Ecwid 101: How To Create An Online Store For Free In 5 Minutes

by Daniella L.

Table of contents:
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Introduction

Ecwid serves over million sellers in 175 countries allowing individuals and businesses to sell anywhere online with a free, SSL protected, mobile responsive store. If you do not have one, you should create your Ecwid shop now and use this eBook as a guide to set it up in less than five minutes, integrate it into your website and customize your store quickly and easily.

Who this eBook is for

  • Anyone with little to no online sales experience or programming knowledge.
  • Entrepreneurs looking to quickly and easily open an online store.
  • Startups looking for a free sales solution to test a product.
  • Anyone who is unsure what Ecwid is or if they want to use it.

Ecwid (meaning e-commerce widget) is by far the best e-commerce platform I have tested. Ecwid off you an intuitive solution to create your online store quickly and easily. You can seriously do so in less than 5 minutes and add your new shop virtually to any website.

Four Reasons Why Ecwid is the Right Choice for Your Business

There are many time and money saving advantages of using Ecwid to create your online store. There is no need to hire a programmer and it literally takes five minutes to set up.

Reason 1: Five Minute Setup

Integrating your new store to your existing website and Facebook page is just as quick as setting it up. If you do not have a website you can use Ecwid's default starter site to sell online without having to set up and pay for hosting or a domain name. You can also change the look and feel of your store by editing the CSS.

Reason 2: An Extensive Free Version

Ecwid’s is based upon a freemium business model meaning it is free to use the product and once you fall in love with it (and you will quickly) you can increase your inventory and unlock some incredible paid features at a very low monthly cost. Let’s do a quick breakdown of how much it normally costs to open a web store. We are going to use WordPress with WooCommerce for this example because it is probably the most commonly used by small businesses around the globe.

Firstly, you would have to buy a domain name (about $10 per year) with an SSL to protect your store (between 90 and $400 per year minimum). Depending on your knowledge, you can either learn how to install WordPress yourself and set up a WooCommerce store or pay someone else to do it (about $1,000 to $5,000 plus, depending on the number of products you want to upload for a small business). To this, we can add annual update fees to backup and update your WooCommerce site and plugins (let’s say $500 a year).

So, to create a WooCommerce store with WordPress, it could initially cost you between $1,100 and $5,500 and then yearly fees around $500 to maintain and update (unless you are doing it yourself).

Doing the same with Ecwid is Free (for up to 10 products). You can buy your domain name and install WordPress if you want. But instead using WooCommerce, you could install the Ecwid WordPress plugin! Your SSL is included in this case.

It is much easier to work with an Ecwid store backend than a WooCommerce backend so you won't have to hire a programmer! You can also contact Ecwid directly if you have any questions, they are

always there to lend a hand. No need to install updates or do any backups either. Ecwid is a SaaS (soft are as a service) meaning it is continually being improved and updated by a hard working, dedicated team.

With a free Ecwid account, you will get a mobile optimized shop in which you can add up to ten products and two categories. Use it to sell anywhere you wish online without having to switch between multiple backend dashboards.

Key Features of Ecwid Free Account

Languages. The front-end translates into over 50 languages, including Brazilian, Portuguese, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Turkish and many others. The seller backend is translated into English, Russian, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Hungarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Korean, Catalan, Romanian, Brazilian and Portuguese.

Ecwid storefront translations

Shipping options. Automatic shipping options, including USPS, UPS, Fedex, Canada Post, EMS, Russian Post, Brazil Correios and MDS Collivery. You can also create a personalized shipping table, choose flat rate shipping costs or offer local pickup.

Checkout process. Quick and automated with various email notifi that you can customize (HTML editor). Email notifi

include order confirmation, order status changed, order shipped, successful registration, password reminder, download e-goods (available in Venture accounts and higher) and other admin notifications.

Ecwid emails notification tool

Tax settings. You can quickly and easily create your own tax settings by local area (State/Province) or Country.

Tax setup in Ecwid Control Panel

Currency. Choose from hundreds of different currencies available.

Currency setup in Ecwid Control Panel

Social media. Ecwid is compatible with Twitter cards and offers the possibility to sell directly through Facebook! Check out Chapter 2 part 2.5 to learn how to integrate your Ecwid store to Facebook.

