Ecwid vs Shopify Comparison – Forbes Advisor


Whether you’re launching an e-commerce empire or a side gig, Ecwid and Shopify are the best options to consider. Both offer everything you need to sell anywhere, including an online store, social media sites, sellers’ markets, retail stores, and mobile sites. This Ecwid vs. Shopify guide explores the pros and cons of each so you can decide which is best for your unique needs.

Ecwid vs. Shopify: At a Glance

Ecwid and Shopify are beginner-friendly, all-in-one selling platforms that allow merchants to sell all types of goods and services anywhere. Each provides a full suite of tools to manage payments, products, inventory, orders, and customers on your own website and across all of your sales channels.

Notable differences between Ecwid and Shopify include overall cost, number of products per plan, and integrations with other websites, blogs, and point-of-sale (POS) systems. What is best for your business largely depends on your budget, the needs of your online store, and the targeted sales channels.

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

Ecwid

Starting price

Free; $12.50 per month

(billed annually)

Product limit

Unlimited available with its Unlimited Plan

($82.50 per month)

Ecwid

Starting price

Free; $12.50 per month

(billed annually)

Product limit

Unlimited available with its Unlimited Plan

($82.50 per month)

Why we chose it

Ecwid by Lightspeed is a beginner-friendly software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform with four plans ranging from free to $99 per month. All plans support Ecwid’s Instant Site online store, and you can add a store section to websites and blogs on WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more on any plan.

Ecwid’s top-tier plans allow for multi-channel sales on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and eBay, as well as in-person sales through mobile outlets. Ecwid’s premium plan also connects to retail point-of-sale systems, including Vend by Lightspeed, Square, and Clover.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • Add a store to existing websites
  • Use your own payment processor
  • No additional transaction fees
  • Easier to use than Shopify
  • The instant site showcase is very basic
  • The free plan only supports ten items
  • Limited products and features on lower tier plans

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

Shopify

Shopify
Shopify

Why we chose it

Shopify is a popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Unlike Ecwid, Shopify doesn’t have a free plan, but offers a $5 per month plan with limited selling features. However, most sellers use Shopify’s online store plans, which range from $29 to $299 per month.

All Shopify store plans include a customizable online store, unlimited product listings, sales on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay and more, plus in-person mobile POS sales. Sellers also benefit from seamless order processing using Shopify Payments and Shopify Shipping.

Advantages and disadvantages

  • Omnichannel sales
  • Advanced e-commerce features
  • Many modern and mobile-friendly store themes
  • Lots of dropshipping and print-on-demand integrations
  • Additional transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments
  • Free store themes are basic and advanced themes starting at $180
  • Top-tier plans are very expensive
  • Not as user-friendly as Ecwid

Plan costs

When comparing Ecwid to Shopify, it’s important to note what you’re getting for your money.

At first glance, Ecwid costs less than Shopify and is the only one with a free plan. However, Shopify may surpass Ecwid in value since its basic store plan includes unlimited products, all sales channels, and mobile outlets. Lower Ecwid plans have product limits and only higher tier plans allow all sales channels and mobile outlets.

Ecwid Plan Costs:

  • Free package: List ten products with Instant Site
  • Enterprise Plan ($15 per month): List 100 products with Instant Site, add shop to other websites and blogs, and sell on Facebook and Instagram
  • Business plan ($35 per month): List 2,500 products with Instant Site, get it all in Venture, sell on Amazon, eBay, mobile outlets and more
  • Unlimited plan ($99 per month): List unlimited products with Instant Site, get everything in Business, and connect to retail POS systems including Vend by Lightspeed, Square, and Clover for in-store sales
  • Save on Ecwid plans: Save around 15% if you pay annually

Other fees for selling on Ecwid:

  • Third-party vendor fees for credit card processing, shipping labels, and retail point-of-sale systems
  • A custom domain name for your Ecwid instant site adds around $15 per year
  • Add-on functionality through apps and custom integrations

