Shopify vs Wix (2022 Review) – Comparison & Pros and Cons
Whether you’re looking to build an online store or website, you’ll need a website builder. Two popular choices for building e-commerce based websites and online stores today are Shopify and Wix.
Both platforms are incredibly easy to use, allowing a complete beginner to get their ecommerce website up and running in a matter of a few clicks.
Wix is better known as a general website builder with the added functionality of letting you create an ecommerce store. Shopify on the other hand was designed to allow you to create a full-fledged online store in a matter of minutes, complete with a blog too.
The question is which makes a better website builder and which makes a better ecommerce builder? We’ll take a close look at both platforms to help you decide which is best for your needs.
Shopify vs Wix: Pros & Cons
Both Shopify and Wix are full-featured website builders that offer the ecommerce function. Either of them would make an excellent choice if you intend to build an online-store or content-based website.
Nonetheless, in order to make a well-informed choice, you’ll need to know the perks and downsides of both tools so you know what to expect from each.
Shopify has grown to become a behemoth in the ecommerce space. The software was designed to be your complete solution for all things ecommerce related, be it abandoned cart recovery or social media integration.
It also offers multiple options when it comes to payment gateways for almost all continents.
Let’s take a closer look at other aspects of the software that make up the entire user experience.
- Better back end control thanks to separate editing and product management dashboards.
- More integrations for ecommerce and other related marketing functions like email marketing integration with Privy and Omnisend.
- Large app marketplace for third-party integrations.
- 100+ payment gateway integrations.
- Advanced reporting and better analytics to track your store’s performance.
- 24/7 responsive live chat and customer support.
- A steeper learning curve for complete beginners.
- Might be a little bit more expensive to get started with.
Overall Shopify is your best choice if you already have a growing business with some revenue and have experience using ecommerce platform software.
Wix originally started out as a website builder geared at content-rich websites like blogs, news sites, online galleries, and business websites.
It is most loved for its What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) style builder which has given it domination in the simple website builder market.
Today, Wix ecommerce allows you to include the online store functionality, complete with payment gateways and lots of beautiful pre-built templates to choose from.
Adding a store to your blog is as simple as including it in your backend with the click of a button.
So what makes Wix a great choice?
- 500+ design templates to give your site a unique feel and more creative freedom.
- Cheaper ecommerce plans to get started with making it ideal for new stores and start-ups.
- A very simple, unified editing interface and dashboard make it easy to learn.
- Integration with the Ecwid ecommerce platform to further extend its ecommerce capabilities like global shipping and abandoned cart recovery.
- Beautiful product display options including built-in product videos.
- Zero transaction fees for using third party payment gateways.
- Limited third-party app integrations.
- Not ideal for large online stores or stores with large inventory.
Thus if you’re just experimenting with a product or two, or perhaps looking to add an online to store function to your existing blog, Wix is the perfect choice for you.
Shopify vs Wix: Major Features Comparison
Let’s look at the major features of both contenders. Shopify and Wix equally host over 100,000 online stores, with Shopify boasting of over 500,000 storefronts.
Wix on the other hand has over 100 million websites being run on its platform, which clearly shows it’s the more popular choice.
We’ll further compare each of these platforms based on the following features
- Basic Ecommerce functions
- Flexibility and design
- Sales and Marketing Integrations
- Analytics Reporting
- SEO Tools
- Third-Party App Integrations
1. Basic Ecommerce Functionality
The number one reason most people will consider Shopify or Wix is to allow visitors to their website to conveniently purchase products or services in a hassle-free manner.
This means ideally you’re looking for the smoothest experience from the minute your customer adds an item to their shopping cart, right through to checkout.
Both Shopify and Wix offer the basic ecommerce features of a shopping cart, shipping calculators, and inventory management on the back end. Shopify’s back end gives you a little more control since it separates the site editor from the product management dashboard (called headless ecommerce).
You also have the option to include add-ons to help convert more visitors to buyers like discount codes and coupons with both platforms. One major winning point for Shopify here is how much inventory it allows you to manage and control.
Since Shopify is designed for large or growing online stores, it gives you better inventory management options including forecasting demand, tracking stock, generating purchase orders, and more. Wix on the other hand limits it to basic inventory tracking of stock levels and units.
A major part of ecommerce is accepting payments. Both Shopify and Wix have native payment gateways called Shopify payments and Wix payments respectively. However both are limited because they only work in certain countries.
This where having third party payment gateways becomes handy and Shopify wins on this front. It offers over 100 third party payment gateway integrations including PayPal, Stripe, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Stripe, and many more.
There’s also the option of Shopify POS for in-person sales, which is more intuitive and integrated into the platform itself.
The feature accepts cards and is available in multiple locations plus it comes with dedicated POS support. This service however is only available on Shopify’s POS Pro plan which starts at a sizable $89/month.
Wix on the other hand added ecommerce functionality recently, meaning the platform’s features are still being improved. It currently supports about 45 payment gateways including all major processors like PayPal and Stripe.
