Ecwid vs Shopify: Which is best for dropshipping and eCommerce?
Most people think about Shopify when building a dropshipping store. But there are other websites like Shopify to create your online boutique. For example, Ecwid seems cheaper than Shopify, but which platform is best for dropshipping and other eCommerce businesses?
I used my personal experience and some extensive research to give the best comparison between Ecwid and Shopify. This post is a comparison article about “Ecwid vs Shopify” and tells which platform may be better for your dropshipping business.
Ecwid and Shopify are two eCommerce website builders allowing you to sell physical products, digital downloads, software, services, and create membership sites on your store. The two platforms offer various sales channels to expand your reach and find more customers. It is possible to market on social media, other websites, and existing marketplaces like Amazon.
Both Ecwid and Shopify are Saas companies, but there are some differences in prices and how you use each platform. For example, Ecwid focuses on eCommerce for everyone, meaning low fees and selling on the most marketplaces possible. In contrast, Shopify offers a complete and powerful suite of tools to create and host your own online shop.
While Ecwid is widely used as an eCommerce widget, Shopify is used mainly for dropshipping and drop servicing.
Shopify and Ecwid sales channels
Diversifying your sales channels allow you to expand your reach and appeal to more prospects. Ecwid and Shopify help you integrate your store to other online platforms using tags, shortcodes (HTML code), buy buttons, and the shopping cart icon. You can use the Buy Button to embed checkout buttons and product cards to your blog or website.
Both platforms have specific plans or additional features that facilitate integration with popular content management systems like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.
Here are some of the most common sales channels for Ecwid and Shopify.
Ecwid helps you integrate your store to other online platforms using tags, shortcodes, buy buttons, and the shopping cart icon. The Ecwid plugin for WordPress allows you to add your store to WordPress. Ecwid has specific plans to allow Wix users to transform a website into an eCommerce site.
Shopify gives you access to multiple sales channels. You can use the Buy Button to embed checkout buttons and product cards to your blog or website. The ShopWP WordPress plugin allows you to sell on your WordPress website. Using the Wix shopping cart and the Shopify buy button allows you to sell on any Wite site.
Ecwid sales channels and marketplaces
Here are the Ecwid sales channels and marketplaces you can use to increase sales:
- Ecwid online store
- Using Ecwid widgets or the buy button on Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Joomla, and other CMS
- Google Shopping
- VK Market
- Point of sale (POS) for Clover and Square
- Go app for iOS device
- PayPal Here mPOS
- Square Reader pairs with the Ecwid Ecom mobile app
- Expand your Etsy business with Ecwid
Shopify sales channels and marketplaces
Here are some Shopify sales channels and marketplaces you can use to get more sales:
- Shopify online store
- Using the buy button on Weebly, Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, and other CMS
- Walmart marketplace
- Amazon by Codisto
- Facebook channel for Facebook and Instagram
- Point of sale (POS) for Clover and Square
- JD Marketplace
- Sell wholesale on Handshake
- Shopify shop channel for mobile
- Google channel to utilize the Google Merchant Center
- Shopify Inbox app
- Tapcart (Mobile App Builder for Shopify)
- Cdiscount marketplace
- Rakuten Ichiba
- The Cross‑Store Sales Channel
- Mothership drop shipping networks
It is only a sample of where you can advertise your products but it is impossible to cover everything in one article. For example, some people use other social media platforms like Tumblr and Snapchat. And others benefit from marketing tools like Unbounce or Getresponse to automate their marketing strategy.
Shopify and Ecwid also have a “Market Your Business” section where you will find relevant information on how to use email, Facebook, Google, and business chat to market your products.
Many people also take advantage of point-of-sale systems to sell more products. Ecwid and Shopify POS systems can help you secure sales if you participate in professional events and organize a product demonstration. Retailers and merchants with brick-and-mortar stores can benefit from online sales and in-person transactions.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Ease of Use
Both Ecwid and Shopify platforms are easy to use. They are beginner-friendly and do not require coding or any previous technical knowledge. Some people may argue that it is easier to start a store with Ecwid, which is true to a certain extent. However, you have so many Shopify tutorials and courses that you can not get stuck at any point when you are building your store.
