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The quick verdict
Ecwid has a lot going for it. It can be used entirely for free, lets you facilitate ecommerce on any website and comes with good features for selling in different languages and currencies. And its ‘Instant Site’ feature represents a really easy way for web design novices to get a one-page store off the ground.
There are some negative aspects to consider however. Ecwid’s SEO features could be better, its pricing is very inconsistent across different countries and you can only create product variants on its more expensive plans.
Key pros and cons
|Key pros||Key cons|
|Totally free plan available||Limited access to phone support|
|Lets you sell on any website||No multi-currency checkout|
|Relatively cheap||SEO features are quite basic|
|Good point of sale features||Limited number of integrations|
|Automatic tax rates||Mobile POS only supported on iOS|
Our overall rating
Is Ecwid any good? Well, in this deep dive into the platform, you’ll learn all about its core features, strengths, weaknesses and value for money.
By the end of the post, you’ll have a much clearer idea of whether Ecwid is the right ecommerce solution for your business — and what the best alternatives are if not.
Let’s start with a key question…
What is Ecwid, and how does it work?
Ecwid is a tool for building your own online store. It’s a ‘software as a service’ (SaaS) product, meaning that you don’t own the software, but pay a monthly fee to use it.
Founded in 2009, Ecwid was recently acquired by ecommerce / point-of-sale company Lightspeed — and now powers over 939,500 online stores (source: Builtwith).
This means that it’s a pretty safe bet when it comes to longevity — it’s unlikely that Ecwid is going to disappear any time soon.
Much like competing ecommerce platforms, Ecwid allows you to set up ‘catalogs’ of products and add photos, pricing, weight etc. for each item.
You can define shipping rates, accept credit card payments and so on – all the key things that you’d expect to be able to do using an ecommerce solution. This is all done via a web browser — there’s nothing to install on your computer.
Ecwid differs significantly from competitors like Shopify, Squarespace and BigCommerce however, in that it is not primarily designed to let you create a standalone ecommerce website. Instead, it’s designed to allow you add an online store to an existing website or online presence.
That said, in recent years Ecwid has added some new functionality, called ‘Instant Sites’, that does let you create a basic, one-page standalone offering.
(I’ll discuss this in more depth later on in the review.)
Ecwid works by giving you a widget that gets placed on other sites — hence its name: it’s short for ‘Ecommerce Widget’. You get a few lines of HTML code (the widget) to add to an existing website or social media profile and your store is displayed wherever you’ve inserted this code.
But how much does this functionality cost?
The free plan
If you’ve only got a few products to sell — up to 5 — Ecwid is entirely free. This is something of a unique selling point for Ecwid — with the exception of Big Cartel, we’ve yet to review an ecommerce platform that offers much in the way of free selling tools.
The free plan is pretty basic, with key features like discount coupons and the ability to sell digital goods being unavailable; and it only allows you to sell up to 5 products.
Significantly, you can’t use this plan to sell on key social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.
But for merchants with very simple requirements, this may actually be sufficient, and using the free plan is a good way to try the product out.
Probably the most important thing to note about the free plan is that it is not great from a search engine optimization (SEO) point of view — you need to be on a paid-for plan to ensure that your product pages talk to search engines in the best way possible.
(More on SEO shortly).
The paid-for plans
The USD pricing structure for Ecwid is as follows:
- Free — $0 per month, letting you sell up to 5 products.
- Venture — $19 per month, letting you sell up to100 products.
- Business — $39 per month, letting you sell up to 2,500 products
- Unlimited — $99 per month, letting you sell an unlimited number of products.
As you might expect, the more you pay, the more additional features you get – discount coupons, integrations with other stores, better support and so on. (More on all these features shortly).
Ecwid pricing outside the US
Something to be aware of is that Ecwid can be more expensive for non-US users.
For example, in the UK, the Venture, Business and Unlimited plans cost £19, £39 and £99 per month — making them considerably more expensive than if purchased in the US (the UK prices are around 23% higher).
In the EU, the equivalent prices are €19, €39 and €99 — a bit cheaper than the plans cost in the UK, but (based on current currency conversion rates) still around 7% more expensive than in the US.
