In this Ecwid review, I’m going to take a closer look at one of the most popular eCommerce integrations and check out its features and ease of use.
Ecwid — short for eCommerce widget — allows you to build an online store and integrate it into an existing website using some basic HTML code. Alternatively, you can create a website and shop from scratch using Ecwid’s site builder. The platform also offers extensive features for customizing your products and converting customers.
I wanted to find out if Ecwid can compete with the many eCommerce platforms and website builders available to shop owners, so I took the platform for a spin.
In this Ecwid review, I’ll cover everything you need to know about using this platform to build an eCommerce from a scratch.
I found that this platform is extremely straightforward to use, but most of the focus is on back-end product features. The website builder is extremely simple, but you can offer highly customized products with the shopping dashboard.
You can use Ecwid not only with an existing website, but you can create a website and online store simultaneously using the platform. For eCommerce shop owners starting from scratch, that saves the headache of establishing an online presence across multiple services.
Still, it’s clear that Ecwid isn’t a purpose-built website creator. While writing this Ecwid review I noticed that customization beyond the available templates is quite limited. Ideally, the platform should be used only as a facade for an online store when a complex, multi-faceted website isn’t needed.
Whether you use Ecwid for an existing website or a new site, the main advantage of this platform is the product customization it enables. Ecwid allows you to define product variants easily and to organize your items into categories.
Just as important, Ecwid is flexible for eCommerce processes. The platform works with more than 40 payment processors. Plus, it supports multilingual storefronts that can be automatically translated into more than 50 languages.
Besides that, this platform also has quite an affordable pricing structure. Sounds too good to be true? Well, let’s take a closer look at what this platform is capable of in this Ecwid review.
Ecwid starts out with a free plan that allows you to sell up to 10 physical products. If you sell digital downloads or wish to add more products, paid plans start at $15 per month. All stores can be integrated into any website and come with Ecwid’s free website builder.
For business owners who only have a few products to sell, it’s hard to beat Ecwid’s free online store plan. At absolutely no cost, you can sell up to 10 physical items on a previously built website or a site built using Ecwid.
However, you can’t sell digital downloads with a free plan and you lose out on the platform’s advanced eCommerce features. To top it off, if you’re using Ecwid’s free plan as a host for the entire site, then you lose an ability to add a custom domain and have to stick around with the company’s ads on your website.
That takes away the professional look of your brand and therefore I would suggest a paid subscription if you’re aiming for a successful e-store.
The ‘Venture’ plan is Ecwid’s cheapest paid offering, costing $15 per month or $12.50 per month if you pay for a full year. Plus, with a Venture shop, you can integrate your online store to sell on Facebook and Instagram.
With this plan, your store can have up to 100 products and you can sell digital downloads up to 25 GB in size (that’s quite generous of it). Ecwid also offers tools for SEO, inventory management, and tax calculations with the Venture plan.
The following plan costs $35 per month or $29.17 per month if paid annually. Ecwid’s ‘Business’ plan allows you to sell up to 2500 products. You can also create variants of each of your products and set up filters for customers to use.
Beyond more products, the main advantage of the Business plan is the inclusion of an abandoned cart saver feature. This goes a long way toward converting more visitors to become customers.
Plus, you can integrate your shop with eBay and create up to two staff accounts for your online store.
Finally, Ecwid’s ‘Unlimited’ plan is for the largest online stores. This plan costs $99 per month or $82.50 per month if paid annually. This is quite expensive, and so the Unlimited plan is likely only suitable for high-throughput eCommerce businesses.
As the name suggests, with this plan you can sell an unlimited number of products. Ecwid also allows you to add as many staff accounts to your online store as you like and offers priority support.
Ecwid makes it easy to set up an online store and showcase your products on multiple platforms. I was surprised that customization options are more developed yet all of the service’s tools can be understood and mastered in minutes.
As a result, it’s easy to get a basic eCommerce shop running in minutes and to start managing your business.
It’s incredibly simple to get started with Ecwid. All you have to do is answer a few basic questions about your business and online store, and the platform will set up a new dummy shop for you.
You can integrate an existing domain at this point, or get a ‘.ecwid.com’ address if you plan to place your store on another website.
From there, you can either build a simple one-page website and online store using Ecwid, or set up your shop for integration into an existing website.