You’ll also get Wix POS which though functional only works in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. It also needs a third-party app, Square to get the feature fully set up and running. So in short, it's not as smooth to set up compared to Shopify.
In terms of processing fees, Wix gets the win because it charges no extra fees for using third party processors whereas Shopify will charge transaction fees based on where you are and what plan you are on (the higher the plan, the cheaper the fee).
Another important feature especially if you’re looking to have global appeal is letting your customers view and pay for products in currencies they prefer, especially on check out.
Wix allows you to do this by adding a currency converter app to your site so your customer can see how much it costs in their local currency. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to check out in their local currency.
Shopify on the other hand has some themes with this feature built-in already, meaning no need to download and install any apps.
If you must however, its large app market place has many competitive offerings, for example Bold Commerce which uses location to convert currencies automatically. Both options allow checkout in any currency of your customer’s choosing.
An ecommerce review will not be complete without speaking about dropshipping.
Given that about 27% of online retailers have adopted the dropshipping model, it is becoming almost obligatory for ecommerce platforms to offer features for dropshipping.
With the dropshipping growing in popularity, it’s only natural that both of these platforms offer dropshipping solutions. Shopify has built dropshipping features into their platform as it is one of their major target markets.
It lets you connect to a number of large dropshipping marketplaces like Oberlo, AliExpress and Printful, giving you access to a wide range of products.
While Oberlo prides itself in having each of its merchants and their goods reviewed by other dropshippers, the jury is still out on the quality of the goods since most are from the Far and Middle East. Nonetheless, Shopify has the largest variety in terms of dropshipping products.
Wix didn’t offer dropshipping until its recent partnership with Modalyst, Spocket and Printful, now making dropshipping accessible to its users. However, you’ll need to be on their advanced Business VIP plan for $49/month to fully benefit from the dropshipping feature.
Products, Product Variations and Inventory
Ecommerce revolves around the sale of products and services, whether digital or not and both platforms give you lots of options in terms of what to sell. Depending on what you intend to sell, either platform may make a great fit.
For starters, if you’re looking to sell products that have a lot of variations (like size, shape or color) then Wix is a better option.
You can list an astounding 30 variations per product which is simply unheard of in the industry. This is especially good for apparel and creative product-based businesses. Also customers can choose to personalize what they buy with an engraving or custom print in Wix.
Shopify limits you to just 10 variations per product depending on your subscription. You may increase or modify these restrictions by downloading an app from Shopify or adding custom code to your site but for a beginner that may be overkill.
In terms of digital products however, Shopify gets a slight edge over Wix. Although Wix gives you this feature built-in with its platform, Shopify requires you to get its free Digital downloads app first to offer digital products.
The edge for Shopify comes with calculating taxes on digital products for those in the EU. EU sellers are required to include VAT MOSS charges on each digital product sold based on which country it is sold in.
Shopify automatically calculates and includes this in your customers bill, saving you the stress of setting up manual tax rules for each country.
However, if you’re not based in the EU this may not be an issue for you. It does however give a large file size limit of 5GB compared to 1GB from Wix. So if you’re looking to focus on digital products, Shopify is the way to go.
Taxes and Shipping Options
Shipping costs are one of the most influential factors when it comes to converting visitors to buyers online. About 28.8% of buyers abandon a cart because of shipping (and tax) costs.
This means you need an efficient shipping cost calculator with competitive shipping fees and even the option to offer discounts and free shipping in order to get more sales. Shopify and Wix both let you create shipping rules like
- Free shipping over a minimum order quantity
- Weight or type
- Fixed rate shipping
- Location-specific and more.
Discounts and live shipping rates are also available on both platforms as they offer apps that connect directly to a postal service and hence displays the local shipping rate provided by them.
On top of that, both have preferred shipping providers who give attractive discounts if you choose to use them. Unfortunately, these discounts and service providers have limited availability.
Wix for example, offers shipping discounts varying between 60 -70% via USPS which is specific to US customers only based on your plan. Quotes for other providers may come with extra charges and need you to connect other apps like ShipStation and Shippo to your store.
ShipStation may charge anywhere from $9 to $159/month while Shippo gives you up to 5,000 free shipments per month for their promotional offer but bills $10-$125/month based on how much you ship.
Shopify on the other hand has its own built-in real-time shipping quote feature that is available in more countries with their postal service providers including Australia and Canada.
It also offers more options for US based customers including DHL Express and UPS with up to 74% off standard shipping rates.
If you already have an existing shipping provider who gives you custom rates, Shopify allows you to include that in your store too but only if you’re on their premium plan. The ShipStation option is also available on Shopify too in case you’re looking to offer more variety.
Tax calculations are fairly automated with Shopify, thanks to its built-in tax calculation feature. The only drawback is that the calculations are limited to US, EU and Canadian merchants. So if you’re outside these countries, you’ll need a paid app.
Wix doesn’t have an in-built tax feature, but allows you to connect to a third party tax app Avalara which can do taxes for virtually any country, the only limit being the number calculations you can do will be limited to your subscription plan in Avalara.