The key differences to watch out for between Ecwid plans
A few key differences in the Ecwid plans to watch out for are as follows:
The ‘Venture’ plan doesn’t allow you to list your products on Amazon or eBay.
The ‘Venture’ plan is quite restrictive in terms of how it allows you to display your products: on this plan, you can’t use product variants or allow users to make use of product filters when browsing your store.
The ‘Venture’ plan doesn’t allow you to edit existing orders (or create ones manually) — you’ll need to be on a more expensive plan to be able to do that.
With the ‘Business’ and ‘Unlimited’ plans, you can avail of some consultation time when setting up your store (two hours and six hours respectively).
Phone support is only available on the ‘Business’ and ‘Unlimited’ plans.
Multilingual features are only available on the ‘Business’ and ‘Unlimited’ plans.
- Only the ‘Unlimited’ plan gives you full access to point-of-sale features.
Now, let’s drill down into some of Ecwid’s key features, starting with payment gateways.
Have you seen our Ecwid video review?
A payment gateway is the software that lets you accept payments online, via a credit card.
With Ecwid, you can process credit card payments ‘out of the box’ using Paypal, with no extra charge other than Paypal’s commission.
There are 83 other payment gateways that you can connect to Ecwid; these include well-known options like Sagepay, Stripe, 2Checkout, Revolut, Afterpay, Authorize.Net and many others.
(Some of these are country-specific, so the exact range available to you will depend on your location.)
Additionally, the owners of Ecwid, Lightspeed, have started rolling out a new and more ‘baked-in’ payment gateway, ‘Lightspeed Payments.’ This is restricted to users based in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Belgium for now, however.
Some other online store solutions, such as Shopify, provide a few more payment processing options, but the range of payment gateways available for use with Ecwid is extensive and definitely at the more comprehensive end of the spectrum.
Remember of course that using these payment gateways often means paying a monthly fee.
So, you may find it best to start off with Paypal and add a payment gateway down the line, if and when your volume of sales justifies it.
Thanks to Ecwid’s point-of-sale (POS) features, you can use your Ecwid store to sell not just online but in physical locations too – in stores, market stalls, at concerts and so on.
With Ecwid’s POS functionality, regardless of whether a customer buys a product in store, online, on their phone or via Facebook, everything stays in sync — i.e., the merchant’s catalog, inventory and customer / transaction information.
What is a point of sale system?
There are two main ways to use POS with Ecwid: using its ‘mobile POS’ option, or its full POS integrations.
Ecwid’s first POS option involves downloading Ecwid’s ‘Sell on the Go’ app to your mobile device and connecting it to a Paypal, Zettle or Square card reader.
(Note: the ‘Sell on the Go’ app is only available on paid-for plans. You can however try it out for 28 days if using the free Ecwid plan.).
It’s important to note however that this POS option is only available to merchants based in certain countries.
If using Square, you can accept POS payments in six countries — Australia, Canada, Ireland, Japan, the UK and the US.
(Technically Square can be used in eight countries — in addition to the above six, Spain and France are also supported by this payment gateway. But for some reason it appears that Ecwid doesn’t support all of these).
If using PayPal Zettle, you can do so in 13 — Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Significantly, Android users are not currently catered for — the Ecwid ‘Sell on the Go’ app is iOS only.
Full POS integrations
For a more comprehensive POS system that lets you use a wider range of hardware (full-sized card readers, receipt printers, cash drawers tablet stands etc.), you can integrate Ecwid more deeply with a variety of third-party POS systems including Vend, Clover, Square and Alice POS.
(Following a recent acquisition, Vend is now technically owned by Lightspeed).
The bad news is that you will need to be on the most expensive Ecwid plan to use these platforms to power your POS — the $99 per month ‘Unlimited’ plan.
Related resource: Lightspeed vs Shopify POS
Creating multilingual stores with Ecwid
So long as you are on a ‘Business’ or ‘Unlimited’ plan, Ecwid storefronts can be translated into 53 different languages — this is generous by comparison to key competitors.
