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Shopify vs Ecwid: Which eCommerce Platform is Right for You?

With almost 11% market share in an extremely competitive industry vertical, Shopify is a name that many would have heard of. Given that, in a head-to-head of Shopify vs Ecwid, is there a chance that the latter might come out on top?

Ecwid also has very comprehensive product features and is geared towards those who want to set up an eCommerce store with greater ease. It also has a free plan which Shopify does not.

To even things up, we’ll take a look at similarly priced plans between Shopify and Ecwid.

In A Glance: Compare Shopify & Ecwid Platforms

In case you are in a hurry, below is the Shopify vs Ecwid comparison table;

Shopify vs Ecwid: The Head-to-Head Comparison

Shopify and Ecwid are both eCommerce site builders and comparable in many ways. Let's take a look at some of the vital features that providers like this should streamline:

Compare Ecwid and Shopify in:

1. The Ease of Use

Shopify builder interface
Shopify builder interface (visit here).
Ecwid builder interface
Ecwid builder interface (visit here).

One of the primary reasons that anyone would pay over $20 a month to host a website is that Shopify and Ecwid are developed around website builders. This means that almost anyone with some basic Internet skills can build a functional eCommerce site quickly – no coding is required.

Because of that, the importance of how easy their systems are to use cannot be understated. Both of these site builders offer users a drag-and-drop experience. The premise is simple – on one side you have a navigation bar with tools and on the other, a canvas to work on.

In terms of looks and feel, Shopify’s site builder has a very sharp, professional feel. This contrasts greatly with the large sectional controls that Ecwid has. However, for useability, the latter feels much easier to use for beginners.

Shopify also tends to use some of its own jargon such as ‘collections’ which may take some getting used to.

Since both of these builders are meant for rapid development, they don’t allow a huge range of customizations as compared to building a site yourself from scratch. However, both offer just enough flexibility for you to customize basic looks.

Naturally, backgrounds and the like can be substituted with your own personal images to make your sites uniquely you. For the scope of customization, Shopify edges out Ecwid by a little – just a tiny bit.

Which is better?

Shopify is slightly harder to navigate and use but offers more options in design. Ecwid, on the other hand, is more user-friendly, especially for those new to website builders.

Learn more about our comprehensive Shopify review here.

2. Product Management

Modify SEO settings on individual products in Ecwid
Modify SEO settings on individual products in Ecwid

Adding and Managing

Handling products is an integral part of online store builders and thankfully, both Shopify and Ecwid have very capable systems.

In the case of Shopify, product pages are all linear, meaning that every single option you can modify about them is in a single continuous page. Of course, this is broken up into logical segments such as product details, inventory, pricing, shipping, and more.

For Ecwid, product pages are broken up into tabs with each tab handling an individual area of concern. Some of the tabs are a little strangely named though such as Attributes and Files. The former is for vendor management, and the latter for handling digital products.

One area where Ecwid comes out ahead in product management is the ability to also handle SEO directly for the related product. You can set (and even preview) some areas like search appearance and meta descriptions. These features are available on all paid plans.

Which is Better?

Although Shopify’s product management is a bit easier (and clearer) to handle, I would say that the SEO options offered by Ecwid, meager though they may be, do lead my preference that way.

Product Limits

There’s no doubt about it that Shopify is more generous about how many products you can play host to – it's unlimited for all plans. Ecwid limits you based on the plan you’re on, with the free plan only supporting 10 products. 

In an equal comparison between Shopify’s Basic Plan and Ecwid’s Business plan though, the latter ups the ante to a very generous level and lets you store up to 2,500 products. This may sound like a lot, but remember that each product is a single SKU.

For unlimited products on Ecwid you will need to up your plan to Unlimited which goes for $82.50 per month on an annual payment basis.

Which is Better?

Hands down Shopify on this one.

Support for Digital Products

Both the plans we’re looking at allow the sale of digital goods such as music, video, and more. To manage this, you need to make use of an add-on app on Shopify and it limits you to digital product sizes of 5GB.