If you’re looking to build a large, full-fledged online store with multiple products that you can easily track and payment options that make payments convenient no matter where you are, Shopify is the way to go.
2. Flexibility and Design
Your store’s appearance can be the make or break point for your online business. A whopping 57% of online shoppers are influenced by appealing photos and 51% by mobile-optimized sites.
That means your online store must be responsive and look appealing to turn more browsers into buyers. This why site flexibility and design matter.
People who shop online make their buying decision based on what they see online and how trustworthy the website looks.
Both Shopify and Wix let you display beautiful images of your product with their built-in image editors. But in terms of the overall design, Wix takes the cake.
You get over 500 pre-designed templates for every possible niche under the sun, all of which you can customize to fit your store’s branding. Thanks to the easy drag and drop website builder, you can play around as much as you like till you find the perfect look.
Shopify also offers 60+ predesigned store templates and themes with a crisp clean look to help you get started building your store. However, you may not have so much design flexibility as with Wix. But Shopify does let you add custom CSS to a theme to edit it.
In terms of multilingual support, many Shopify reviews talk about how extremely limited it is.
The platform does not allow users to build multilingual sites using their platform. If you must have a multilingual site, you may have to pay for third party apps that offer bilingual support at averagely $20/month.
Any more than two languages and that may need you to upgrade to the Shopify Plus Plan at an extra $2000/month for three language support which is quite steep.
Wix at least offers built-in multilingual support however its multilingual URLs are the same all round, meaning your SEO may suffer a bit. It’s definitely better than nothing but like Shopify, you could find multilingual plugins in their marketplace, so at least your SEO doesn’t take a hit.
Both platforms are great for customizing your website, but Wix simply makes it easier to create something unique without having to know any code.
One important feature every online store owner needs is scalability. You need your platform to grow with your business as you begin to handle more orders and stock more inventory.
Unlike web hosting providers, migrating your store from one platform to another can be very difficult.
Thus it is important to pick a platform that is in line with your business growth goals, 6 months to 5 years from now. If you’re truly looking to grow a multiple six or seven-figure online store, then Shopify may be a great option.
Shopify makes it easier to scale your business thanks to its automation and built-in advanced features. So what you would have spent hiring a developer and lost in terms of potential downtime, Shopify cuts those costs with built-in advancements on a higher tier plan.
Wix also gives you some advanced features on its higher tier plan, like subscription billing, multi-currency support and product reviews but these features don’t necessarily help with scaling your business.
For example, the Shopify Pro plan gives you up to 15 staff accounts and 8 locations which is ideal if you have multiple team members running your store. This feature is not on Wix.
If you plan to keep and grow your online store and brand long-term, then Shopify has all the built-in features for you.
From integration for custom shipping to multiple staff accounts and locations and multi-currency support, Shopify is designed to grow with your business easily.
3. Sales and Marketing Integrations
A key part of ecommerce is sales and marketing. It's not unusual to use multiple tools to help properly track all your marketing campaigns.
Both Shopify and Wix support omnichannel marketing allowing you to sell on social media specifically Facebook and Instagram.
Shopify however offers better integration as you can directly link products you have listed on Amazon and Ebay to your store, finding your buyers no matter where they are.
Again, Since Shopify doesn’t provide native marketing features, most marketing tools you’ll use will be third party apps from their marketplace. The benefit of having that many tools is you have more flexibility in what you use.
The challenge often becomes having to work with too many moving pieces which makes comparisons difficult. You may also have to use paid apps, which will increase your overhead.
Wix outshines most of the competition in this area with its one-stop, all-round marketing solution called Ascend.
From capturing leads, tracking payments, creating promotional content and customer management, Ascend does it all from one convenient dashboard.
This applies to landing pages. While Wix gives you a form builder as part of its Ascend platform, Shopify requires that you download an app, write code or use a template with a built-in landing page.
Both platforms offer competitive native email marketing solutions. Shopify’s new email marketing tool called Shopify Email allows you to send 2,500 emails free every month, with an affordable $1 extra fee for every additional 1,000 emails after.
Wix has a different method, allowing you to email 5,000 subscribers three times a month for free which is pretty generous. If you need more, there are paid plans you can upgrade to based on what you need.
One major part of email marketing is sending abandoned cart recovery emails. About 70% of shopping carts get abandoned at checkout. Abandoned cart recovery emails can increase your revenue by as much as 10 – 25%!
Thankfully, both Wix and Shopify have abandoned cart emails as part of their email marketing on all plans. Wix has the slight edge because it allows you to send two automated follow-up abandoned cart emails unlike Shopify that limits you to just one.
Wix wins this round simply because of its unified marketing solution that makes it easy to manage and grow your marketing campaigns without necessarily having to spend extra on apps.
4. Content Management Features
Since we’re comparing both as website builders and ecommerce platforms, we’ll take a look at how either of them works as a content management system.
A content management system is what houses any data you upload to your website and helps make it accessible online.