Karbon Speed Facebook store

Ease of use. One of Ecwid’s strongest points is it’s incredible user interface that offers a smooth experience. The platform is well organized

and in fl design making it super quick to learn and very enjoyable to use.

Product setting in Ecwid Control Panel

Integrations. Ecwid integrates with any websites.

Ecwid extensions for different CMS and sitebuilders

Product variants. Ecwid supports various selection options such as custom text fields and dates.

Payment methods. Ecwid offers a ton of payment options, including PayPal.

Responsive. 100% responsive on desktop and mobile. Security. SSL protection included, even for free accounts. Data analysis. Easy Google Analytics integration.

Reason 3: Paid Options that Take Your Store to the Next Level

The free version more than does the job but if you wish to offer coupon codes, use Stripe, view abandoned carts, off downloadable products, sell on other marketplaces or benefi from their live chat for extra help, then you need a paid account. Check out Chapter 3 for an in-depth overview of Ecwid’s top paid features.

Reason 4: A Time and Money Saving Business Tool

Ecwid is an incredible sales platform for anyone with little programming knowledge or a small e-commerce budget looking for a professional store. Ecwid will save you a ton of money.

Save money:

  • No need to purchase a website or a domain name.
  • No need for any web hosting.
  • No need to buy an SSL.
  • Unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth — for free.

The paid versions of the product are very cheap for what they offer, especially compared to Ecwid’s competition.

Save time:

  • 5 minute setup.
  • Ecwid is a very intuitive solution which will save you time on learning how it works and eventually teaching it to your staff.
  • Easily plug your Ecwid store into any website.

An innovative product:

  • Ecwid is a SaaS (software as a service) so the product is constantly updated without you having to install or modify anything.
  • You can sell on Facebook!
  • They have an API: developers can create apps available in Ecwid’s app market allowing you to take your store even further.

Conclusion

Ecwid is a powerful, free e-commerce platform that can be set up in less than five minutes. I do believe Ecwid is one of the best solutions to sell your products, services or downloadable goods online. You can tell the team behind the product is very focused and has achieved high standards in terms of user experience. Ecwid is especially ideal for small businesses needing to maintain their stores quickly and easily who do not wish to invest in expensive, overly-powerful solutions to sell online.

If you do not yet have one, create your Ecwid store today!

§1. How to Set Up Your Ecwid Store in 5 Minutes

Are you ready to set up your Ecwid store in only five minutes? It is entirely possible and I will show you how in this step by step tutorial.

How to Sell Your First Physical Product

First things first, if you do not have one, create your Ecwid store.

Tip: Want a quick overview of this section? Check out this video tutorial to watch a step by step summary of how to set up your Ecwid store in 5 minutes.

Add an email and password (and confi your email in your inbox). Once your account is open you will wind up in the seller dashboard.

The Ecwid Dashboard

Click on Catalogue at the top of the page. You will be able to add products and categories from here. You will be able to create two categories and up to ten products with the free version of Ecwid but check out Ecwid 201 for how you can avoid having to pay for certain features, and Chapter 3 on why getting a paid account is a huge bonus.

Go to Categories and start by deleting the two demo categories. Add a title and photo to your category if necessary.

Once you are finished adding your categories, head over to the Products tab and delete all demo products by selecting them and then clicking on the delete button.

Click on the New product button.

image

Start by adding the photo of your first product by clicking on Add image. Then add the title, a compelling description. You can also add a video, a photo or code to the description (by clicking on the <> sign).

Tip: Learn how to integrate a Google Calendar to your product description on daniella.io. This can allow you to take appointments, bookings or reservations from clients. Learn more about these Ecwid hacks in Chapter 4.

Add the base price of your product. The base price is the minimum cost your client will pay for your product. If you add product options, your extra fees will add to or subtract from this base price.

Your SKU is your inventory number. You may use letters or numbers. If you do not have inventory numbers for your products, you may add whatever you wish here (as long as you know what the number corresponds to). Do not forget to add the weights of your products. This

is very important for automatic shipping calculations (which we will have a look at further on in this chapter).

If you filled out all the fields on this page, then you will have completed the General indications of your product as such:

Next, click on the Attributes tab and fill in the fields if necessary.

