If you’ve been searching for an e-commerce platform to start a dropshipping business or to take your brick and mortar store into the digital world, you’ve probably heard of Shopify.
Shopify boasts two million active users, making them the most popular e-commerce solution out there. Influencers on YouTube sing their praises and talk constantly about their own successes with the brand, recommending that everyone give Shopify a try.
But if you dig a little deeper into the e-commerce world, you’ll no doubt find Ecwid. Ecwid is also a cloud-based e-commerce solution with a ton of features, but it costs less and has a forever free plan. So, what gives?
Shopify: the “best” e-commerce for your business?
Read the writing on the wall. Or, at least, the reviews on Capterra and Trustpilot. Many people are unhappy with their Shopify experience. So many, in fact, that they could make a small, digital army. Sellers are not happy about:
- Shopify support, which seems to be pinned down by suppressing users’ queries.
- Pricing that skyrockets as merchants add missing functionality by installing multiple apps.
- Dependency on 3rd-party integrations and potentially sub-par code quality.
- Scalability limitations because of the app providers or huge expenses.
- Commissions from purchases if you don’t use Shopify Payments.
- Design limitations that require developers to adjust.
The solution? Maybe giving another platform a try. Here are 19 things we believe make Ecwid better than Shopify. Read on, and don’t forget to share with your friends!
Each e-commerce platform has two types of users: merchants (aka sellers like you!) and partners (agencies, affiliates, product integrations, site builders, etc.). First things first — let’s talk about the benefits for real sellers.
Most of the online sellers face the following challenges starting an e-commerce business:
- Choosing the right technology for their business. There are so many e-commerce “solutions” that it takes forever to compare them and choose the right one.
- A small start-up budget. Business owners grow investments progressively when they see a reasonable return. But it can be difficult to see these types of returns when starting out on a shoestring budget.
- Lack of time and attention. These days, merchants have so many opportunities that it takes all their time just to keep up with the field.
- Lack of tech skills. Merchants and business owners can see their goals clearly but can’t design or explain their plans for implementation. They want solutions, without the hassle of learning complicated coding languages.
- Attracting and retaining customers. The merchants need proper tools to help them launch ad campaigns, set up emails, and get their products listed on the Internet.
- Maintaining long-term growth and scalability. To keep moving forward in the business journey, merchants seek automation, integrations with sales channels, and self-sufficiency to avoid vendor-lock.
To respond to merchant’s needs like these, Ecwid offers a quick-to-set-up solution with built-in automated marketing options (advertising and emails), all at a reasonable price.
Reason 1: Ecwid has a forever free plan
You can use Ecwid for free…forever! With the Forever Free plan, you have access to Instant Site (a one-page e-commerce website), which enables you to start selling your products online without an existing website or coding expertise.
Shopify doesn’t have a Free plan. They only offer a 14-day free trial.
Reason 2: Ecwid is embeddable into any platform
Ecwid is an e-commerce widget that works with all major website platforms: WordPress, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Joomla, GoDaddy, Tumblr, Blogger, and any other CMS or platform that allows you to embed new tools. If you already have a website and all you need is e-commerce capabilities, Ecwid is a clear choice.
Shopify can’t integrate with other platforms, because it’s technically a website builder itself.
Reason 3: Ecwid has No transaction fees
Ecwid never takes a commission (otherwise known as a transaction fee), so more money stays in your pocket.
Shopify takes a 2% transaction fee for each purchase if you don’t use Shopify Payments. If your revenue with Shopify equals $100,000/mo, you’ll be losing a portion of those pretty pennies. With Ecwid, you’ll be saving up to $2,000 monthly. With that money, you could launch a whole lot of ads on Google Shopping!
Reason 4: Ecwid has valuable built-in features (product options, abandoned cart emails)
The idea here is “built-in”. Extensions (or applications) are a fantastic way to add features to the store, but they slow down a site’s load speed, and can even be insecure, as 3rd party developers are not obliged to follow strict standards while writing an application’s code.
Ecwid has many tools built into its toolkit. You don’t have to compare available solutions, install apps that mess up the code, or bother with additional registration. Ecwid is just…ready to go!
Available Ecwid features that Shopify doesn’t have by default:
- Google Shopping allows you to sell on Google.
