Shopify vs Ecwid (2024): A Clear-Cut Comparison for Merchants

shopify-vs-ecwid

Shopify and Ecwid are popular names for online merchants. Both make it easy to start and manage your store but which one is better for your business? 

Look no further. This blog post will give you a clear-cut answer by explaining the nature of Shopify vs Ecwid and analyzing their main differences. Get ready? Great. Let’s explore.

1. Shopify and Ecwid: Understanding their nature

1.1. Shopify

shopify-platform-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

Shopify is an all-in-one solution designed to create full-fledged online stores (aka eCommerce websites). It has everything you need, from building webpages to managing products, marketing, handling orders, reporting, and more.

For those without a website who seek a fully customizable e-commerce store capable of handling various tasks, Shopify is an excellent choice. The hosted platform caters to the needs of different growth stages, particularly suitable for those seeking scalability.

1.2. Ecwid

Ecwid primarily works as an eCommerce plugin that is integrated with your existing websites on other platforms like Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, social media, and marketplaces. (By the way, the name Ecwid is a mix of eCommerce and widget.)

ecwid-platform-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

The website builders connected with Ecwid are generally used to create and manage content-focused websites like personal websites and portfolios. However, they may lack the eCommerce features needed for running online stores (like WordPress) or selling on multiple channels like social media and marketplaces. Ecwid emerges as a lifesaver that seamlessly adds or enhances their existing website’s eCommerce functionality (meaning adding a store).

Why don’t merchants switch to a robust eCommerce platform like Shopify instead of using a plugin like Ecwid? The answer is, that moving platforms requires rebuilding their website and transferring data, which takes time and money, and there’s no guarantee of keeping the current design and branding.

Although known as an eCommerce plugin, Ecwid is also a standalone eCommerce platform like Shopify. While not as powerful as Shopify, Ecwid helps you to build an entire website with different functionalities from scratch, not just adding a store. Compared to its plugin, Ecwid website builder gives users more control over website design with about 40 pre-made templates and various customization options.

Ecwid is best suited for those who have existing websites and want to integrate an eCommerce plugin to extend eCommerce capabilities. It’s also great for small businesses looking for a quick and cost-effective solution to start selling online.

Hopefully, our explanation helped you understand Shopify and Ecwid. In the next part, we’ll analyze key differences to guide your decision. So keep reading!

2. Shopify vs Ecwid: A deep analysis

 Before we break it down, let’s take a glance at the table for a Shopify vs Ecwid comparison.

 ShopifyEcwidWho wins
DefinitionA comprehensive solution with a full set of tools to create standalone eCommerce websites.– Mainly acts as an eCommerce plugin integrated with your existing websites on various platforms.

– An eCommerce platform like Shopify
x
Rating– Capterra: 4.6 (6,276 reviews)
– G2: 4.4 (4,496 reviews)
– Capterra: 4.6 (573 reviews)
– G2: 4.7 (384 reviews)
x
Pricing Subscription plan:
– Starter: $5/month
– Basic: $39/month
– Shopify: $105/month
– Advanced: $399/month

Transaction fee:
– No fee with Shopify Payment
– If using a third-party payment provider, the free is:
+) Starter: 5% per transaction
+) Basic: 2% per transaction
+) Shopify: 1% per transaction
+) Advanced: 0.5% per transaction

Credit card fee
– Basic: 
+) 2.9% + $0.3 online
+) 2.6% + $0.3 in person 
– Shopify: 
+) 2.7% + $0.3 online
+) 2.5% + $0.3 in person
– Advanced:
+) 2.5% + $0.3 online
+) 2.4% + $0.3 in person
Subscription plan:
– Free: $0/month
– Venture: $19/month
– Business: $39/month
– Unlimited: $99/month

No additional transaction fees are applied. The transaction fees are charged by the chosen payment gateway.

Ecwid
Target audience – Businesses that want a full-fledged standalone online store or desire future growth.

– Those selling on various channels, not just on their own websites.
– Those wanting a low-cost, small-scale online store. 

– Those with a website(s) who want to sell products through it and other channels.

