up a brand new website.

The premium Shopify Plus plan starts at $2,000 a month and is an option suitable for the biggest businesses with the highest sales volumes online. 

The Plus Plan includes advanced features such as built-in AR, 3D, and other modern media, advanced shipping and discount rates, localized shopping in different countries, automated campaigns, discounts, and more, Avalara tax automation, management of the entire business – online and offline via the Shopify admin and many more.

Ecwid is more suitable e-commerce solution for personal website owners and for small and brand new stores. Although you can grow your e-commerce store on Ecwid, it does have its limits, especially if your online store starts proliferating.

Shopify is focused on continuous growth and on the increase of sales, so it is more suitable if you are looking for a long term solution for your online store, which will grow along with the growth of your sales volumes.

Shopify is an e-commerce platform that is suitable for all types of online stores – large and small. While it has more expensive plans, they offer great value for money and are a wise investment to make if you have a goal to scale your business.

Ecwid vs Shopify – Pricing: Verdict

When it comes to pricing, the result of our Shopify vs. Ecwid comparison ends up in a draw once again.

Ecwid offers lower price plans, but you will need to upgrade often if your online store sales start increasing and your store grows. It even has a free plan, but it is limited to 10 items only and only has limited e-commerce features.

Shopify has more expensive plans, but they are better for your business’s long-term scalability and as such, provides better value for money.

Ecwid vs Shopify: Conclusion

Now that we have reviewed and assessed each of the two sides in our Ecwid vs. Shopify competition, we have come to the following conclusion about their performance and results:

Ease of Use:

Winner – Ecwid

  • Ecwid is a an e-commerce solution plugin, so there is no need to build a website from scratch
  • Shopify is also easy to use, but you will need to pick a theme, customize it, upload your products, and more, so it is not as easy and quick to use

Design and Flexibility:

Winner – Shopify

  • Ecwid will adapt the online store features to the design of your website and offers very limited customization unless you install apps or use code
  • Shopify offers access to more than 60 themes, has an easy to use web builder editor, and is highly customizable. You can use coding too, but it is not mandatory

Build Time:

Winner – Ecwid

  • As mentioned, Ecwid is a plugin, so setting it up on your website will require just a few minutes. This process is even easier if you are using a website builder like Wix, which has an Ecwid app
  • Shopify requires users to start from an empty page and build the store from scratch so that it will require a longer build time than Ecwid

Ecommerce Tools and Features:

Winner – Shopify

  • Ecwid offers a very useful range of e-commerce features and tools and has an app store, but you will need to sign up for a more expensive plan if you want access to the best ecommerce tools and features
  • Shopify has some of the best and most powerful ecommerce tools built-in as well as available as apps in the company’s extensive app store. All ecommerce tools and features on Shopify are focused on helping users boost their sales and grow their businesses

Payment Options and Fees:

Winner – it is a tie

  • Ecwid doesn’t charge additional transaction fees for the sales and supports only 50 payment gateways
  • Shopify has transaction fees (unless you are using the in-house Shopify Payments gateway) but offers support for 100+ payment gateways

Help and Support:

Winner – Shopify

  • Ecwid offers live chat and phone support and priority support only for the paid plans. Free plan users will need to use the help center or get support via email
  • Shopify offers 24/7 live chat, phone, and email support, as well as a comprehensive Help Center, social media support. The Plus Plan clients will receive personalized support from agents

Pricing:

Winner – it’s a tie

  • Ecwid has four plans starting from $0 for the free starter plan and up to $99 per month. Longer contracts lead to lower monthly prices.
  • Shopify has three plans starting from the $29 monthly Basic Shopify up to Advanced Shopify Plan, costing $299 a month. The company offers a 14-day free trial. There is also a Shopify Lite plan for $9, which is similar to Ecwid, and a Premium Plus plan starting from $2,000 per month

Overall, Ecwid is the better option for people and businesses who already own a website and who want to add ecommerce functionality to it without having to redesign the entire website and spend thousands of dollars for a professional web developer.

With Ecwid, users can very quickly and easily launch their online store and start selling almost instantly.

It is a suitable choice for smaller-scale businesses and has all the basic ecommerce tools to help you sell anything online.

Shopify is a more advanced ecommerce platform that is designed for users and businesses who want to build and run their own online stores.

Thanks to its powerful features, even newbies in ecommerce can start expanding their businesses and growing their companies. It is a more suitable option for entrepreneurs with long-term plans and goals to keep scaling their online businesses.

Even though Ecwid and Shopify are very different e-commerce platforms, when we compared every single essential feature of each of them, we concluded that Shopify is the winner in the Ecwid vs. Shopify competition.

Ecwid is superb for getting an online store started, but Shopify has the ecommerce tools and features to support online businesses as they grow and expand through the years in the long run.

You can try out Shopify for 14 days for free here.

Ecwid vs Shopify: FAQs

Which is best for a small business, Ecwid or Shopify?

If you are planning on setting up a small online business site, the better option is Shopify. Even though the pricing plans offered by Ecwid are cheaper, the plans and integrated tools offered by Shopify are specially designed for growing any online business.

It is a good idea to start with the Shopify Lite plan or the Ecwid free plan, and once your online store starts growing to upgrade to the Shopify $29 plan in order to take advantage of its powerful ecommerce features and tools.

My brand is the most important thing for my business – which platform should I choose?

Shopify provides greater customizability and control over the design and features of the online store than Ecwid. So, if the design is your number one priority, then Shopify is the recommended option. Shopify offers access to numerous themes, which you can customize to your liking.

But if you really want a stunning website, you may want to opt for Squarespace, which is the web builder with the most beautiful themes offered on the market.

Are there rules about what sorts of products I can sell?

With both Shopify and Ecwid, you can sell whatever physical or digital products you like. There are no restrictions for the types of products you will sell on either of the ecommerce platforms.

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