Ecwid Review: Add eCommerce To Any Website
While creating a website is fairly easy these days, you can’t really say the same thing when it comes to eCommerce.
Then there are eCommerce tools like Shopify that are extremely powerful but their cheapest plan with unlimited items starts at $29 per month, and what’s even more: they charge a transaction fee.
Store plug-in with a freemium option
Chances are that you are looking for something in between: an eCommerce store that will be less than $20 per month and doesn’t take a cut of your sales.
Ecwid seems to be able to do just that. They have created a store ‘plug-in’ that you can use with any type of existing website. Most importantly: you can use their basic plan free of charge (freemium model).
So let’s take a look at Ecwid’s features and see if it’s worth our time and money.
Basic vs. Silver plan – reasons to upgrade
Generally speaking, the Basic plan is already pretty powerful and enough for most small stores to get started. You can add up to 100 items and you have access to all payment gateways and shipping companies.
There is a tiny link that says “Powered by Ecwid” in the Basic plan, but it is not very visible at all. A definite advantage of the Silver plan (which is $17 per month) is the ability to use discount codes. Doing this, you can run promotions for a limited time, which works particularly well if you have an email list to target.
Installing Ecwid couldn’t be easier. You simply create a new page on your website and paste the HTML code they provide.
This video shows you how to set it up on a Weebly website:
Ecwid stores look very clean and simple. With this design, they fit into almost any kind of website. See an example here. But it’s also possible to customize the layout using custom CSS codes if you need a special look.
See it in action here
Ecwid in Detail
|Ease of use||There are many options available, but Ecwid explains them very well.|
|Product presentation||Image galleries. You can also embed videos into your product descriptions (e.g. via YouTube).|
|Product variants||Supports two dimensions: options (e.g. color) and selections (blue, green etc).|
|Cart function||yes||Visitors can add multiple items to their cart.|
|Article numbers||yes||Add a SKU number of your choosing.|
|Mobile view||yes||Ecwids store is responsive and adapts dynamically to your visitor's device.|
|Checkout, payment and shipping|
|Payment options||Ecwid features direct integrations with more than 25 payment systems like Authorize.net, HSBC, 2Checkout and, of course, Paypal. You have to be aware that many of these payment gateways will incur extra monthly charges. But it’s always possible to start using Paypal, which can be used on a per-transaction basis.|
|Sale of digital goods||yes||Ecwid will handle the file delivery automatically. A paid subscription is not even needed to sell digital products, which is great. The download link for your customer will work indefinitely – if you want to limit its lifetime you will have to upgrade to the Silver package.|
|SSL encryption||yes||Ecwid protects sensitive data using an SSL encryption.|
|Customer log-in area||yes||To make repeated shopping easier it’s possible for your customers to sign up for an account (you can leave this optional or make it required).|
|Shipping cost settings||There are three different options to handle shipping charges. You can use a flat rate fee, set up a customizable calculator that uses factors like weight or number of items, receive shipping charges directly from the carrier thanks to direct integrations with UPS, FedEx, USPS and others.|
|Tax settings||Using Ecwid’s zone setting you can create your own sets of countries or states. For these sets you can specify shipping charges as well as the VAT rate. Basically this enables you to specify shipping rates and tax rates very granularly and is particularly interesting if you want to ship internationally or if you are from the US and need to specify different tax rates for different states.|
|Article management||Allows you to track your inventory and even set a reminder email when it runs low.|
|Customizable e-mails for order confirmation||All outgoing emails to your customers can be customized (e.g. ‘Password Reminder’ or ‘Order Shipped’ emails).|
|Importing/exporting product data||yes / yes||Supports CSV imports and exports.|
|E-Commerce analysis||yes||Ecommerce tracking can be added via Google Analytics|
|Exporting order data||yes||Export as a CSV file.|
|All in all, we think Ecwid is a great add-on if you want to get involved with eCommerce on your existing website. The fact that it is quite difficult to get your product pages indexed by search engines is a disadvantage.|
Ecwid is a surprisingly powerful eCommerce tool that can even compete with giants like Shopify in terms of features. It’s affordable and offers some very advanced features: your customers can, for example, attach files to their orders, allowing you to sell customizable products, like coffee mugs with a personal photo on it.
On a positive note, it is possible to create deep links to your products. By doing so you can send your visitors directly to the item (e.g. when posting a new product to Facebook).
All in all, Ecwid is a very powerful option if you already have an existing website that gets a decent amount of traffic that you can direct to your eCommerce pages.
Ecwid E-Commerce Example Sites
Alternatives to Ecwid
FAQ about Ecwid
What would be the advantage of adding Ecwid to a Jimdo website?
Ecwid offers a lot more features than Jimdo’s online store such as coupon codes and customer accounts. But if it’s only a few products that you want to sell Jimdo might be enough for it as well. The advantage of Jimdo is that search engines can index your online store—this is not possible (or at least not in an easy fashion) with Ecwid.
How well does the Ecwid integration with Yola work?
If you don’t have a website yet you can also use the Yola Online Store package for $20 per month, which already includes the Ecwid eCommerce plugin. We’ve reviewed Yola’s Online Store here.
How many payment options does Ecwid offer?
Here are some recent additions:
– American Express Payment Gateway
– First Data E4 Hosted Payment Pages
– ClickAndBuy (for Germany and EU),
– BBVA Bancomer / eGlobal (Mexico)
Furthermore, there is a range of offline payment methods, such as phone orders, checks and purchase orders.
Does Ecwid support Facebook stores?
Shoppers already talk a lot about their product experiences on Facebook. Particularly for smaller retailers with a loyal fan base, it’s now also increasingly becoming a point of sale. Ecwid makes it very easy to integrate the same store you use on your website into your Facebook page in just a few steps. Your Ecwid shop will be located in a new tab on your fan page. Here’s a demo store.
Other than selling, you can also get your products liked, recommended and shared through social media. Ecwid also integrates with Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.
17 Mar 2015 – Detailed review table added
09 Dec 2013 – More payment options available
09 May 2013 – Facebook Commerce and social media options added
08 Oct 2012 – Paragraph on SEO added. We removed one star as Ecwid has some weaknesses in this area (thanks to Shopintegrator for making us aware of it).
05 Oct 2012 – Setup video added
24 Sep 2012 – Initial tests
Last updated: 17 Mar 2014 | Robert Brandl