Have you been looking for an alternative ecommerce platform for your business? Or to convert your existing website into an ecommerce store?
Look no further, because the number 1 free shopping cart solution Ecwid is here to make that happen, in less than 5 minutes. Crowned as the fastest implementation e-commerce platform in 2019, Ecwid is also known as the only forever-free ecommerce solution out there.
In a competitive market like ecommerce, every little thing can persuade users to go with one platform over the other, and Ecwid seems to have found the perfect match — a free plan with robust features.
But, we all know the saying — nothing in life is free. So it begs the question, is Ecwid really free and if so, are the features it comes with worth the hype? Keep reading to find out!
In This Article
- 1 What is Ecwid?
- 2 Auto Tax
- 3 Ecwid Payment Gateways
- 4 Ecwid Subscriptions
- 5 Ecwid Shipping
- 6 Ecwid Dropshipping
- 7 How Much Does Ecwid Cost?
- 8 Is Ecwid Safe?
- 9 Ecwid vs. Shopify
- 10 Ecwid vs. WooCommerce
- 11 Ecwid Store Examples
- 12 Is Ecwid the One?
What is Ecwid?
Ecwid is an e-commerce platform, that prides itself for being a “lightning fast” shopping cart, that operates internationally, is mobile-ready, and seamlessly integrates with any existing website. Unlike similar solutions, Ecwid doesn’t require sellers to create new standalone online stores but rather works like a widget that brings a shopping cart to blogs, websites, social media accounts, or in-person. It’s used by over 1.5 million sellers worldwide, offers a forever free plan, and takes no transaction or setup fees.
How Does Ecwid Work?
In a nutshell, Ecwid can seamlessly integrate with any existing website, social media, blog, a marketplace like Amazon, eBay and similar. Ecwid integrates with all major CMS platforms like WordPress, Wix, Drupal, as well as custom built sites. Best of all, you can sell across all online channels, and manage them all from a single dashboard.
You can customize your storefront, manage inventory and orders, and accept payments with a few clicks, in one place.
Ecwid e-commerce features are also designed to allow users to sell anywhere, grow their business faster and create lasting relationships with customers. From multiple payment gateways, to language detection, to smart shipping and everything in between — it’s built to cover everything you need to make it work.
Ecwid Review: Features
For a shopping cart solution, Ecwid e-commerce features are some of the best in the business. The main feature is the fact that they cater to those individuals who simply don’t want a standalone e-commerce store. This ideal for individuals with existing websites who are looking to make their products available to the world. So let’s take a look at what features you can expect from the this free shopping cart solution.
Ways to Sell with Ecwid
New or existing website
Ecwid provides users with everything they need to start selling online in under 5 minutes. You have tools to set up a brand new website or transform an existing one into an online store. If you wish to optimize your store (new or integrated), you can do so from the Ecwid dashboard. The point and click customization makes it super easy to achieve the product pages, galleries and look and feel you desire. Here’s a step-by-step customization guide.
Another great thing about Ecwid is that it also works with third-party design themes. Ecwid themes are all dynamic, and scale automatically based on the device customers are browsing your store. You can also enable auto color match, which means your Ecwid theme will automatically match the existing website colors on your site. There are plenty of options to choose from, and you can find the full directory of Ecwid themes here.
Sell on social media
Ecwid offers seamless integration with Instagram and Facebook, where you can give your customers an easy way to shop in the same place they discover you.
Sell on Amazon or eBay, or both
Seamless integration with the two most popular marketplaces today makes it easy to expand your reach and grow your business.
Sell face to face or on-the-go
Take your products offline, and sell in-person with Square and other 53 point-of-sale systems. All inventory levels are automatically synced in your Ecwid account, so all your stores work in perfect harmony without the risk of selling a product that is no longer available.
Get your own ShopApp
The most impressive feature is the ability to create your very own iOS or Android app for your store. Best of all, you don’t need to do anything yourself — Ecwid will do it for you. Once you apply for the program, they will code the app and place it in the App Store and Google Play store for your customers to download it. The key Ecwid e-commerce features of the app are as follows:
- Full product catalog that syncs with your Ecwid dashboard
- Information about the business: links to social media, online store, picture of the store owner, and location
- Contact information (phone or email)
- The ability to buy products within the app with Apple pay, otherwise the “buy button” will redirect shoppers to the website’s checkout page, where they can complete the purchase.
Best of all, you can sell across all channels at once, and manage all your stores in one place – your Ecwid dashboard. Inventories are auto-synced, and any changes you make in your dashboard will automatically update across all shopfronts.
What is Ecwid Shopping Cart?
