In this honest Ecwid review, I run through all details of this unique eCommerce platform, which allows you to add e-commerce functionality to any website. Together let’s find out whether it’s the right e-commerce solution for your business, shall we?!
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You see, when you think about e-commerce, probably WooCommerce or Shopify are the firsts things that come to mind. Ironically, those are entirely distant platforms. WordPress is a self-hosted platform, while Shopify is a perfect example of SaaS (software as a service).
But what if you just want to add some e-commerce functionality to your current website or social media pages? That’s where Ecwid comes in.
By the way, ECWID stands for e-commerce widgets.
Usually, with typical eCommerce builder tools, you have to rely on that standalone platform to power your entire site. Ecwid, on the other hand, acts like a widget; that’s why it easily integrates with content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Squarespace, and others.
So, Ecwid can integrate with any existing website, but if you don’t have a website, you can also use their free hosting and one of its eCommerce templates to create your online store. In this case, Ecwid will act as a standalone platform.
What Is Ecwid
To make it simple, Ecwid is a fully hosted eCommerce platform, SaaS if you will. Like Shopify or Square Commerce. However, as stated previously, you can combine Ecwid with all significant online content management platforms. Ecwid supports most CMS and social media platforms. This means, with Ecwid, you can also sell on social media.
If you already own a website, most likely, you can join it with Ecwid. Ecwid easy integrates with all major CMS, including:
- Adobe Muse
Although Ecwid claims that over a million websites are using their widget, according to the BuiltWith database, only 745,595 live websites are running the Ecwid right now.
The majority of this platform’s users come from the United States, followed by UK and Germany.
Main Features of Ecwid
|Ecommerce Tools||Marketing & SEO||Reporting||Payment Gateways|
|One Tap Checkout||Sell on Facebook||Number of Visitors||PayPal|
|Schedule Order Pickup||Sell on Instagram||Revenue||Stripe|
|Sell Digital Products||Automatized Google ads||Conversion Rate||WorldPay|
With business and unlimited packages, you also get extra features such as abandoned cart recovery, product filters, product variations, and a multilingual storefront.
Getting Started With Ecwid
To get started with Ecwid, you first need to go to the Ecwid website and sign up and go through its website’s initial registration process.
Once you have signed up, Ecwid works by giving you a ‘widget’ that gets placed on other sites. You get a plugin or, in some cases, a few lines of HTML code (the widget) to add to an existing website or social media profile. Once it is done, your store is displayed wherever you’ve inserted this plugin.
However, some people are looking to launch their sites without running it on a different system. And that’s ok. It makes sense. After all, if you are not planning to blog about your eCommerce, what’s the point of running two dashboards, right?!
For those individuals, Ecwid offers an “Instant site” option. This means you can create your standalone online shop, which will be hosted on Ecwid servers.
With this option, Ecwid provides you with several professionally designed shop themes for all occasions and all tastes.
The platform also gives you a primary site builder. If you are familiar with WordPress, you will immediately notice that this is very similar to WP Elementor builder.
Most important, you don’t need to have any knowledge in coding to customize your shop to your needs.
Like any other Saas platform, Ecwid is a commercial venture. However, compared to other e-commerce solutions on the market, it is more than affordable. At least it’s a lower tier.
Since the beginning, one of Ecwid’s main marketing pillars has been their free plan.
So, anyone can start their eCommerce journey with Ecwid for free. Although a free plan is limited only to basic features like only ten products displayed and absolutely no extras, it gives you a taste of what to expect. Of course, afterward, the company does everything that’s in their power to encourage you to upgrade.
The next is so-called “Venture” plan, which is $15 a month ($12.50 if you pay annually). With Venture plan, merchants can display up to 100 products. It also comes with some additional features such as automated tax calculation, Facebook shop integration, and discount coupons.
After comes “Business” plan with a $35 monthly price tag ($29.17 if paid annually). This option offers everything from Venture plan, plus 2500 products, wholesale pricing options, marketplace integrations, and custom invoices.