Regardless of your level, you can find help to build your store on each platform. Shopify offers many resources on its website and has several YouTube channels containing video tutorials. Ecwid’s website has resources like video tutorials, guides, and the Ecwid Academy. You can also find more tutorials on the Ecwid by Lightspeed YouTube channel. Shopify Learn and Ecwid Academy are full of courses designed to guide you while building your online store.
When you register on Ecwid and Shopify, you get a free domain by default. I recommend using the free domain for a few weeks while building your store and testing the platform.
Default URL form for Ecwid users: https://store12345.company.site
Default URL form for Shopify users: https://your-shop-name.myshopify.com
At the end of your Shopify 14-day trial or when you feel ready to launch your online shop, it will be time to buy a custom domain name. Ecwid also provides web hosting through AWS with its fully-hosted e-commerce plan.
But I recommend using Bluehost or Siteground if you are getting started. Cloudways is a better hosting option if you want to build a high-traffic online shop or an eCommerce store that requires a lot of bandwidth.
I do not recommend purchasing a domain name from Shopify unless you are 100% sure you will not transfer your store to another platform. If you want to have the freedom to move your shop on WordPress, Wix, Ecwid, or another CMS, things will be much easier.
When I built my very first Shopify store, it took me around three weeks to launch a fully customized multiple products store. It was a mistake, and it is better to concentrate on 1-3 products at the beginning.
Creating a high ticket niche store with less than 20 products will be most profitable and easy to start. Ecwid and Shopify are great to start branded drop shipping.
Now, I know by experience that a beginner can realistically create a one-product store in under two weeks. You can understand how the platform works in a few days, but some elements may delay your launch; for example, vetting suppliers may take some time (contact suppliers, order samples, test products, get approved).
Both platforms allow you to add your products to Wix, WordPress, SquareSpace, and Weebly without the use of coding and previous technical knowledge. You can use the Shopify buy button to sell your products on your other websites for an extra $9 a month. Similarly, the Ecwid buy now button acts as a shopping cart extension you can easily add to other websites.
Shopify has a dedicated platform (Oberlo and DSERS) that links suppliers directly with drop shippers. This makes it easy to source, process, and fulfill orders. Although Oberlo primarily uses Chinese suppliers, you can find US-based or local suppliers using their filter feature.
Both Ecwid and Shopify have a help center and a blog full of information on finding the best suppliers for your online store. They use informational content to help their customers and attract new prospects.
Developers can use HTML and CSS to customize a store by adding additional codes. Plus, you can find a freelancer on Fiverr to build or customize your online store if you want.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Which is Cheaper?
Launching a dropshipping business is not expensive, which is what is most attractive about this business model. However, Ecwid and Shopify have different pricing plans. And it would be better to take the time to compare their packages to get the best profit margin.
Plans pricing and Payable Fees
When considering the cost of operating both platforms in terms of plans and fees payable, Ecwid seems cheaper than Shopify. At first glance, Ecwid is cheaper than Shopify, and we shall explain why. Ecwid has a free plan, while Shopify offers a free 14-day trial.
Ecwid’s free plan makes it stand out and is unique among other providers. But like with many freebies, it comes with limited product listing and eCommerce functionalities. Ecwid may be best for those starting a small online store that offers basic eCommerce functionalities.
|Shopify Pricing||Ecwid Pricing|
|14-day trial||Free plan with limited options|
|Shopify Basic ($29/month)||Venture ($15/month)|
|Shopify ($79/month)||Business ($35/month)|
|Shopify Advanced ($299/month)||Unlimited $99/month)|
|2.4 to 2.9% + $0.3 per transaction||No transaction fees|
A Shopify store has no product limitation on any plan but you should consider the ShopifyPlus plan if you have a large business that handles large volumes.