Ecwid provides this functionality by detecting visitors’ language automatically based on their browser settings / IP address, and displaying a version of the store in the appropriate language.
Key components of your store — such as ‘add to bag’ buttons, social media labels etc. — are translated for you automatically; you will need to translate product descriptions yourself, however.
Competing ecommerce platforms often require you to rely on third-party apps or Google Translate to provide different language versions of your store, which is less than ideal.
So, a definite thumbs up to Ecwid on making multilingual functionality a core feature.
One thing you should note however is that if you’re considering using Ecwid for a multilingual WordPress site, you’ll also need to install a language plugin like WPML or PolyLang to present your store in multiple languages.
Next up, a quick look at importing and exporting products — and how easy that is to do with Ecwid.
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Importing and exporting products
Like many competing products, Ecwid allows you to import and export your data in to the platform using CSV format.
When importing via CSV, you can make use of 31 different columns, each representing a particular product attribute (product name, SKU, URL for product image and so on). Your import file can be delimited by comma, semi-colons or tabs.
You can also make use of the X-Cart or LiteCommerce CSV formats as part of this process, and if you need to make multiple changes to the products you’ve imported, Ecwid provides some tools — its ‘Bulk Editor’ and ‘Mass Updates’ features — to help you with this.
The export option, as you might expect, allows you to export product data, orders and customers (again, in CSV format) and means that if you ever feel the need to migrate your store to another ecommerce platform, you shouldn’t have any major problems doing so.
(You should note however that exporting to CSV is only possible on paid-for Ecwid plans).
If your exporting requirements are more advanced, or you need to export to formats other than CSV, you can use the ‘Export Stash’ app (available from the Ecwid app market) to automate product or order exports to a variety of file formats and destinations.
These include XLSX, Google Sheet and FTP — but note that a $5 monthly fee applies to use this app.
Selling digital products and subscriptions
Ecwid doesn’t just allow you to sell physical products: it caters for digital product and subscription sales too.
With regard to digital products, it allows you to sell files of up to 25GB in size on all its paid-for plans. This limit compares very positively with those applied by competing solutions like BigCommerce and Shopify, which cap digital file sizes at 512MB and 5GB respectively.
As for subscriptions, this is possible if you use Lightspeed Payments or Stripe as your payment gateway. There are lots of billing cycles available for selling subscriptions: daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually.
If you are using a different payment provider, Ecwid lets you add Lightspeed or Stripe to handle subscriptions and you can keep your regular gateway to sell other products.
Search engine optimization (SEO) in Ecwid
Visibility in search results is vital to the success of an online store — accordingly, it’s worth paying particular attention to the SEO capabilities of an ecommerce platform before investing in it, especially:
The good stuff first: you can edit the title of your page and its meta description easily; the relevant fields are pre-populated for you automatically, but you can tweak them to suit your SEO objectives.
(Page titles and meta descriptions can be changed on translated versions of your Ecwid store too).
Changing alt text (the description of images that search engines and screen readers see) isn’t doable, though — you’re stuck with whatever Ecwid generates for you automatically.
And, significantly, you can’t manually create or change the URL of a product — you have to make do with the one that Ecwid generates for you. This isn’t great, because keywords in URLs are used by some search engines to categorize content during indexing.
It seems as though you can’t create redirects in Ecwid either, which is not ideal at all because it effectively locks you into using a particular URL once you’ve created it.
However, the URLs that are automatically generated by Ecwid include the title you’ve given to your product — so if you include some keywords in your product title (not a bad idea anyway) your URL will include them too. This serves as something of a workaround, but I’d much prefer full control over URLs.
Another area where Ecwid doesn’t perform quite so well on the SEO front involves AMP — accelerated mobile pages.
As the name suggests, AMP pages load faster on mobile devices. This encourages people to stay longer on your page, thus increasing ‘dwell time’ — something which is believed by many SEO experts believe to be rewarded by Google with preferential treatment in search results.
Additionally, Google sometimes highlights AMP pages as ‘web stories’ in search results, giving AMP content an extra little boost.
Unfortunately however — and unlike competing products like Shopify — you can’t create AMP versions of your products using Ecwid.