Finally, the last is “Unlimited” plan – $99 a month ($82.50 if paid annually). With this, you will get everything from previous plan, plus unlimited product options and extra features such as a custom mobile app, offline POS integration, priority support, and much more.
Bottom line, the basic plan supports small businesses and bloggers that might be looking to do the first steps into e-commerce. The main features that come with a free plan are:
- A full functional online store with 10 products.
- A mobile responsive shopping cart
- Unlimited bandwidth
- A free hosting and free templates in case you don’t have your own page.
Ecwid Store Functionality
With Ecwid, you can do all the critical stuff you’d expect to do using an e-commerce solution. The same as other e-commerce platforms, Ecwid allows you to create ‘catalogs’ of products and add photos, pricing, weight, etc., for each. You can set up shipping rates, sales tax, or accept credit card payments, and so on.
Ecwid dashboard visually is quite similar to WordPress. You get a vertical menu on the left. That allows you to access all functionality options. The area on the right is used to showcase associated products, site content, and reports.
Ecwid team has done really good job with its integrations. For example, integrated widget’s dashboard on WordPress or Wix looks pretty much the same as it is on native Ecwid page.
Product Presentation Options
Similar to other eCommerce platforms, Ecwid offers several ways how to present and showcase your products.
You can display products on your site without having an actual checkout. It gives customers an option to download the presented product catalog or share it on social media.
Promoting related products is a popular upsells technique. When you activate this feature on Ecwid, customers will see the “You may also like” section with products that complement each other.
This function allows adding variations to your product, For example, different colors or sizes.
Adding And Managing Stock
Stock management is one of the most critical features of any eCommerce platform. Any online entrepreneur will agree that managing your stock efficiently and effectively is a huge deal. It can define the final decision pro or against one or another eCommerce platform. Usually, there are three main parts of stock management:
- Ability to add new products.
- Capacity to organize and group these products.
- Potentiality to easy oversee all inventory.
On Ecwid, “add new product” section is nicely outfitted and easy to use. The platform uses a tabbed layout, which gives you lots of choices regarding adding a new product. You can create categories and subcategories. The design is clear and logically understandable. It means that you are less likely to miss adding important info to the product listing.
Importing Or Exporting Products In Bulk
Like almost all eCommerce platforms also Ecwid allows you to import and export data into the CSV format.
When importing via CSV, you can use 25 different columns, each representing a specific product attribute (product name, SKU, product image URL, etc.). You can separate your imported file with a comma, semicolon, or tab.
On the flip side, the export option allows you to export product data, orders, and customers in CSV format. So, suppose you ever decide to migrate your store to another e-commerce platform. In that case, you shouldn’t have any significant issues with doing so.
The order management system in Ecwid remains me OpenCart or PrestaShop. Everything can be done directly from the order overview page. This includes invoice creations, order, and payment status update. You can also export all information via CSV format or straight to a Google sheet for further analysis.
Displaying Your Store In Multiple Languages
If you are looking for an eCommerce platform to build your international eCommerce shop, Ecwid could be one option.
To provide different language versions, competing products like Shopify and BigCommerce rely on third-party apps, creating multiple stores, or Google
Ecwid’s storefront is professionally translated into 50 languages: Russian, English, German, French, Spanish, Spanish (Latin America), Italian, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Chinese, Chinese (Taiwan), Japanese, Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Czech, Wales, Danish, Greek, Estonian, Basque, Filipino, Persian, Indonesian, Icelandic, Catalan, Japanese, Hebrew, Croatian, Hungarian, Armenian, Georgian, Korean, Lithuanian, Latvian, Macedonian, Mongolian, Marathi, Malay, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian, Albanian, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese.
So, it means that customers can sight your store in their own language, and You don’t have to worry about creating alternate oversee versions of your store. Ecwid enables this functionality by screening visitors’ language automatically based on their browser settings and location.