In the latter case, you can skip Ecwid’s website builder and jump straight to creating products. When you’re ready to embed your online store on your current website, Ecwid will give you the HTML code to use.
However, this Ecwid review won’t stop at covering integration only, let’s check that website builder!
It’s worth understanding exactly what Ecwid’s website builder offers if you don’t already have a website for your online store. The ‘Instant Site’ builder is extremely basic, but it can serve as a stand-in for a larger website if your business primarily just needs a small online store.
Ecwid’s website builder limits you to a single web page that is divided into multiple sections. Keep in mind that one of those sections is your online store, so the page can become cluttered if you have more than 10 to 20 products.
Design options are largely limited to choosing a theme within the Ecwid builder. Some Ecwid reviews may state that there is a small pool of themes to pick from, however, I must disagree as the number keeps increasing.
Before the platform’s theme library offered only 11 selections. Although, right now, Ecwid has over 75 themes to pick from. I also felt that they were modern and generally well-designed to attract visitors’ attention.
It’s important to note that Ecwid’s site builder is not a drag-and-drop editor. You also can’t edit text directly on the page. Instead, you’ll need to edit everything through a series of menus on the left side of the editor.
I found myself tempted to simply click on the text to edit it, since this is something that most purpose-built website editors offer. However, I will say that Ecwid’s side menu is very simple to understand and use.
The builder does give you a reasonable amount of control over the content on your page, although you’re stuck with the sections included in every template. These include:
Most of these sections can be hidden, which I appreciated. The cover section also comes in several different layouts so you can add more information or a call-to-action button as needed.
Beyond that, there’s not much you can do. This website builder is extremely limited, which reflects Ecwid’s roots as an eCommerce widget for other web platforms.
If you need more than the sections listed above, you’ll be best served by building your website elsewhere and integrating an Ecwid store. In fact, if you don’t already have a website to embed your online store through Ecwid, I’d recommend working on that first using another website builder.
Ecwid has one of the best interfaces I’ve seen for setting up products in your online store. That’s the feature that makes more than one million business owners want to use Ecwid and the thing that makes me recommend Ecwid as an eCommerce solution.
To start, you can upload as many photos as you want for each of your products. While you can’t place a video as the featured product image, I liked that the editor allows you to embed a video in the product description.
The description also comes with rich text formatting, so you can truly customize the look of every product page.
On top of that, adding product variants is surprisingly easy. You can allow customers to choose variants using multiple different menu options, including radio buttons, a drop-down list, a date picker calendar, or custom text input
Even better, you have the option to mark whether each variant is in stock and manage inventory for each variant of a product.
Your options for detailing your products extend even further to fine, but important, details. You can specify the dimensions and shipping options for every item, or define global shipping rates for your entire store.
Ecwid helps your products be found by prompting you for SEO descriptions and tags.
Even better, I loved that you are in control of which related products are shown for every item you sell. That’s a great feature that provides more control over what you would like to upsell to your customers.
Importantly, Ecwid also allows you to separate your products into categories. Categories can be extremely useful for separating groups of products within your store to help keep visitors oriented. For example, an apparel eCommerce store can use categories to separate men’s and women’s clothing products.
I found that setting up categories is just as simple as setting up products. You can add a description and featured image, as well as simply check which products should be included in that category.
Ecwid allows an unlimited number of subcategories for detailed product organizations in larger storefronts.
Ecwid offers over 70 themes for its website builder. While the themes are modern and attractive, they all offer the same sections and don’t allow much customization beyond changing font styles. As a result, I wouldn’t recommend the Ecwid website builder for serious business websites.
However, Ecwid themes only matter if you are building your storefront in Ecwid rather than on another platform. Again, if you don’t already have a website, I don’t feel like the Ecwid builder is suitable as more than a temporary solution. However, nonetheless, it is a great starting point for many out there.
The themes offer eye-catching covers that differ from one another, and you can change the layout of the cover between several options. But scroll down, and all of Ecwid’s themes look roughly the same.
The sections available within each theme are identical, and you can’t change the layout of the content in these sections. You can’t even change the font style once you get past the cover section.
Ecwid offers a wide variety of features for sellers. The platform integrates with major sales channels like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay.