- Snapchat advertising gets your products in front of Snapchat users.
- Pinterest advertising showcases your best deals on Pinterest.
- Advanced product filters make searching for products more convenient.
- Abandoned cart emails remind the buyers to return to incomplete orders.
- Favorite product reminders ping shoppers about products they liked.
- Wholesale pricing groups allows special prices for exceptional buyers.
- Local delivery zones let you define delivery zones and prices, as easy as drag-n-drop.
- Tips on checkout unlock the ability to accept tips from appreciative customers.
None of these features require installing apps. However, some are only available on paid pricing plans.
Reason 5: Ecwid is business-ready (it’s the fastest-to-market solution)
Ecwid is designed to automate as much of your selling routine as possible. You don’t have to worry about design, coding, integrating services — it’s already there. To start selling with Ecwid, you need a product, a hand, and 10 minutes. The current start-to-launch record is 3 minutes, 51 seconds.
Can you beat that? Send us your videos and tell us all about it!
With Shopify, such levels of automation and ease are impossible. You’ll have to go through the entire website building process to have your products go live online.
Reason 6: Ecwid boasts no manual design labor
Just because you don’t need to customize doesn’t mean you can’t! We know that merchants want their online business to stand out, not just because of their great products, but also because of their eye-catching shop design. Ecwid can help!
We have 70+ free professional design themes, optimized for different niches. All are ready-to-use with just one click. Sound good? It looks even better!
Shopify offers only three free themes, each requiring manual modification to match the look and feel of your products.
Reason 7: Ecwid has demo products
Building an online store from scratch, it can be hard to visualize how it will look in the end. Unless, that is, you have demo-content: products, descriptions, covers.
With Ecwid, you get demo-products showcasing different options, just so you can see what’s possible for your online business. This approach helps a seller understand their shop even before it goes live, and gives you insights on improvements you may want to make. It also demonstrates your products’ features, advantages, and options in a visual, easy-to-understand way.
Comparably, Shopify has no demo products, covers, or automation — only placeholders and instructions.
Reason 8: Ecwid has rich checkout customization
An optimized checkout process can increase an online store’s conversion rate by 35%. That’s what Monica Kozak, a Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy for Bank of America Merchant Services, said in her article for Payment journal.
Ecwid merchants have a number of settings to make their checkout process as smooth as possible. Here some of them:
- Min/max allowed order subtotal to control the average order value.
- Customer phone number input to confirm orders and keep in touch.
- Lifetime link guarantee for downloadable products.
- Related products featured on checkout page to upsell.
- Button for permission for marketing newsletters to comply with GDPR.
- Tips for charity or extra revenue.
- Allow checking out with the phone number instead of email.
- Create a custom checkout process.
Shopify does not allow customization during the checkout process.
Reason 9: Ecwid uses mobile store management application
The Ecwid Store Management Mobile App is a simple, convenient, and secure tool to control and manage your store. Take your store wherever you go and get things done much faster by:
- Creating and manage products
- Fulfilling orders
- Running promotions
- Keeping in touch with your customers
The main thing that makes Ecwid Store Management app unique is that it allows you to launch online sales using only your mobile phone. With this app, you won’t need a website (although Ecwid will automatically create a storefront; you don’t have to use it until you want to).
Shopify also gives you a mobile app, but you will still need a desktop to adjust design and layout.
Reason 10: Ecwid understands localization
It might sound strange, but going global also means staying local. In other words, you have to consider the particulars of the customers you want to sell to, wherever they are. The most obvious factor in this local/global success is language localization. It might sound silly, but it’s worth noting that people will only complete their purchase if they can find the Buy Button.
The transactional emails you send to your customers (order statuses or abandoned cart reminders) should also be translated into the recipient’s language if you want customers to understand them, much less engage with them and respond.
And don’t forget about the merchant (you!). It’s much more comfortable and efficient to manage your store with an admin panel that speaks your language!
Ecwid is an excellent remedy for the pains of localization. We offer 50 languages to automatically localize your store’s most important content, as well as 20 languages for the admin, and 12 for emails.
All this, for free (can you believe?).
