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Shopify vs Ecwid

Shopify vs Ecwid - Which E-commerce Platform is Best?

E-commerce Platforms

Author: Lacho Shoykov min read
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Are you wondering what’s the best way to get started with your e-commerce journey?

You’ve probably heard about dozens of platforms, among which are Shopify and Ecwid.

Understanding what makes each of them stand out is important for making an informed decision that supports your e-commerce growth in the long run.

Shopify and Ecwid have certain similarities with regard to their purpose but are vastly different in their capability and execution.

Shopify is a standalone e-commerce platform, while Ecwid is a widget you can plug into most websites.

Which one is right for you depends on your needs, skills, budget, business requirements, and much more.

In this article, we’ll compare Shopify and Ecwid in detail, so you can make up your mind and choose the right platform for you.

Let’s dive right in.

Shopify: Pros and Cons Summed Up

Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world today. It currently supports over 4,000,000 stores and that number is rapidly growing.

The main reasons why Shopify is so successful are its:

  • User-friendly interface

  • Adaptable design features

  • Effortless technical upkeep

  • Access to more than 8,000 ready-to-use applications for enhanced features

  • Exceptional round-the-clock customer support

Out of the box, it offers one of the most sophisticated e-commerce toolsets that enable merchants to build, customize, and promote their online stores, in any way they want.

  • Shopify is renowned for its ease of use, plug-and-play solutions, and stellar customer support. From configuring your store at the start to extending its functionalities with some of its over 8,000 apps later on, you’ll never need to touch any code.

  • While Shopify can seem somewhat limiting for high-end retailers that desire total creative freedom, it makes up for it in robustness and zero-effort maintenance. From the get-go, Shopify takes care of the domain, hosting, security, and a bunch of other features of your site automatically.

  • Since Shopify is a self-hosted service, it implements centralized control over every aspect of its ecosystem. This includes apps, themes, customer support, partnership programs, and dozens of built-in e-commerce features that help you sell more at scale.

Keep in mind that centralized control is not the case with open-source platforms like WordPress where there is an amalgamation of software that you select and bundle together to build your own online store while hoping they don’t crash.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of Shopify is its somewhat higher price point compared to various other solutions.

Shopify is the Apple of e-commerce and as such, its solutions are premium quality but often come at a premium price.

However, the added utility of Shopify is often well worth it.

Ecwid: Pros and Cons Summed Up

Ecwid, which is now owned by Lightspeed stands for E-commerce Widget.

As such, it’s not a standalone e-commerce platform, but an extension that you can plug into your existing site.

The main highlights of Ecwid are its:

  • Completely free starter plan and relatively cheap monthly plans.

  • Flexibility to get plugged into any existing website or social media profile.

  • Instant website feature for one-page websites.

As of early 2024, there are just under 175,000 stores running on the Ecwid platform.

Out of the gate, Ecwid is the obvious underdog compared to Shopify.

In the world of e-commerce, popularity is a huge factor as it drives the development of various extensions and integrations for different software.

While this isn’t critical at the start, it becomes an increasingly more limiting factor as your store grows.

Moreover, it’s much harder to find Ecwid store specialists, dedicated support and maintenance, as well as fully integrated plugins for it.

When going through Reddit forums that compared Ecwid to Shopify, one of the most common replies is that people haven’t heard of Ecwid.

  • However, Ecwid does have some saving graces. For starters, it has a completely free plan that allows you to play around with the platform indefinitely, albeit with certain limitations. Shopify’s free trial lasts only 3 days.

  • Furthermore, Ecwid’s flexibility to be plugged into whatever website or social media you use is a great asset for beginner retailers. The only thing you need to do is copy a piece of code into your backend and you’re ready to go.

  • Ecwid is also renowned for its instant website feature which allows merchants to set up one-page websites with all the e-commerce functionalities they need to start selling.

It’s worth noting that the Shopify Lite plan offers similar capability to users who don’t need a standalone store to sell their products.

Shopify vs. Ecwid - The Definitive Comparison

In this section, we’ll compare Shopify and Ecwid based on specific criteria, so you can understand which one is best for you.

Which one is easier to use? - It depends

Ecwid and Shopify are both incredibly easy to use with intuitive admin panels that allow you to manage your entire online store without any coding.

To only exception to this is that you need to insert Ecwid as a piece of code into your website, but that’s a single copy-paste operation.

One could argue that Ecwid’s basic stores are easier to build than Shopify’s, especially their instant websites.