(It can be used to create dynamic order notification emails — you can find out more about these here — but being able to display products in AMP format is more useful).
Although there’s room for improvement with regards to SEO in Ecwid, I wouldn’t necessarily view its current deficiencies in this area as a complete showstopper; it’s important to remember that keyword research, link building and having great content on your site are as important to SEO as the technical aspects of SEO (if not more important).
But all that said, there are unquestionably some SEO shortcomings in Ecwid.
What about Ecwid and Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals are a set of Google SEO targets relating to the speed, responsiveness and visual stability of a website; sites that meet them are likely to receive preferential treatment in search results.
Now, it’s always much harder to ensure full compliance with Google targets like these when you’re dealing with a cloud product like Ecwid — simply because you don’t have much control over its code.
It looks as though Ecwid is aware of the requirements and developing its product in a way that make meeting them more likely — but you will have work to do too, by ensuring that all your images are fully optimized and use of third-party scripts and apps is kept to a minimum.
And speaking of apps…
Apps and plugins
In common with a lot of other ecommerce platforms, Ecwid provides a number of integrations with other web apps (via its ‘app market’).
However, the number of integrations available with well-known services is fairly limited (there are currently 300 available).
Integrations do exist with key products like Freshbooks and Shipstation; but competing products like Shopify offer a much broader range of established apps (over 8,000 in Shopify’s case).
The picture is better when it comes to CMS plugins / integrations: these are available for WordPress, Wix and Joomla — and allow to you install Ecwid on one of these platforms very easily.
Dropshipping in Ecwid
Dropshipping is a sales and fulfilment approach where you don’t keep what you’re selling in stock (in fact, you may never see any stock!).
Instead, you take an order via your online store, send it to a dropshipping supplier and they deliver the goods to your client — your store becomes a middle man of sorts.
The Wholesale2B, Syncee, Spocket, NextsChain and Xcatalog apps allow you to add variety of products from hundreds of dropshipping suppliers to your Ecwid store.
The Printful app allows you to create products featuring your images or logos (you upload them to Printful, who then manufacture the products and ship them to your customers when they place an order).
Other platforms do provide more access to dropshipping suppliers, but on the plus side, all the dropshipping apps that are available for Ecwid are from well-established providers.
As always with dropshipping, for ethical reasons you may wish to perform some due diligence on how (and where) any products you are featuring on your site are being produced. Suppliers of dropshipping goods don’t always have the best track record when it comes to working conditions in their factories.
Recommended resource: the Shopify dropshipping starter kit
If you’re interested in dropshipping, I’d recommend that you take a look at Shopify’s dropshipping starter kit — with this, you get a free trial of Shopify plus lots of exclusive resources and tools that show you how to launch a successful Shopify dropshipping store.
Ecwid’s “Instant Sites” feature
Although Ecwid has traditionally been a product that lets you add an online store to an existing website, it now allows you to set up a standalone store too, called an ‘Ecwid Instant Site.’
An ‘Instant Site’ is a basic, one-page affair based — but it’s nonetheless potentially very useful. In particular, it gives merchants who are starting a business but have not yet finished developing a full website a very good ‘stopgap’ solution.
Creating an instant site simply involves choosing a template (from a range of 79) and adding some content / products to it.
You can either host your ‘Instant Site’ on the Ecwid domain (i.e., at a mystore.ecwid.com address) or map it to your own custom domain (www.yourstorename.com).
You can also add a blog to your Instant Site (something that is important for inbound marketing campaigns) — but this involves a really odd workaround where product categories are used to create posts.
Now, an Ecwid Instant Site is not in my view a substitute for a proper online store yet, but improvements are being regularly made to the tool and it will come in handy for many merchants. It certainly serves as a much better landing page than a traditional ‘site under construction’ effort.
And, although Ecwid’s Instant Sites are rather basic in nature, they do nonetheless technically provide users with one of the cheapest ways possible to build a standalone online store — you can get one up and running from $19 per month — or even for free (more on that below).
This all compares positively with Squarespace, Shopify and BigCommerce, which typically charge $30 to $40 per month to let you create a standalone store (but that said, the end result will be considerably more sophisticated than anything you’ll be able to create with an Ecwid Instant Site).