Visitor analytics and customer management tools are baked into Ecwid, enabling you to convert more customers. Plus, a mobile app lets you track your business on the go.
One of the biggest draws to setting up your online store with Ecwid is that you can easily sell your products across a wide variety of platforms from there. To start, you can embed your Ecwid store on another website, whether that site is made with WordPress, Joomla!, or another CMS.
You can even embed Ecwid stores on websites made with a drag-and-drop website builder like Wix or Squarespace, even if you don’t have an eCommerce plan with those providers.
Ecwid also makes it surprisingly easy to get your products to larger audiences. With a paid Business plan, you can upload your products to Amazon, Google, and eBay as storefronts.
Ecwid takes care of the integration so that you can actually manage your products, sales, and customer messages on Amazon, for example, right from your Ecwid dashboard.
On top of that, all paid Ecwid users get access to Facebook and Instagram integrations. Again, all of your business on these social platforms can be managed right from your Ecwid dashboard so the extra work involved is minimal.
One of the sales channels that are really unique to Ecwid is that you can apply to have your shop turned into a custom mobile app. Developers at Ecwid will create the app for you, and then customers can download it and make purchases in your store directly from their smartphones.
Note that this feature is only available to Unlimited plan subscribers, and you’ll need to put in an application to tell Ecwid’s app development team what you’d like your app to include.
Ecwid works with over 50 different payment processors, making it one of the most versatile eCommerce solutions I’ve come across. The vast majority of business owners will integrate with PayPal, Square, or Chase WePay, and others.
This platform also makes it simple to get started with one or more of these services. If you want another processor, Ecwid offers simple instructions for setting up an account for your store.
Helpfully, Ecwid even allows you to keep track of non-digital payments. You can set up methods for credit card orders over the phone or cash and check payments by mail
By allowing you to track these unusual payments, Ecwid ensures that your analytics are accurate and that taxes are easier at the end of the year.
Customer management is one of the few areas where I feel like Ecwid falls short of its potential. The tools available aren’t bad, but it seems like they could be improved to create tighter relationships with your customers.
Essentially, Ecwid’s customer management boils down to keeping track of people who have purchased from your store in the past. If you have a Business plan, you can actually organize these customers into groups to offer targeted promotions.
That’s useful, but I’d still like to see automated messages to check in with specific customers or groups of customers to remind them to shop with you again.
Ecwid offers a few different methods for analyzing your sales and customers. Each of these gives you a slightly different look at your site traffic.
The most helpful analytics tool is Kliken Stats. The free version of this dashboard gives you basic statistics about your visitors, revenue, and conversion rate.
But, if you want detailed insights about top-selling products or where your conversions are coming from, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid Ecwid plan.
Ecwid also works with Google Analytics, which is completely free to use. That provides information about site and page traffic, but it’s not quite as granular or easy to interpret as the Kliken Stats data. In reality, if you have the upgraded version of Kliken Stats, there is little need to keep an eye on Google Analytics.
If Kliken Stats and Google Analytics still aren’t enough for you, Ecwid’s app store offers a wide diversity of plugins focused around analytics. In addition, you can track your store’s data on the go using the Ecwid mobile app (requires a paid plan).
Ecwid’s SEO is extremely strong thanks to individual descriptions and meta tag fields for each product. That means that for every product, you can customize how it shows up in search results.
Plus, the ability to enter keywords for every individual product is a major advantage in helping your store get discovered.
However, note that you do need a paid Ecwid plan to access these SEO fields. In addition, Ecwid’s website builder doesn’t offer any SEO tools — another reason to build your website on another platform and embed your Ecwid store.
Ecwid doesn’t offer a dedicated email address for your online store, but that doesn’t mean the platform is short on email features. You can tightly control the automated mailings that customers receive from your store when they make a purchase.
All of Ecwid’s default mailings can be toggled on or off, and you can directly edit the message content. I liked that the platform will also automatically notify you or your staff when new orders are placed or when customers ask questions. The only thing you can’t control is the address that your customers see, which is ‘[email protected]’.
Still, it’s worth noting that Ecwid does not include newsletter services or automated messages outside of purchase events. So, larger online store owners will want to have a dedicated email marketing service to keep in touch with customers and send out announcements.