It’s important to note that Shopify was built primarily as an ecommerce solution, whereas Wix was built first as a website builder and later had the ecommerce feature added on. In line with this, Wix has more components for website building integrated into it compared to Shopify.
A good example is adding features like social icons, forms or a gallery to a Wix page. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping to where you’d like it to appear plus you get more customization.
Shopify on the contrary is pretty fixed. You don’t get to choose individual elements for your page but instead a page type. For example instead of choosing the contact form element, you get to choose from different contact ‘page’ formats.
If you want more flexibility with regards to this in Shopify, you’ll either need to connect apps or add your own custom HTML to the page. Simply toggle HTML mode on in your Shopify page editor to add code. In Wix, you can add an HTML block in Wix editor.
In the end, you can get both your Shopify and Wix pages to look the same. Just that the Wix UI gives you a simpler, more hands-on approach with better control to managing your content, without necessarily needing to know code.
5. Analytics Reporting
Once your marketing is in check, the next thing is to track your overall performance. Both platforms offer integration with Google analytics so you can track your traffic and conversion stats.
But Shopify takes it up a notch from there with additional built-in analytics features like customer behavior, forecasts, stock levels, most popular items and conversion tracking.
In terms of reports, you’d need to be on the Shopify Plus plan or higher to have access to financial, order, customer and acquisition reports.
Because Shopify was built primarily as an ecommerce platform, it offers multiple tools to help manage and track your business.
Shopify clearly outshines Wix when it comes to reporting and analytics, thanks to its multiple in-built reporting features as well as integration with Google Analytics.
6. SEO Performance: Wix vs Shopify
A key part of having a successful blog or online store, is getting noticed by search engines so you get free traffic. Some website builders help you optimize your website for a higher page rank while others may not.
Both Shopify and Wix do fairly well when it comes to basic SEO features. You’ll be able to edit your page titles, meta descriptions and headers with ease.Either platform also lets you include alt text to images, letting Google better index your web pages.
However, going deeper into SEO performance, you’ll find that both platforms have different winning points.
In terms of blogging and content creation, Wix takes the leap forward. Since the platform was designed first as a website builder, it’s blogging features are more refined and provide an overall better optimized website.
But on the mobile-friendliness front, Shopify does a better job of creating responsive and mobile-friendly websites compared to Wix. Google’s preference for responsive sites and giving mobile-friendly sites preference when indexing give Shopify an edge in terms of SEO.
In terms of URLs, both website builders don’t give you much room to edit and customize your URL. When you change a page or URL in Shopify, it creates a 301 redirect instantly and that tells Google that your content is no longer on that page.
Wix also offers its own software, SEO Wiz, made for complete newbies. It intuitively asks questions about where and which niches you’d like before creating an easy-to-follow strategy you can implement,
Winner: It’s A Draw
Both platforms offer incredibly fast page-loading times with Shopify winning when it comes to mobile-friendliness. But Wix offers its own SEO too
7. Third Party App Integrations
For any SaaS product, having third party app integrations is a big plus. Shopify and Wix have a number of them. Wix is newer to the ecommerce industry thus is still populating its app market with third party integrations. Currently it has between 50 – 100+ apps on its market.
You’ll find a number of apps each designed to work with a specific aspect of your online store or website. Its app market is clearly categorized into apps for site performance, forms, lead capture and more.
Shopify has the edge over Wix here, with over 4000+ third party apps you get more options and flexibility. Again most of the apps on the Wix app market work like add-on features.
They seem to be designed more towards extending the functionality of your website.
The apps also aren’t specific to ecommerce entirely, meaning you’ll probably have to dig to find ecommerce specific apps. Shopify’s apps are actually more integration-based than functionality based.
For example, if you already use a particular CRM software outside of your ecommerce store, say Hubspot, you’re likely to find an app that lets you link your software to your store, creating a central hub for all your marketing needs.
Shopify’s well populated app marketplace gives you lots of options for both add-on features and integrations. Its well organized categories and user ratings will also help you make an informed choice as to which apps to add to your store giving them the winning edge.
Shopify vs Wix: Ease of Use
Shopify and Wix reviews talk about how easy-to-use either platform is to use and rightly so. Both platforms come with a clean and crisp user interface that’s fairly easy to navigate so you can have your store set up and running in minutes.
But which one is truly user-friendly?
Wix is well-known for its drag-and-drop website builder. It was designed with those who have absolutely zero tech or coding knowledge who are looking to quickly create a decent website in a heartbeat.
Its large collection of beautiful pre-designed templates add to making the platform’s easy onboarding. It transfers this same ease of use to building your ecommerce store. There’s no need to know any code, just click to select and build a well-branded ecommerce site.
Apart from the drag and drop feature available in the Wix Editor, the platform also has a unique Artificial Design Intelligence option. This smart feature will first have you take a survey stating what your goals for your website are.
Then based on your responses, Wix goes online to research your business and creates a pre-populated website. It will create a highly-customized site for you complete with graphics, text, video and images to boot. Impressive right?