A whole ecommerce site — for free?
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Ecwid is that it can be used entirely for free — this is quite unusual in the ecommerce world! And if your needs are basic, it’s a remarkably cost-effective way to start selling on an existing website.
The ‘Instant site’ feature — also included in the free plan — adds to this sense of good value. There are not many ecommerce platforms that let you construct an ad-free, standalone store without committing to a monthly fee.
The main limitations of the free plan are its product limit (5) and the fact that unlike the paid plans, you can’t use it to sell digital products, or list your products on Facebook or Instagram.
Ecwid’s ‘ShopApp’ feature
Ecwid recently introduced a new feature, ‘ShopApp,’ that turns your online store into a mobile app (one that can be downloaded from the iOS or Google Play app stores).
This feature is can be added for a one-off payment of $295 if you’re an ‘Unlimited’ Ecwid user, or $590 if you’re on a lower-tier plan.
The advantage of this feature is that it gives you another sales channel to play with and also the opportunity to have your brand featured (as an app icon) on a shopper’s mobile device.
But that said, the feature is only likely to be useful to particular types of merchants: those who run popular stores with a large audience and a very well established brand identity, or those with a customer base that make repeat purchases and would find an app a handy way of placing them.
Ecwid is ahead of the pack when it comes to tax rules — you can set things up so that visitors’ locations are automatically identified (based on IP address) and the relevant tax rate applied automatically.
Helpfully this applies not just to physical products but digital ones too — Ecwid caters adequately for the EU’s VAT MOSS requirements, something that can’t be said for all other competing platforms.
And, unlike some key competing platforms (notably Squarespace), this feature is not restricted simply to US users: a lot of other countries’ tax systems are catered for by the tool, including the entire EU and many non-EU European countries.
The full list of countries that automatic tax calculations are catered for is as follows:
- Canary Islands
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- US (with both state and local taxes catered for)
And speaking of all things international…
Multi-currency selling in Ecwid
You typically get more online sales if you sell your products in the currency used by your store visitors.
So, if you’re selling your goods in a lot of different countries, it’s a good idea to let your potential customers select their own currency — or better yet, have your store present your products in the local currency automatically.
To do this in Ecwid, you need to install a currency converter app such as the appropriately named ‘Currency Converter’ app (pictured below). This app costs $4.49 per month (and can only be added if you’re on a paid-for Ecwid plan).
The Currency Converter app makes it very easy to display prices in local currencies automatically.
My only issue with it is that the original currency gets displayed again at the final stage of the purchase, which may put some buyers off completing a purchase.
But overall, it’s fine.
Like most leading ecommerce solutions, Ecwid lets you offer a good range of shipping options — you can charge a flat fee for shipping, calculate it by weight, offer free shipping etc.
Additionally, Ecwid has a built-in integration with the following carrier companies to automatically show their shipping rates for customers’ orders at checkout:
Canada Post (Canada)
Royal Mail (UK)
Brasil Correios (Brazil)
MDS Collivery (South Africa)
Australia Post (Australia)
EMS Russian Post (Russia)
These rates are based on weight.
The good news is that this real-time carrier quotation functionality is available on all paid-for Ecwid plans. This is commendable and makes Ecwid more generous in this area than many of its competitors.
However, if you want the most accurate real-time shipping rates — based not just on weight but on parcel dimensions too — you’ll need to be on a ‘Business’ or ‘Unlimited’ plan to avail of these.
Using Ecwid with other website building platforms
You can use Ecwid with pretty much any platform you like: it’s simply a case of embedding your Ecwid widget’s code on your site. However, you might be interested to learn more about how Ecwid integrates with some of the ‘big-hitter’ online store builders.
Ecwid and WordPress
WordPress doesn’t provide any ecommerce functionality out of the box, so anyone wishing to sell on the platform will need a third-party solution like Ecwid.
There is a dedicated Ecwid plugin available for WordPress, so adding an Ecwid store to your WordPress site is very straightforward — you can get up and running with a few clicks.
You just sign up for an Ecwid account and then install the free WordPress plugin provided.