The UPC and Brand fields must be filled if you wish to upgrade your account to Business or higher and sell on Google Shopping.

Click on Manage attributes to add more attributes if needed.

Your product may have variations. You may add these variations under the Options tab. In our t-shirt example, we will add color and size variations.

You will notice it costs $5 more (see the + sign) to purchase a size M and $8 more to purchase a size L. This cost will add to the base price (and so the order will total $15 for a size M and $18 for a size L). Size S costs $0 more than the base price, so a small shirt will cost $10. Color variations do not cost more or less in our case:

Tip: With a paid Ecwid account, you can add product combinations. This will enable your clients to purchase more than one product variation at a time with precise weight calculations and further customization options, and it will allow the store owner to track inventory for each combo. For more information on Product combinations check out this article on Ecwid’s Help Center.

Offer product combinations and track your full inventory

Product Combinations settings in Ecwid Control Panel

To add the variation photos of your products under the Gallery tab and save your changes (a cool feature in Ecwid is that every time you exit the main area or close a page it will ask you if you are sure you wish to exit without saving).

It’s time to have a look at your awesome new store! Head over to Settings and click on Starter Site.

Starter Site setting in Ecwid Control Panel

Change the link URL by clicking on the Change Starter Site URL button. Then click on the link to see your site’s front end like a client who may purchase from you.

Starter Site demo store

I suggest you always keep this URL open to follow the progression of your work. All changes are synced the second you add, delete or modify a product across all of the channels where your Ecwid store is available (e.g. those selling on their website and their Facebook page simultaneously).

Tip: If you do not have a website you can use this link to sell your products online and use this link as if it were your own website!

How to Configure Your Ecwid Store

Go to the Ecwid Settings tab to configure your site. Start under General and Store Profile. Fill in all the fields.

Tip: You should definitely take the time to analyze your traffic and conversion rates of your online store. To do so, you can add your Google Analytics tracking code directly to your Ecwid store. Google Analytics is a free tool to receive free customer insights.

Change your store URL (if you did not do so earlier) at the bottom of the page under the Starter Site tab.

Change the units and formats for your store if you need to under Formats & Units.

Choose the language for your store under Languages. Ecwid adapts to your client’s language depending on their location, however, if it cannot detect your client’s language, Ecwid will pick the default language you choose in this section to translate your storefront.

Change your cart settings under the Cart tab if necessary (this section usually does not really need many configurations).

Go to the Legal Pages tab and add your legal info. This is essential for any online store. Make sure your online policies comply with your brick and mortar practices if you have a physical store. You can get help writing this section by consulting a lawyer or by doing some online research. Simply make sure your policies are clear to your consumer.

While still under Settings go to Zones. This is here you can choose your shipping zones if needed. Simply add the places you may ship your products to. You can specify pinpointed zones such as States, Provinces, and Territories.

There are tons of shipping options in Ecwid. What is really cool is that they off automatic shipping calculations for UPS, USPS, Fedex and

Canada Post among others. You may also offer more than one shipping method, or different methods depending on the shipping zone.

This is where the weights you specified for your products is essential. Ecwid will calculate the cost of shipping based on the weights you entered on the product page.

Select Add New Shipping Method and choose Carrier-calculated if you wish to benefit from an automatic shipping calculation.

Choose a carrier:

And select the shipping options you wish to off . Click on account details to ask Ecwid to automatically calculate shipping fees or add your negotiated shipping costs with the carrier in question by using your own shipping account. You may add other shipping methods such as a fl rate or custom table:

Tip: You normally have to have a paid Ecwid account to add “Handling Fees,” however, learn how to add handling fees without having to pay for an Ecwid account in Ecwid 201.

Tip: Offering local pickup? Add a new shipping rate and select “flat rate.”

Make the pickup amount $0 and name the shipping method “local pickup.” Do not forget to add instructions so your buyer knows exactly where to pick up their product. Check out Ecwid 201 on how to.

Configure your tax rates in the Taxes tab:

Another important step consists in configuring your payment methods. Ecwid accepts a wide variety of payment methods. Add the information you need to each payment method you wish to accept. To add your PayPal account, select account details and simply add your PayPal email address.

