Ecwid and Shopify are both popular and affordable ecommerce platforms for small businesses. When comparing Ecwid vs Shopify, we evaluated pricing plans to see how much you get for your dollar. We contrasted marketing tools, customer support options, and evaluated how easy the services are to use. We found that while Ecwid has great discount offerings, Shopify’s sheer size and utility far outweigh the money you save.
When to Use Ecwid
Ecwid offers a free plan that is a great option for selling fewer than 10 products. With Ecwid, businesses can create a new online store, or integrate a checkout into existing Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and GoDaddy sites. This option makes it a good fit for individuals wanting to add an affordable checkout onto an existing website. Visit Ecwid to start a free account.
When to Use Shopify
Shopify is ubiquitous among ecommerce companies for a reason: it works, nearly anyone can learn to use it effectively, and it is designed to grow at pace with your company. Starting at $29 per month, Shopify is also extremely affordable. If you’re starting an ecommerce business or building an online store, Shopify is the best choice. Visit Shopify for a free trial.
When to Use an Alternative – BigCommerce
BigCommerce is a far more worthy competitor to Shopify than Ecwid. It stands nearly eye-to-eye with Shopify in almost every regard. However, BigCommerce is better suited for fast-scaling or enterprise-level businesses, as the higher-tiered plans offer a better value than Shopify with more comprehensive features for SEO and shopper conversion. In general, BigCommerce also offers more comprehensive reporting features than Shopify or Ecwid. Visit BigCommerce to request a free demo.
Ecwid vs Shopify at a Glance
Limited SKUs; Adding ecommerce checkout to an existing site
Many SKUs; Building an ecommerce site from the ground-up
$0 - $99/month
$9 - $299/month
Third-party (no additional fees)
Shopify Pay (no additional fees) or third-party (0.5% - 2% additional fee)
10 - Unlimited, based on plan
Unlimited ($35 & $99/month plans only)
Three per product
Online Store & Website Builder
Inventory & Order Management
Automatic Shipping Calculator
Editable URLs, CSS & HTML
Digital Product Sales
(25GB size limit)
(5GB size limit)
Only available with $99/month plan
Included with all plans
Create a Custom Mobile Shopping App
(with $99/month plan)
Ease of Use
Limited; phone support only for paid plans
Extensive; forum, live chat, and phone
Ecwid vs Shopify: Pricing & Features
Ecwid and Shopify both have a four-tier pricing structure. The right plan for your business depends on how many products you plan on selling and how many different channels you want to sell on. You can launch a mini online store for free with Ecwid, or grow an enterprise-level virtual megamall with Shopify for just under $300 per month.
Ecwid Pricing & Features
Number of Products
Facebook & Instagram
Advanced SEO Tools
Ecwid’s Free Plan
Ecwid’s free option is quite attractive if you’re short on cash or just want to take the service for a test spin. Using Ecwid’s free plan, you can launch a storefront with up to 10 items. You can add this storefront to as many websites as you like. Compatible platforms include WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Blogger, and Tumblr. However, you won’t get access to the two biggest social selling giants: Facebook and Instagram.
The free option is great for learning the ins and outs of Ecwid before you commit to paying for it. We like that it’s perpetually free, as opposed to Shopify’s 15-day trial period because it sometimes takes longer than that to truly understand what the service can do for you. Plus, it’s a great option for sellers who have a very narrow inventory.
Simply getting access to Facebook and Instagram selling platforms is worth the $15 per month you’ll pay for the Venture plan. In addition to these sales channels and the features included in Ecwid’s free plan, you’ll unlock useful features like inventory management, SEO tools, and automated tax calculations. The Venture tier also gives you access to Ecwid’s App Marketplace, which can improve and enhance your storefront and selling experience with fulfillment tools, drop shipping integrations, analytics, loyalty programs, accounting, store customizations, and order management.
The Venture plan is a good fit for hobbyists and makers who are in online retail as a side hustle. There is no comparable pricing tier for Shopify. It falls right in between its $9 Lite plan and the $29 Shopify Basic plan. If you’re looking to sell stuff online for under $20 per month, Venture is the plan you need.