Ecwid also has a currency converter app that will automatically change your store’s prices into over 130 countries’ currencies.
Sell Across Different Channels With One Dashboard
I could rant for ages here about how good is Ecwid. In my honest opinion, the unique feature that Ecwid offers to its users is controlling sales of their products across different platforms from one single dashboard. It means that besides regular online shop you can also:
Sell on social media
With premium subscriptions, there is an option to integrate Ecwid shop with Facebook and Instagram. These days Ecwid is one of the main Facebook’s e-commerce apps. Probably due to the smooth integration between the two platforms.
Sell on online marketplaces
You can also sell your stuff on Amazon, eBay, and Google shopping. This is available only with higher tier premium subscriptions.
In case you want to join brick-and-mortar retail with your online sales, Ecwid also offers a point-of-sale (POS) system, which comes with premium plans. And suppose you are planning to expand your offline business and sell various locations, such as at events or markets. In that case, mobile POS is another option. Again, truth to be told, this is possible only with an Ultimate subscription.
The unlimited plan enables you an option to create your own branded iOS and Android apps for your store. There are also Android and iOS store management apps that allow you to stay plugged in even if you are on the move.
Overall, Ecwid does not stay behind other major eCommerce platforms and offers good stock managing options. Although there is one bump on the road. There isn’t any natively built-in functionality that lets you manage inventory directly from the product overview menu. Any changes to stock levels must be done on a product by product basis. This is not practical for large shops with a huge inventory that must be actively managed.
Ecwid Marketing Tools
Any online business needs good marketing to be successful. Ecwid facilitates you to create and run Facebook and Google ads directly from the platform’s dashboard. Besides this automated Google Shopping advertising app, Ecwid also offers to its user’s other cool marketing features such as:
- An abandoned cart saver tool. This encourages customers to come back to complete abandoned transactions.
- Discount coupons.
- Social media tools.
Ecwid Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
No matter if you are running a blog or building your eCommerce empire, you will need SEO. For WooCommerce and WordPress, the Yoast plugin does all the heavy lifting. But Ecwid has its trumps in the sleeve. But if you run Ecwid as a standalone platform or integrate it into other platforms, you will have to improvise.
Anyways, there is a massive downside from an SEO perspective. You see, the Ecwid platform does not allow you to edit product URLs. Instead, it uses systems auto-generated URL.
This is far from ideal because most search engines use keywords in URLs to categorize content during indexing. The URLs that are automatically generated by Ecwid include the title you’ve given to your product. It means, for better SEO, you have to include some keywords in your product title. Unfortunately, this workaround is not always possible due to the specific nature of some products or services.
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
Another field on the SEO front where Ecwid doesn’t behave quite well relate accelerated mobile pages (AMP).
AMP is an open source framework developed by Google in collaboration with Twitter. Basically, accelerated Mobile Pages create better, faster experiences on the mobile web. At its essence, this framework allows you to build lightweight experiences for mobile users by simplifying the HTML and following adjusted CSS rules.
This encourages people to stay longer on your page, something which many SEO experts believe to be rewarded by Google with higher positions in search results.
Unfortunately, using Ecwid, you can’t create AMP versions of your eCommerce shop. Although, this option is offered by all competition platforms – Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce.
Ecwid Apps and plugins
While Ecwid does come with a good selection of features, some holes need to be filled. And the Ecwid App Market is made for that. Although comparing to its main competitors, the number of apps available is somewhat limited. Currently, the Ecwid platform has 147 apps in their app market. The apps are grouped in several categories, such as:
- Store Design
- Catalog & Order Management
- Analytics & Reporting
- Customer Support & Rewards
Some of these addons are free, but for most, you have to pay a monthly subscription. So let’s make it clear, the apps are made to boost Ecwid productivity.
Another thing is Ecwid plugins for different CMS systems. Plugins allow you to you install Ecwid on one of these platforms. There are free plugins available for WordPress, Wix, and Joomla.