Ecwid sends out automatic emails when you make a sale or add a tracking code after shipping a parcel. You can customize such emails or choose which ones you and your clients receive under the Mail tab. Add a logo to your Invoice under the invoice tab and you are done!

Reload your store page and check out the changes that were automatically made. Navigate your store, add products to your basket and test the checkout to make sure your shipping zones and settings were correctly configured.

Once you are ready you can add your store to your website and Facebook page. Learn how to do this in Chapter 3.

Enjoy even more features with a Venture Plan

§2. Step by Step Integrations

Ecwid has created simple plug-ins and extensions for the most popular CMSs and sitebuilders in the market to help you start selling quickly and successfully.

How to Integrate Your Ecwid Store With a WordPress Site

Self-Hosted WordPress Site: Ecwid’s WordPress Plugin

The quickest and easiest way to integrate your store with WordPress is by installing the Ecwid WordPress plugin. Within your WordPress site backend, head over to Plugins on the left menu bar and select Add New.

Look for Ecwid in the search bar, then install and activate the plugin.

Ecwid WordPress plugin

Once the Ecwid plugin is installed, set up your store by clicking on Connect your store to this site. If you still do not have an Ecwid store create one here. Log into your store through the plugin setup process.

Your store is available in the pages section of your WordPress site (your URL/store). You can edit your Ecwid store within WordPress using the Ecwid plugin or by logging into Ecwid at ecwid.com

WordPress.com: Using Your Store Shortcode

Another way to add your store to your WordPress site is simply by copy-pasting your store shortcode.

Tip: However this method is not recommended for SEO (search engine optimization) reasons.

Open your Ecwid account. If the onboarding wizard does not open automatically, go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Select Reopen Wizard to open this prompter:

Ecwid onboarding wizrd

Click on Create your online store and select Yes I have a website. Select WordPress.com, copy the code and paste it to the page you wish for your store to appear on.

It is as simple as that.

How to Integrate Your Store to a Wix Site

If You Already Have an Ecwid Account

Open your Wix website. Add a New Page if you wish for your store to appear on a new page. Click on the + and choose More. Select Embed a Site or HTML Code. Make the grey box that appears the size of the page.

Wix HTML Editor

If you choose Embed a Site, in Ecwid, head over to Settings, click on Starter Site and copy-paste your starter site URL to Wix.

Wix Control Panel

Another way to add your store to your Wix site is simply by copy-pasting your store code into the HTML Box.

Open your Ecwid account. If the onboarding wizard does not open automatically, go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Select Reopen Wizard to open the prompter.

Click on Create your online store and select Yes I have a website.

Ecwid onboarding Wizard

Select Other Platform, copy the code and paste it to the page you wish for your store to appear on. It is as simple as that.

Tip: You may notice, however, that the results are not the same. The URL embedded version is more user-friendly than the HTML code pasted version of the store. You may want to use the URL version to offer a better user experience for your buyers.

If You Do Not Already Have an Ecwid Account

If you do not yet have an Ecwid account and wish to add a store to your Wix site, then log into Wix; head over to the store icon on the left of the screen. Search for Ecwid and select + Add to Site.

Wix App Market

Wix will load automatically load a demo store. Double-click the button at the top of the page to set up a new Ecwid account:

You will be able to set up a new Ecwid store from this page.

Tip: Wix offers their own online store option but objectively, Ecwid’s solution is cheaper, more complete and easier to track and use.

How to Integrate Your Store to a Custom Site

You can add your Ecwid store to any custom website! All you need is your store code. Open your Ecwid account. If the onboarding wizard does not open automatically, go to Settings and scroll down to the bottom of the page. Select Reopen Wizard to open this prompter.

Click on Create your online store> and select Yes I have a website.

Ecwid onboarding Wizard

Select Custom Website and copy the code.

Paste the code directly into to the page you wish for your store to appear on. If you do not have access to your website backend, send this code to your webmaster and ask them to do the integration for you. It is as simple as that!

How to Add Your Store to Other Sites

This page references Ecwid’s Help Center where you can fi more tutorials on how to add your Ecwid store to specific website builders.

How to Add Your Ecwid Store to Your Facebook Page

A video is available at the end of this chapter if you prefer to watch how to do this. Log into your Facebook account and search for Ecwid. Make sure you choose the app and not the fan page.