– Those planning to sell digital products (ebooks, videos, audio, etc.)
x
eCommerce features– Various eCommerce features– Equipped with various eCommerce features, a strong contender, just not as many as ShopifyShopify
Design & customization– Over 170 themes with diverse customization options– About 40 website templates with sufficient customization optionsShopify
Ease of use– Easy to set up and use– Easy to set up and use- User-friendlier interface Ecwid
Integrations and apps– 8,000+ apps– 310+ appsShopify
Marketing tools– More built-in features than Ecwid– Fewer native features than ShopifyShopify
Scalability– High scalability– Moderate scalabilityShopify
Pros– Extensive built-in features
– Diverse apps and integrations
– Various well-designed themes, along with extensive customization options
– Multi-channel selling capability (marketplaces and social media platforms).
– High scalability
– Quick setup, allowing you to sell faster
– Multi-channel selling capability
– Free plan + Affordable paid plans
– Easy integration 
– Helpful, responsive support
x
Cons– Higher-tier plans 
– No free plan
– The learning curve for newcomers
– Limited themes and customization options 
– Fewer app choices
– Limited built-in features
x

2.1. Pricing 

Remember, the prices for Shopify and Ecwid may differ depending on the region. The prices mentioned in this post are specific to the US.

2.1.1. Shopify

Shopify has 5 pricing plans (3 main ones) to fit businesses of all sizes:

  • Starter: $5/month, for new or small ventures.
  • Basic: $39/month, suitable for businesses with small product catalogs.
  • Shopify: $105/month, ideal for growing businesses.
  • Advanced: $399/month, offering advanced features for scaling businesses.
  • Shopify Plus: The premium version with custom pricing, typically starting from $2,300/month.
shopify-pricing-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

All Shopify plans, except Starter and Shopify Plus, offer a 25% discount for an annual subscription. The pricing varies based on factors such as the number of staff accounts, level of reporting and analytics, ability to create custom apps, access to customer information, and the level of support.

Unlike Ecwid, Shopify doesn’t have a completely free option. You can try it out with a 3-day free trial, and if you want to extend, it’s available for just $1 per month for the first month.

Shopify charges a 2%-0.5% transaction fee for each purchase with external payment gateways (applies to Basic, Shopify, and Advanced plans). No transaction fees apply when using Shopify Payments, their in-house gateway.

2.2.2. Ecwid

Ecwid has four subscription plans, available monthly or annually:

  • Free: $0/month, great for testing business ideas or businesses on a budget.
  • Venture: $19/month, ideal for small businesses who need extra features or want to sell on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Business: $39/month, suitable for growing businesses with steady sales, wanting to sell on various channels.
  • Unlimited: $99/month, designed for businesses with large inventories and significant sales.
ecwid-platform-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

The yearly costs for these plans are 25% cheaper than the monthly ones. 

These plans differ obviously in the number of products you can sell and the level of features. As you go for higher-priced plans, your Ecwid store can handle more products. In addition, the differences among these plans lie in the level of functionality and support. 

Compared to Shopify, Ecwid has a completely free plan that is good for starting your business. But if you deal with larger volumes, consider upgrading to Venture.

There is no transaction fee when using Ecwid. The fees for each transaction depend on the chosen payment gateway.

Who wins in the Pricing battle?

Ecwid wins for two main reasons. First, it provides a free plan with basic features, ideal for small businesses and beginners. Second, its paid plans are generally more affordable than Shopify’s.

 

2.2. Design & customization

2.2.1. Shopify

Choosing Shopify for your online store gives you access to 170+ paid and free themes that are visually stunning and mobile-responsive. The paid ones range from $140 to $400 for a one-time purchase and lifetime updates.

shopify-themes-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

These themes cater to various industries and come with diverse advanced eCommerce features like enhanced search, quick buy, size chart, image gallery, and more to boost conversions and sales.

Shopify theme providers regularly update themes to stay compatible with the latest Shopify version and meet current eCommerce demands.

→ Read more: 10+ Best Shopify Themes You Can’t Miss [Free & Paid]

In addition, you can add as many pages as you want to your Shopify store. However, having an excessively large number of pages with heavy content may affect your website’s performance, especially if your current Shopify plan doesn’t offer enough server space and bandwidth.

2.2.2. Ecwid

Ecwid primarily serves as an eCommerce plugin integrated with various website builders. So, how your online store looks depends on the platform you choose. 

In case you don’t have a website and prefer not to use another site builder, you can create a standalone website on Ecwid with multiple pages. The number of pages depends on the plan you choose:

  • The Venture plan: 3 pages 
  • The Business plan: 10 pages 
  • The Unlimited plan: 100 pages

Ecwid provides about 40 free simple website templates with sufficient customization options. These templates generally include single-page layouts with sections like hero images, company info, testimonials, featured products, contacts, etc. 

Note that when using Ecwid as a plugin integrated with other websites, you can’t directly apply these templates. This capability is only available when you create an entirely new website within Ecwid itself.

ecwid-platform-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

Who is the winner?

Shopify deserves to be the winner in the Design & Customization battle. Ecwid provides basic store functionality, however, Shopify gives more control and customization that lets you design the store the way you wish.