In the Business tier, your inventory capacity expands to up to 2,500 products and you get the tools necessary to run a high-level online retail operation. Features such as wholesale pricing, eBay integration, and automated abandoned cart recovery become crucial tools when you start doing larger sales volume. It is worth noting that Shopify does not have any out-of-the-box wholesale features. So, if you want to offer wholesale and retail pricing, Ecwid is a better fit. The Business tier also gives you two staff accounts, which is a bare necessity for a business with more than two or three workers.
If you plan on doing more than just casual, low volume sales, the Business tier is where you want to be. Its closest comparable Shopify plan is Basic Shopify for $29 per month. Of the two, Basic Shopify is probably the better bet because it has roughly the same features but allows you to sell unlimited products and gives you perks like staff accounts and POS integration.
The top-tier Unlimited plan includes every feature available in Ecwid. In addition to selling unlimited items on every available platform, you get access to every tool found in the abovementioned plans, plus perks reserved for Ecwid’s best clients. The most notable and useful of these tools is the branded mobile app version of your store, which is an invaluable tool for retaining your best customers and getting new ones. This plan also provides integration with Square POS, unlimited staff accounts, prioritized customer support, and other advanced features.
If Ecwid is the best online selling platform for your business, it’s worth spending $100 per month for the Unlimited plan. While the top-tier Ecwid plan is not as robust as Shopify’s Enterprise plans, the mobile shopping app is a rare feature that Ecwid offers for a very affordable price.
Shopify Pricing & Features
Social media sales
Branded online store
Abandoned cart recovery
Advanced report builder
24/7 live support
Unfortunately, there is no free version of Shopify. The least expensive pricing tier is the $9 per month for Shopify Lite, which provides basic but powerful online selling tools. Chief among them is the ability to sell your products in Facebook’s new Shop section, including the use of Facebook Messenger to provide customer support. Users can also add buy buttons to their websites and use Shopify’s POS app to accept credit card payments via mobile device.
Shopify Lite is a decent option if you just want to sell on social channels, or add a “Buy” button to existing sites. Shopify Lite also includes Shopify’s free POS app, which Ecwid only offers with its Unlimited plan. However, Shopify Lite does not include a website or ecommerce shop.
Basic Shopify provides access to Shopify’s core features, which includes an online store and the ability to sell unlimited products throughout virtually any selling channel on the internet. Basic Shopify also gives you two staff accounts, 24/7 customer support, manual order creation, and the rest of Shopify’s array of selling features. You can have your business up and running in just a few minutes with Basic Shopify.
If you’re serious about selling merchandise online, Basic Shopify is probably the best place to start. In addition to everything included in Shopify Lite, Basic Shopify includes access to its vast App store, which expands what you can do with your store nearly infinitely.
The Shopify plan is the Goldilocks in the company’s pricing structure. You get everything that makes Basic Shopify great, but not everything that comes with Advanced Shopify. This plan includes tools like professional level reporting, as well as enhancements to its POS like register shifts and unlimited staff PINs for logging in and tracking activity. If you will be selling in-person in addition to your online shop, this plan is a good option.
Shopify’s plans are meant to grow with your business. For that reason, this median tier might be the best option for businesses that have achieved a natural growth rate and sales rhythm. Alternatively, a company experiencing rapid growth may prefer the Shopify Advanced plan.
When your business takes off like a rocket, you’ll need every ecommerce tool Shopify has in its arsenal. Advanced Shopify is where you find that. In addition to everything mentioned above, this pricing tier gives you an advanced report builder, calculated third-party shipping rates, and a discount on Shopify credit card payment rates. You’ll also get up to 15 staff accounts, so all of your employees can log in independently.
If your business is doing well enough that you need to pay $299 a month for Advanced Shopify—congratulations! You’ll only need the heft that Shopify Advanced has to offer if you need to hire someone to run it for you.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Marketing Options
Both Ecwid and Shopify have intuitive tools for today’s most popular advertising platforms but it takes more than just an ad campaign to grow your business. Both of these platforms offer app stores that enable users to build a robust marketing strategy. However, Shopify provides a much broader selection of third-party apps.