For paid subscribers, Ecwid offers a highly versatile mobile app so you can manage your business on the go. The mobile app is available for both Apple and Android devices and allows you to add products to your store and edit existing products.
The app is great for adding new products since you can use your phone’s built-in camera for product images.
Helpfully, you can even look at your site’s analytics on the app to see how your store is doing while you’re traveling. You can opt to receive notifications about new orders and can approve those on the go so your business doesn’t miss a beat.
Ecwid is relatively unique among eCommerce platforms in offering multilingual support for your store. You can display your store in more than 50 languages so you can easily sell to customers around the world.
Your store will automatically switch languages according to the language preferences set in your customers’ browsers. Simply activate available languages in the settings section of your website, and Ecwid will take care of the translation.
All of your product names and descriptions are translated, as well as most of the custom content on your page if you built your website with Ecwid.
The Ecwid app store includes hundreds of free and paid plugins that can be added to your store. This expands Ecwid’s functionality to offer additional analytics dashboards, better customer management, and advanced shipping tools. The downside to the app store is that many of the best apps are quite expensive.
Provided apps tend to focus on places where Ecwid falls slightly short, such as in managing customers, automatic dropshipping, and discounts and reward programs. While there are plenty of free apps, many cost upwards of $10 per month.
Installing apps from the marketplace requires just a click. They are placed in the ‘My Apps’ section of your Ecwid dashboard. From there, you can easily access any app you’ve downloaded.
Overall, the Ecwid app store is a nice feature for large or growing eCommerce stores that need to expand on the already impressive functionality of this platform. However, the cost of many of the paid apps is prohibitive for small business owners.
Ecwid is a highly capable eCommerce platform for businesses of all sizes. The simple integration with more than 50 payment processors and selling channels like Facebook, Amazon, and Google makes it an attractive option for shop owners. Plus, it offers solid SEO and analytics tools to help you convert customers.
Still, my Ecwid review did identify some drawbacks to this platform. The foremost of these is that Ecwid is almost exclusively designed to integrate with an existing website.
While there is an internal website builder – customization options are almost nonexistent. So, the Ecwid site builder is only suitable for basic business websites and small stores.
The platform’s customer management options leave out important tools for staying in touch with customers so that you can encourage them to buy again. While the app marketplace makes up for this slightly, many of the apps are surprisingly expensive.
out of 10
Overall, I felt that’s Ecwid’s pros far outweigh its cons for eCommerce. The platform offers a huge suite of tools for getting your products in front of a wide audience and streamlines the back-end selling process. Ecwid’s integrations are a major advantage, even if the site builder needs additional work.
Ecwid is far from the only eCommerce platform for online businesses. Platforms like Shopify and Big Cartel directly compete with Ecwid for shop owners. Meanwhile website builders like Wix also offer impressive eCommerce features.
Shopify is a giant of eCommerce, with more than one million business owners on the platform. In contrast to Ecwid, Shopify is much more of a website builder.
The platform offers hundreds of templates and a drag-and-drop editor. You get far greater customization when building a storefront with Shopify since you can add a blog or static pages to your site.
However, plans for Shopify can be pricey compared to Ecwid depending on what you need. If you already have a website and just want to add an online store, Ecwid is definitely better for that — Shopify has a ‘Buy’ button you can embed, but it’s not very customizable.
Big Cartel is a combined website builder and eCommerce platform in the same vein as Shopify. The main difference is that it focuses on websites for artists, with impressively stylish themes and product elements that showcase unique work.
The main advantage that Big Cartel has over Ecwid is that it’s slightly cheaper. But, the price difference is small enough that many business owners will prefer Ecwid’s advanced tools. Big Cartel doesn’t have a mobile app, plugin marketplace, or serious SEO or analytics features. So, Ecwid offers far more room for your business to grow.
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder rather than a dedicated eCommerce platform. But, it’s worth taking a look at this platform if you don’t already have a website for your online store. Wix offers more than 500 templates and impressive customization options for site designers.
Wix’s eCommerce plans aren’t cheap, especially compared to Ecwid. However, the tools available for selling are roughly on par. Wix includes tools for customer and inventory management, as well as SEO and analytics.
Designing new products isn’t quite as easy as in Wix as it is using Ecwid, but that’s a small price to pay for a dramatically improved website builder.