2.3. Ease of use

2.3.1. Shopify

shopify-store-setup-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

Setting up Shopify is pretty easy. Moreover, the user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop website builder make it accessible. However, newcomers might feel a bit overwhelmed by extensive features and customization options at first. 

Shopify itself provides diverse native tools for creating a store. To enhance functionality without coding, store owners often buy a robust Shopify theme and apps. However, this comes with extra costs, so it’s essential to consider before finalizing an app.

2.3.2. Ecwid

ecwid-store-setup-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

If you have an existing website and want to integrate Ecwid, the plugin installation takes just a few clicks. With Shopify, you have to build a complete website, but with Ecwid on your existing website, you only need to build a store that matches the entire website. However, setting up and customizing the store may need time and effort. 

Ecwid is known for its simple and user-friendly interface, even more so than Shopify. Managing tasks like product management, creating variations and descriptions, and marketing is straightforward with clear guidance right in the admin workspace. 

The platform also provides a drag-and-drop editor, making it easy for users to create their online store without coding.

Between Ecwid vs Shopify in this round, who wins?

Ecwid is the winner for sure.

2.4. eCommerce features

 Shopify EcwidWho wins?
Payment gateways– 100+ integrated payment gateways– 70+ integrated payment gatewaysShopify
Product limits– No limitations, regardless of your plan– Free: 5 products 
– Venture: 100 products
– Business: 2,500 products
– Unlimted: No limits
Shopify
Product options and variants–  Limited to only 3 product options per item (e.g., size, color, material) with 100 variants.

– No built-in option for adding extra product fields like additional details, however, there are free apps for that.
– No limit to the options for a product and variations.

– Easily add a text box or file upload button to your products.
Ecwid
Selling digital goods– Sell eBooks, music, videos, etc. on any Shopify plan using the free ‘Digital Downloads’ app.

– The file size limit for sales is 5GB.
– Sell eBooks, music, videos, etc., on paid plans.

– The file size limit for sales is 25GB.
Ecwid
Multiple-channel selling– Available sales channels: Online Store, Shop app, Facebook, Buy Button, Instagram, and Shopify Inbox.

– No integration with different websites- Diverse sales channels requiring third-party apps (TikTok, POS, marketplaces, etc.)

Note: These Shopify apps can be paid or free (FREE Shopify Marketplace Connect app- Amazon/Walmart/eBay/Etsy, TikTok, etc.) 
– Available sales channels: 

+) Linkup, Button Buy (all plans).

+) Facebook, Instagram, TikTok (paid plans)

+) Different websites from WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, Joomla, and others (check here.) 

+) Apps: ShopApp® ($295 on Annual Unlimited+ $590 on other paid plans), the Sell on the Go app (paid plan)

+) Marketplaces: Google Shopping /Walmart (paid plans), Amazon/eBay/Bol (Business, Unlimited)

– Limited apps (4 PAID apps for marketplace integration, etc.)
Shopify wins closely.

Dropshipping and POD – 526 dropshipping apps available for Shopify

– 477 apps for POD integration.
– 11 dropshipping apps.

– Limited POD apps.
Shopify
Point of sale (POS) – Shopify POS Lite is included in all basic plans. This enables payment collection at places like pop-up shops, events, etc.– Requires integration with external POS apps such as Square and Clover.Shopify
Sell in multiple languages– 20 different languages – 36 languagesEcwid
Shipping options– Various shipping options like flat rates, free shipping, weight-based rates, or in-person pickup.) 

– Save up to 88% on shipping with certain plans.
– Many shipping options

– Offers up to 50% shipping discounts, limited to USPS.
Shopify
Abandoned cart recovery– Abandoned cart recovery (All plans, except Starter)

– 632 related apps
– Automated cart recovery (Business, Unlimited)

– Much fewer than Shopify
Shopify
Sales stats and reports– The dashboard shows important store metrics and customer behavior.

– The Reports page provides detailed insights into key metrics.
– The dashboard shows basic reports (visitors, product views, orders, revenue).

– The Reports page gives detailed insights into important metrics like visitors, conversion, orders, accounting, and marketing.
Tie

Who wins in the eCommerce Features battle?

That’s Shopify. However, it’s undeniable that Ecwid is just as strong in eCommerce features.

 

2.5. Marketing features

FeatureShopify EcwidWho wins?
SEO – Easily edit the page title and meta description.

– No option to change alt text.

– Can’t manually create or alter product URLs.

– Offers fewer SEO tools compared to Shopify.
– Easily edit page title and meta description.

– No option to change alt text.

– Can’t manually create or alter product URLs.

– Offers fewer SEO tools compared to Shopify.
Shopify
Email marketing– Shopify Email is available on all plans (except for Starter). 

+) You can send emails directly from Shopify Email, with pricing based on the number of emails sent. Customize the email design. Schedule emails in advance. 

