This may come as a surprise, because the Wix store isn’t the first name you’d think of for an online business. But in this in-depth, stamina-filled fight with Shopify, we’ll see if it’s worthy of your consideration. Who knows, the underdog might have a few surprises in store (pun intended).
|Round 1: Ease of Use||Good||Excellent|
|Round 2: Themes and Flexibility||Great||Good|
|Round 3: Product presentation and features||Great||Good|
|Round 4: Payment options||Great||Good|
|Round 5: Customer Logins and Checkout options||Excellent||Poor|
|Round 6: Shipping Cost Settings and Carrier integration||Excellent||Ok|
|Round 7: Tax Settings||Excellent||Excellent|
|Round 8: Multilingual capabilities||Ok||Poor|
|Round 9: SSL||Excellent||Excellent|
|Round 10: SEO capabilities||Good||Good|
|Round 11: Pagespeed||Great||Good|
|Round 12: Support||Great||Ok|
|Round 13: Market Place||Excellent||Great|
|Round 14: Prices||Good||Great|
Wix vs Shopify: What’s the main difference?
Wix offers beginner-friendly ecommerce features geared towards small online stores with less than 100 products. Instead, Shopify is suitable for much larger stores as it’s built to easily manage thousands of store items. Wix’s Business Basic plan starts at $23/month whereas Shopify Basic is $26/month.
Round 1: Ease of Use
While Shopify claims to be the best solution for online stores, it never said it was the easiest to use. However, their user experience is so well designed that you need very few clicks to create your first store in minutes. Adding products and variants is a breeze, and we love the way they link to tutorials – very useful for complete beginners. This is particularly helpful, because setting up a Shopify Store is quite a serious affair. You’ll need a good couple of hours minimum to configure everything right.
Wix, like many other solutions, also claims to be the best. But one point they really insist on is being super easy to use for creating websites and online stores. We agree. In fact, we’d happily call Wix one of the easiest website builders out there. Their user experience is excellent, and their tutorials and step-by-step guides are well written and easy to use.
Adding an ecommerce module is just as intuitive, by the way. And if you want to create an online store even faster, you can also use Wix ADI that employs artificial intelligence to give a ready-made template in seconds.
Round 2: Themes and Flexibility
When it comes to creating your virtual storefront, Shopify certainly makes things easy with their 60+ themes. They are modern, sleek and responsive, so they look good on desktops and mobiles. Want to customize them? The live editor is great fun and gives excellent results. If you know CSS and HTML, you can also tweak them to your heart’s content. Only snag is that you have to pay a one-time fee for most themes ($140 – $180) as only 10 of them are free. Veeqo has put together a few nice examples here.
Shopify’s free templates
Wix has 60 completely free ecommerce templates. They look as modern and stylish as Shopify’s, and we really like their catalog galleries. Unfortunately, Wix’s templates aren’t responsive, so you need to place elements manually to display them on smartphones a certain way. And while creating a website with Wix generally gives you tons of flexibility, in-depth customization via code such as HTML or CSS isn’t as complete as with Shopify.
Winner: The Shopify themes take the lead because they are responsive and ecommerce focused. This will allow you to customize the look of your store. Wix isn’t that flexible, especially with product pages.
Round 3: Product Presentation and Features
At first, it might seem strange how Shopify has fewer features than Wix for presenting your wares. You can only add 3 variants in Shopify for size, color or material. Wix gives you 6 variants and up to 30 options, for example, to choose different colors. Both let you create titles, descriptions and image galleries with cool zoom effects. But Shopify doesn’t support carousel videos in all its themes, while Wix does.
Wix’s Product Images
Having said that, it all changes when you start digging deeper into Shopify’s extra apps. You can find a great range of free and paying add-ons, which will enable reviews (not possible with Wix, who favors user comments) Facebook stores, eBay item importers and tons more. And there is one really exciting and (so far) unique Shopify feature: Augmented Reality. This allows you to use your smartphone to navigate around the product and view every little detail.
Shopify’s Augmented Reality Demo
With Wix there’s also one major drawback: you currently can’t embed videos in your product descriptions.
Round 4: Payment Options
There are a lot of options here, so let’s get a better overview in the following table.
|Credit Card payments||
Yes. No transaction fees through Shopify payments.
Transaction fees for the hundreds of other gateways they support.
|Yes, through Wix Payments, Paypal, Stripe, Moolah or Square. No transaction fees.|
|POS||Yes, through their own Shopify POS||Yes, through Square.|
|Apple Pay / Google Pay||Yes||No|
|Other channels||Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon, or Etsy (via external app)||Instagram and Facebook|
Winner: clearly, Shopify has a lot more options to sell items everywhere. Just be aware that if you live outside the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Germany, New Zealand or Singapore, you won’t be able to use Shopify Payments (read review). That means paying transaction fees.
Round 5: Customer Logins and Checkout Options
Shopify gives you great options if you want your users to register before going to the checkout. It can be mandatory, optional or prohibited, and it’s easy for users to subscribe by filling some basic information. From your side of things, you can add users manually or import a list via CSV. You can sort them through a tag system.
Round 6: Shipping Cost Settings and Carrier Integration
Another wide range of options that’s easier to compare in a table here:
|Create shipping rules||Yes||Yes|
|Print and buy labels||Yes||Only via external provider (e.g. Shippo, ShipStation)|
|Real-time shipping||USPS, FedEx and UPS (not in the entry plan)||Only USPS (USA) and Correios (Brazil)|
|Dropshipping carriers||Shipwire and Rakuten (via app) and native integration with Amazon fulfillment.||Yes, via Modalyst|
Round 7: Tax Settings
Shopify gives you plenty of freedom to include, or exclude taxes from the prices displayed on your store. They also support automatic tax rates for different countries. A cool trick that can save you time, but worth double-checking.