Shopify plan costs:

  • Admission ($5 per month): List unlimited number of products and sell via mobile POS and online buy button tool; online store not included
  • Basic ($29 per month): List an unlimited number of products, create an online store, sell across all sales channels and mobile outlets, and access email marketing and business reporting tools
  • Shopify ($79 per month): All in Basic, plus advanced marketing, reporting, and business automation tools and reduced pricing on Shopify Payments and Shopify Shipping
  • Advanced ($299 per month): Everything in Shopify, plus real-time shipping rates, international selling tools, and the lowest rates on Shopify Payments and Shopify Shipping.
  • Save on Shopify plans: Save 10% when paid annually and 20% when paid biannually

Other fees for selling on Shopify:

  • Fees for Shopify shipping labels and Shopify Payments credit card processing
  • If you use your own credit card processor, Shopify applies transaction fees
  • For retailers, POS Pro adds $89 per month, per location
  • Advanced store themes start at $180
  • A custom domain name for your online store adds around $15 per year

Sales channels

Ecwid and Shopify are sell-everywhere platforms that seamlessly connect to a full range of sales channels. In addition to an online store, both enable sales on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Amazon, Etsy, eBay and more. Both also support all types of in-person sales via mobile and retail outlets.

Shopify is great value for multi-channel sellers because it provides access to all sales channels in the basic store plan. However, Ecwid allows sellers to publish a store to one or more blogs and websites, which is great for a multisite selling strategy.

E-commerce features

Ecwid and Shopify support all types of e-commerce sales, including shipped physical products, items for local delivery or pickup, and digital download products. Through companion apps, both also support online courses, webinars, and subscriptions, as well as service bookings with online payments.

Both online store platforms provide detailed product pages that include photos and videos, item variations, and sale prices. Sellers can also create collections, store information pages, require customer logins (or not), and automate order management.

However, Shopify’s product management and store menus are more robust than Ecwid’s Instant Site. Shopify merchants can organize large product catalogs into collections and sub-collections, then list them in mobile-friendly store menus. Ecwid’s standalone Instant Site supports Product Collections, but these do not carry over to mobile menus. With over 72% of online sales made on mobile devices, Shopify’s mobile-friendly menus can help boost sales.

Blogging features

All Shopify store plans include an integrated blog with basic functionality that can be extended with Shopify blogging apps, such as Blog Studio or DropInBlog. Ecwid users can create a simple blog on Instant Site by adding a “Blog” collection and using pages for blog posts. However, integrating an Ecwid store into a WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace website provides a more powerful blogging and content marketing solution.

Advertising by e-mail

Ecwid and Shopify both provide built-in automated abandoned cart recovery emails. This sales boost feature allows merchants to send reminders and coupon offers to shoppers who have not made a purchase.

Each platform provides built-in email list building and automated email marketing campaigns. Sellers can also connect a variety of email apps to Ecwid and Shopify, including Mailchimp or Klaviyo, which supports email and SMS campaigns.

Mobile and retail point of sale

Both platforms offer mobile POS tools to manage in-person sales at places like markets and fairs and for mobile service payments. However, retail store POS options differ significantly between Ecwid and Shopify.

Ecwid does not have a built-in retail POS tool. Instead, it integrates directly with some of the best POS providers, including Vend by Lightspeed, Square, and Clover, and supports custom integrations with other POS systems. Shopify has a proprietary retail store system called Shopify POS Pro, but offers few integrations with other POS systems in the App Store.

Conclusion

Comparing Ecwid to Shopify, both platforms clearly cater to the “sell anything anywhere” needs of modern entrepreneurs. The main differences are in overall cost, online store features, and integrations with other websites, blogs, and point-of-sale systems. If virtually limitless website, blog, and POS integrations are your priority, Ecwid may be your perfect fit. If you’re looking for cost-effective access to all sales channels and a robust online store, Shopify can give you more bang for your buck than Ecwid.

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