However, Ecwid’s platform is generally more limited than Shopify in terms of features and capabilities. Thus, Shopify has a higher skill ceiling and is harder to master, while both are easy to get started.

Which one costs less? - Ecwid wins

Ecwid and Shopify both offer tiered monthly price plans but Ecwid’s are within the $0-$99 range, while Shopify’s are within the $5-$399 if you don’t count its enterprise solution, Shopify Plus.

Ecwid Pricing

ecwid official pricing page screenshot

Ecwid's pricing plans at a glance

Apart from being cheaper, Ecwid also boasts a free version which allows merchants to get acquainted with the widget free of charge.

The free plan isn’t time constricted but has severe limitations in terms of features, and most notably its number of products is limited to 5.

Ecwid Plan
Price paid annually (25% off)
  • Ecwid’s Venture plan comes at $19 per month and is limited to 100 products. However, it brings some features for social media sales, live chat support, discount coupons, and more.

  • Ecwid’s Business plan comes at $39 and allows you to sell on marketplaces, get abandoned cart recovery, and multilingual features, sell subscriptions, and have access to customer support via phone.

  • Ecwid’s highest-paid plan at $99, the Unlimited, offers unlimited products and staff accounts and comes with POS integrations, and mobile app branding options.

Shopify Pricing

While Shopify’s monthly costs are generally higher, Shopify does offer a 3-day free trial, followed by a one-time $1 for 3 months trial so you can dive into the e-commerce platform with almost zero financial investment.

Here are Shopify’s plans at a glance:

shopify official pricing page screenshot

Shopify Starter
Shopify Basic
Shopify Advanced
Shopify Plus
Paid monthly
TPaid annually (25% off)
  • Shopify Starter is the cheapest plan and it allows you to integrate Shopify’s backend infrastructure into your social media. In essence, you slap a button on top of your social media and start selling, while managing everything through the Shopify Admin. However, you can’t build a standalone store with this plan.

  • Shopify Basic comes at 32$ a month and is equipped with unlimited products and support, up to 1,000 inventory locations, abandoned cart recovery, discount codes, and much more.

  • The Shopify plan costs $92 and unlocks more sophisticated tracking reports, as well as a bundle of extra features that help you sell more at scale.

  • The Shopify advanced plan costs $399 and is suitable for mid to large-sized retailers, arming them with even more tools to start selling and shipping internationally with ease.

  • Lastly, Shopify Plus is Shopify’s enterprise solution that brings the best rates and most sophisticated features to help successful retailers shift into even higher gear, but it costs $2000.

It’s good to know that while it’s not necessary, you might want to spend extra money on a premium theme or app to get a specific functionality for your store.

Read more about Shopify Pricing in 2024.

Which one has better themes and customization options? - Shopify wins

Shopify has close to 180 themes while Ecwid has only 40.

As of early 2024, the Shopify theme store has over 170 themes, out of which 12 are free.

Ecwid has 40, but those can be extended, depending on the main platform you plug Ecwid in.

Ecwid’s themes are arguably easier to use, especially the ones for their instant one-page websites.

However, in a brute force comparison, Shopify’s themes are on average more polished, bring in higher conversions, and have many more customization options than Ecwid’s.

Moreover, the Shopify platform allows for much greater flexibility in terms of added design and functionality.

Which one has better Sales & Marketing Features? - Shopify wins

Shopify offers a comprehensive e-commerce marketing suite.

Both Ecwid and Shopify have robust marketing and sales features, including discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, the ability to sell on multiple channels, tracking the results of campaigns, and much more.

However, out of the box, Shopify comes with a larger arsenal of features built-in to promote and sell your physical and digital products across platforms.

While Ecwid is free to start, you’ll only unlock the same tier of features with its paid plans.

With both pieces of software, you’re able to further extend your online store’s functionalities with regards to sales and marketing, by integrating apps or extensions into them

Paypal Card Processing Fee on WordPress
Sales inside the US
2.9% + 30 cents
Sales outside the US
From 3.4% + 30 cents to 4.9% + 30 cents

Which one has better Apps and Add-Ons? - Shopify wins

When it comes to Apps and Extensions Shopify completely blows Ecwid out of the water with its 8,000 apps compared to Ecwid’s 40.

This is one of the most significant differences between the two platforms.

The sheer size of Shopify’s ecosystem of apps and integrations runs circles around Ecwid in terms of added functionality and customization options.

Which one has better payment processors and transaction fees? - it depends

Which one has better payment processors and transaction fees? -Shopify Payments

Shopify’s in-house payment processor

Payment processing fees are an inescapable staple of the world of commerce.

