Today, Ecwid and Shopify help businesses sell online, offline, and everywhere in between. Each uses powerful and multifunctional tools that make starting a business easier than ever. But so much opportunity leaves new and aspiring entrepreneurs with a simple question:
Ecwid or Shopify, which one is better?
Read on for our take on the matter.
Ecwid vs. Shopify: Overview
Shopify and Ecwid are both
Shopify, launched in 2006, is the best known and most commonly used
Shopify offers a
Shopify connects with all
The Shopify store’s admin panel is secure and clear but can get messy for agencies who manage multiple stores or businesses whose websites include numerous contributors.
Launching a Shopify store (from the Shopify login page to adding a domain) isn’t difficult, but the design requires a bit of manual work to get the details just right. However, Shopify does offer several free design themes that can be modified to match the product type or seller’s preference.
When it comes to managing a store, Shopify has helpful tools for things like inventory, marketing activities, SEO, and orders.
Of course, Shopify provides only its basic features on its
On the other hand, because Shopify has a strong
Shopify is fast and secure, and all its stores are located using cloud infrastructure. So, if you don’t use many apps (which can be its own challenge), your store’s speed and security level should stay relatively strong.
Shopify support is a selling point: whether through chat, phone, forum, or email, they always have your back. They also help merchants communicate with app developers.
Overall, Shopify looks like a pretty solid choice… But then there’s Ecwid.
Unlike other platforms, you can use Ecwid for free…forever! With the Forever Free plan, you have access to Instant Site as well (a
Interested in selling directly through social media? For only $12.50/month, our Venture plan includes access to Facebook Shop, Instagram Store, and more. Plus, Ecwid never takes a commission (transaction fee), so more money stays in your pocket.
Originally designed as an embedded
The onboarding process is quick and intuitive, and the control panel (where you’ll manage your store) is easy to navigate and
Don’t have a website? Using Ecwid’s Starter Site, you can create a functional store with a simple, professional, and
Unlike Shopify, the Ecwid App Market keeps the
Along with standard features like catalog management, marketing, reporting, design, payment, and shipping controls, Ecwid also provides merchants with additional features like Tipping and Local Delivery at no extra cost.
As for security, Ecwid is a PCI DSS validated Level 1 Service Provider, the gold standard for
Like Shopify, the Ecwid support team is there to help you via phone, live chat, and email when you need it. There’s also a Help Center, which is chock full of guides and tips to answer just about any question you can think of.
Ecwid vs. Shopify: Comparing Online Store Platforms
Already sold on Ecwid? If so, congratulations! You can skip the rest of this article and get to the business of starting your business (or check out our handy comparison table).
If not, let’s dig a little deeper, using the following categories:
- Creating a standalone online store
- Selling on other platforms (or websites)
- Pricing plans
- Sales channels
- Store launch time
Ecwid vs. Shopify: Ways to Sell
Shopify and Ecwid share many of the same sales channels, including:
- An online store
(platform-basedor existing website)
- Facebook shop
- Facebook messenger
- Instagram store
But how can we compare Shopify and Ecwid within those channels? Let’s take a look.
Creating a standalone online store
One significant difference between Shopify and Ecwid is their approach to website creation. Shopify is a website builder first, so it offers an extensive toolkit to help create your store’s website. On the other hand, Ecwid is, first and foremost, an
Because our goal is to get our customer’s shops up and running as soon as possible, we focus less on building tools and more on selling
- Unlimited products. One or a
million—theprice is the same.
- Blog functionality. You can start a blog about your brand or products.
- Manual labor. No demo products, covers, or
automation—onlyplaceholders and instructions.
- Free trial limitations. Shopify will allow you to create your store during your
14-daytrial, but you won’t be allowed to generate sales until you pay for a subscription.
- Your work here is done. Your store is automatically created for you at
sign-up,so you don’t have to tinker with settings and designs to get started. Plus, if you want to give your store a makeover, you can choose from 70+ free professional and mobile-friendlydesign themes.
- Start selling for free. With Ecwid’s Forever Free plan, you can set up your store and start selling on day
one—noinvestment required. You don’t even need to buy a domain. Just add your products and start selling.
- Limited design freedom. Ecwid does a LOT for
you—likecreating professional designs for your Instant Site and adapting your new store to fit an existing website. But if those 99+ design options aren’t exactly what you’re looking for (or you want advanced customization), you might need a developer or some CSS skills.