+) Pre-designed email templates
– Need to integrate external apps.- Integrated MailChimp and automated mail marketing (Business, Unlimited)Shopify
Discounts, and Coupons– Various discount codes, coupons, and promotions (e.g., buy X get Y, tiered discounts, free shipping discounts)– Generate percentage discounts, fixed amount discounts, free shipping offers, and product bundling.

For ‘Buy One Get One,’ adding a dedicated app is needed.
Tie
Blogging tool– Built-in blogging tool available– No built-in blogging tool availableShopify
Marketing toolsLarge app store with various marketing toolsFewer than ShopifyShopify

Who wins in the Marketing Features battle?

With more built-in marketing features, Shopify definitely wins.

2.6. Integrations and apps

2.6.1. Shopify 

shopify-apps-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

Shopify comes with a vast selection of over 8,000 apps to enhance various aspects of store functionality, including design, product discovery, marketing, order & shipping, and store management. 

The app library offers a mix of free and paid apps, with more than half being free. Shopify constantly updates its apps, so store owners can be assured of their website performance.

The hosted platform offers apps for easy integration with crucial services like dropshipping, email marketing, and social media. This integration reduces the need for manually inputting data, thereby saving time and minimizing errors.

For example, you want to sell print-on-demand (POD) products from Printify. Without automatic integrations, you’d have to manually update prices and descriptions for each product on both Shopify and Printify when needed. Not convenient, right?

→ You may also be interested in the series on Shopify Integrations.

2.6.2. Ecwid

Ecwid provides over 310 apps across categories like store design, marketing, catalog & order management, accounting, shipping, analytics & reporting, etc. 

ecwid-platform-shopify-vs-ecwid

 

Compared to Shopify’s 8,000+ options, Ecwid’s app selection is significantly smaller.

Ecwid has lower integration options compared to Ecwid. That said, its users can leverage Zapier to connect various third-party services with their stores such as dropshipping, email marketing, etc.

Ecwid’s apps are generally more cost-effective than Shopify’s paid apps.

Who takes the lead in the Integrations and Apps competition?

With a greater number of apps available in its store, Shopify deserves to win in this battle.

2.7. Scalability

2.7.1. Shopify 

Shopify is great for businesses seeking scalability, with various subscription plans for different sizes, from startups to large enterprises. 

The platform has a great advantage with many powerful apps for managing a large number of products and orders. 

2.7.2. Ecwid

Ecwid limits the number of transactions and products you can handle, except with the Unlimited plan. This might be challenging for growth and prompt users to upgrade to a higher-tier plan.

Compared to bigger eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Ecwid’s infrastructure is not as well-equipped to handle high traffic and orders, especially during busy times.

Ecwid has apps for managing more products and transactions, but it is less competitive than Shopify in quantity.

Who is the winner when it comes to scalability?

Shopify deserves to win.

3. Shopify vs Ecwid: Which should you choose for your business?

3.1. Pros and cons of Shopify

ProsCons
– Extensive built-in features
– Diverse apps and integrations
– Various well-designed themes, along with extensive customization options
– Great multi-channel selling capability (marketplaces and social media platforms)
– High scalability
– Higher-tier plans 
– No free plan
– The learning curve for newcomers

Choose Shopify if you:

  • Need extensive built-in features, design customization & flexibility, and a vast number of apps to build a full-fledged standalone online store from scratch.
  • Desire to expand your reach beyond your store (thanks to multi-channel selling capabilities).
  • Seek your business growth.

3.2. Pros and cons of Ecwid

ProsCons
– Quick setup, allowing you to sell faster
– Free plan + Affordable paid plans
– Multiple-channel selling capacity
– Allow significant file size (digital products)
– Easy integration 
– Helpful, responsive support
– Limited themes and customization options 
– Fewer app choices
– Limited built-in features

Choose Ecwid if you:

  • Already have your website(s) and want to leverage it to sell products through itself and other channels, rather than switching to another eCommerce platform. (Ecwid works as an eCommerce plugin).
  • Have a small number of products and are on a budget but want to get started with selling online quickly. Ecwid website builder is the way to go because of its affordable pricing, easy store setup, sufficient features, and design flexibility. (Ecwid works as a website builder.)
  • Sell digital goods.
More helpful reviews on platform comparisons:
Shopify vs Squarespace
Shopify vs Weebly

4. Final words

Shopify vs Ecwid – Two top-notch eCommerce solutions to ponder for your online venture. Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you’ve made your own decision on the right one for your business. If you still need more information or advice on the topic, feel free to let us know.

Follow eComStart.io to read more insightful blog posts on the eCommerce Platform Comparison topic

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