What is Ecwid?
Ecwid is a fully hosted ecommerce platform which was primarily designed to add a shopping cart to popular website builders such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace but it can be used to build a standalone website as well.
Ecwid can also be used to sell via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, while being able to manage the orders from a single dashboard. This makes Ecwid a very versatile platform and an intriguing option for ecommerce, but is it any good?
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Ecwid offers a selection of 4 plans and unlike many of their competition, this includes a free plan and this is one of the main selling points of the Ecwid platform.
Ecwid Free Plan
Ecwid Venture – £15/m
Ecwid Business – £35/m
Ecwid Unlimited – £99/m
The plan prices shown above are if they are paid monthly but they do offer a discount which is equivalent to two months free if the plans are paid for annually.
Unlike many other platforms, Ecwid’s plans aren’t limited by annual turnover limits and they don’t charge any additional transaction fees.
The main difference between the plans are the amount of products you can list and the amount of features that are included, with the top unlimited plan including all the features that Ecwid have to offer along with 12 hours of free customisation work, if the plan is bought annually.
If you are interested in seeing how Ecwid’s pricing compares to other ecommerce platforms, then check out my How Much Does an Ecommerce Website Cost post.
Before I get full on into my review, I thought I would take a look at what some of their existing customers thought of the platform. For this I look on Trustpilot, Facebook and Google.
4.5 out of 5
Ecwid offer a good selection of features and they are available whether you are using a site built with them or are using it when integrated with another platform. As the free plan is quite limited on features, I will just be looking at the paid plans for this review.
Ecwid Marketing Tools
Ecwid comes with a really good selection of marketing tools to not only help you bring customers to your website but also encourage more sales for visitors that are on your site, including:
- Sell via Multiple Sites – Ecwid instant builder, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace etc
- Facebook Shop
- Instagram Store
- Set Up Google and Facebook Ad Campaigns
On site marketing tools:
- Facebook Messenger Live Chat – add a live chat option to your ecommerce store with Facebook Messenger
- Discount Coupons – create discount codes for customers and marketing campaigns
- Gift Cards – allow customer to buy gift cards that can be redeemed in your online store
- Abandoned Cart Emails* – automatically send emails for customers who have abandoned their shopping cart
- Multilingual Catalogue* – display your product listings in multiple languages, ideal if you are selling internationally
*Only available on the Business & Unlimited Plans
The Abandoned Cart Recovery can also include discount codes to help encourage return visitors along with prompts to set up Re-targeting campaigns for both Facebook and Google.
Ecwid SEO Tools
SEO is one of the areas where Ecwid really isn’t very strong as the tools on offer aren’t particularly great and they are lacking one very important SEO tool.
One all of the paid plans, you get access to ‘Advanced SEO Tools‘ which includes the options with the product creation pages to set a Custom Page Title and Meta Description but there is no option to create a custom URL.
Talking of URL’s, all of product and category URL’s are taken from the name of the product/category but one quirk with the Ecwid platform is that they add random numbers to the end of these URL’s as can be seen in the image below:
This cannot be edited and even though the rest of the URL is clean and search engine/user friendly, this random number does detract from this. This also happens when Ecwid is integrated with other platforms such as WordPress and Wix.
One thing that is lacking from the Ecwid platform is any kind of content creation tools as there is no blog functionality within the platform and you are limited to only creating a handful of pages on your site. This is where the integration with content focused platform such as WordPress and Wix really does become very important.
Ecwid Payment Gateways
One of the definite strong areas of the Ecwid platform is the amount of payment gateway integrations that they offers, with over 40 global options available, including:
- Klarna (via Stripe)
- Apple Pay (via Stripe)
Ecwid also offers One Tap Checkout for Apple users (via Stripe), which streamlines the checkout process.
Ecwid also offer a range of offline payment methods such as Cash on Delivery, Bank Transfer and Invoices. These all have to processed manually and order statuses updated as required within the Ecwid platform.
Do Ecwid charge transaction fees?
No, you will not be charged any transaction fees using Ecwid, even the free package.
Ecwid Shipping Options
Ecwid offers a range of different shipping options to suit a variety of different businesses, these options include:
- Local Delivery – set delivery rates for specific zones and also limit times to delivery hours
- Self Pick-up – allow customers to pick up their order from your premises including In-store, curbside and Drive through pickups
They also offer a range of traditional shipping options and include options for major shipping companies around the world, including:
- Royal Mail (UK)
- Canada Post
- Australia Post
There are also many option for national shipping carriers, there is is also the option to add additional carriers, which are all set up by the user.
With some carriers, there is the option to have shipping rates automatically calculated or you can set manual rates such as free delivery, conditional free delivery, flat rate or create custom shipping rates based on weight or sub-total.
Ecwid Reporting and Analytics
As standard, Ecwid is pretty poor when it comes to analytics and reporting as it only offers a short sales summary in the main dashboard but for anything for more detailed, it does require the installation of an app.
Ecwid do recommend two free ones from Kliken and MonkeyData, both of which offer a more detailed overview of your sites performance, including:
- Number of Visitors
- Conversion Rate
You can also set up Google Analytics within your store, which will provide you with a good set of data for visitors etc.
Ecwid App Store
While Ecwid does have some good features as standard, it is lacking behind some of its competition but it does have an app market that you can take advantage of to help plug some of these feature gaps.
There are over 130 apps that you can choose from but unfortunately, they are not all free to use and if you are not careful, you could end up spending a lot of money every month.
This is most definitely Ecwid’s main feature and also what makes it such an interesting proposition. Ecwid can be integrated into pretty much any website, no matter what platform you are using.