Ecwid lets you handle digital products natively plus is more generous with file sizes, allowing up to 25GB.

Which is Better?

In terms of handling, a native system would usually win but Shopify has a strong stable of add-on apps that are excellent. This would see them more or less neck and neck on digital product management.

3. Point of Sale (POS)

Shopify has a formidable POS system that lets you integrate digital with physical sales.
Shopify has a formidable POS system that lets you integrate digital with physical sales.

If you have both a physical store and a digital one, having a system that’s integrated can be invaluable to the business. This segment is one of the highlights of Shopify and what makes it usually stand out from other eCommerce site builders.

Shopify offers a great deal of functionality with regard to POS and even their Shopify Basic plan can make use of their POS app. The app lets you make sales from any location and even integrates a card reader to accept payments.

Inventory and orders are streamlined, although the Basic plan lacks advanced features such as support for dedicated POS hardware. Still, you can make sales from a combined pool of products seamlessly and keep accurate track of your inventory.

Which is Better?

Ecwid does have POS integration but this is only for their Unlimited plans. Because of this and the excellence of the Shopify POS system, it wins hands down.

4. Payments

Ecwid integrates the third-party payments sign-up under its own brand umbrella.
Ecwid integrates the third-party payments sign-up under its own brand umbrella.

Payments Processing

Both Shopify and Ecwid work with a wide range of payment processors but only Shopify has a native version you can use – Shop Pay. Other than that, everything else works with external payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, and so on.

Shopify’s Shop Pay is only available in a handful of countries so it is quite likely you will ultimately have to make use of another payment processor. Doing so is pretty straightforward although you will need to create an account with those providers to use them. This has to be done on your own though and the information from those payment providers then has to be entered into Shopify.

Where Ecwid differs is that it doesn’t have a native payments processor like Shop Pay and it tries to make third-party payments integration easier. Choosing a payment processor will open a direct link to that site, with a registration page under the Ecwid brand.

Which is Better?

Although Shopify has the edge with its own native payments processor, I prefer the seamless integration that Ecwid has with third-party providers.

Abandoned Cart Handling

If you’ve ever used an eCommerce system and left your purchase unfinished – you’ll likely have gotten reminder emails from them. That’s abandoned cart handling and something you will want for your own store.

This simple method of reaching out to try and recover a possibly lost sale is invaluable to eCommerce merchants and can help you make a difference to your bottom line. Both the Shopify and Ecwid plans we’re looking at include abandoned cart recovery features as part of the deal.

Both vendors also offer similar functionality, with you being able to set up reminders (for yourself), customize and send emails manually, or set up automatic emails based on templates. 

Which is Better?

These are around the same and provide a much-needed feature. However, Shopify makes abandoned cart recovery available for all plans, while plans lower than Business on Ecwid don’t get this.

Both Shopify and Ecwid allow you to send abandoned cart recovery emails easily, but Shopify arguably has a bit of an edge here, simply because it provides the feature at a lower price point — as with POS, this feature is included on all Shopify plans, even the $1 ‘Lite’ plan. Ecwid users have to be on a $39+ plan or higher to avail of it.

5. Customer Support

Both Shopify and Ecwid offer comprehensive customer support either via email or live chat. Ecwid does allow you to get in touch via a phone call but the way they’ve implemented this is complicated and in my opinion, simply not worth the hassle.

Which is Better?

It’s an even bet on both.

Conclusion: Shopify or Ecwid – Who's Better?

As you can see, many of the features that these two boasts of are actually very similar in nature. In the end, it boils down to a matter of individual preference of how you want them to offer the functionality, not whether or not it’s included.

Personally, I prefer the user experience of Ecwid but Shopify has some very attractive areas too, especially in their POS integration system. For today’s market, this bridge that allows retailers to handle both digital and physical can be invaluable.

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Article by Jason Chow

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