Search Ecwid on Facebook

Install the app. It will always be available on your homepage on the right in your apps.

Add your store to the page you wish by selecting it in the dropdown menu. You must be one of the administrators of this page to add your store to it.

Connect your store by adding your store ID. This is available in the footer of your Ecwid account.

Paste your store code to the Ecwid app on Facebook.

Edit the layout if you wish. You can rearrange the layout of your store if you wish. You can modify the amount of products that are displayed.

Hit Save and check out your awesome new Facebook store!

Tip: You can change the name of the tab where your products appear on your Facebook page. Head over to your Facebook page settings, click on apps and choose Edit settings for your Ecwid app. This is where you can rename the store tab.

Facebook page settings

Check out this video for a summary of part 3.5 on how to integrate your Ecwid store to your Facebook page.

§3. Overview of Ecwid’s Top Paid Features

Every Ecwid plan, free or paid, offers an SSL protected, mobile responsive a user-friendly store that can integrate with virtually any website. This definitely is pretty incredible, especially since you can benefit from all of this for free! But if you would like to tap into some more advanced features that can increase your exposure and revenue streams, then you need to check out this extensive overview of Ecwid’s top paid features.

Venture Plan Top Features

A Venture Plan currently costs $15 per month and includes some incredible features making it the plan with the highest value for the small business looking to increase their online revenue.

Access to Unfinished Sales

Imagine watching a client enter a brick and mortar store. They walk in, window shop, pick up a few things and drop them into their basket. But then, for some unknown reason, they change their mind once they arrive at the checkout and decide to leave everything right there, at the register, and walk out of the store. Imagine how creepy it would be if the store owner chased after them and asked them why they didn't spend any money after all of that!

Now imagine being that same business owner. Isn’t it killing you to know why your client just spent twenty minutes picking stuff up to leave it all at the cash register and slam your business's door! Are your prices too high? Is your call to action compelling enough? Are your products unadapted? So many questions you can only get an answer for if you ask. But how?

Chasing your client out the door in person is creepy. Writing your client a personalised email a few days after their incomplete purchase is not. This one of the beauties of selling online. Especially if you are genuine and explain that you want to improve your customer experience and are looking for constructive feedback.

You have the ability to contact your runaway buyers directly with a Venture account. Check out Unfinished Sales under My Sales tab.

Ecwid control panel

In the following example we can see that there are over $325 of unfinished sales just sitting there.

Ecwid control panel

These unfi sales are orders that were started by customers but never actually paid. You could let those $325 go, or be proactive and make some easy sales.

How do you approach this problem?

  • Contact your client a week or so after they did not complete their purchase: contacting them right away is slightly invasive. Plus, they may make the purchase a few days after they add the products to their cart and leave, so allow them some time to think it through.
  • Send your client a personal email: Ecwid will provide you with your client’s email address and full name. Make sure your email is short, sweet, friendly and unintrusive.
  • Be genuine and ask for constructive feedback.
  • Only send one email! You remember that example of the creepy store owner chasing after his client? That becomes you online if you send multiple emails asking why they did not complete their purchase their cart. Do not do that.

Not sure exactly how to put things? Lucky you: here is an unfinished sale email template you could send your clients. Just readapt it!:

Hi *Client’s Name*,

This is *Your Name* (*Your Job Title* if you want), from *Your Company*. I see you were about to pick up some goods in our shop and that you didn't get the chance to finish your order. I just wanted to see if there was anything that I could help you with. We are always looking for feedback from your valued customers.

Thank you for your time,

*Your Business Signature*

Other things you could add to this template:

  • Offer a personalised discount: this is easy to do because you have a Venture Plan!

Cross-sale: offer other products to go with their order, cheaper alternatives or other products that may be more adapted to what they are looking for.

Discount Coupon Codes

You can off discount coupon codes with a Venture Plan in Ecwid. Off g coupon codes are great way to reward loyal customers, to encourage action or to encourage offline buyers to purchase online etc.

Discount Coupons Feature in Ecwid

To create a discount coupon in Ecwid, head over to the Promotions tab and click on Discount Coupons.

Click on New Coupon and start adding your offer. Choose the name of your coupon and the code. You can off a percentage discount or a currency value.