This is mainly done by embedding a buy button into a chosen page on your site and it will bring across all the information that you created within the Ecwid dashboard. This gives it great flexibility and you know that the checkout process is all taken care of using Ecwid’s secure hosting environment.
Ecwid and WordPress
Without doubt, the largest website platform in the world is WordPress and the team at Ecwid recognised this. They made sure that their platform integrates perfectly into WordPress, allowing you to have a fast, securely hosted checkout within a WordPress site.
It integrates in the form of a plugin and allows you to manage your Ecwid store directly in the WordPress dashboard, making it a very viable option for adding ecommerce functionality to your WordPress blog or website. To learn more about this check out my Ecwid WordPress Tutorial.
Ecwid and Wix
The second popular integration that Ecwid offers is with Wix and comes in the form of an app that is available from the Wix App Marketplace.
Integration is seamless and brings the complete Ecwid dashboard into the Wix dashboard, making it possible to manage your complete website by only logging into one dashboard and offers a great alternative to native Wix Stores app.
Ecwid Theme Selection
If you are planning to use Ecwid as a stand alone store, then they have a selection of 79 free themes for you to choose from. All of them are mobile responsive and offer a small range of customisation options, which I will cover more below.
As I mentioned above, there is a good selection of themes, the only thing is that the majority of these themes just have different header layouts and fonts. Most of the other design elements stay pretty much the same.
The theme customisation page is nice and easy to use and it doesn’t take much to add your own content to your front page and there are layout options for your product and category pages.
While you can remove some sections from your homepage if you don’t want them, there isn’t a selection of other elements that you can add. So it does make it a bit difficult to really create a custom looking website, which is a little bit disappointing.
Whichever theme you choose, you can alter the fonts, colours of font and button aesthetics to help the store fit your business a little bit better.
Overall the theme customisation is really good, it would just be nice if there were a few more elements you could use to customise your pages.
The level of support available from the Ecwid team is dependant on which package you are on.
- Support on the free package is limited to email support
- The Venture package includes live chat support, which is available within the admin dashboard
- The Business and Unlimited packages both phone support, which is available 2pm – 10pm pacific time
- The Unlimited packages includes priority support
Outside of direct support from Ecwid, there is also a help centre that is full of detailed guides on how to use the platform, there is also a systems monitor so that you can check at any time to make sure that it is up an running.
Ecwid Web Hosting
Unfortunately, I can’t do my usual performance testing with the Ecwid platform as their example sites are mixture of their own ecommerce web builder and where Ecwid has been integrated with other platforms such as WordPress, Wix and Squarespace.
This makes testing nearly impossible to do as it is very difficult to know which example site uses which platform. But they do list some information about there servers and hosting environment, which is nice.
- Hosted on Amazon Web Services
- PCI Level 1 PCI DSS
- Cloudfront CDN
- Secure Checkout
- Unlimited Bandwidth
On a side note, it would have been nice if Ecwid had split their example sites in to which platform they were using, rather than by niche. Not just so I could test them but so as a potential customer, you could easily see how well Ecwid integrates with these other platforms.
How Easy is Ecwid to Use?
Features are one thing, being easy to use is another! That is why, when I test a platform, I also see how easy it is to use and I look at 4 main areas:
- Getting Started
- Inventory Management
- Order Management
The Ecwid dashboard and platform in general, is one of the easiest to use as nothing is over complicated within the admin dashboard.
One of the main components of this is the main navigation menu as not only are the headings clearly labelled, but they are broken down in to three main categories:
- Store Management
- Sales Channels
This makes it extremely easy to move between different sections of the dashboard and the simplicity has also been applied to all of the pages and sections within Ecwid. Not only is this aesthetically pleasing but the layout of the pages makes the workflow very easy.
The rest of the set up guide does take you through the important elements of starting an ecommerce website, such as how to add a new product, configure regional settings, set up shipping and finally adding a way to take payments.
If you are using the free Ecwid plan, then you will see that some areas, options and features are not available as they are only available on paid plans.
The process of adding a new product on Ecwid is really well laid out and makes the process easy to do. They have opted for a tabbed layout with clearly labelled sections for you to work through and everything is there that you need.
The only thing I don’t like about adding a new product is that you cannot change or edit the URL, yes Ecwid does a good job of product SEO friendly ones but all products will have a random number sequence at the end and while it is not a major thing, it is just something I would prefer to have control over.
It is also set up for digital goods as well as physical, with there being a tab where you can upload your files. One thing I do like about the add product page is that there is a button to preview the listing in the form of a pop up, so you know what your page will look like before you make your product live.
Organising your products is also really simple to do, Ecwid have gone for the tried and tested category method and you can create sub-categories which enables you to create a good hierarchy for your products.
Managing your inventory has recently gotten a whole lot better on Ecwid as they have added a bulk editor for their products and it allows you to quickly update the:
- Product Title
- SKU Code
There are also some other options that can be edited and you can use the filter tool to select which things you want to bulk edit and this is a very welcome addition to the Ecwid platform!
The Ecwid order management system is one of the easiest to use from all of the testing and reviews that I have done. Pretty much everything can be done from the order overview page.
With a couple of clicks, you can print off orders, update order statuses and update payment statuses. You can also export your orders in CSV format or directly to a chosen Google sheet for analysis. Whether you have a small or large number of orders, the Ecwid order management system will do the job.
Is Ecwid Any Good?
This isn’t a straightforward yes or no answer!
As a standalone ecommerce platform, Ecwid isn’t the best option out there as the Instant Website isn’t very good and it is lacking in terms of content features such as a blog or custom pages.
As an ecommerce tool for other platforms such as WordPress or Ecwid? Yes, Ecwid is a very good option as it brings a full section of ecommerce tools and features to platforms where this isn’t particularly strong.
So it really does come down to what you want to use Ecwid for.