Most Comon Ecwid Apps That Will Extend The Functionality Of Your Store
Xero: Popular online accounting software built for small business
Taxjar: creates automatic “return-ready sales tax reports and even AutoFile your sales tax returns.
Fresh Books: another popular accounting application for small businesses
Easy Contact Form: Responsive and Fully Customizable Contact Form
Promo Bar: Fully Customizable Header Bar. Promote Free Shipping, Free Gifts, Coupons and Specials
Import Customers: This app makes migration to Ecwid with ease.
How did you find us? This tool will automatically ask your customers this question when they checkout.
Exit offer: detects when someone is about to leave your site and automatically displays a special offer you designate, like a percentage off.
New products and bestsellers: visual display of your newest products and bestsellers.
Imajize: provides 360 degree interactive image views.
Reload SEO: makes recommendations for alterations in your content to drive more (and better) traffic to your store.
Kliken Stats: displays most important store stats like conversion rate, revenue, and the number of visitors.
Social Proof and Order Notifications by Assistantly: Displays customer purchase activity in real-time. It also contributes to a sense of trust.
HelpfulCrowd: Displays reviews, ratings, and Q&A. GDPR-compliant.
Klicken Marketing: Enables you to start running search engine ads within 5 minutes and retargeting ads.
Recently Viewed Products: Free app which enables an option showing recently viewed products to your customers increases chances of them making a purchase.
Some Really Unique Ecwid Apps
Price Optimizer: This is a unique and useful application that runs A/B testing on your products to identify the highest conversion rate price point. It then assigns the best price automatically.
Smart Recommendations: The Smart Recommendations app is designed to personalize your customers’ shopping experience. This app mimics Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and other big players. Based on customers’ behavior, the app will display individually recommended products on different store pages like the homepage or shopping cart for each customer.
UMarket: This app makes it easy to reward customers for purchases, referring to their friends, and even sending special offers for birthdays or holidays.
The apps range in price, but usually you have to pay for them on a monthly basis. Therefore, it’s important you study this pricing into your overall expenses before choosing Ecwid. After all, you may be able to find another e-commerce platform for the same price but with the specific features, you need for free.
Ecwid For Dropshipping
Drop shipping is a sales and fulfillment technique where you don’t actually do not have what you’re selling: you take the order, send it to a supplier, and supplier deliver the goods directly to your client.
Although other eCommerce platforms provide integrations with more dropshipping providers, you can also adapt the dropshipping business model with Ecwid.
Especially for drop shippers there are Ecwid apps Wholesale2B and Printful available from Ecwid’s app store.
The Wholesale2B app connects you with 100+ dropshipping suppliers. It allows you to add various products available for dropshipping to your Ecwid store.
Printful is a popular print on demand service that helps you easily sell custom print products online.
The Printful app enables you to create products featuring your logos, images or design. To do that, you have to create a Printful account and connect it with your Ecwid shop. Then upload your designs to Printful, who then manufacture the product and ship it to your customers.
Using Ecwid With Other Platforms
As described previously, you can use Ecwid on a variety of different web sites and CMS platforms. For most of them, there are ready to use plugins for easy integration.
Ecwid With WordPress
WordPress is the number one CMS software in the world today. It runs a massive majority of all the websites on the internet. But WordPress doesn’t have any e-commerce functionality out of the box, so anyone wishing to sell on the platform will need to use additional plugins. Most popular is WordPress own WooCommerce plugin, but also Ecwid integrates really well with WordPress.
Adding an Ecwid store to your WordPress site is very straightforward. First, you have to create your Ecwid account. Then Open your WordPress dashboard and download the Ecwid addon. Finally, connect your WordPress site with Ecwid. There is a good step by step tutorial available on the Ecwid site.
Or you can also watch this video:
Ecwid With Wix
There are just a few quick and easy steps to follow if you want to install Ecwid on Wix. After signing up for a free Ecwid account, log in to your Wix HTML editor, visit the App Market page and find the Ecwid Wix shopping cart application.
