Shopify vs Ecwid: Comparison Review
With 1.75 million merchants on the Shopify platform and 130,000 on the Ecwid platform, comparing them might seem like a mismatch.
But the ecommerce “pie” is a large one that is only getting bigger. So, there is plenty of room for growth for up-and-coming ecommerce platforms.
Not that Ecwid can be classed as truly up-and-coming. The platform is a well-established player, founded in 2009 and recently acquired by Lightspeed – a major ecommerce platform based in Montreal with 2,000 employees worldwide.
In 2009, when Ecwid was founded, Shopify was just another growing platform, operating from its base in Ottawa. Its growth has skyrocketed in recent years and its success is a source of inspiration to the platforms that are now building.
Ecwid is one of them and seems well-placed to grow. While it’s not one of the first names that spring to most people’s minds when thinking about ecommerce platforms, that may be changing.
Ecwid’s strong background in ecommerce (CEO and founder Ruslan Fazlyev was the co-founder of X-Cart) has allowed many small business owners around the world to convert basic websites and online presences into sales machines for their products and services.
Despite being less well-known than Shopify, Ecwid grew 50 percent year-over-year in the past 12 months.
Shopify needs little introduction to most readers. One of the major ecommerce “darlings” on the planet, the platform has boomed in recent years.
It’s useful to bear in mind that back in 2012, Shopify had less than one-third of the customers that Ecwid has now (42,000 vs 130,000). This tells us that Shopify is doing a LOT right for online store owners – and if other platforms get that part right, they also have the potential to go from strength to strength.
In this Shopify vs Ecwid review, we consider the relative focuses and strengths of each platform and how their features compare.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the features, performance, and pricing of Ecwid versus Shopify…
Platform focus: Shopify vs Ecwid
Shopify built its name on providing a cloud-based, multichannel ecommerce platform for small and medium businesses – and that’s how most of its 1.75 million merchants in 175 countries around the world would describe themselves.
However, with the Shopify Plus offering going from strength to strength, there is also a growing Enterprise focus to Shopify.
Shopify can be credited as being one of the main ecommerce companies to have made it easy for businesses of all sizes to create an effective online store without the need for a legion of technical professionals as part of the team.
With its entire focus on ecommerce, the company provides everything needed for business owners to start selling online and marketing their store affordably, with a great user experience, and the opportunity to scale as required.
Shopify provides access to over 100 professional themes that can be used to build and manage online stores. Point of Sale (POS) solutions also allow an integrated, single view of online and offline transactions, making it easy to manage multiple channels.
A vast array of apps available in the Shopify app store plug into the Shopify software and add extra functionality, marketing prowess and design customization to any store.
The Shopify platform is also evolving rapidly. With customer habits becoming increasingly mobile, Shopify has created more mobile themes and is adding new functionality for making cross-border international ecommerce more friction-free.
As something of a pioneer of ecommerce as we know it today, Shopify now enjoys a very healthy 29 percent of the market share in the U.S., making it the number one ecommerce platform in the region.
The unmistakable focus for the Ecwid platform has been small businesses looking to sell on social media, online marketplaces, and/or from a website. Whether that is still the case now Lightspeed has acquired the company remains to be seen.
Right now, Ecwid makes a point of attracting budding store owners who want to sell on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, Amazon, eBay or from their own website.
“Sell anywhere” is a key mantra for the Ecwid platform, encouraging merchants to sync and sell using a website, social media, and online marketplaces.
Because of this focus, it will not surprise you to learn that mobile themes dominate the design choices with Ecwid.
Ecwid allows any aspiring merchant to set up a basic store with limited functionality for free. If you want the whole Ecwid ecommerce experience, the pricing remains affordable.
It includes a comprehensive set of tools to create an online store, as you would expect. You can easily receive orders, accept payments, manage inventory, and process shipping.
Ecwid also offers integration with marketing tools like Mailchimp and Google/Facebook advertising to help grow your business, as well as with tools to help track marketing performance and generate reports from its central dashboard.
Ecwid also offers a point-of-sale (POS) option, allowing you to accept payments in-person, online, and on the go.
Any functionality unavailable from the native Ecwid platform can be added from the Ecwid app market, in many cases. There are app options for store design, marketing, dropshipping, order management, accounting, shipping, reporting, rewards, and more.