- Inventory limitation. Only the Unlimited plan offers unlimited product uploads, but you can still sell up to 10 products for free without a subscription on our Forever Free plan.
Selling on other platforms, websites, and blogs
Shopify is a good option to create an online store, but it doesn’t always work well with other website platforms. Conversely, Ecwid is all about selling wherever you want, whenever you want.
- Buy button. The Buy Button is Shopify’s solution for businesses that want to sell on an existing website through an unaffiliated platform. The cost is relatively low, and it enables sellers to add product cards and accept payments on an existing webpage.
- No fully embeddable integration. The Buy Button is the only way to sell on other websites while using Shopify. If you’d like a store option that embeds into and integrates with your website, you’ll need to migrate to Shopify’s website platform.
- It’s embeddable. Ecwid is an
e-commercewidget that works with all major website platforms: WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Joomla, GoDaddy, Tumblr, Blogger, and any other CMS or platform that allows you to embed new tools. If you already have a website and what you need is e-commercecapabilities, Ecwid is a clear choice.
- Load speed. Embeddable storefronts tend to load more slowly than the websites they’re embedded in, so the Buy Button is a slightly faster solution for page loading.
Shopify is for local impact
Shopify has a strong community of local developers around the world who bring diversity into their ecosystem by building a technology bridge between global sellers and local buyers.
In human terms, Shopify develops applications that allow their merchants to connect with local marketplaces and other sales channels (like websites and social media) around the world. Ecwid may not be able to compete here, but it does have another important strength — physical scalability.
Ecwid is for
Because Ecwid is designed to be embedded anywhere, it has the unique ability to display your products on several websites simultaneously, run a broad distribution network with multiple storefronts, and manage all your products in one admin.
Ecwid and Shopify Pricing Plans
Price is a major deciding factor for most purchases. But more important than the price is what you actually get for your money. Check out the pricing plans below to see what you’d pay for similar features on Ecwid and Shopify.
Shopify pricing plans
All Shopify plans come with a
Buy button is a solid response to Ecwid. Though it also lets you sell your products on the websites built on other platforms, Ecwid’s Buy button still wins because you don’t have to pay commissions on each purchase. Ecwid never charges transaction fees on all plans.
Compared to Ecwid, the Shopify Basic plan gives you features that are available only on the Ecwid Business plan, like staff accounts. However, it’s missing some important capabilities that are available on the Ecwid Venture plan (the same level tier), like Google Shopping integration or Pinterest and Snapchat advertising.
The Shopify Basic plan doesn’t limit your products and gives time and tools to create and finetune your online store. But you have only 14 days to do it for free. On the other hand, in the same time frame with Ecwid, you could already be selling, with strategic use of their
The Shopify plan provides you with professional reports and discounts on shipping and credit card rates. It also reduces an additional transaction rate from 2 percent to 1 percent.
The Advanced plan cuts the transaction rates by half and unlocks advanced reporting. Plus, you can have a team of 15 members working inside of admin.
|Monthly, if paid annually||$9||$26.10||$71.10||$269.10|
|Transaction fee with Shopify Payments||0%||0%||0%||0%|
|Transaction fee without Shopify Payments||2%||2%||1%||0.5%|
Ecwid pricing plans
The Free Plan provides essential tools for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to take off. It has a limit of 10 products, which is enough to make your first online sales.
Growing your business beyond ten products will require an upgrade to a Venture Plan. With Venture, you unlock more sales channels, extend your inventory, and have access to chat support. You can also take advantage of Facebook shop, Instagram store, and POS.
The Business Plan lets you rapidly scale up your business. It adds the integrations with marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay. The Ecwid Business plan also activates email automation for abandoned carts to generate more sales on autopilot. Another value of this plan is the Multilingual storefront feature, which lets your international customers explore the store in their native language.
Ecwid’s Unlimited Plan is for businesses on a mission to dominate their competitors with unlimited product range or mobile technologies, like shopping app for mobile devices. The plan offers VIP support to those brands who like something a little extra on the way to business success.
|Monthly, if paid annually||$0||$12.50||$29.50||$82.50|
Launching Online Store: Ecwid vs. Shopify Comparison
Having an amazing product means wanting to get it out into the world as soon as possible. In pursuit of
Let’s see what Ecwid and Shopify have to offer when you’re ready to take off.