On the other hand, the maximum number of products for an Ecwid store is:
- 10 for the free plan
- 100 for the venture plan
- 2,500 for the business plan
- no limitation for the unlimited plan
Ecwid also offers around 17% off on the monthly price if you decide to pay annually.
Shopify also has plans for small businesses and large corporations. Shopify Lite, which starts at $9/month, caters to ventures who want a minimal version of Shopify that enables them to add products to their online store and start receiving payments instantly. Shopify Plus is an enterprise-grade solution for businesses with vast and diverse needs.
When it comes to payable fees, Ecwid still bests Shopify. For starters, while Ecwid waives fees on every transaction, Shopify charges within 2.4 to 2.9%. Plus, you have a fixed $0.3 on every transaction when you use other payment gateways than Shopify payments.
We can compare Ecwid’s business plan to Shopify basic which costs about the same price.
Ecwid Business Plan ($29.17/month if paid annually)
- Mobile Point-of-Sale
- Store management app
- E-goods: 25GB per file
- Discount coupons
- Automated tax calculations
- Google Shopping
- Access to app market
- Inventory management
- Advanced SEO tools
- Social media tools
- Live chat support
- E-goods: 25GB per file
- Wholesale pricing groups
- Abandoned cart saver
- eBay US integration
- Create orders
- Product dimensions
- Phone support
- 2 hours of custom development
Shopify Basic Plan ($29.17/month)
- Online Store including ecommerce website and blog.
- Unlimited products
- 2 staff accounts
- 24/7 support
- Sales channels
- Up to 4 inventory locations
- Manual order creation
- Discount codes
- Free SSL certificate
- Abandoned cart recovery
- Gift cards
- Up to 77% shipping discount
- Shipping labels
- Fraud analysis
- Shopify POS Lite
- International market management
- Market domains and subfolders
- Language translation
- Currency conversion
- Local payment methods
Ecwid vs Shopify: Applications and Integration
Shopify and Ecwid eCommerce solution lets you harness different business models, and dropshipping is no exception. But Shopify does more to support drop shippers in terms of applications and integration than Ecwid.
While Ecwid does not have dropshipping functions services out of the box, they provide the means to access it via third-party apps like Wholesale2b. Setting up dropshipping businesses on Ecwid requires more manual work than Shopify.
However, you can still connect your website to suppliers (e.g., via Alibaba, eBay, Amazon) and migrate products via third-party extensions.
On the other hand, pairing Oberlo and Shopify makes things much easier for drop shippers. Everything from product sourcing to product addition, inventory management, and even order fulfillment and tracking. Asides from Oberlo, there are several drop shipping applications in Shopify’s app store that sellers can choose from depending on their specific needs.
Both Ecwid and Shopify have app stores and tools to facilitate eCommerce and dropshipping:
- responsive themes for website designs,
- marketing software and apps
- apps for sales conversion
- SEO tools
- inventory management software
- and much more
The number of apps available on the Shopify app store grew from 3,200 in January 2020 to 6,000 in June 2021. Meanwhile, Ecwid’s app market contains only a few hundred apps. Ecwid has a limited number of apps because the platform mainly relies on widgets and plugins to improve functionality.
Both platforms have enough apps, plugins, widgets, or add-ons to satisfy most online store owners. And a recent article on TechCrunch states that a merchant uses six apps on average to run a Shopify store. But if you want a wider choice and most customization, Shopify may be a better choice for you.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Payment support options
Payment providers allow you to process transactions using popular payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, and Paypal.
Integrations with PayPal Express checkout in Shopify and Ecwid are straightforward. But it would be best to set up two payment gateways before launching your online store. Most drop shippers pair Paypal with another one available in their country.
Both Shopify and Ecwid manage to be quite impressive in their payment support options, but Shopify offers more online payment processing services. While Ecwid supports about 85 local and international payment gateway solutions, Shopify allows over 100 payment options on its platform.
