Decided to take your business online? Good, you are well on the way to getting your cash bells ringing, although the road ahead is paved with a lot of choices, some right and some definitely wrong. If you are someone who has been scoping out eCommerce solutions recently, you would have definitely come across the platform Shopify.
Another eCommerce platform that you would have recently come across, is Ecwid.
While both Ecwid and Shopify are powerful eCommerce solutions that enable businesses to sell online, there are certain nuances that you need to learn about before picking one.
As eCommerce experts who have helped thousands of businesses go online over the past few years, we know both these platforms in and out. We also get a lot of questions as to which platform to choose, how to migrate from Ecwid to Shopify, and more. So we have decided to answer all your queries in this comprehensive post, along with detailed instructions as to how to migrate from Ecwid to Shopify.
Comparison of Ecwid and Shopify
Ecwid is more of a plugin that lets you add eCommerce functionalities to a website, rather than a full blown eCommerce solution. Shopify on the other hand is a much more comprehensive eCommerce platform that lets you build an entire online store from scratch.
Both these solutions come with their own strengths and weaknesses, which is why we are comparing them to see which solution you might need.
Here are the following five parameters we are going to use to compare Ecwid with Shopify:
- Ease of use
- Design Flexibility
- Customer support
- eCommerce Tools and Features
1. Ease of use
When compared to the ease of use of both these solutions, Ecwid is the easier eCommerce platform, since it is positioned in the market itself as a beginner-friendly solution. Adding Ecwid to your website is a question of just a couple of clicks, and you can do this without the need to hire a pesky developer or learn to write code.
Add the Ecwid widget to your site’s backend and voila- you are good to go. If you have a website builder like Wix, the process is even simpler, and all you have to do is download the Ecwid plugin. Websites such as Weebly, Squarespace, GoDaddy and WordPress also have special Ecwid plugins.
Shopify may sound like a lot more work in comparison, since you have to set up an entire online store from scratch, but Shopify’s systems are surprisingly simple to use. You don’t need to worry about coding, hosting or managing updates, and the onboarding process that Shopify has adopted is super helpful. Customizing and adding new products, tracking your inventory, getting quotes from suppliers, all this is done with the help of apps.
Shopify comes with an easy-to-use builder as well, that makes it as easy as selecting the blocks you want to display on every page.
So when we recommend an eCommerce platform based on the ease of use, we are team Shopify. The reason is that as you grow your business, you will need more than the capabilities of a plugin to run your online store. Setting aside a little time now will go a long way!
2. Design Flexibility
You don’t want your website to look anything similar to another website serving the same customers in your market, and this is where design flexibility of your website comes into picture. Ecwid integrates easily with your website’s original design, meaning there is not much customization required and the online store looks and feels pretty much like an extension of your website.
There is limited customization available, for instance, you can change the look of your layouts, tweak various image sizes, add new descriptions etc. But the catch is that most of these customizations come with predefined options, like, for instance, you can choose small, medium or large images but you can’t resize them to a custom size.
Shopify, on the other hand, comes with close to seventy predefined themes covering industries such as food and drink, furniture and electronics. You can play around with any part of your theme to pick the one that you feel is best, including colours and image layouts. If you are a good coder, you can put all your HTML and CSS skills to good use since Shopify gives you access to code- level customization.
Our verdict: When it comes to design flexibility, Shopify wins hands-down over Ecwid, thanks to the sheer number of customization options available. Ecwid’s design capabilities are limited, and Shopify gives you access to code when it comes to customizing your online store’s design, and we can’t really argue with that! You can also work with Shopify design experts in our team to further tailor how your store looks.
Ecwid has a free plan, followed by three paid plans. The Venture plan starts at $15 paid monthly, followed by the Business plan at $35 and the Unlimited plan at $99. With the free plan, you can sell on multiple websites, use Ecwid’s Instant Site builder, and sell upto a maximum of 10 products.
If you just want to launch your online store and test waters, we recommend the free plan. It does not cover the more advanced aspects such as access to app market or inventory tracking though. For this you need the Venture plan, which covers a lot of features that the free plan doesn’t, as mentioned above, plus an increase in the number of products to 100 and the ability to sell on social media.
If you want to sell on marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay, we suggest you go with the Business or the Unlimited plan, which gives you access to all of Ecwid features.
Coming to Shopify, there are three plans, which include the Basic Shopify plan that starts at $29, the Shopify plan that starts at $79 monthly, and the advanced Shopify plan for $299 monthly.Unlike Ecwid, Shopify gives access to almost all of its features to all three plans, with the exception of professional reports and third-party calculated shipping rates for the Basic Shopify plan. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial to all their plans and there is also a Shopify Lite plan that comes at $9 per month.
As to the question of who provides the better pricing, we have to side with Shopify. This is because although Ecwid offers a great plan for those who are absolute starters at a cheap rate, most of the really useful features such as inventory tracking are only available with the advanced plans.
4. Customer Support
When you are starting out building your online store, you need all the help you can get, and Customer support is something you need to look at closely before choosing between Ecwid and Shopify.
Ecwid’s free plan comes with no support at all, although there is a lot of information provided on the Ecwid website. With the premium plans, you get support such as live chat, phone and email support, video guides and priority support for the subscribers of the most expensive plan. Ecwid provides support in five languages.
