Ecwid eCommerce for WordPress
Ecwid is a managed Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for hosting your own eCommerce store, and it’s designed to be easily embedded within any type of website. Additionally, there’s a free WordPress plugin available that makes it simple to implement Ecwid on your WordPress website.
In this article, we’ll discuss the features of Ecwid, how it works, and its cost. Finally, we’ll compare Ecwid to some of the other popular eCommerce solutions available. Let’s get started!
Ecwid offers support for all of the essential elements you’ll need to run an eCommerce website, such as:
- Product management, with product options and inventory tracking.
- Support for selling digital and physical goods.
- Multiple secure payment gateways to choose from.
- Support for promotions and coupons, to improve sales.
- Variable shipping rates.
Every Ecwid store comes with functionality for setting up a Facebook shop, and you can also choose to pay extra to get add-on support for mobile Point of Sale (POS), integration into marketplaces, and interoperability in a normal POS. At the highest level, you can even have your own custom branded iOS and Android shopping application!
If you choose to use Ecwid with WordPress, you’ll still be managing your store from the Ecwid dashboard interface. However, it’s possible to also include a full store XML sitemap using the dedicated WordPress plugin. This means that even though your store is embedded on the site dynamically, you can still benefit from Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
How Ecwid Works
Ecwid hosts your store on its own servers, and provides you with a basic front end eCommerce website. You then have the option to embed this store into your website using additional provided tools. You can get started with Ecwid for free with up to ten physical products, and it’s certified Level 1 PCI compliant to protect you from any potential fraud.
Since Ecwid is a cloud-based platform, there is nothing you need to get started, and it’s designed to sync and integrate between multiple sites at once (such as a Facebook shopping section and your WordPress site). However, if you’d like to add Ecwid to your WordPress website, you’ll need:
- An active Ecwid account
- Any WordPress website
After installing the Ecwid plugin, you can simply login to your account, and the rest of the integration will be handled for you automatically.
Ecwid Payment Gateways
First, Ecwid offers their own payment gateway called Ecwid Payments. However, it’s only available to USA- and Canada-based stores. There are also over 50 alternative options to choose from, and some of the more popular gateways include:
- American Express
- Authorize.Net SIM
In order to begin accepting payments through your Ecwid store, you’ll need to set up your merchant account with any of the provided payment gateways, then connect it to your bank account. Ecwid recommends testing your final configuration by creating a $0.01 product and purchasing it from your store.
Here is the official Ecwid video on setting up your payment gateway:
Ecwid also lets you process offline payments, though handling these will take a bit more manual effort on your end.
How Much Does Ecwid Cost?
Ecwid offers a ‘free forever’ plan for up to ten physical products in your store. Paid plans start at $15 per month for 100 products, and go up to $99 per month for an unlimited account.
Among popular hosted eCommerce plans, Ecwid offers some of the cheapest options for running your online store. Both BigCommerce and Shopify start at around $29 per month, and offer no free level to give their services a try. That being said, the services provided by Ecwid lack in comparison, and overall the service is more suited to a smaller business with less complex needs.
Ecwid vs. Shopify
Shopify is arguably one of the most well-known hosted eCommerce platforms. While Shopify offers a few robust options unavailable in Ecwid, such as physical gift cards, there are several reasons you might choose the latter to host your site.
If your goal is to manage a simple online site and quickly sync between your Facebook page and WordPress website, Ecwid offers exactly what you need at a very low cost. For example, to add Facebook support in Shopify costs an additional $9 per month, on top of your regular account expenses.
For businesses with simple online selling needs, Ecwid may be a more cost-effective choice than Shopify.
Ecwid vs. WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a free plugin turning WordPress into a full-featured eCommerce solution. Unlike Ecwid, WooCommerce offers you full control over your store’s management. This means, on top of managing sales and inventory, you are also tasked with software upkeep and maintenance.
It’s difficult to directly compare WooCommerce to Ecwid, as one is software while the other is a service. However, while WooCommerce can be an initially free way to add high-level eCommerce functionality to your site, costs may rise indeterminately based on the extensions you choose to buy, and whether you employ a developer to design your site.
If you’re looking for a managed eCommerce store to provide all of the services you need ready to go, Ecwid is a strong contender against WooCommerce.
Ecwid vs. BigCommerce
BigCommerce is another well-known name in the hosted eCommerce platform world. However, the big difference between this and other solutions is that there’s no supported direct integration between BigCommerce and your WordPress site. Even so, you can link to your blog in the navigation section.
While BigCommerce offers many advanced and complex options such as Amazon and eBay store integration, it’s intended as a stand-alone solution rather than a way to provide eCommerce functionality to a pre-existing website.
If you don’t need advanced features and want easy WordPress integration from your eCommerce management system, Ecwid is probably the right choice for you.
Ecwid vs. Magento
Magento is another open-source program that you can install on your own server to run an eCommerce website. Unlike WooCommerce, which extends another platform, Magento is a full-fledged eCommerce solution.
If you run a huge online store and handle massive amounts of customers at once, Magento can handle it. However, it’s an advanced program and requires you to understand how to install and configure it.
Ecwid is a much simpler product than Magento, but because of this is able to offer you a completely managed solution at an affordable rate. If you are just starting up with your business online, Ecwid will be a more manageable starting step.