Add that to over 500+ beautiful, professional-looking templates to choose and customize readily and you’ll have a pretty, professionally done website in no time.
Lastly Wix provides an option for developers who are looking to further customize their website using its Corvid feature. It gives access to the Wix API or code which means if you know CSS or any coding language, you can customize your site more or add any needed functionality.
One difference worth noting between Shopify and Wix website builders is the real-time preview of any edits you make. Wix allows you to preview your edits in real-time so you can see how your changes affect your website readily but Shopify doesn’t.
With Shopify you’ll need to save and refresh any edits before you can see how your changes look which can end up being a time sucker. Another major difference is the ability to edit your mobile and desktop sites separately with Wix.
This is usually an afterthought for most website owners as chances are whichever theme you're using may automatically update the mobile site. Thanks to being able to edit your mobile site separately with Wix, you can focus on creating a better mobile experience.
To be fair, Wix ecommerce stores don‘t have as much functionality as Shopify does, so there will be less to actually set up.
Since Shopify is a full-fledged online sales platform with multiple features, the learning curve and time to actually get your store up and fully functional may be a little steep for some. However, depending on what exactly you’re selling it may not be as complicated.
Shopify also offers better support for developers who want to customize and modify their website using code.
Transferring and Exporting Data
Another key feature worth mentioning is moving data into and out of both platforms. Shopify and Wix allow you to import and export data quickly and simply via CSV file in a predesigned template you can simply fill.
Shopify has a slight edge because its export process is more straightforward than Wix and has no limits. You can even export pages and posts using apps like Excelify from Shopify.
Workarounds for getting blog content out of Wix (via RSS feeds) may be more technical compared to Shopify’s simple method.
Wix built its brand and popularity around its easy-to-use drag-and-drop website builder because it is as simple as it gets compared to most other website builders.
That plus its wide array of pre-designed, professional-looking, easy to customize templates make Wix a better option in this regard.
Shopify Pricing vs Wix Pricing
For anyone looking to start an ecommerce store, your budget will determine what kind of platform you’ll choose.
Hence it’s important to make sure whatever you choose aligns not only with your short-term business goals but also mid to long-term plans for your site.
Wix offers different pricing plans for websites and ecommerce sites. Its website plans include options for personal websites, freelancers and solopreneurs as well as brochure websites. These plans however don’t include the option to accept payments.
Plan prices for its standard website hosting start from as little as $4.50/month (allows you to only connect a domain) up to $24.50/month on the VIP plan which gives you a free website logo and social media logo files.
Its ecommerce plans start from $17/month and go up to $35/month. All plans come with
- a free domain
- recurring payments
- Secure online payments via Wix Payments and other third party processors.
- customer accounts and
- abandoned cart recovery.
The Business Unlimited Plan bills at $25/month and offers multi-currency transactions, up to 100 monthly sales tax calculations and 250 dropshipping products via Modalyst. For an in depth review of Wix pricing plans, check out our Wix pricing guide.
Shopify Pricing Plans
Shopify was designed to be an ecommerce website solution in a box and its pricing plans speak directly to that. Unlike Wix, it doesn’t offer plans for creating general websites, only ecommerce plans.
All Shopify plans come with:
- Unlimited products
- Integrated facebook and Google Marketing
- Secure online checkout/payments
- Selling on social media via Instagram, Amazon and Ebay
- Staff accounts and multiple locations
- Coupons, discounts and gift cards
All the above features are available on the cheapest plan, Shopify Basic which bills at $29/month.
The Shopify Plan bills at $79/month and offers more staff accounts and cheaper credit card and third party processor fees.
The Advanced Shopify Plan bills at $299/month and provides even lower transaction fees , advanced reports, third-party calculated shipping rates and even custom shipping integration.
There’s also the Shopify Lite Option which starts at $9/month. It simply lets you add buy buttons and accept payments to an already existing website. And for large businesses the Shopify Plus plan offers enterprise level solutions for $2,000/month.
The real sticker here is the additional charges you incur from using either platform. Shopify charges you 2.9% + 30¢ per credit card transaction, 2.7% for in person credit card payments and 2% for using third-party payment processors on their basic plan.
Given that Shopify Payments is not available in many countries, this can be put-off if your business is not based in the US, UK, Canada, Australia or any of the selected EU countries it is available in.
The rates get cheaper as you upgrade to higher plans, going as low as 2.4% +30¢ and 0.5% for third party payments. But even then, it still means a sizable portion of your revenue will go to processing fees.
Wix also charges processing fees like every other payment processor, these are however fixed at 2.9% + $0.30. There are no fees for using other payment processors on Wix, which is refreshing compared to Shopify’s 2% charge for using third party processors.
So which provides better value for money? The answer to that depends on what exactly you want out of your ecommerce website.
If you’re looking to own a website with a store, for example a blog/ podcast site with a shop page, then Wix offers enough features at the right price for that. This means you’re probably not looking to scale the store much and don’t intend to have many high volume transactions.