Click on no limits for an extensive amount of extra options that will allow you to refi for whom your discount code is available, which products or categories it is applicable on and for how long.

You may choose the number of uses for your offer (unlimited, once per customer or single use). You may also choose to limit the use of your coupon code by product or by category, and this for all customers or repeat customers only.

Sell Downloadable Goods

You may have noticed you can sell downloadable products with any paid plan in Ecwid. You may sell eBooks but also icons, logos, templates, code, software, your own photos or music, video files, video games and customizable products. You can pretty much sell anything you can download!

Click on the Files tab when creating a product in Ecwid and upload your downloadable product.

Your client will automatically receive their product once their payment is sent to you. See chapter 4 for a few Ecwid Hacks in selling intangible goods.

Live Chat Support

If none of those other points convinced you about the benefi of having a Venture Plan than this one will. It has definitely convinced me more than once. Yes, live chat support.

Contact form in the Ecwid control panel

Ecwid does not off just any live chat support. There is an Ecwid representative that is there twenty four hours a day, seven days a week to assist you. I have worked with a large amount of live-chat and after sales services over the years but rarely have I seen such high quality standards. It is like having a team of developers at your service, at any time. Ecwid’s support team can answer basic questions to more complex CSS and HTML modification requests. Being able to benefit from Ecwid’s live chat support is a huge benefit for any serious business on a budget.

Business Plan Top Features

A Business Plan currently costs $35 per month and includes features that can help your Ecwid store gain even more traction. On top of all of the features off ed in the Venture Plan, you will also be able to enjoy selling on other marketplaces and offering wholesale pricing to customer groups. This plan has the highest value for small or medium sized business looking to increase their online exposure.

Sell on Other Marketplaces

Online entrepreneurs are always looking for more traffic and exposure, no matter how big their Facebook fan base or emailing list is. One great way to get your incredible products out there is by using Ecwid’s Marketplace integration that is available with a Business Plan.

Ecwid integrates with seven diff ent marketplaces including eBay, Google Shopping, Price Grabber, Nextag, Shopzilla, Yandex.Market, and eBay Commerce Network.

Please note that the eBay integration is currently available for the US or Russian merchants only.

Ecwid integrates with six different marketplaces

Wholesale Pricing Groups

Would you like to off wholesale pricing? All you need is a Business Plan. This offer is great for medium to larger sized companies wishing to enable their customers to benefi from better shipping rates by off g bulk orders. For smaller companies, wholesale pricing can be used to encourage buyers to purchase more. In either case, wholesale pricing is a great way to say “thank you” to your customers.

With a Business Plan, you can group or categorise your customers.

Some customer groups can contain repeat customers or VIPs. You can create discounts based on your customer group, based on your customer group’s subtotal (global % or flat rate discount offered to all customers,) or both. Learn more about creating customer groups on Ecwid’s Help Center.

Eatrie, an ethnic and specialty food marketplace using Ecwid

You can create discounts based on your customer group, based on your customer group’s subtotal (global % or flat rate discount offered to all customers,) or both.

Other Awesome Business Plan Options

A few other awesome Business Plan options include the ability to edit already placed orders, inventory tracking for product options and phone support!

The order editor allows users to update existing orders by editing the customer’s details (name, email address) and changing SKU numbers for example. You can also delete discounts, change shipping and tax options. You can also add items to your clients.

Product combinations are within a product with more than one option. Options may include weight, size, quantity or SKU. These parameters may influence the price of shipping for example (weight). Product combinations enable you to have more power over your inventory.

Ecwid’s phone support is available in English from 9am to 9pm PST. You can be sure to receive top notch support from a dedicated and passionate team.

Edit Orders, track inventory and enjoy phone support

Unlimited Plan Top Features

An Unlimited Plan currently costs $99 per month. This off goes far beyond small business needs and is mostly interesting for medium to larger sized companies looking for high-end customizations. As the name of the plan suggests, your business can upload an unlimited amount of products to Ecwid and sell them in multiple places across the web. The top features of this off are the Square integrations and custom store apps Ecwid offers.

Square POS Integration

Square is a POS (Point of Sales) system that enables merchants to accept debit and credit cards on their smartphones and tablets.

