Ecwid is an ecommerce platform that focuses on selling your products to as many markets as possible. The service allows you to create an online storefront and integrate it on other platforms through plugins. While some competing services are chasing businesses with generous pockets, Ecwid remains a low-cost ecommerce platform, with two plans below the standard starting price of $ 29 per month. Ecwid’s limitations put it behind our Editors’ Choice, Shopify, and Wix Stores picks, but it’s a decent option if you’re starting your small business or only selling a few products.
Ecwid Shopping Cart Packages
Ecwid offers four ecommerce plans: free, business, business, and unlimited. In fact, it’s one of the few ecommerce services we reviewed that offers a free tier. Ecwid’s free plan gives you a free online store; Advertising on Facebook, Google, Pinterest and Snapchat; and the possibility of selling only 10 products. Shift4Shop, on the other hand, has a robust free tier that places no limitations on your products (other than forcing you to use its payment system).
The $ 15 per month Venture plan is the next step. It has a capacity of 100 products, a mobile point of sale system, Instagram and Facebook store integration, gift cards, discount coupons, and the ability to sell digital products. Business plan ($ 35 per month) supports 2,500 spacious products, offers one-on-one store setup assistance, and offers many additional features, such as product filters, abandoned cart alerts, wholesale pricing , scheduled orders and chat / phone support. With this plan, you can list products on major marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay.
The unlimited plan costs $ 99 per month and completely removes inventory restrictions. It also adds priority support. Ecwid’s top tier is relatively inexpensive compared to its competitors’ top tier services – they typically cost around $ 299 per month. Plus, each Ecwid plan lets you connect your store to WordPress or website builders, such as Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix. They also lack transaction fees and restrictions on monthly data storage and transfer.
Creating an Ecwid online store
Starting a store on Ecwid is easy. First, you create an account and password, then enter the name, address, and types of products you sell. If you already have a website, Ecwid can work as an add-on service; if you don’t, Ecwid gives you a generic subdomain name (think storename.ecwid.site) that acts as your instant site page.
The Ecwid control panel has almost everything you need to run your store. It contains a list of tips that will help you set up your website, create products, change your shipping settings, and configure payment options. Ecwid allows you to add blocks for headers, product overviews, or contact information, but does not allow you to add more images or video blocks. With Ecwid’s Instant Site website builder, you’ll be posting pages quickly, but you shouldn’t expect the in-depth features found in equivalent products from GoDaddy + Marketing, Shopify, and Wix Stores websites. Please note that people using the older version of Ecwid can access more 70s themes.
You can add new products by visiting the Catalog section of the dashboard. There you can name products, add images, and edit prices. Shipping rates are automatically taken from USPS, UPS, and FedEx. Ecwid lets you take advantage of many payment systems, including Stripe, Square, and PayPal. Ecwid offers useful educational materials including tutorials and knowledge base articles, as well as an active user forum. This is important because live human support is only available for higher levels of Ecwid. The control panel is simple and straightforward. It is as if you were working in a normal software application; it lacks hidden menus or weird navigation logic. If you’ve used WordPress or any other blogging platform, you’ll understand the admin user interface.
You can see everywhere that your store is integrated in the Sales Channels section. Sell on WordPress? There is a plug-in. Wix? There is an app. For Squarespace or other website builders, you can just add Ecwid’s store integration code. The ability to set up your store once and sell anywhere is a great feature. Ecwid offers mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well as offline point-of-sale (POS) options with Square and Clover.
Ecwid integrates with existing sites, so it doesn’t offer the features you expect, like blogging or email marketing software. If you need these features, you will need to install and manage them separately. Unfortunately, Ecwid only supports a few hundred third-party integrations; Shopify supports thousands.
With Ecwid, you can let customers checkout without creating a profile and saving shipping addresses for future orders. We love that Ecwid’s storefront can be translated into different languages, depending on the buyer’s location settings. The best part about Ecwid? Pages are optimized for all screens and devices you use. Our storefront looked great on desktop and mobile.
Authorize.Net, ePay, First Data Merchant Services, PayPal, and Stripe are just five of the 30 payment gateways compatible with Ecwid. There’s even a crypto.com option, if that’s your thing. If you are using a supported payment gateway, follow the setup instructions to create an account and link your bank account. Knowledge base articles provide assistance when it comes time to start payments.
Ecwid is partnering with Square and the physical Square Reader for in-person sales. This is a great feature, and one that we don’t often see with shopping cart software. Editors’ Choice Shopify also handles in-person and online transactions. You can accept wire transfers, cash on delivery, and phone orders (which Volusion also supports), as well as checks and money orders.
Limited customer service
Ecwid offers phone and chat customer support, whether you’re using the Business or Unlimited plan. The free tiers lack live support (you need to visit the aforementioned user forums and help pages), while the Venture tier supports live chat, but not phone help. We are not fans of this multi-level assistance. In addition, you can only receive a reminder after making a request through the chat. In short, Ecwid’s customer service is unnecessarily limited. On the positive side, phone support is available 24 hours a day, but only Monday through Friday.
Light on features, but easy to use
Ecwid isn’t the most feature-rich e-commerce service we’ve tested. It has a simple website builder, limited product inventory with low-end plans, and tiered phone support. That said, Ecwid does offer a popular free tier that lets you quickly bring your store online without spending a dime, and premium plans that are generally cheaper than competing services. Nonetheless, we recommend our Editors’ Choice, Shopify, and Wix Stores choices to online merchants looking to grow their business.
To learn more about ecommerce, check out Building an Ecommerce Website: 8 Technical Aspects You Should Know and How to Secure Your Ecommerce Website.
Juan Martinez contributed to this review.