Ecwid and Squarespace
Squarespace comes with increasingly good ecommerce features, but it doesn’t currently facilitate multi-currency selling and it’s a bit limited when it comes to dropshipping and automatic tax calculation.
Integrating Ecwid with Squarespace allows you to bypass these limitations, and adding it to a Squarespace site is very easy: it’s a simple matter of adding a code block to a page and pasting some HTML into it.
Ecwid and Wix
If you’re a Wix user, you can use a dedicated Ecwid app to sell products on your site. You can also avail of preferential rates from Ecwid. The below video shows you how the integration works.
Interface and ease of use
When we tested Ecwid’s interface, we didn’t encounter much of a learning curve: it is very easy to use.
Like many similar online store builders, you get a vertical menu on the left that allows you to access key functionality, with the area on the right being used to display or edit products, site content and reports.
As with any ecommerce tool, you’ll need to spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with creating catalogs and product variants, setting up shipping rates and so on — but as ecommerce interfaces go, there’s nothing too challenging to worry about here.
Matters are helped by an ‘onboarding’ to-do list that is provided to you when you log in for the first time (pictured below).
If you get stuck however, you can always get in touch with Ecwid’s support team – more on that later — or, if you’re on a ‘Business’ or ‘Unlimited’, you can take advantage of an included customization service (you get two hours and six hours customization time from Ecwid on these plans respectively).
Using Ecwid on the go
Ecwid and GDPR compliance
Please note: I am not a lawyer, so the below observations should not be interpreted as legal advice.
There are several legal steps that the GDPR requires business owners to take to ensure compliance — and fairly serious penalties for not doing so. The key ones for Ecwid users are probably as follows:
- Display adequate privacy and cookie notices on your website.
- Process and store data securely.
- Get explicit consent from people signing up to email lists that it is okay to send them e-newsletters.
- Provide a means to opt in or revoke consent to use of non-essential cookies on a website (and to log that consent).
Meeting the first three requirements with most online store builders is pretty easy, but the fourth one can pose challenges.
Whenever you use non-essential third party cookies on a website — for example a Facebook pixel or a Google Analytics script — you are legally obliged to give EU visitors to your website the option to switch these off before they continue to browse your store (even if your site is based outside the EU).
Many competing platforms don’t offer similar functionality, so it’s a definite thumbs-up for Ecwid here.
The level of customer support you get from Ecwid depends on the type of plan you’re on.
If you’re on the free plan, you can avail of live chat support for the first 30 days of your subscription (you’ll have to rely on forums and help pages for answers to any questions you may have after that).
If you’re on the $19-per-month Venture plan, you can expect email / live chat support; if you’re on the $39-per-month Business plan you get phone support in addition to this; and the $99-per-month Unlimited plan gives you phone, email, live chat and ‘priority’ support.
This support comes in seven languages — English, Dutch German, French, Italian, Spanish and Russian.
This is comparable with the multilingual support available from some other ecommerce platforms (for example Squarespace and BigCommerce) — but not as extensive as Shopify, which offers support in over 20 languages.
As mentioned earlier, there’s another type of support available from Ecwid in the form of ‘customization hours’. If you’re on an Ecwid ‘Business’ or ‘Unlimited’ plan, you get two hours or six hours of assistance customizing your store. This service is potentially very useful for users who are completely new to the whole area of ecommerce and web design.
There’s also the option to use Ecwid’s ‘Ecwid Academy’ service to enhance your knowledge of the platform. This features a wide range of educational content about the platform (and selling online in general) including courses, tutorials and webinars.
All in all, Ecwid’s support services ultimately stack up reasonably well against those of other similar products.
Ecwid review conclusion
Overall, Ecwid is a cost-effective, powerful way to add ecommerce functionality to an existing site, or to place an online store on a Facebook page or other social media presence. If you’re building a standalone site, there are better options available — I’d be inclined to go for Shopify or BigCommerce — but ultimately Ecwid does what it says on the tin: lets you add ecommerce to any website — and easily too.
Ecwid deserves particular praise for its completely free plan and its comprehensive multilingual selling features. There is, however, a bit of room for improvement when it comes to SEO.