However if you’re looking to build an ecommerce website or online store/ boutique, it is worth paying a little extra to start with Shopify. The platform was designed with people looking to build and scale online stores in mind. Thus its features are worth the price.
Winner: It’s A Draw
Wix is indeed cheaper than Shopify but its features are a little too rudimentary if you want to actually build a scalable online store. Shopify’s steeper price tag on the other hand is justified by the sheer power of all its ecommerce features.
Shopify vs Wix: Customer Support
Customer care is a crucial part getting the full benefit of any software or service you are using, especially when it directly affects your money.
Running an ecommerce site means you’ll have to deal with customer issues and complaints when you have technical hitches.
So you’ll need reliable, helpful and responsive customer support from your service provider. Wix and Shopify both provide phone, email and social media support. Either also has its own community and forums to help out whenever necessary.
Shopify’s round the clock live chat support gives it a slight upper hand, as Wix doesn’t have a similar service. What Wix does offer is an exhaustive resource library full of all the information you’d ever need in relation to their platform including in-editor help.
Simply hover over any question mark and you’ll get a speech bubble with an answer.
However, they provide lots and lots of helpful content on virtually almost any basic issue you could come across on the platform. Possibly, it's their way of encouraging customers to help themselves out by going through their library of tutorials and helpful info.
Some other points worth noting when it comes to support on both platforms include:
- If you’re looking for priority response or ‘VIP support’ you may have to subscribe to the VIP Business Plan, so technically you’ll have to pay a few more dollars for better response times with Wix.
- Any paid app on Shopify will not give you the benefit of Shopify’ support. You’ll have to contact the app’s developer for any technical help.
- Both Wix and Shopify have adopted a “request callback” system for anyone who tries to use phone support.
The win goes to Wix simply because it offers enough FAQs, resource libraries and in-editor help so you don’t even need to contact support. Shopify may deliver near instant response times, but Wix makes it easier for you to solve any issues without picking up the phone,
Best Free and Paid Alternatives to Wix and Shopify
These two platforms offer some pretty impressive features for creating an online store or blog.
From an intuitive drag-and-drop builder with Wix to the full spectrum of ecommerce functionality and advanced reporting with Shopify, both platforms can cater to your needs.
But for some users, the fact that you’ll need to pay for third party apps just to extend or improve how your website works may be unappealing. This is especially true if your business starts growing and needs you to migrate a higher plan to access some key features.
Wix also lacks some of the advanced features of Shopify on the ecommerce end. So if you’re on a tight budget but still need an ecommerce platform/website builder that packs a punch then you’ll benefit from this list of alternatives.
You can also check out our best ecommerce platforms review.
Some of these are suited to small businesses and blogs while others are mainly for all things ecommerce.
Most Versatile Ecommerce and Website Building Platform for SEO.
3dcart is a complete website builder and ecommerce solution designed to fit websites of all kinds. Whether you’re building an arts and crafts site, a blog, or a large online boutique, 3dcart has both website and ecommerce solutions suited for you.
The company was started in 1997 and currently has over 15,000 paid subscribers in every niche from whole foods to high-end automotives. The best part is , even on their cheapest plan, you still get a lot of functionality compared to its competitors.
With regards to features, 3dcart offers everything from SEO to social and mobile commerce integration. In fact, it offers a whopping 200+ features including multilingual support, a customizable checkout, post sale email autoresponders and abandoned cart recovery solutions.
In terms of payment gateways, 3dcart gives you lots of options to accept online payments with zero transaction fees from their end. The only fees charged are by credit processors like PayPal.
With over 200 payment gateway integrations, your customers will surely find a payment solution that works for them with 3dcart. The platform is also PCI compliant, which guarantees maximum security for all transactions done on the platform.
Your shipping and taxes are also simplified with 3dcarts custom shipping rule option or integration with multiple international carriers like Canada Post, USPS, DHL and Fedex for live quotes. All your sales taxes will be handled by their integration with the Avalara Tax app.
Customizing your site with 3dcart is a breeze thanks to its Core Template Engine, which gives you fully responsive mobile themes and almost instant page load times thanks to Google AMP technology.
Another unique feature is that you can change your templates and your content will automatically be reformatted to match, which neither Wix nor Shopify offer. Its powerful API also allows you to further customize your site to create a unique experience for your customers.
SEO is where 3dcart shines. The platform integrates SEO features all throughout your website from allowing you to customize your headings, meta tags and descriptions to automatic 301 redirects and canonical URLs, which is not a common feature with other service providers.
3dcart has partnered with Zapier to provide even better automations.
You get access to over 1000 apps to help streamline your entire marketing and business processes which saves you time. Some of these integrations include powerful tools like Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Zendesk and more.
In terms of pricing, 3dcart has four pricing plans, ranging from $19/month for the Start-up store plan to $229/month on their Pro Store plan. All plans offer a Facebook store, domain registration, API access, unlimited products and transactions plus 24/7 customer support.