What about Shopify? They also provide multilingual admin. But when it comes to your storefront, you have to install a 3rd party localization app and/or upgrade to Shopify Plus plan to have your online store translated to 20 languages (as opposed to Ecwid’s 50). On top of that, not all Shopify themes support content localization workflow. For example, they do not allow localized pages to have their unique URLs — a must-have requirement for localization.
Need more reasons why you should consider Ecwid as a primary Shopify alternative? Check out our honest Ecwid vs. Shopify comparison [with infographics].
Our partners have their own customers (or users) that pursue their own business goals. Some of them are looking for reliable hosting, some want to build a beautiful website, some need guidance with digital marketing and strategy. If they need an e-commerce solution, Ecwid is an excellent white-label partner solution that embeds perfectly not only with websites but with business models!
When a partner offers an e-commerce solution to their customers, they want to feel safe in terms of infrastructure, finance, and reputation. These shared values are what makes Ecwid different.
Reason 11: Ecwid’s branding is flexible
Ecwid is a white-label platform, so partners can completely rebrand it as their own — a big win for expanding a unique brand of services. If partners want to showcase their partnership with Ecwid they have an option to co-brand the platform — an excellent way to build mutual trust.
Shopify does not allow co-branding partnerships. In fact, they don’t do white-label partnerships at all!
Reason 12: Ecwid is embeddable
Ecwid can be integrated into a partner’s platform. For example, if a site builder wants to offer an e-commerce website, they can add Ecwid right into their builder. That way, their customers can manage their websites and stores all from one place. This is a great way for partners to expand their offerings and attract new business.
Reason 13: Ecwid has a flexible reseller program
Ecwid has a unique reseller program that can be scaled for a partner’s individual needs. This might include unique perks or tweaks to the platform or the way it’s delivered to the end-user. In other words, Ecwid works with our partners to make everyone happy.
Shopify’s partnerships are referral or bounty-based, with no reseller model.
Reason 14: Ecwid uses an advanced monetization model
While our reseller program has a membership fee, partners don’t just receive a basic commission payment, like Shopify’s partner program. Partners get wholesale discounts on Ecwid plans and can charge their merchants whatever price they want (either standalone or bundled with their other services). The ability to set their own prices and manage their own customer billing lets Ecwid partners scale their business, to great success.
Reason 15: Ecwid’s high average ROI
Given the ability to set their own prices to end-users, our partners have greater control over their ROI. This ability to change the prices and influence income by integrating with Ecwid unlocks excellent opportunities to increase margins and scale both rapidly and securely.
Shopify can’t offer this to their partners, as they have only a fixed commission program.
Reason 16: Ecwid doesn’t take processing/transaction fees
Ecwid works with a large variety of payment gateways without fees, something we’ve touched on for merchants. But this is also a huge selling point for partners. Partner’s clients can use their preferred payment methods, partners can integrate their own payment system, or additional payment gateways can get integrated into the platform for all merchants.
There is no processing fee for partners and no transaction fees for merchants.
Reason 17: Ecwid’s experts are friendly
Shopify takes 10% (plus tax) from any job that a Shopify Expert gets through their marketplace.
We feature Ecwid Experts on our page without taking a percentage to make them more accessible for merchants. Why? Because we put our merchants’ growth and our partners’ success first!
Reason 18: Ecwid: a universal partner API
Ecwid provides a single rich RESTful API to all our partners for automatic account provisioning, additional integrations, and customization. If your existing API does not allow you to achieve your goals, our Partner Operations team is by your side to listen and pass you over to the development team to consider adjustments, as needed.
Shopify offers several APIs for different types of users: developers, admins, analysts. But cases where you won’t be able to get the required data (or action) with a single request may occur.
Reason 19: Ecwid looks and feels the way you want it to
Partners can customize plans and features for their clients. For example, if they only want to offer a certain payment gateway or certain apps, we can customize their store control panels.
Can Shopify do that? No, no, and no.
Do you need a real example of how our partners win the game? Check out How Adding White Label E-commerce Scaled an Agency’s SaaS Revenue by 500 percent.
There you have it: 19 reasons Ecwid is the best Shopify alternative. Whether you’re a merchant or a partner, we hope you found our guide useful in finding the right e-commerce solution for your needs.