Adding a free Ecwid plugin to the Wix website will automatically create an “online store” page. Probably this is one of the easiest ways how to create an online Shop on the Wix platform. Also, for this integration, there are step-by-step tutorial available on Ecwid help pages. Or you can watch this video:
Ecwid With Squarespace
To add your Ecwid store to Squarespace there’s several steps to take but none of them are difficult. On Ecwid support section are detailed tutorial how to connect Ecwid cart with Squarespace page. You can also watch this video:
Ecwid’s Customer Support
Usually, advocates of paid platforms use support as one of the main reasons why someone should pay for stuff, which you also can get for free from opensource platforms. Sometimes it makes sense, but with Ecwid, the level of customer support you get from them depends on the type of plan you’re on.
If you’re on the free plan, you have only email support. If you’re on the Venture plan can avail of email and live chat support.
Capitalism is capitalism. Priority support goes only to premium users, so if you’re on a Business or Unlimited plan, you can expect phone, live chat, and email assistance. Overall, on TrustPilot, Ecwid’s customer support is rated positively and scores 4.7 stars, which is a considerable success comparing to the 1.4 star rating of Shopify.
Let’s Wrap It Up
Generally speaking, Ecwid is a powerful way to add a shopping cart to an existing site or establish an online store on a Facebook page or Instagram.
For those who are looking for a standalone site, there are much better options available. Even so, the Ecwid delivers what it promises: lets you quickly add e-commerce to any website. Besides, the platform offers a full online store experience. It is stuffed with plenty of nit tools that enhance the sales experience.
It is a unique approach. Even if there is a bit of room for improvement, especially when it comes to SEO, it is still worth considering.
Pros And Cons Of Ecwid
- A free plan is available,
- Probably the simplest way to add e-commerce to any existing website.
- Premium plans are cheaper than some similar offered by competition
- Platform supports multi-language versions the store.
- Store designs are intuitive and responsive
- Integration plugins are available for major platforms
- The ‘Instant Sites’ option is available free of charge
- Phone and live support are only available on the premium plans.
- Limited number of apps available in the Ecwid App store.
- You can’t change product URLs, which isn’t ideal from an SEO point of view.
- The SEO features are accessible only for premium plans.
- AMP versions of product pages are not supported
Online Shops Built With Ecwid
They say, “one image can express more than thousand words”. So here are examples of 2 beautiful online shops which are built with Ecwid.
Let these images serve you as an inspiration for what you can do with this powerful eCommerce builder tool.
Alternatives To Ecwid
Obviously, there are plenty of alternatives to any eCommerce platform out there. So, Ecwid is no different. Just to give you an idea, I will mention a few.
This works quite similar to Ecwid. E-junkie enables shopping cart and “Buy Now” buttons pre-integrated with payment processors such as PayPal or Stripe, that you can simply copy and paste into your own site.
This is another free open-source WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin that lets customers buy your products, services, and digital downloads online.
Opensource Standalone Ecommerce Platforms
Most popular ecommerce platform out there. Actually, WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress.
This is one more open source, PHP-based online e-commerce platform. It is a highly customizable all-in-one e-commerce builder ideal for small and medium size merchants.
PrestaShop is an excessively feature-rich, free, open-source e-commerce platform that can be used to run online stores.
SaaS Standalone Ecommerce Platforms
This does not need an introduction. Shopify is definitely the most popular SaaS ecommerce platform out there.
BigCommerce is an online store builder (hosted shopping cart software) that allows business owners to set up an online store in no time.
Is the Ecwid e-commerce solution the best on the market? Probably no! But it is a unique approach to solve the problem of bringing a shopping cart to your existing webpage.
Ecwid makes life extremely easy for website owners who want to add a simple online store to their blog or business website. Besides, Ecwid also makes it painless to start selling on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.
Have you been looking for an alternative eCommerce platform for your business?