Every card payment you process is liable to a card processing fee depending on the conditions of your payment processor.

The difference between Ecwid and Shopify is twofold.

First, Shopify has an in-house payment gateway called Shopify Payments, which seamlessly streamlines all of your online and offline payments.

Ecwid is reliant on third-party processors like Paypal, Square, or Stripe.

Let’s see an example of card processing fees for the US market

Shopify Plan
Shopify Basic
Shopify Advanced
Shopify Payments Card Processing Fee
2.9% + 30 cents
2.6% + 30 cents
2.6% + 30 cents


Payment Processor
Card Processing Fee In the US
2.9% + 30 cents
3.49% + 49 cents
3.5$ + 15 cents

Shopify Payments is clearly superior to some of the other leading payment processors in terms of processing fees.

However, there is a pitfall. Shopify Payments isn’t available worldwide, but only to a set of countries.

Moreover, if you don’t use Shopify Payments, you’ll be subject to an extra transaction fee from Shopify.

Here are Shopify’s transaction fees at a glance:

Shopify Plan
Shopify Basic
Shopify Advanced
Transaction fee when using Shopify Payments
Transaction fee when not using Shopify Payments

Ecwid has no extra transaction fees.

Which one has better Shipping & Logistics Integrations? - Shopify wins

Shopify offers advanced logistical solutions for international commerce.

When it comes to Shipping & Logistics Integrations, Shopify outshines Ecwid.

Shopify offers a broader range of integrations with major carriers, enhanced by features like Shopify Locations for managing inventory across multiple sites, and the Shopify Fulfillment Network for efficient warehousing and shipping.

These advanced tools make Shopify ideal for businesses seeking scalable and comprehensive logistics solutions, especially those expanding internationally.

Ecwid, while user-friendly, caters more to smaller businesses with simpler shipping needs.

Thus, for robust and sophisticated shipping capabilities, Shopify is the clear winner.

Which one is better for paid advertising? - Shopify Wins

In the context of PPC advertising, Shopify surpasses Ecwid again with the variety and depth of its tools and integrations.

Ecwid comes equipped with basic integrations for major platforms like Google and Facebook Ads and some rudimentary tracking options.

However, Shopify’s user-friendly interface and rich marketplace of apps take PPC campaign management to new levels.

Overall, small businesses can do well with either of the platforms, but larger businesses with more sophisticated needs will do better with Shopify.

Which one has better SEO options? - It Depends

Both Shopify and Ecwid can handle most of your business’s SEO needs when properly configured.

Both Shopify and Ecwid have basic options for SEO optimization and similar limitations, with regards to technical SEO and URL customization.

However, the capabilities of both platforms can be extended.

Shopify can rely on its app ecosystem for more specific SEO options, while Ecwid can leverage the platform of the website that it’s integrated into.

In the cases of Wix and WordPress, you can extend your SEO functionalities thanks to their native plugins.

Which one has better customer support? - Shopify Wins

Which one has better customer support? - Shopify Wins

Screenshot of Shopify's official contact page

Ecwid’s customer support comes in tiers and its availability depends on the price plan you use, starting from live chat and going to phone, and finally priority support.

Moreover, Ecwid’s support is only available from Monday to Friday and has call-back options from 2 pm to 10 pm PDT Monday-Friday.

In comparison, Shopify’s support is available 24/7 on live chat, email, phone, and social media platforms regardless of the plan you use.

Moreover, given Shopify’s size and popularity, there are more community resources available to solve your problems.

Thus, Shopify is clearly the winner when it comes to customer support.

Conclusion: Shopify vs. Ecwid

Overall, Ecwid is a good choice for beginner retailers who want to experience e-commerce for the first time, without having to commit any money.

However, on every paid plan, Shopify’s vast arsenal of features, themes, and apps offer greater utility and value for your money.

If you’re serious about e-commerce and want to see your online store grow in the long run, a Shopify store is a much safer bet than Ecwid, with its dedicated support, maintenance, and a forest of integrations and customization options that allow you to go well beyond Ecwid’s single-page stores, and create stores worthy of an e-commerce leader.

If you’d like professional help getting started with Shopify, you can reach out to our team for a free discovery and Shopify consultation.

See also: Shopify vs. WooCommerce comparison

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Lacho Shoykov

Lacho is a Senior Content Writer at craftberry. With over six years of writing experience, he is proficient at creating long-form educational content that positions e-commerce and SaaS brands as industry thought leaders.

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