A critical look shows that there isn’t much of a difference in terms of basic function with their pricing plans, so you’re better off starting with the cheapest plan if you’re on a budget. You can check out our full 3dcart review in our best ecommerce hosting platforms review.
Try 3dcart risk-free today.
Best Free WordPress Ecommerce Extension.
If you're looking for a free ecommerce plugin that gives you full control of your ecommerce site, look no further than WooCommerce.
This popular ecommerce plugin allows you to add a shop page to your website with multiple products and variants, manage inventory and stock levels, offer shipping discounts and so much more.
Woocommerce Major Features
Like WordPress, WooCommerce has its own ecosystem of free and paid extensions as well as integrations that make it a complete solution for those looking to add ecommerce functionality to their website.
Whether you want to integrate your shop with Facebook, Amazon or ebay, offer real-time shipping quotes and discounts via ShipStation or Shippo, custom shipping or automate your tax calculations, WooCommerce has an extension for that.
In terms of payment processing fees, WooCommerce has its own custom payments solution called WooCommerce payments that charges a standard fee of 2.9% +$0.30 per transaction but is available only in the US.
Thus it offers over 100 third party payment gateway extensions including PayPal, Stripe, Square, Braintree, Klarna, Amazon Pay and many more. You can even upload your own custom payment gateway as well. Payments with third-party payment gateways incur no additional fees.
The only limitation is that WooCommerce only works with WordPress, meaning without WordPress you can’t use the extension. Thus you’ll need your own hosting and domain name first to get started.
Not sure which web host to pick? Check out our best web hosting providers review for starters.
Best Choice for Drag-and Drop Website Builder With Built-in Ecommerce.
Weebly is another popular web hosting provider and website builder that gives you true flexibility to create whatever you want, be it a blog, brochure site or online store. Acquired in 2018 by payment giant Square, Weebly has over 600,000 paid subscribers.
Many Weebly reviews hail its easy usability. If ease of use is mandatory for you, you’ll love Weebly’s simple website builder, complete with 100s of customizable themes and templates. There’s literally no learning curve with Weebly’s website builder. Just click, drag and drop.
It is also one of the few platforms that offers visitor analytics even on the free plan.
Weebly Ecommerce Features
Weebly’s ecommerce solution is secure (with SSL encryption), sturdy and provides all major payment options. It also provides automated global tax calculations so you don’t have to stress about taxes and tax rules.
Looking for extensions and apps? Weebly has its own native app marketplace complete with apps for managing every aspect of your website from marketing to ecommerce. Weebly’s ecommerce apps are somewhat limited, since that function was only added to the site recently.
It however has its own email marketing service called Promote, that covers newsletters and other marketing emails and integrates perfectly with the platform.
However, it may cost a little more than standard email marketing services. You can however check Weebly’s app market for other email service providers.
In terms of SEO, you can edit the title, description, add ALT text, edit URLs and meta tags of each product for maximum visibility online. ITs blogging feature is also very SEO-friendly.
Weebly’s free plan gives you a free website without a custom domain plus weebly ads on your site’s footer. Paid plans start from $6/month up to $26/month which includes the ecommerce functionality.
Best Contemporary Design Website Builder with Ecommerce Feature.
Squarespace combines the beauty of a clean minimalist aesthetic with an easy to use website builder and ecommerce functionality. The result? A one-stop shop for all things related to online business.
Whether its a portfolio website, a blog, personal, creative, event or small business website, Squarespace has 100s of easy to customize, professional-looking templates to choose from.
On top of that, you can get a free custom domain for a year plus a free logo using their online logo tool. Squarespace also has integrated social media and a native email marketing solution.
This tool lets you customize your emails using the same brand elements from your site plus you get live analytics so you know which of your email campaigns are working and which ones need tweaking.
In relation to ecommerce, Squarespace offers more well-rounded tools to help you sell anything. Its online booking/appointment scheduling feature is perfect for service-based business and those in the beauty industry.
It also supports digital goods, subscription based sales and physical products. Dropshipping is limited to custom prints via Printful. You can get direct shipping from both UPS and USPS or integrate with ShipStation to offer multiple live quotes from other carriers.
Squarespace however has limited payment gateways and app integrations. Nonetheless major payment providers like PayPal, Apple Pay and Stripe are available. Tax calculations are all automated thanks to its integration with TaxJar.
Squarespace doesn’t charge transaction fees on any of its plans except the Business Plan, where it charges 3%. Standard credit card processing rates still apply though
Squarespace doesn’t have any free plans, but you can try its 14-day free trial just to be sure it's a good fit for your business. Pricing plans start from $12/month for non-ecommerce sites and $18 – $40/month for ecommerce sites.
Most Customizable Ecommerce Builder For All Websites.
Leading the headless ecommerce front, BigCommerce is a powerful ecommerce solution that provides the most speed, customizability and flexibility rolled into one.
With multiple integrations, access to its API and a custom WordPress plugin, BigCommerce offers everything you need to run a fast, fully-customizable and responsive ecommerce site.
