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While creating a website is fairly easy these days, you can’t really say the same thing when it comes to eCommerce.

You could go for website builders like Jimdo or Wix, which are very easy-to-use and inexpensive—but they don’t offer a whole lot of payment options or integrations with shipping companies.

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.

Venture vs. Business plan – reasons to upgrade

Generally speaking, the Venture 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.

A definite advantage of the Business plan (which is $35.00 per month if you pay annually) is the ability to use the automatic tax calculator, inventory management, and discount codes. The tax calculator works for Ecwid users from US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Is Ecwid SEO-friendly?

Recently Ecwid introduced SEO-friendly URLs. They used to include special characters (“#”) that not only looked ugly but also made it harder to rank your store in Google. Thanks to this change search engines will have no issues indexing your store’s content.

Setup

Installing Ecwid couldn’t be easier. You simply create a new page on your website and paste the HTML code they provide. Check out the video below that shows you how to set it up on a Weebly website.

The Ecwid shopping cart can be added to any type of website. To learn more, please visit: http://www.websitetooltester.com/en/reviews/ecwid-review/ In this v... Review of the Ecwid online store add-on 2012-09-27 https://img.youtube.com/vi/YP22aZAKUR4/hqdefault.jpg
This video explains how to install Ecwid on a Weebly website. For a detailed Ecwid review please visit: http://www.websitetooltester.com/en/reviews/ecwid-rev... How to install an Ecwid online store on a Weebly website 2012-10-05 https://img.youtube.com/vi/mnPPZlSVyBc/hqdefault.jpg

You can use Ecwid completely for free. Try it here.

Screenshots

Ecwid Pricing

$0

Free

Their Freemium package, which is limited to 10 items.

$15

Venture

Sell up to 100 items of both physical and digital products

$35

Business

Allows you to add up to 2,500 items, use more integrations and phone support.

$99

Unlimited

Has it all: no limits on your store items, includes even custom development.

Our Ecwid Review in Detail

criterion rating comments

Ease of use

There are a lot of options available, but the interface is well organized and Ecwid explains them very well.

Choice and flexibility of templates

With their clean and simple design, they fit into almost any kind of website. See an example here. There’s also the Decorator app that lets you adapt your template’s colors. Another interesting option is the Color Adaptive Mode option that automatically tries to pick the right colors for your store, using your website’s styles. Finally, you can also create your own theme using CSS. A selection of free themes to choose from would be nice to have.

 

SEO

Ecwid used to be pretty poor in terms of SEO. Thanks to the introduction of SEO-friendly URLs this is no longer an issue. It’s also possible to add page titles and descriptions.

Basic functions

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.

User ratings

Yes

This feature can be added via the Ecwid App Market.

Article numbers

Yes

Add a SKU number of your choosing.

Checkout, payment & 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 Venture 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).

Coupon codes

Yes

There are many possibilities: free shipping, absolute discount (e.g. $10 off), percent discount (e.g. 15% off) or combinations of free shipping and a monetary discount. You can also set expiration dates.

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. Also, there now is an automatic tax calculator for the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

Backend

Article management

Allows you to track your inventory and even set a reminder email when it runs low.

Confirmation emails customizable

All outgoing emails to your customers can be customized (e.g. ‘Password Reminder’ or ‘Order Shipped’ emails).

Importing product data

Yes

Supports CSV imports.

Exporting product data

Yes

It also supports CSV exports.

E-Commerce analysis

Yes

Ecommerce tracking can be added via Google Analytics

Exporting order data

Yes

Export as a CSV file.

Total Score

4.3/5

All in all, we think Ecwid is a great add-on if you want to get involved with eCommerce on your existing website.

Conclusion

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.

Fortunately Ecwid fixed some of their SEO issues, which used to be their weak spot. Thanks to their URL improvements it is now much easier to get your store properly indexed in Google. It’s also 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). However, these links still include a product number, e.g. “/Mens-Boardshorts-p69981186” and you also don’t have full freedom to customize your product URLs.

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.

> Get started now and try Ecwid for free

Example Sites

Ecwid Alternatives

FAQ

How many payment options does Ecwid offer?

Loads!

ecwid payment options

Here are some recent additions:

– Stripe
– 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.

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.

About Robert Brandl

robert brandl

Hi, my name is Robert Brandl and I am the founder of WebsiteToolTester. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Latest Review Updates

28 Jun 2016 – New tax calculator
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

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