Main features: Shopify vs Ecwid
Shopify offers several different plan options from a basic Shopify plan to an Advanced plan and Shopify Plus for larger stores and enterprises.
All Shopify plans provide all of the necessary features for store owners to run successful online businesses, including the following:
- Unlimited products, bandwidth, and online storage
- Ability to customize your store
- Built-in theme editor to easily edit your online store’s fonts, colors, and page layouts without coding
- Theme-editing tutorials and Shopify Experts available to help
- Add up to 20 themes on one Shopify account
- Manage products, orders, and customer information from a single Shopify admin panel
- Abandoned cart features
- Built-in blogging engine for publishing articles and updates for customers
- SSL certificate to keep information secure
- Between 2 and 15 staff accounts available (depending on the plan)
- Encryption of content and secure publishing using HTTPS
- Finance reports, acquisition reports, behavior reports, and marketing reports for your store
- Insight into store traffic to help grow your store
- Engage customers with promotions (discount codes) and gift card management
- Vast app ecosystem to improve the customer experience, marketing, store management, etc.
- Fraud analysis
- Global selling opportunities (standard Shopify plan and higher)
- Point-of-sale options
- Buy button for blogs (Shopify Lite plan)
The higher-level Shopify plans provide more advanced reporting and integration with third-party shipping services (customers have access to up-to-date shipping rates when they place orders).
The main features of the Ecwid platform include:
- Unlimited bandwidth on all plans
- Instant site builder
- Add a store to any website
- Sell simultaneously on multiple sites
- Facebook pixel
- One-tap checkout with Apple Pay (via Stripe)
- GDPR compliance
- Tax invoices and automated tax calculations
- POS available in some countries (paid plans only)
- Gift cards and discounted coupons
- Access to App Market with extensions
- Inventory tracking (products)
- Advanced SEO tools
- Connect your own domain name
- Scheduled order pickup
- Abandoned cart emails
- Wholesale pricing groups
- Product filters
- Product variations
- Create orders
- Dimensional shipping rates
- Multilingual catalog
- Priority support available (Unlimited plan)
Support: Shopify vs Ecwid
The quality of support should not be underestimated when comparing ecommerce platforms.
Whether you’re a new merchant unfamiliar with all the workings of ecommerce or an established merchant needing technical guidance, everybody wants to know that they can get help if and when they have a query.
Technical support services can be difficult to assess without actually trying the platform out. But much can be learnt from previous users and reviews about the platform.
Both Shopify and Ecwid fare well in these stakes. By all accounts, support from both platforms is responsive and helpful, with 24/7 phone support, live chat and email support provided at various times and varying levels depending on the plan you choose.
Both platforms also provide an extensive “knowledge base” of resources so that merchants can find answers directly to queries about setting up, making sales, and growing their stores.
Ecwid provides support in six languages (German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Italian, besides English) while Shopify provides setup and troubleshooting assistance by email in over 20 languages.
Pricing: Shopify vs Ecwid
Shopify pricing is simple:
- The basic plan for startups is $29/month
- The standard Shopify plan (growing stores) is $79/month
- The Advanced Shopify plan with advanced reporting is $299/month
If you don’t use the Shopify Payments feature, there are also transaction fees to pay for each sale.
There’s no denying that Ecwid pricing is very attractive for getting started. You can set up and promote a mobile responsive online store on Facebook, Google, Snapchat, and Pinterest for free if you have fewer than 10 products and only need basic functionality.
Serious store owners with more products and loftier ambitions will want one of the paid options:
- Free plan (up to 10 products)
- Venture plan at $15/month (up to 100 products)
- Business plan at $35/month (up to 2500 products and 2 staff accounts)
- Unlimited plan at $99/month (unlimited products and staff accounts)
Ecwid plans are month to month (no long-term commitments) and free of both setup and transaction fees.
A 14-day free trial is available with Shopify. Ecwid has a free version so you can stay free forever if you just want the most basic store (10 products or under and one user account).
Shopify vs Ecwid
We may be seeing more of Ecwid in the future as it has a solid base of small business customers and now has the backing of a major player in ecommerce (Lightspeed).
So, Shopify vs Ecwid may become more of a heavyweight battle than it is currently.
As we stand, Shopify is geared up for ambitious startups as well as growing small, medium and larger businesses.
Ecwid’s small business and social media focus will be of interest to those looking for an entry point into ecommerce and may continue to attract young merchants or those looking for an additional revenue stream.