The most frequently asked question can be answered simply: it’s a way to turn your old website into an online store. Ecwid can integrate with an existing website to add a checkout page to your website, and allows you to upload products on to your store. It’s a fast and secure way to start selling from your existing website or blog.
Manage from anywhere with Ecwid mobile app
Everything you need to manage or sell on-the-go is in your Ecwid app. Keep track of inventory, fulfill orders, add products, create invoices and even accept payments directly with the app. Never miss a beat with push notifications and centralized inventory.
Reach shoppers anywhere in the world, and greet them in their language. Ecwid is translated into 45 languages (with more coming soon), so customers can shop in their own language.
All products are synced automatically, no matter where you sell — online or offline. All sales channels are managed under one roof — the Ecwid dashboard.
Set up competitive prices, offer discount and sales to generate more sales. Create volume discounts, competitions, and special discounts.
Marketing made easy
Create, track and manage Google and Facebook advertising from your Ecwid dashboard. The platform can also automatically generate Facebook ads using product information from your Ecwid account. Ecwid also helps sellers set up their Google Shopping ads by doing most of the heavy lifting. All you need to do is select the product and audience you’d like to target, while they do rest. All that, while you sit back and track performance in your Ecwid dashboard.
Let customers create wish lists
Keep track of what products your customers like, by allowing them to create a profile and save favorite items. That way they can always return knowing exactly where to find and purchase that item, while also populating a list of “most popular” items to show other shoppers.
Ecwid allows sellers to offer a few payment options to its customers. The easy checkout feature allows shoppers to create a profile and save their details for faster checkout next time. There’s also a speedy checkout option for users wishing not to create a profile.
The platform lets sellers automate taxes, with a few clicks. The automated tax calculations are available for sellers in the U.S., Canada, and EU. There’s also an integration with TaxJar that creates tax sales reports and automates taxes.
Ecwid Payment Gateways
In terms of Ecwid payment gateways, there’s a large variety of options available. In fact, there are more than 50 Ecwid payment gateways to choose from, starting with the standard Stripe and PayPal, as well as Square, First Data, Chase, and Zapper just to name a few. You can find the full list here. Although Ecwid doesn’t incur any transaction fees, the payment providers can charge their transaction fees.
There are no built-in Ecwid subscription features yet, but there are a few ways merchants can set up Ecwid recurring payments. Some are far easier to implement than others, but here are your options:
- Stripe: Save customers’ payment details using Stripe payment gateways and charge them anytime later. Stripe allows merchants to save buyer’s details and charge them manually anytime through Stripe accounts.
- Custom solution: It’s possible to integrate the subscription feature, by having a custom solution made for your store using the payment gateways’ and Ecwid’s APIs. This is a custom solution, which will require coding and programming skills. Therefore you may need to invest in a developer for this. You can find all the information here, or you can contact the Ecwid customization team for a quote.
- PayPal subscription button: You can also use your merchant’s PayPal account to create a subscription button on your site. This way, your Ecwid store will work as a product catalog, and all the payments and subscriptions will be taken care of by PayPal. You can find out more about the setup here.
Among other things, Ecwid shipping options are extensive and suit business of all shapes and sizes. The platform integrates with a variety of shipping carriers: UPS, FedEx, Royal Mail, Canada post and more. As a result, sellers have a variety of options to choose from, as well as, offer to their customers. There are three shipping strategies that sellers can choose from, and adjust as their business grows.
Exact shipping rate
You can charge customers the exact rate you’ll be paying for shipping, which is ideal for smaller businesses. This is made possible by the smart shipping calculator, which allows customers to see costs based on their locations, item weight, and order weight. All these rates will be displayed at check out.
You can calculate the average shipping cost per order, and you can add that rate as a whole amount in Ecwid, or as a percentage of the total amount. Read more about setting up flat rates here.
Free shipping is a great incentive to buy more, especially when it’s offer after a certain threshold (e.g., free shipping after spending $100). However, the most cost-effective way to offer free shipping is by including the shipping fee into the total product price. Read more about free shipping here.
If you’d rather someone else did all the hard work of fulfilling orders, there are dropshipping options available with Ecwid.
With the app, you can import all types of products from over 100 suppliers to your Ecwid store. Browse and select the products you wish to sell, then import them to your store with a single click. You can adjust pricing, and customize products names and descriptions. Currently, the app only ships to USA and Canada, and costs $29.99 per month, with a free trial.
It’s great for designers who are looking to put their work on t-shirts, hoodies, hats, mugs, and other types of products. All you need to do is upload your designs, create a mock-up, publish on your Ecwid store, and once someone buys it — Printful will print it, pack it, and ship it to the customer.
