So you’ve narrowed your e-commerce platform options down to Ecwid vs Shopify. Congratulations! Now, which one of these platforms is the better option for your business? Are you hoping to somehow integrate e-commerce into your existing WordPress Website? Or do you just need a simple online storefront?
With consumers more motivated than ever before to shop online, running a business during a pandemic is uncharted territory for most of us. Even more so if you have to now pivot your business model to an e-commerce solution. Therefore, we recently shared a comprehensive checklist for starting an online business in our latest post Online Business is Open Even When Your Doors Close. One of those steps is to determine which e-commerce platform is the better option for your business.
In this article, we share our expert insight on two popular e-commerce platforms, Ecwid and Shopify. We’ll tell you which option we believe gives you the best bang for your buck.
Ecwid vs Shopify – What’s the Difference?
There are two options available for building online stores:
- Ecwid is a cloud-based software that ‘plugs’ seamlessly into your already running website. The capability to embed your entire storefront into any web page of your WordPress website makes it a true integrative software. You can manage your website and storefront directly from your WordPress dashboard.
- Shopify is a cloud-based software that gives you a hosted standalone storefront focused solely on e-commerce. That means once you set up your Shopify account, you have to take additional steps to add products to your existing WordPress website. Then, you have to manage two independent systems from two different dashboards.
Ecwid is a true interactive software
Ecwid (short for ‘e-commerce widget’), is first and foremost, a tool to build a seamlessly integrated online store with your existing website or social media profile (like Facebook). It is a flexible and cost-effective way to transition your business into e-commerce without minimizing other revenue generating areas of your business.
What if your business isn’t only about e-commerce? What if there are other services and products you provide that require more explanation and customer nurturing. A fully-fledged website on WordPress will give you the opportunity to architect a layout suitable for both. Since Ecwid is built to “plug n play” you can add the store and/or featured products in whatever way is most optimal to your business model.
If you are using content marketing and blogging to draw traffic and attention to your products and services, flexible storefront placement in the website architecture is uber important. Ecwid was built for exactly that purpose allowing you to focus your marketing activities on sending traffic to ONE major hub; your fully branded all-in-one e-commerce website!
And did we mention that Ecwid is fully portable?! If you are on WordPress today and WIX tomorrow, you can take your storefront with you. The Ecwid philosophy has always been to make e-commerce capability an expanded and flexible area of your business. We love to see what new features are being rolled out on a regular basis.
How does Shopify compare?
In stark contrast, Shopify is a stand-alone storefront with full focus on e-commerce. It operates your storefront under a subdomain on the Shopify platform, which in our opinion is a big drawback. We also found Shopify’s pricing structure more complex and expensive when compared to Ecwid’s e-commerce plans.
Initially for some business owners, Shopify may be enough to get your business off the ground and it is easy to use; however, as marketers we like to think well ahead. What will happen as your business grows and evolves and you decide to expand your service offerings to those that don’t fit into a “Buy Now” business model? What if you want to expand your independent SEO efforts to include content marketing and blogging? At that point, a stand-alone storefront becomes limiting and WordPress integration becomes essential.
You can integrate Shopify with your existing WordPress website. In fact, most recently, Shopify has begun to step up its enticement efforts with the WordPress community by introducing a WordPress plugin and themes. Even so, we believe it still needs a fair amount of refinement and it’s late to the game compared to Ecwid. Additionally, the connection between Shopify and WordPress still isn’t fully centralized which means managing each platform independently. That means your marketing and management activities will have to be split between two separate destinations, which is not ideal.
If you have an existing WordPress website, and you are comparing Ecwid vs Shopify, our strong recommendation is to go with Ecwid!
Why is Ecwid the better e-commerce choice when it comes to WordPress?
- Ecwid has more elegant integration capabilities with WordPress compared to Shopify’s ‘Buy Button’. Shopify doesn’t integrate an entire online store the way that Ecwid does. Instead, Shopify’s ‘Buy Button’ offers only a checkout feature. Ecwid’s next level intuitive WordPress integration is seamless and customers never leave your website!
- And if your website is not with WordPress, fret not! Ecwid offers excellent integration capability with other website platforms like Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly. Plus, you can start selling your products directly on your Facebook or Instagram business page, to anyone from anywhere!
- Ecwid offers very flexible product options like ShopApp and integration capability with marketplaces (like Amazon or eBay). Their streamlined functionality is impressively available in 45 different languages. Shopify is limited to including only very specific features unless you purchase 3rd party apps for more options.
The fact is, e-commerce is going to be a part of the “new normal” for business. In a recent research study conducted in the U.S. by Morning Consult, 24% of consumers said they wouldn’t feel comfortable shopping in a mall for more than six months and 16% said they would feel comfortable in the next three months.
Business owners who provide multiple opportunities to access their products and services will have a much greater chance of riding this wave and thriving. If you are looking to utilize multiple online sales channels, have more cost-effective options AND seamless WordPress integration, Ecwid is hands down a better e-commerce solution for your business.
Imagine your E-commerce Website: beautiful, functional and effective
Unlock Access to Our Guide:
Essential Guide to E-commerce
This guide walks you through all of the elements you need to consider when choosing an “out of the box” e-commerce solution so you can strike a perfect balance between design, function, customer experience and user experience.
Are you ready to start selling online?
We are Ecwid Experts. You can find us listed as Ecwid e-commerce specialists on Ecwid’s website. Our team can set up these functions quickly on your behalf. We can integrate a shopping cart function into your existing WordPress website or other websites like Squarespace and Wix.
If you’re a do-it-yourself (DIY) Wizard and want to set up your DIY website with e-commerce, we can help with the E-commerce implementation. This provides value that saves you stress and ensures that your website and shopping cart are branded consistently with a seamless experience for your customers.
Not sure about the realm of e-commerce and selling online?
Start with a virtual consultation with one of our online Ecwid e-commerce experts. They can help direct you to the best e-commerce solution for your business needs.
We’re here to support small business any way we can. If you have marketing or branding questions, contact us, so we can learn more about your concerns and help you find the best solution.