Its headless structure means you can customize the front-end of your store independently from the back end. This is especially useful because you can customize everything from how your merchandise looks to your checkout experience.
BigCommerce Marketing and Ecommerce Features
In terms of marketing channels, BigCommerce gives you more places to sell than most competing extensions. Sell everywhere be it on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest with its omnichannel marketing. Likewise, you can integrate with Google Shopping, Amazon and eBay.
Not a developer? Bigcommerce still offers the drag-and-drop builder functionality that anyone can use to create stunning sites.
A unique feature to BigCommerce is that you can run multiple storefronts from a single account. No need to create different accounts and passwords just to run two or more stores.
In terms of SEO, BigCommerce is optimized to give you blazing fast speed thanks to its Google Cloud Platform set-up and Google AMP integration.
You also get up to 65 pre-integrated payment gateways with BigCommerce. In relation to fees, Shopify charges up to 2% to use third party payment gateways but BigCommerce has zero fees. But there is an optional 2.9% + $0.30 for using PayPal powered by Braintree.
BigCommerce has four pricing plans, starting from $29.95/month up to $299.95/month. All plans give you unlimited products, product reviews, real-time shipping quotes, advanced reporting as well as multi-currency billing.
There is no free plan, but you can try out BigCommerce with a free 15-day trial. Try BigCommerce for free.
Best Multipurpose Ecommerce Builder Plugin for All Websites.
Ecwid is not a standalone website builder but an ecommerce plug-in that lets you add an online store to any website. Yes any website no matter which platform it's hosted on. This allows the platform to be lightning fast and responsive while giving you more room for features.
This speed together with its recent URL customization updates make Ecwid much more SEO friendly now, compared to previous versions. The plug-in is also easy to set-up and install, and you can have your online store up and running in no time with its site builder.
A unique feature of its site editor is the Color Adaptive Mode option that picks color combinations for your store based on your design template. You can further customize your theme using CSS.
Ecwid Marketing and Ecommerce Features
Integrate Ecwid seamlessly with Facebook, Amazon, Ebay and other marketplaces. Plus if you’re looking to start a dropshipping store, you can choose between Printful and Wholesale2B.
Ecwid also has its own app market and over 50 payment gateways including major ones like PayPal, Stripe, Square, Apple Pay, 2Checkout and more. Your customers can checkout either by creating an account or as a guest based on what settings you choose.
You can set your own tax rules based on which state or country you are in or use the automatic tax calculator if you are in Europe, Canada or Australia.
The best part is Ecwid has a free plan (freemium plan) which allows only 10 products but is still a great option to try out the software and see if it works for you.
Paid plans start from $15/month up to $99/month and offer free digital product downloads and allow advertising across Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram.
Try Ecwid today!
Shopify vs Wix FAQ
When it comes to multilingual support, Wix is marginally better than Shopify.
Shopify has no in-built multilingual support feature. Hence you’ll have to download apps from the Shopify app marketplace that help you add the multilingual feature to your site.
An alternative to downloading apps on Shopify, is to choose themes that offer bilingual support. With Wix however, multilingual support is built into the platform making it a little more intuitive.
In terms of SEO, both Shopify and Wix offer competitive SEO features but because Wix is built mainly as a website builder, it offers more advanced SEO support. Google has also given Wix the green light in terms of SEO support.
Both Wix and Shopify boast of mobile responsive themes with Wix giving you the option to even edit your mobile site separately to further improve its mobile responsiveness.
Both platforms offer many theme and template options with built-in mobile responsiveness.
Shopify has a pretty extensive and somewhat interesting list of prohibited product categories. This list recently grew to even include nose masks.
Some of these apply mainly to US and Canadian merchants, while others are more global. Either way, if you’re considering opening a store with any of these goods, you’ll have to find an alternative ecommerce platform provider.
Prohibited items listed on Shopify include; alcohol and alcoholic beverages, electronic cigarettes and tobacco products (including pipes, vaporizers, juices, and anything related to smoking), CBD and hemp-based products (even those without THC), drugs, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and most food supplements.
Other products on the list are fireworks, firearms, explosives and weapons including but not limited to knives, ammunition, explosives, crossbows, air guns, targets or pellets, solvents and flammables including benzene,kerosene or lighter fluid and lastly online gaming and sale of online video gaming currency or credits or age-restricted video games.
A recent addition to the list includes high demand products like nose masks and hand sanitizers. In its Rules of Engagement in relation to COVID-19 goods, Shopify restricts the sale of such items.
Next Step: Launch Your Online Store or Ecommerce Business
Wix and Shopify are both equally powerful platforms with features that can help you get your online business off to a great start. But it's clear each platform was designed with specific users in mind.
If you’re looking to build an online presence through blogging but want to have an ecommerce store functionality attached, have only a few products, are a start-up, or are just looking to experiment with ecommerce in general, then Wix is the better choice for you.
Conversely, if you’re actually starting a product line (whether physical or digital), or a profitable online store with multiple product offerings and expect high volume transactions, then Shopify is the perfect choice.