I’m going to end this Ecwid review with a full summary of the product’s pros and cons below, but as ever, our main recommendation is to always try before you buy — you can register for the free version of Ecwid here.
Pros and cons of using Ecwid
Pros of using Ecwid
- A totally free Ecwid plan is available, which is fairly generous in terms of features.
- Ecwid represents a really simple way to add ecommerce to any existing website.
- The product is cheap by comparison to other solutions.
- Point-of-sale functionality is available and there are quite a few ways to implement it.
- Multi-currency selling is easy enough to implement (although you will need to pay for an app to do so).
- It supports multi-language versions of your store.
- Tax rates are applied automatically, meaning that you don’t have to worry about setting up state tax or VAT rules manually.
- The store designs are fully responsive.
- Plugins / apps are available that make it easy to integrate Ecwid with key content management systems (like WordPress, Drupal and Wix).
- Real time carrier quote functionality is available on all plans.
- The ‘Instant Sites’ option is a good (and cheap) stopgap measure for merchants who need a store quickly.
Cons of using Ecwid
- Phone support is only available on the more expensive plans.
- The multi-currency functionality, whilst generally good, doesn’t display the local currency at the final stage of checkout.
- You can’t use product variants on the free or entry-level plans.
- SEO features could be better.
- The mobile POS integrations only work with iOS devices.
- There is a limited number of apps / integrations available in the Ecwid App store.
- You can’t change product URLs or create redirects, which isn’t ideal from an SEO point of view.
- You can’t create AMP versions of product pages using Ecwid.
- The free version doesn’t let you access any of the SEO features.
- The Instant site feature, whilst useful, is not a substitute for a fully-specced standalone store.
- Depending on the country you live in, you may be charged higher monthly fees to use Ecwid.
Alternatives to Ecwid
If you’re starting an online store from scratch, then you’re spoiled for choice; there are many platforms available that allow you to build a standalone online store; big hitters include Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Volusion and Squarespace (with Shopify and BigCommerce being the most fully-featured as far as ecommerce features go).
Our Squarespace video review
These Buy Buttons work in a similar way to Ecwid, in that you add a snippet of code to your site to feature products or collections on it. However, whereas Ecwid allows you to effectively put a complete, fully functioning store on an existing site, the Shopify and BigCommerce options are considerably more basic. Check out our BigCommerce review or our BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison for more details.
WordPress users may also be interested in looking at WooCommerce to add an online store to their site. (You can learn more about this option in our in-depth Shopify versus WooCommerce comparison).
Some of our other ecommerce reviews and comparisons may be useful in helping you to evaluate the alternatives to Ecwid:
Related resource: our Shopify video review
Is Ecwid good for beginners?
Yes. Ecwid is designed with a ‘non-coding’ audience in mind, so is easy for ecommerce and web design novices to use.
Is Ecwid a good option for small businesses?
Ecwid is a good option for small businesses, because it is easy to use, provides a good range of ecommerce features and is reasonably priced.
What are the main advantages of using Ecwid?
The main advantages of using Ecwid are its entirely free plan; its comprehensive feature set; and the fact that it can be used to add ecommerce features to an existing website.
What are the main disadvantages of using Ecwid?
The main disadvantages of using Ecwid are that you can’t really build a professional standalone store with it (its ‘Instant Site’ option is very basic) and that the SEO features need a bit of improvement (especially where creating URLs and redirects are concerned).
How many items can I sell on Ecwid for free?
Ecwid’s free plan allows you to sell up to five products.
What’s the best alternative to Ecwid?
Shopify is probably one of the best alternatives to Ecwid, because like Ecwid it lets you embed a product catalog on an existing website AND create a standalone store (Ecwid performs better when it comes to the former, and Shopify is one of the best options available when it comes to the latter). WooCommerce is also worth investigating if you are a WordPress user — this can add a lot of very sophisticated ecommerce features to an existing WordPress site.
Now…over to you!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Ecwid review! If you have any queries about the platform, do leave a comment below — we read them all and will do our best to answer any questions you may have about Ecwid or ecommerce in general.