Square control panel

You can sync all of your Square inventory with Ecwid using this integration. All you need is an unlimited Ecwid plan and a Square account. Learn more about how to integrate your Square account with your Ecwid store here.

A Custom Branded Mobile App

A custom branded mobile app will allow your customers to shop your store directly from their mobile devices with your own dedicated native app. This feature is free for Unlimited users that sign up for a yearly plan.

Your app will be available on both Android and the App Store with one- touch checkout and full backend synchronisation.

Ecwid's shop app

Please note that some of the information in this chapter is subject to change without notice to the author (due to possible price changes or promotions). We will, however, try to keep this eBook as up to date as possible. Please consult https://ecwid.com/pricing for up to date informaiton.

12 Hours of Custom Development

No time to figure out how CSS works? But you want your store to match your brand, right? If you would like to save time and money on developement then you will love the 12 hours of custom development included in Ecwid’s Unlimited Plan! Ecwid’s design time can create the store of your dreams by redesigning the look of your shop. They can even create that high priority feature your store needs!

§4. Five Awesome Ecwid Hacks you Need to Know

Hacking is not always a bad thing. Other than illegally infi trating computers to gain unauthorised access to data, hacking also means thinking outside the box to use what you already know in a more efficient and cost-effective way. These hacks include creating an eBay-style marketplace, enabling clients to book reservations, and offering customizable products. Here are some amazing time and money saving Ecwid tricks you can quickly and easily implement in your online store today.

Use Ecwid to Build a Marketplace Like eBay

Following a long search for an effi multi-vendor marketplace solution, I fi y launched an online marketplace, lean startup style. I had spent days and weeks looking for a free marketplace solution.

I wanted my sellers to be able to manage their stores independently and to have access to their intuitive seller backends without the need for extensive online sales knowledge. Having been an eBay seller for over six years, I was looking for a more user-friendly solution, especially since some of the sellers would be newbies. Finding the ideal solution was not an easy task to accomplish. I was starting to lose hope until I came across Ecwid.

Eatrie, an ethnic and specialty food marketplace using Ecwid

Using Ecwid as a multi-vendor marketplace is ideal if:

  • You would like to find a new way to monetize your niche blog.
  • You want your sellers to have their own sales backends.
  • Some of your sellers have never sold online before.
  • Your business model is based on sales commissions (though there are other ways to monetize an online marketplace).

How to: Have your sellers upload their products to their own individual Ecwid stores and ask them to send you their store code. Add the code from each of your seller’s stores to your website. Do make sure the store codes are on diff rent pages as you cannot integrate multiple stores to one page (only one store will show, the rest will be code). To do this in WordPress for example, you can display each store as a blog post:

Eatrie's store area

In Wix, Weebly or Squarespace you could create images with links that lead to individual pages containing the store code for each shop. If it is absolutely essential for you to integrate multiple stores to the same page, then vote for this option on Ecwid’s Idea forum.

However, the lean solution provided above is an excellent workaround that is much cheaper, and much more efficient than the thirty-five other solutions I (seriously) analyzed and compared before choosing Ecwid.

Tip: If you are dealing with sellers who have no online sales experience, have them check out this tutorial on how to build an Ecwid store in under 5 minutes and save yourself the explanation time.

Allow Your Clients to Book Your Services Online

You may have noticed that Ecwid off a Date picker input type in their options. This can allow your clients to choose a date to meet you and benefit from your services. But how can they know if you are free?

You probably want the booking process to be as automated as possible to save time and to avoid unnecessary emails and phone calls. The answer to this issue is easy — all you have to do is integrate your synced electronic calendar to your product page.

Using Ecwid to accept bookings is ideal for

Small businesses or individuals who take appointments such as:

  • DJ’s
  • caterers
  • babysitters
  • hairdressers
  • house cleaners
  • gardening services
  • handyman services
  • interior decorators
  • rental services

Freelancers offering services such as:

  • consultations
  • personal assistance
  • proofreading, editing, translations

Teachers or businesses offering classes such as (in person or on Skype):

  • advanced computer courses
  • gourmet cooking classes

Tip: The bonus here is that you get paid before your client arrives. Your policy can state that you do not reimburse those who do not inform you of cancellations 24h in advance, saving time and money.

