Anson,  August 21, 2020

How to own an online store with no software bills.Read to learn...

If you clicked on this article chances are you’re in interested in owning an online store.In this era of social distancing, an online store is the right thing to be interested in. Reading this article will help you identify  free software for setting up an online store as well as a trial version which doesn’t need your credit card details to set up. Giving  you this needful guide will be easily achieved by comparing Ecwid and Shopify which are the two most reputable softwares in the online store market. Read on for a detailed analysis of the two popular e-commerce platforms, their pros and cons, and why you might consider using one over the other. By the end of this post, you will have a better idea as to which software to use for your online store. If you find the article useful, share it with friends and family :)

What are Ecwid and Shopify?

Shopify and Ecwid are softwares for selling products online. You can use them to create as well as upload products on your online store.Should you need to change your inventory or adjust prices, the two softwares have you covered.Despite such basic similarities they have got different backgrounds and are worthy opponents in the markets they serve. Shopify Inc. is a Canadian multinational e-commerce company headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It is also the name of its proprietary e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems.The Shopify tool is designed to be able to build a standalone online store connected to a domain of your choosing. Ecwid as the name suggests is on the contrary is an ecommerce widget. It is designed to help you set up your  store to easily sell across a website, social media, and marketplaces. Although the two softwares have clear differences, stiffer competition  has caused their ever evolving functions to blur out such contrast.Of late, it has become common knowledge that you can embed your Shopify product catalog on an Ecwid store or use Ecwid to build an independent online store.This is why I will take just a bit of your time to highlight differences despite changing orientations of these softwares and help you to determine which tool is good for your businesses.Let’s take a look at pricing.

What's free ...


Ecwid has four offers and the first one is not a trial but a free plan.A list of these plans is as as follows:

Free -------- $0 per month

Venture —    $15 per month

Business — $35 per month

Unlimited — $99 per month


Both Ecwid and shopify plans allow you to upload an unlimited number of goods into your online store.The difference however lies in the smallest plans of both tools and the notion of ‘free’. Ecwid has a free plan and it stays that way forever as long as you don’t upload more than 10 products. Shopify on the other hand will only let you test-drive their tool for only 14 days (which has been extended to 19 days due to COVID-19).You won’t be charged if you cancel prior to your trial’s elapse. You can click here to start your 14 day free trial. Shopify’s low costing plan is known as “lite” and often goes for $9 per month.The lite plan is more like Ecwid in the sense that it functions like a widget helping you sell on facebook and elsewhere.It is not made to function as an independent online store.While Ecwid’s basic plan is $15 per month, Shopify’s basic deal is at $29. Both plans allow for linking with external CRMs and have gateway connectivity with many payment processors to choose from. Shopify has always had its gateway from as long as I can recall and has recently announced its CRM.The platform still allows for external CRMs and gateways but charges a fee for using external gateways. Ecwid lets you use any gateway without a cost implication.On top of this, both tools have analytics to help you keep track of sales, inventory and have a proper overview of your store.Paying upfront on any of these tools prompts a discount. Ecwid rewards paying yearly with a 16.6% discount; Shopify offers 10% and 20% if you pay for 1 or 2 years of service upfront. To view Shopify’s pricing plans in detail, click here or on the chart below.Let’s move on to software differences and similarities. 

Software compares

Shopify has 100 gateways while Ecwid has 70. Both provide an easy way to include couriers  for drop-shipping purposes.Drop-shipping is delivering physical goods through a courier after a buyer has paid online. Shopify’s gateway makes things easy for those using the platform in that only 0.5% to 2% is deducted from product sales but the downsides are that in other countries this advantage is not available and users have to rely on other payment processors which like I mentioned earlier on is costly.The cost arises from the fact that Shopify discourages using alternative gateway solutions with an extra charge. Although Shopify is a good solution for a solid online store, Ecwid seems more user and cost friendly. Ecwid seems generous in that it has a free plan while Shopify is probably just as good in that it has no product catalogue limitation.Even with its entry plan of $9 you can load into your Shopify  'Lite' widget as many products as you want. Ecwid limits the free plan to 10 products,100 on its $15 per month ‘Venture’ plan; and 2500 on its $35 per month ‘Business’ plan. Ecwid presents a real opportunity in its friendly pricing and intuitive interface but restrains users when it comes to down to product catalogue (meaning how many products you can have in your store).


In both platforms selling physical and digital goods is possible. Ecwid does this naturally without third party plugin intervention while Shopify which seems to have been created for physical goods sells digital goods with the help of a plugin known as ‘digital downloads’.Nonetheless it works just as fine without extra costs. The Ecwid platform is built to gracefully accommodate digital products even without a third party plugin.While Shopify limits users to uploading file sizes of up to 5GB, Ecwid allows up to 25 GB.If you would like to use Shopify and scale it up to a bigger file size than it is built to manage you will need a file zipping plugin which carries another cost.Choosing Ecwid is a no-brainer when dealing with large files.While Ecwid seems pretty good at selling digital goods Shopify is better at selling physical goods and has a well integrated POS whereas Ecwid will need third-party help or advanced Ecwid plans starting at $99. Shopify’s POS works just as fine starting with its introductory “Lite” plan which is only $9. As you might have observed, Shopify will perform better when running an online store that deals in clothes, printed books, bags, cosmetics, fishing equipment and anything you can imagine that's physical.Ecwid is the friend to a software, movie, artistic designs and digital downloads seller. Having said that, the lines are bit blurry in that Shopify has the ability to sell digital goods and Ecwid isn’t incapable of selling physical goods.As you can see, it depends on what your business is all about and which platform you find suitable.