Today’s two most powerful marketing platforms, Facebook and Google, are natively and easily accessible through the Marketing tab on Ecwid’s interface. You can create ad campaigns in just a few minutes. The Marketing tab also allows you to create discount coupons and newsletters to help convert repeat visitors into buyers. There are also dozens of marketing apps like Mailchimp, Outfy, and Fomo available in their App Marketplace.
Like Ecwid, Shopify gives you direct access to Facebook and Google’s ad platforms. However, Shopify has streamlined the marketing campaign process for these massive platforms, making it really easy to run effective ads. There are also tons of great third-party marketing apps in the Shopify App store—far more than you’ll find in Ecwid’s app Marketplace.
Shopify also has more effective conversion tools in the form of abandoned cart recovery. All of the Shopify plans (except for Shopify Lite) include features to save abandoned carts and send automated recovery emails. Saved carts are only available in Ecwid’s Business and Unlimited plans. Shopify also includes blogging and product catalog tools.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Ease of Use
If you have even a passing knowledge of ecommerce tools, both Ecwid and Shopify should be very easy to learn and use. If you don’t have experience with ecommerce tools, both services offer a wealth of tools to help you learn the ropes.
Ecwid Ease of Use
When you launch your free Ecwid account, the interface walks you through the critical steps necessary to get your store up and running. If you pay attention to the prompts and follow the instructions, there’s no reason you can’t build and launch your store within an hour. Getting to know the rest of the back end happens naturally just by clicking around the interface.
Shopify Ease of Use
All of Shopify’s tools are accessible within a few clicks on the main interface and the workflow is meant to be as intuitive as possible. This makes the platform quite user-friendly, even for those who have never used Shopify or WordPress. If you ever do have a problem with one of Shopify’s tools, it’s easy to find a full and detailed explanation of every feature in Shopify’s Help Center.
Ecwid vs Shopify: Customer Support
Excellent support from your ecommerce platform is as critical as the support you give your own customers. Ideally, your problems will have easy fixes in the company’s knowledge-base. However, you should be able to contact a real person when necessary.
Ecwid Customer Support
Ecwid’s Help Center has hundreds of articles that cover every subject from getting started and setting up your accounts to managing, promoting, and personalizing your store. However, the amount of personal support you get is directly proportional to how much you’re paying.
If you have a free account, Ecwid does not offer customer support. However, if you have the Venture or Business Plans, you get access to live chat. Phone service is available to Business and Unlimited subscribers, while Unlimited customers get prioritized support for your issues. However, users must request a scheduled call-back in the user control panel, rather than contacting customer support 24/7.
Shopify Customer Support
Every Shopify account comes with 24/7 customer support. Their Help Center is designed to give solutions to the most common problems without having to contact the company directly. If you have a problem that can’t be solved in the Help Center, you can reach out via live chat, email, or telephone. We’ve found Shopify’s customer service representatives to be generally informed, polite, and eager to help.
Ecwid vs Shopify: User Reviews
Both Ecwid and Shopify get near-universal high marks from their customer base. We visited numerous user review sites across the web and a rating of fewer than 4 stars was rare. Purely negative reviews were almost non-existent.
Ecwid User Reviews
Ecwid is loved by its user base for being intuitive and reasonably priced. While they note that the free and lower-priced tiers are limited, they shared that the platform is good for those who aren’t as web savvy as many Shopify users. The general theme among reviewers was that it was an imperfect but worthy discount alternative to Shopify. Check out our Ecwid reviews page to read more about what users think about the platform.
Shopify User Reviews
The majority of Shopify user reviews we found online comment on how easy the service is to use. In fact, the platform’s ease of use—even for those without tech expertise—is one of the primary points of praise among reviewers. One of the more common complaints is that Shopify is harder to customize on the back-end than other ecommerce platforms. For real Shopify user feedback, visit our Shopify reviews page.
Bottom Line: Shopify vs Ecwid
In most cases, you’ll want to go with Shopify over Ecwid. Unless you plan to sell a very narrow inventory or need a discount rate, what you get out of Shopify far outweighs what you pay for it. Ecwid is no match for what Shopify offers in terms of third-party apps and web-wide integration. Plus, you can start a 15-day free trial of Shopify today.