How to: Start by adding your service to Ecwid then head over to options and add a date picker input type and name the option Date.

Add a second option named Time that consists of a simple text fi This is where your client can let you know the time at which they wish to meet with you. Make sure both of these options are required.

The next thing you need to do is add your electronic calendar to the description. If you have a Google Calendar for example, get the code for your calendar and paste it into your product description (make sure you click on <> on the far right to add code).

Add a small explanation in the description for your clients on how to make a reservation (let them know they have to check your calendar before they book with you to make sure you are free). And there you have it!

If you do some basic research online you may notice that solutions enabling the ability to accept online bookings can range between $45 and $300 per month. Most small business or freelancers do not have that kind of money. You now know you can do this for free on Ecwid.

Tip: If you only have a certain amount of spaces available (for a class for example) you can make the stock level correspond to a number of places you have to offer. The product will state you have no spaces left once the stock reaches zero.

Tip: If you own a small business, collect your client’s emails in person and tell them they can make online reservations to save time. You could also offer a discount coupon to encourage first time online reservations!

Accept Online Room Reservations

Got extra space in your house that you do not use? Why not rent out that spare room through a Facebook page? Combined with targeted ads, you can growth hack your way to getting your empty space to make you money. All you need to know is that each of the rooms you have to rent out has its own calendar.

Using Ecwid’s stores to rent out space is ideal for:

Bed and breakfasts, motels, companies and anyone who wants to rent out spare space (that can mean a bedroom but also a garage for bands looking for a place to jam, your back yard for people wanting to chill in a cool environment, your kitchen for those in need or even a bathroom for people who just can't find one in the new city they are visiting!) Simply make sure you do this in accordance with local regulations.

How to: Sign into Ecwid and create a product with the name of the room. Add a Date field in the options and a text field called Time.

Create a Google calendar for each room or space you rent out and add the code from the calendar to your product description and you are done.

Tip: You can add other options with or without extra costs such as cleaning fees, rentals items or meals.

Think Outside the Box When Selling Intangible Goods

You may have noticed you can sell downloadable goods with the paid version of Ecwid. Why not use this awesome feature to sell more than just eBooks!

This solution is ideal if:

  • you sell downloadable products such as (eBooks but also):
  • generic logos, icons
  • templates, Code, Software
  • your own music, photos
  • video files, video games

How to: Open a paid Ecwid account (all you need is a Venture Plan) and add your downloadable product:

Your client will automatically receive their product once their payment is sent to you.

Sell Customizable Goods

So you have a product that can be customized and you want to streamline the choice process for your client. Did you know Ecwid can do this?

I have a client who spent hours searching for a free solution that would combine a sort of survey and payment method. From PayPal buttons to solutions that cost more than $250 a month, nothing tickled his fancy. Not until I introduced him to Ecwid.

Using Ecwid to allow clients to personalise products ideal for:

  • Those who have a product that can be customized.
  • Those wishing to combine a survey and a payment method.

How to: Simply create as many option fi you need to receive all the information you require from your client. For example, if you sell customizable tea packages, you can add an option called “Tea Base” with the choice of green, white, black or oolong tea. The second option can be an added fl vour such as cinnamon, hibiscus, lime, lavender, rose… The third option may be a text area where your client can add a personalised slogan to their product label. The last option could be the amount they wish to receive (50g at the base price, or 100g for a certain amount more than the base price for example).

Once the order is placed, you will receive your usual automatic email from Ecwid containing all the customized product information.

Why not get crazy and mix it up!

Why not create a local Fiverr by using Ecwid as a marketplace where freelancers from your city or region can sell their (downloadable) services and work together locally?

Do you dream of creating the next AirBnB? Why not use Ecwid? Combine the marketplace hack with the option of renting out rooms to create a local or a more targeted AirBnB!

Got a lot of junk you do not use? How about renting your stuff out with an Ecwid shop? Add a date, time and pickup location for people to rent your things and start making a profi from your clutter. Leverage Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook sales pages to growth hack your way to rental heaven.

Conclusion

Ecwid is a super flexible, very easy to learn shopping cart solution. All you need is a little imagination to take it above and beyond the already incredible platform it is!

Let's start the next book!

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