Ecwid is a service that allows you to convert any of your existing websites into an e-commerce website for a monthly charge. Like e-commerce platforms in general, Ecwid allows you to set up ‘catalogs’ of products, add images, pricing, weight, etc. for each. You can determine shipping rates, accept payments and so on, all the key stuff that you’d expect to be able to do using an e-commerce solution. All this is done via a web browser, there’s nothing to install locally.
However, this is where its similarity to competing products like Shopify and Squarespace ends. Unlike these services, Ecwid does not allow you to create a full-featured e-commerce website. Instead, it simply adds a store to an existing website. However, there has been a recent feature addition, where Ecwid allows you to have a starter site or a single page ‘Website’.
So how does it work?
Ecwid is short for E-commerce Widget which means you have a few lines of code that you need to add to your website and you are now ready to sell.
Ecwid has 4 primary pricing plans.
If you have only a few products to market, namely less than 10, then there is a completely free plan which allows you to do so. You can add up to 10 products in 2 Categories. This is an excellent option for merchants with a very small product portfolio. Also, none of Ecwid’s competitors provide a fully free plan except for trial periods.
In terms of the paid plans, the pricing structure is as follows:
- $15 per month — the ‘Ecwid Venture’ plan, this allows you to sell up to 100 products;
- $35 per month — the ‘Ecwid Business’ plan, this allows you to sell up to 2500;
- $99 per month — the ‘Ecwid Unlimited’ plan, this allows you to sell an unlimited number of products.
Also if you pay annually, things work out cheaper. The three plans come in respectively at $12.50, $29.17 and $82.50 per month.
Now let us take a look at these plans properly and identify the primary differences.
The Venture Plan does not allow you to list your products on Amazon or eBay.
Complete POS functionality is limited to the most expensive plan only. Also, integration with Square is available in this plan only.
Also, Venture does not allow you to display Product specifications like dimensions or any variants.
Abandoned Cart Recovery is Limited to the Business Plans and above.
Digital downloads over 100 MB can only be sold through Business Plan and above.
Also, Phone support is limited to Business plan and above only.
Ecwid allows smooth integration with Paypal at no extra charge except the official PayPal commission.
Ecwid also supports a wide variety of payment gateways (Stripe, Sage, Authorize.net). You, of course, have regional options also.
As compared to, Say Shopify, Ecwid has a larger range of payment gateways.
Ecwid allows you to have POS functionality, thereby allowing sales at physical locations.
The advantage is that irrespective of the actual origin of sale, everything remains in Sync.
You can use PayPal Here. This involves using the Ecwid IOS app from the Apple app store, connecting it to the PayPal here service and using a mobile card reader (Sold by Ecwid) to collect payments.
However, bear in mind that this feature is limited to iOS devices and only available in the USA, UK, and Canada.
Importing & exporting data
Like many competing products, Ecwid allows you to import and export your data into the platform using the standard CSV format. When importing via CSV, you can make use of up to 25 different columns, each representing a particular product attribute (product name, URL for product image and so on). Your import file can be delimited by comma, semi-colons or tabs.
Language detection & Support
Ecwid leads the pack in language support with support for 50 languages. Direct translation without any additional plugin or widget. This is done based on the user’s IP.
None of Ecwid’s competitors provide this kind of support yet unless added by another app. This is a big advantage for sellers outside English speaking nations.
Search engine optimization in Ecwid
Ecwid allows you to edit the page title, the Meta description as they are prepopulated and can be edited with ease.
However, the URL cannot be edited. This is hardly ideal, however, the URL does include the product title so any keywords added there will make it into the URL. However, this is just a workaround and may not be applicable every time.
Also, Ecwid does not support AMP. You cannot just create AMP versions of the products uploaded through Ecwid.
Ecwid integrates easily with a lot of services that you will require to market your product line. It easily integrates with Mailchimp, Xero, and Freshbooks.
However, if you are on WordPress or Wix, it’s easy to install Ecwid easily with these platforms and they themselves allow integration on a much wider scale.
Also most importantly, Ecwid allows easy integration with Wholesale2B or Printful, thereby easily allowing you to dropship.
Wholesale2B gives you access to a huge variety of products from over 100 dropshipping suppliers, thus vastly increasing your product portfolio.
It is of course not a full-fledged website, however, it is a useful stop-gap measure till your actual website comes online.
It allows you either an Ecwid Domain or your personal one to be used.
Ecwid and other platforms
Ecwid is an exceptionally good option for WordPress as it has no native e-commerce functionality. The Ecwid plugin integrates both very easily and gets your e-store online easily.
The Free plan gets you access to email support. Venture adds live chat to the mix. Business and Unlimited plans get you access to phone support as well. In fact, the unlimited plan adds priority support to normal phone support. Also, you have special customization support on Business and above. Its 2 hours for the Business account and Unlimited gets you 12 hours of support.
Ecwid is an excellent option for adding e-commerce functionality to existing websites or to a Facebook page or any other social media account.
Also platforms not supporting dropshipping natively (Squarespace and Wix) can now do so through Ecwid and this adds a serious capability upgrade to these websites.
SEO support remains sketchy at best, however, there are workarounds.
The most important aspect is the free forever plan which frankly no one provides except Ecwid. It is an excellent option for small traders or those who want to try out Ecwid before upgrading.