With Ecwid being an e-commerce widget, the fact that it embeds well is a no-brainer. Ecwid can easily be embedded to a Wordpress blog and many other platforms.It does so easily without the need for newbies to go through extremely demanding learning curves. Shopify through its Lite plan is not accepting defeat while rested on its laurels.You can embed Shopify buy buttons on any web platform including blogs through its light plan functionality. But being a widget makes Ecwid more fluid than Shopify.  Furthermore, Ecwid lets you to sell in various currencies while Shopify restrains users to dollars as long they are using buy buttons on the lite plan. While Ecwid embeds harmoniously on a blog or website alien to its platform and ensures everything happens on your site, including checkout, which makes for a smooth buying process, Shopify does the opposite. Its buy buttons lead the visiter out of site at checkout.A hard to ignore and not-so-vanilla element in Shopify’s buy buttons is its currency restraint which limits users to dollars. Although Ecwid isn’t the desirable new kid on the block when it comes to it’s POS, Shopify hasn't done enough to win the embedding trophy. But at $9 Shopify gives you POS Value that Ecwid would only afford you at $99. Even still, Ecwid wins the price of embedding products to other platforms by allowing multi-currency freedom and keeping visitors on site while Shopify stops the show. Ecwid gives you harmonious embedding even through it’s entry plan which is free!


To keep up with the demands of running an online store in a bizarrely competitive world, you will need third party apps to help deal with your tool’s shortcomings. Recently, I have added a third party app to my Shopify store that helps shrink file sizes because site uploading speed was dwindling down the competition gradient.I needed more speed to make more money because visitors abandon sites that take forever to load. Although I can’t remember adding third party apps to my Ecwid store, such actions are a necessary evil in the event of need. Shopify has 3200+  apps to choose from and is still counting. With some being free or paid the advantage of such access is obvious. Ecwid barely has 150+ apps.That’s a clear “can’t compare” scenario. Shopify is able to integrate with major mail delivery apps needed for CRM excerpt for Mail chimp due to a recent standoff. Shopify broke up with mailchimp after a conflict about data. “It’s critical for our merchants to have accurate, complete insight into their businesses and customers, and this isn’t possible when Mailchimp locks in their data,” Shopify claims. “Specifically, Mailchimp refuses to synchronize customer information captured on merchants’ online stores and email opt-out preferences. As a result, our merchants, other apps, and partner ecosystem can’t reliably serve their customers or comply with privacy legislation.” For Mail Chimp customers choosing Shopify is probably a bummer since integration is only  possible with Ecwid through  Zapier; a popular file ‘sync’ app. But that comes at a small cost. In addition to this, my experience with Zapier proves that using it can be a learning curve. In a sense, Shopify wins the integration game beating it’s rival  Ecwid hands-down in shameful comparison of its 3200+ apps with Ecwid’s 150+ apps. In addition to this incredible win, Shopify seems to be a bit above Ecwid in the SEO game. SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of optimizing your website to get organic, or un-paid, traffic from the search engine results page.Every month I have free traffic coming from Google into my Shopify store.Like many of us who aren’t good at everything, Ecwid clearly sucks at SEO not merely because it doesn’t have a very searchable DNA but also because unlike Shopify, it doesn’t have a blog post provision. Google loves blog posts and not being able to produce wordy content is a showstopper to SEO excellence and Google ranking. Although Shopify is a clear winner in both SEO and integration, Ecwid wins just as much when it comes SEO if merged with Wordpress (the world’s most used blogging tool). As mentioned earlier on, Ecwid does a better job at merging with Wordpress and keeping visitors on the blog even during checkout while Shopify does just the opposite. In a nutshell, Ewcid and Shopify are very good tools.You can choose one or experiment with both at no cost. As you gain knowledge and expertise you will be able to scale up to paid plans and succeed in e-commerce. Now we have gone into a bit of detail, haven’t we? Scroll down to read my last words.


If you want to create a solid online store selling tangible products, choose Shopify. If you want to sell small downloadable files, you’re still home and dry with Shopify. Did I forget to mention that Shopify has blogging capabilities?Apart from this, it has a better SEO experience. And that my friend means free traffic. Try it for 14 days and see if its any good.

Although the battle between Ecwid and Shopify for ecommerce glory is fierce, the choice of a suitable tool for your business lies with you. Ecwid is the best choice for a digital business which deals in large files.It’s the show-maker to a penniless newbie desiring to sell physical goods online. Get Ecwid here. If you're under budget then here is a good deal: you see, Ecwid  also embeds well on  Wordpress which is the world's leading blog software and is best offered by Bluehost  clickable in the banner below.With wordpress being a SEO master, Embedding Ecwid to it can mean free traffic and sales.You would have to pay $3.95 per month for Wordpress through Bluehost and use the free plan on Ecwid. Wordpress through Bluehost comes with a free Url of your choice.If that sounds like an incredible deal then click the banner below to start a blog which you should eventually harmonise with your free Ecwid store.

DISCLAIMER. Since I share ecommerce strategies with awesome people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I'll earn some coffee money ☕️ which I promise to drink while creating more helpful content like this.