Wix lets you enable or disable taxes, and set them on a region-basis. Using the free Avalara app, your Wix store will also calculate tax rates automatically. You can even define product categories for special tax rates (e.g. many EU countries charge lower VAT for food).
Tax setting with Wix
Round 8: Multilingual Capabilities
This has been a sore point of Shopify users for a long time. To this day, you still cannot create a multilingual site natively. However, there are “hacks”. You can buy bilingual themes (expensive) or third-party apps that will set you back another $20 a month on average. Or if you want to fork out a whopping $2000 a month for the Shopify Plus plan, you can get 3 languages.
Wix does have a multilingual feature but it’s not SEO-friendly unfortunately (it uses the same URLs for all languages). Better than nothing but we’d not recommend it.
Round 9: SSL
Winner: both Shopify and Wix offer SSL encryption with all their plans. Both ecommerce builders also allow your customers to check out on your own domain, which builds trust. This is a win-win for everyone.
Round 10: SEO
Both Shopify and Wix are pretty good when it comes to search engine optimization practices. You can modify your page titles, descriptions, headings, alt texts and redirects. Sitemaps are available under yourdomain.com/sitemap, and you can also add a Facebook Pixel code to track your ecommerce conversions on social media.
Wix Products’ SEO Options
The only strange things worth mentioning are that Shopify and Wix don’t play so nice with URLs. Shopify adds “/collections/” or “/products/” to some of them. Wix adds “/product-page/” to product pages so you cannot get full control over your URL. However, if you modify a URL, Shopify lets you click a box to automatically create a redirect from the old page. Wix only reminds you to do it.
Round 11: Shopify or Wix, which one is faster
Our GTmetrix test with a Shopify website gave a A rating (92%) and a score of 85 with a Pingdom test. These are very good results, especially with a loading time of between 1 and 4 seconds.
Wix, seemed a little bit slower with a GTMetrix Test score of 65% (D ranking) and a Pingdom test result scoring 82. The load time took up to 9 seconds in some tests, which isn’t ideal for your users or SEO. Wix also didn’t score particularly well in our big speed test of 11 different website builders.
Winner: The tests give Shopify a bit of an edge, although Wix isn’t bad either. But the point should still go to Shopify because you can access the source files to optimize the code manually (if you know how).
Round 12: Support
Shopify offers 24/7 support via chat, email and phone. Their tutorials are generally clear and helpful, and the large community means you are likely to find answers in the numerous forum threads. The cherry on the top is Shopify’s excellent marketing blog, where you can find good info on how to grow your business.
Shopify Live Chat
Wix also has a great marketing blog and well-written tutorials. However their support is only offered via phone or forums, and it is limited to business hours. On the plus side, the community is also huge, so you won’t feel alone with your problems.
Round 13: Market Place
Shopify and Wix have huge market places, with tons of apps (we counted 1500+ for Shopify) from third-party developers and from the platforms themselves. In both cases, some apps are free, some aren’t.
Wix’s App Market
The main difference is that Shopify’s apps are all related to ecommerce. With Wix, you are also looking at apps designed to enhance your website or blog. These can be industry-specific, for instance, related to hotels, restaurants or event planning.
Winner: hard to judge here, it will depend on the kind of products you are selling. But generally speaking, Shopify’s apps are more likely to extend your store, and Wix’s apps will help your website as a whole.
Round 14: Prices
Although there is a Shopify called Lite, a shopping cart plugin for existing websites, at $9 a month, most people will need the Basic Shopify Plan, starting at $26 per month. For Wix, your first option is Business Basic, which starts at $23 per month. For more in-depth comparison of the respective plans, please refer to our Shopify Pricing guide and Wix Pricing guide.
But broadly speaking, the main things to keep in mind are:
- Unless you use Shopify Payments (as mentioned above in Round 4), you will need to pay fees on all transactions, even offline sales. There are no such fees with Wix.
- Shopify limits the amount of staff accounts you can create. It’s 2,5 or 15 depending on the plan. There is no limit with Wix.
- Wix’s plans have limited bandwidth (10GB) and storage (20GB), which is both generous. If you go over your limit, you’ll need to move to the VIP plan, starting at $39 per month. There is no limit with Shopify
- Wix’s store features are the same, no matter what ecommerce plan you choose. This includes pro features such as abandoned cart recovery and real-time shipping rates. With Shopify, you have to check if you need advanced functions as this will require one of the pricier plans. Among them, for example, are gift cards, professional reports, and abandoned cart recovery.
Winner: Shopify offers more options, but more isn’t always better. It can get a bit confusing, and the transaction fees can be a nasty surprise, as can a variety of other hidden costs. We prefer Wix’s lower prices.
Our Side-by-Side Comparison
Now, let’s take a real deep look inside Shopify and Wix eCommerce. Check out the direct comparison:
As we mentioned in the intro, Shopify offer similar features, but they’re not exactly in the same category. On the one hand it makes it harder to compare them, but on the other, it should make it easier to choose! So here’s where we would recommend either platform.
Choose Shopify if:
- You need a solution for a serious ecommerce. One that needs to scale and sell everywhere around the globe.
- You are a dropshipping business
- You need multilingual stores
- You want more payment gateways
A Wix store is best if:
- You want an easier way to build an online store
- The store isn’t the main goal of your website
- Creating content is the main way for you to acquire traffic (blog, landing pages etc…)
- You want more design flexibility
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments!
15 Jan 2020: Supported sales channels and other smaller updates
22 Aug 2019: Tax rate settings updated.
22 Apr 2019: Wix added store logins and a few other updates.
26 Oct 2018: Side by side comparison added.