Printful ships worldwide, and is free to sign up and use. You only pay once the sale is made.
The app is a source for over 2 million products that you can import and sell anywhere on your Ecwid store. With advanced search methods, you can easily find relevant products, and instantly add them to your store. However, this integration only works for Doba Enterprise users only.
How Much Does Ecwid Cost?
The burning question is Ecwid really free? Can be put to rest: yes. Ecwid offers a forever free plan, with basic features, which is ideal if you just want to take the platform for a test drive. After that, Ecwid pricing is split into three paid plan, each offering a different set of features to serve the needs of a growing business.
- Free $0: 10 products, 2 categories, embed Ecwid to any existing site, store customization, responsive design, unlimited bandwidth, multiple payment gateways, real-time shipping rates free SSL certificate and more.
- Venture $15: 100 products, 10,000 categories, auto tax calculation, discount coupons, social media tools, advanced SEO, inventory management, and more.
- Business $35: 2,500 products, 10,000 categories, order editor, Facebook Shop, wholesale pricing, staff accounts, order editing, stock control and more.
- Unlimited $99: unlimited products, 10,000 categories, custom taxes, 12-hour custom development, priority support, ShopApp, and all other features.
You can find the full list of features available for each plan here, but the more you’re willing to pay, the more features you unlock. By the looks of it, the most appealing features like the ShopApp, Facebook Shop, and even inventory management are only available with premium plans.
Is Ecwid Safe?
Ecwid provides SSL protection with all plans and is Level 1 PCI compliant. What that means, is that Ecwid ensures all information passed between the user and the site is properly encrypted and protected. There are also measures put in place to prevent fraudulent payments, and you can set up a 2-factor authentication when logging in with your Gmail account to Ecwid.
Ecwid vs. Shopify
Ecwid is budget, user and business-friendly, which makes it an attractive option for sellers of all sizes. But can they Ecwid compare to the giant of ecommerce Shopify?
Ecwid offers a forever free plan, with the premium plans starting from $15 per month.
On the other hand, Shopify, only offers a free 14-day trial, and after that, the cheapest full-feature plan starts from $29 per month.
Even the free plan with Ecwid comes with powerful features for creating, running, and growing your online store. Some of the most prominent features are:
- Wide range shipping carriers and options for free
- Free real-time shipping tracking
- Huge variety of payment options
- Free Facebook integration
- Customer history
- Free product search feature, product browser, minicart and more.
Shopify Basic, the most affordable plan also comes with powerful features. Perhaps the most important are the built-in SEO and blogging features that Ecwid lacks. For $29 per month, this is what you get:
- Online store with customizable themes
- Manual order creation
- 24/7 support
- Shopify POS apps
- Unlimited products
In addition to the monthly subscription fees, any third-party integrations you may add, merchants also have to pay additional commission and transactional fees.
Ecwid vs. WooCommerce
Like Ecwid, WooCommerce is a free plugin that allows WordPress website holders to turn their website into an online store. Unlike Ecwid though, WooCommerce is far more limited. Starting with the fact that it only works with WordPress, while Ecwid integrates with multiple CSM platforms, as well as marketplaces, social media, and custom-built websites.
Ecwid’s free plan is also packed with powerful features, including shipping options, payment gateways and more. WooCommerce requires third-party extensions for most features relating to shipping and payments, which also come at additional costs.
Most importantly, Ecwid integrates with any website without the need of a developer, or coding skills. On the other hand, WooCommerce is a little bit more complicated and may require coding knowledge.
All in all, Ecwid seems to be the most budget-friendly option that also comes with incredible features. For someone just getting started, or running a medium-size business — Ecwid may be all you need to take it to the next level. Remember, Ecwid allows to run multiple shops under one roof, one name, and one revenue number displayed in the dashboard. It’s entirely possible to do that with Shopify and WooCommerce, with the help of an add-on, which translates into an additional unnecessary cost to worry about.
Ecwid Store Examples
Before you get started, take a look at how others are using Ecwid to run their online business. From accessories to apparel, to nonprofits.
Is Ecwid the One?
In conclusion, the free Ecwid e-commerce solution is the best on the market. Just by looking at the features that come with the free plan, many sellers could stick with the free plan for a long time. Of course, the more desirable features are only available with the premium plans, but even then the subscription fee is really budget-friendly. It’s a super sleek system, which functions effortlessly on its own, so if you’re willing to invest the extra time and effort required to spread the word and market your Ecwid store, then this is an ideal solution for you.