As an ecommerce merchant, you’re spoilt for options when it comes to choosing the right platform for your store! Every ecommerce platform provides you with very basic features at a reasonable cost. However, it’s not until you dive deep into the daily functionality of ecommerce that you can identify the crucial aspects that make one platform better than the other!
Wix is a drag and drop interface with bundled templates. It is built for you to "create a website you're proud of". As the pitch suggests, it is more for creatives who want to build content based websites and to-date remains the best choice for creative freelancers and smaller service-based businesses.
Shopify on the other hand was built exclusively for creating ecommerce websites that are backed by powerful tools to start, manage and market your online business. The nature of ecommerce transactions online has always been at the core of Shopify's offerings. It says that "anyone, anywhere can start an ecommerce website" and that is evident with Shopify's presence in 175+ countries globally!
Free plans & Pricing tiers
Wix offers an entirely free plan. However, the caveat is that a free website comes along with a wix site url and a permanent banner at the website header with a wix ad as shown in the picture below .
Wix has 4 plans for building a simple (non-ecommerce) website:
Connect Domain: Rs.80 per month
Combo: Rs.125 per month
Unlimited: Rs.185 per month
VIP: Rs.325 per month
It has 4 Business and Ecommerce plans:
Business Basic: Rs.225 per month
Business Unlimited: Rs.300 per month
Business VIP: Rs.500 per month
Enterprise: Custom pricing
Shopify does not provide an entirely free plan. But it does offer a 14-day free trial.
On the other hand, Shopify has 5 pricing plans:
Shopify Lite: $9/month (Rs.672 approx)
Basic Shopify: $29/month (Rs.2166 approx)
Shopify: $79/month (Rs.5902 approx)
Advanced Shopify: $299/month (Rs.22,340 approx)
Shopify Plus (The enterprise plan): starts at $2000/month (Rs.1,50,000) approx
At face value, it may look like Wix is far more cost effective than Shopify. However, Wix's plans contain significant limitations. For example, the 3 business plans limit the amount of storage you can use to 25GB, 35GB, and 50GB, respectively. It also imposes limitations on the hours of video uploaded and number of pages per store. In contrast, Shopify provides unlimited storage, bandwidth, and website pages on every plan.
Themes & Design
Majority of the platform builders today provide themes or templates which expedites the process of creating a website and drastically reduces costs. The templates on Wix and the themes on Shopify can be easily accessed and setup by anyone without a technical background.
While Wix offers 800 templates compared to Shopify's 81 themes (9 free and 72 paid), there are 3rd party websites like Theme Forest that offer more than 1200 themes. Numbers aside though, Wix themes are quite creative, distinct and out of the box as compared to Shopify. Wix's drag and drop editor works on all the templates for re-arranging or tweaking elements.
However, these templates are not auto-responsive and the design needs to be tweaked individually for the desktop, iPad & mobile screens. However much one tries, achieving 100% compatibility with a customized Wix site remains a challenge whereas Shopify themes are optimized for device compatibility.
In a world where over 70% of global online purchases take place on mobile devices, Shopify emerges as a clear winner here.
Wix offers three built-in design tools to help store owners quickly design their storefront, Wix Editor X, Wix ADI, and Editor. You can also use Velo, a full-stack development platform by Wix that empowers you to rapidly build, manage and deploy professional web apps. However, once you choose a Wix template, you need to stick with it till the end. Migrating to another template isn't easy. It will require a complete rebrand.
Shopify offers very structured themes and to modify those you'll need a technical expert, commonly known as a "Shopify Developer", well-versed with Shopify's native "Liquid" language. Shopify Plus merchants also have access to the Script Editor app that comes with some script templates for standard ecommerce customizations.
Apps & Integrations
Currently, Wix offers over 200 apps and add-ons which include 6 main categories. Those are marketing, sell online, services & events, media & content, design elements, and communication as seen in the picture below.
While Shopify, with it's 5000+ apps in it's store is classified into 9 categories as seen in the image below.
Classified into collections such as marketing, merchandising, fulfillment, customer service etc. makes finding the right app to solve a pain point becomes much easier. Since Shopify is e-commerce focused, all the apps on Shopify cater to one of the aspects in your ecommerce journey.
POS (Point Of Sale) Solution
Wix POS just launched in June 2021 and is "currently available to select U.S.-based merchants only." So, most Wix users will need to set up a POS integration with a third party service. It has different versions such as POS for retail, POS for services, POS for events and a native payments collector!
On the other hand, the Shopify POS has been around for a while. It let's you:
- Generate purchase orders and transfer stock based on inventory forecasts and performance.
- Make informed decisions faster with reports that unify data from your website and POS system.
- Email customers their in-store favorites, right from your point of sale.
- Collect contact details and tailor marketing campaigns to share exclusive discounts and sneak previews.
- Add loyalty apps to your POS system to reward customers for shopping with you, both in store and online.
Shopify emerges winner
Both Shopify and Wix are excellent options for building an e-commerce website in their own capacity! However, given the creative freedom of Wix, it's more suited to smaller service based businesses. When it comes to e-commerce though, Shopify emerges winner. The structure coupled with the ease of functionality and potential to scale makes it the best choice for e-commerce brands! Additionally, Shopify's support for AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages), device compatibility and multi-lingual support adds to it's merit!
Over the past few years, we've helped a lot of brands & business build and enhance their online presence.
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