Ecwid and your existing website
Embedding an Ecwid store to your WordPress, Joomla or other websites is as easy as adding a YouTube video, or Mailchimp subscription form. Ecwid is, after all, a humble and powerful widget. As such, all you need to do to make it work is copy the widget code and paste it into your website backend.
Selling with Shopify on other platforms
Except for Buy Button, Shopify doesn’t have any tools that work with other platforms. Although the Buy Button widget looks professionally designed, it doesn’t automatically adapt to a website’s style. Typography or color scheme mismatch can happen!
Creating a standalone online store with Ecwid
Creating an online store with Ecwid takes about 5 to 10 minutes. You only need to add the products and choose one of the 70+ free themes. Then just set up payments, and voila! You’re ready to sell. Watch the following video for more details and examples.
Ecwid, you don’t need to worry about coding, hosting, updating, or even installing anything.
Creating a standalone online store with Shopify
With Shopify, you’ll be prompted to set up a whole online store first.
Logging in to Shopify admin, you won’t see any demo products. You will have to create them from scratch. When editing the layout, you will see only grey placeholders, which won’t give you a visual example of how your product page or the main page will look.
However, the process isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Shopify does it best to make onboarding as smooth as possible. You won’t get lost, but it will take you a couple of days to launch the store. Especially if you focus on the App Store, where some businesses lay in wait for weeks instead of focusing on selling (but more on that later).
Are Shopify and Ecwid Secure?
Yes. Security is a core shared value of Shopify and Ecwid. Both
Who is Faster: Shopify or Ecwid?
Speed equals sales. In the era of abundance, customers won’t take kindly to waiting for your store website to load. According to Entrepreneur, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
In this context, load speed is a vital factor for your
Both Ecwid and Shopify host their digital assets in the cloud infrastructure. Cloud technologies guarantee the maximum availability of the websites and the most efficient content delivery to the user. That means your Shopify or Ecwid store will always be available with the highest load speed possible.
However, things change when you begin to modify the basic version of the store.
Shopify has thousands of apps for business owners, and users often make the mistake of installing everything they see on the first day. Even before setting up the basic selling platform. Each application comes with additional code, which causes your site’s load speed to drop. Shopify themselves have spoken about this issue on their website.
As an alternative, Ecwid doesn’t have as many App Market options. Instead, Ecwid adds valuable business tools to its core programming. That way, you don’t need to install the addons to access them (although some are available on higher tiered plans).
Ecwid vs. Shopify: Contacting Support and Customer Service
Fast, reliable, accessible, and knowledgeable customer service (or support) is an industry standard for SaaS solutions.
Shopify provides a great range of support channels, including:
- 24/7 phone support
- Support on Twitter
- 24/7 live chat support
- A robust Help Center
- A Community forum
- Email support
- Video tutorials
- Advanced specialist support (Unlimited Plan only)
Ecwid has an array of customer service channels:
- 24/7 Live chat (premium plans only)
- Phone support (premium plans only)
- Email support
- Help Center
- Video Guides
- Priority support (highest plan only)
Ecwid Help Center is an excellent source of essential and actionable information if you find yourself stuck with setting up the store or exploring new features.
Who’s customer support service is better?
There’s no right answer. Both platforms understand the importance of customer success, and both are investing heavily in their customer services. If you want to know which will work best for you, you have to create an online store with Ecwid or login to Shopify and reach out to support yourself.
What Merchants Like About Shopify and Ecwid
The testimonials are published on Capterra, one of the most trusted and authoritative resources when it comes to customers’ opinions.
Why online sellers like or dislike Shopify
Why online sellers like or dislike Ecwid
Why Ecwid is the Best Free Alternative to Shopify to Start Selling Online in 5 Minutes
Watch the following
Ecwid vs. Shopify: Comparison Table
Had enough reading? Here’s a more visual guide to comparing Ecwid and Shopify.
Can I sell digital (downloadable) products with Ecwid and Shopify?
Absolutely. Both platforms support digital product distribution. With only one difference. With Shopify, you will need to install an app to do that (developed by Shopify and free), and Ecwid has it by default.
Is there anything better than Shopify?
No doubt! Consider Ecwid. It’s free, and you can start selling without a website or even a domain name. Plus, you can choose any payment method, and Ecwid won’t charge transaction fees.
Is there a free alternative to Shopify?
Ecwid! It has a
Why do people choose Ecwid for online stores?
Read this public conversation of real merchants on Facebook, who share their experience selling with Ecwid (and why it’s better than Shopify).