Shopify easily wins this round, with most of the plans coming with in-built options such as 24 x 7 support, social media support, live chat center and an advanced specialist support for the members of the most premium subscription plan. A dedicated support agent to help you out with your queries, well now there is no competing with that!
But the good thing is that if you’re someone who likes to build things on their own, Shopify has such an extensive knowledge base that you will find all your how-tos in there. There is also a community that you can become a part of to get answers to more pressing questions.
5. eCommerce marketing and sales tools
Without sales, the purpose of your eCommerce store falls flat and there is no point building an eCommerce store. Both Ecwid and Shopify come with a set of tools and features that let you build awesome experiences for your customers.
Ecwid comes with a range of tools that cater to all your customer needs including Inventory tracking, promotion and discount creation, abandoned cart saver, integration to multiple sales channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Amazon etc.
Shopify also comes with its own set of features that help you serve your customers better, including abandoned checkout recovery, automatic tax handling, dropshipping, POS integration for in-person sales, among others. There is a feature within Shopify where your inventory is tracked, and, once the items are sold out, the system automatically stops accepting new orders. Shopify also allows you to add free shipping and real-time updates to your customers, meaning that the customer is always kept in loop as to the status of their order.
And for everything else that you can imagine for implementing a marketing or a sales strategy, there are thousands of apps to choose from. With over 4k+ plug and play apps available in the Shopify app store, no task is difficult to execute!
As to the winner in this section, we would again side with Shopify, since the scope of its features and the app store far outranks that of Ecwid. Shopify gives you features that help you scale your online business to a large scale a lot more, and moves hand in hand with your long-term growth plans.
Which is better: Shopify vs Ecwid
Now that you have seen how both these eCommerce platforms compare over a variety of parameters, you may be wondering which one to choose for your business.
While Ecwid is better for those who just want to add a small online-store component to their website, Shopify is better for those looking to build a comprehensive online store for their products. No matter what you sell or where your ideal customer is located, you want flexibility in your online store if you want to succeed.
Shopify offers you a level of flexibility that cannot be matched by Ecwid, and, as eCommerce experts who have years of experience helping businesses go online, we strongly recommend Shopify.
Ready to get started on Shopify? Reach out to us today.
If you have a store on Ecwid and you have plateaued in terms of growth, it’s time to step into the Shopify ecosystem. And yes, you can migrate from Ecwid to Shopify!
How to migrate from Ecwid to Shopify
Step 1 : Create a website on Shopify
As the first step, sign up to Shopify, explore the various features that the platform provides. Provide details such as why you are signing up for the platform, your industry and your email address, which will later be used for billing purposes.
Step 2: Customize your homepage
Start customizing your homepage by selecting your theme, either from the Shopify design library or from one of the premium designs in the Shopify theme store. Once the template is fixed, start adding the relevant sections to your online store.
Step 3: Add new pages
This step is self- explanatory. Add new pages to your homepage, fill out the required fields, add content, insert media, etc. Basically make your eCommerce store come to life.
Step 4: Import your Ecwid web store data into your new Shopify site
There are two approaches when it comes to importing your Ecwid web store data into your Shopify site, depending on the number of products you have to sell through your online store. The first approach, which applies if you have a smaller number of products, is to manually add all the products, content, specifications, SEO parameters and cost through the sidebar.
If there are a large number of products, you would have to go the CSV way. Import all the details mentioned above into a CSV file, from the Control panel of your Ecwid web page.
Use this method to import customer lists and website content into your website as well.
Step 5: Preview
This step is just a quality check, to make sure you have exported all your product content properly onto your website. Make sure all the product details are filled completely on your website, and, if you own a large online store, make sure that the stocks of products are accurately tracked and the product availability is easily available.
The next crucial step in this process is to transfer your domain name and publish your online store.
Transferring your Ecwid domain name to Shopify
- Login to Ecwid, go to “My Domains” page, choose the domain you want to move, click on “Advanced” and then click on the “Transfer away from Ecwid” tab.
- Email yourself the EPP code and specify the Shopify domain transfer route. The migration usually takes seven days.
- Make sure you adjust the settings about payments, shipping and tax options before you start to sell your products, through the Shopify dashboard.
Transferring your own domain name to Shopify
If you have bought a domain name outside of Ecwid, you can transfer it in two ways - either by transferring it to Shopify or by connecting it to your new account.
The steps are pretty straightforward, and involves you logging into your domain name provider account and unlocking the domain name you want to move. You then get an authorization code, which you use in the Shopify admin panel.
It takes close to twenty days to complete the transfer successfully.
Connecting your own domain name to Shopify
If transferring your own domain name to your Shopify account is too much of a hassle, you can connect your own domain name to your Shopify account. This again involves adding your domain in the Shopify admin panel, where you have a “Connect existing Domain” in the “Domains” tab.
If you have purchased your domain from a third party vendor, you will have to modify a few DNS settings, which again is a simple procedure.
If you are planning an online store for your business to last a long time, it only makes sense to migrate from Ecwid to Shopify. As we mentioned, building an online store from scratch gives you results in the long run, and Shopify offers you plenty of bandwidth for growth.
If you need help migrating from Ecwid to Shopify, you can always contact Xgentech. We will help you figure out which platform will suit your particular business, or help you learn more about each so that you can make an informed decision.