Some of the notable payment gateways for Ecwid and Shopify available in the US are;
- PayPal Express Checkout
- Authorize.Net Accept Hosted
- Chase Paymentech Orbital (Chase Integrated Payments)
Shopify supports most of the platforms available on Ecwid with the addition of;
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Shopify also accepts cryptocurrency payments and has cash on delivery in specific locations.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Shipping and fulfillment options
Delivering products in time to the consumer is the final aspect of the dropshipping social contract. And in that regard, many reviews show that Ecwid and Shopify both do a great job.
Both platforms enable sellers to determine which shipping method works best for them. Sellers can offer local pickups in-store or by the curbside, flat rate shipping, free shipping, and a weight-based shipping method.
Better yet, if the manufacturer in question supports direct-to-consumer shipping, merchants can allow them (manufacturer) to handle it. At the same time, they track and ensure order fulfillment from their dropshipping platform.
In addition, Shopify also has the Shopify Fulfillment Network. For those wondering, it is an end-to-end solution dedicated to ensuring that dropshipping merchants spend less time worrying about order fulfillment and more time on other critical aspects of their brand.
The Shopify Fulfillment Network provides the following to drop shippers;
- Order management
- Inventory management
- Shipping and order fulfillment
Ecwid vs Shopify: Pros and Cons
They have all the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Shopify for dropshipping.
Pros of Shopify
- Vibrant, responsive, and customizable website templates
- Dedicated payment gateway with Shopify payments
- Dedicated dropshipping platforms (DSERS and Oberlo)
- A vast collection of 3rd party apps
- Shopify multi-language app
- Excellent customer support
- Simple to use
- It supports several payment methods
- You can write blog posts to drive free traffic to your store
- Point of sale available with Shopify POS
Cons of Shopify
- It may be more complicated to use due to the several 3rd party apps
- Transaction fees cut into profit margins
- Limits on product options and categories
- Plans are pretty expensive when compared to other eCommerce platforms
Pros of Ecwid
- Readily available and very easy to use
- Free option available for small businesses
- Plugins support top website platforms like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace
- Multi-language support
- You can use a mini-blog to your Ecwid store
- Point of sale available with Square POS
Cons of Ecwid
- A limited number of applications in the store
- The free version is quite limited in function
- Restricted design options
- Unflexible SEO functionalities
Main differences between Ecwid and Shopify
Ecwid and Shopify are both eCommerce store builders also offering POS systems to sell in person anywhere. They also provide a fully functional app (the Ecwid by Lightspeed mobile app and the Shopify app) for iPhone and Android to manage your store from your smartphone.
Here are 10 similarities and differences between Shopify and Ecwid:
- Shopify has more powerful dedicated tools for dropshipping like DSERS and Oberlo. However, Spocket, Whole2b, and ShipStation are available on the two platforms.
- Ecwid offers a free plan and is cheaper than Shopify
- Both Shopify and Ecwid allow print-on-demand but Shopify have much more apps to manage your POD business like Printful, Printify, and SPOD.
- Shopify offers in-house fulfillment services with the Shopify fulfillment network, and Ecwid also has fulfillment services called eFulfillment Service.
- Ecwid has product numbers limitations on most plan while all Shopify plans are unlimited.
- Both platforms offer a reliable hosting solution.
- Ecwid eliminates transaction fees on each sale, whereas Shopify charges a percentage per sale that varies depending on your subscription plan.
- It is easy to create a subscription business on Shopify and Ecwid.
- Their partner programs give you other ways to earn money: app development, affiliate, resellers, white labelling, becoming a shopify or Ecwid expert.
- They provide tutorials and support to help you build a successful online business.
Final thoughts on Ecwid vs Shopify
Shopify is more popular than Ecwid and provides more resources to build a large variety of stores. Shopify is widely used to create small projects and large complex dropshipping or retail stores. In the 2022 report of G2 Crowd Grid, for the 7th consecutive year, Shopify was named the number one eCommerce platform.
On the other hand, Ecwid seems more appropriate for beginners on a budget. It is easy to use, and you can get a functional store live quickly. Although it comes with some limitations, Ecwid is perfectly operational for a small-to-medium store. Ecwid is a straightforward and cheap alternative to Shopify, especially if you already have a website.