When it comes to selling your products online there are a myriad of options out there. Choosing the correct option is tough, everyone’s needs are different, some eCommerce solutions are better suited to the small business owner, or to those who just want a place to sell their knickknacks. Shopify is an all in one solution, that can be scaled to suit your needs. It’s why I’ve been comparing it to all the other options available, seeing its strengths and weaknesses when contrasted with the competition can be invaluable when you’re on the fence.
Wix offers a very similar product. You can set up your site, add a store front and start selling over the internet. They have a fantastic user base, estimated at 68 million, and their site design tools are both easy to use and versatile. The issue arises when you factor in the age of the service. They only added their eCommerce tools in the last few months, meaning that a lot of their users do not actually have a store front, making those numbers a little deceptive.
In the past younger companies have come up short against Shopify, let’s see if Wix can beat the odds.
Shopify Vs Wix – Appearance, Professionalism, & Overall Look
How a site looks is of paramount importance. It’s a possible customer’s first experience with your service and can make or break a sale. You need a look that is both modern and appropriate. It’s not enough to have a pretty store front, that isn’t even that hard to do these days, you must be using a design that is reflective of the business you are in. If you’re selling high fashion it doesn’t do to have an amazon-like grid of products, you want a layout that promotes each piece as the art you are trying to sell it as. Likewise if you’re selling fishing supplies you may lose customers if your site puts the fly gear on a digital pedestal. Thankfully both Wix and Shopify have plenty of options in this department.
Being too new to the field can be a bad thing. Wix offer a decent variety of Themes and templates to choose from. All are functional and easy to manipulate, but they lack a certain focus. Most other eCommerce solutions come with themes designed for a wide range of business types, the aforementioned sleek ultra-modern and the more down to earth free for alls. The best I can say about the templates available from Wix is that they are great for beginners. Those taking their first steps into the online marketplace will be well served by the clean and responsive sites on offer here, but I would question the overall scalability.
The focus here is on accessibility, and that is a commendable goal. But I feel like there just isn’t enough here to really sink your teeth into. The themes, while good, lack the professionalism seen in the designs from other firms, like Squarespace. I, and I think I’ll be saying this a lot in this review, fully expect the range to expand, and hope to see a few more customization options in the near future.
The full range is available from these guys. Their themes are wonderfully varied, and all designed by experts, so no matter the theme you go with you can be guaranteed a certain level of in built professionalism. I’m a big fan of product list style interfaces, and while they can look cluttered when designed poorly, the options in that field from Shopify are all great to look at. The biggest caveat here is not all of them are free. Not a huge deal, considering the quality of the free themes, but still something to think about. The more expensive themes can cost you $80, a hefty enough sum, though nowhere near the $900 ridiculousness seen in other eCommerce solutions.
Shopify matches Wix in terms of ease of use, but beats them in terms of back end customization. It is remarkably easy to edit your site, making it look exactly how you want. I would still stick as closely to the design ethos of the creator as possible though, I mean they know what they are doing.
It is difficult to give Wix props for their templates when you compare them to almost any other provider on the market. They are universally clean and functional, but they lack any panache. Combined with the limited opportunity for changing them and this becomes an easy section win for Shopify. They match Wix in terms of easy to read sites tat scale nicely to mobile devices. They offer more variety, and each theme is much easier to edit. Add in mobile compatible themes and you’re on to a winner.
Winner – Shopify
Shopify Vs Wix – Features & Integrations
The core functionality of your eCommerce site is the fact that you can sell things. They all let you do that. But that is not all you need. You need inventory control, shipping information, cart retention, maybe a few languages and social media integration. In addition to the all important SEO tools. Thankfully the tools offered by eCommerce sites sites tends to be the same, but one of these two offer just a little bit more.
Wix is very much the entry level choice in terms of features. It has broadly the same functionality as Shopify, but with fewer options. Some might call it a more streamlined experience. Managing your inventory is easy, add a product add the stock and watch it dwindle as you sell. It’s simple and easy to understand. Not as robust as Shopify, true, but all the necessary options are there to get you started. The App store for Wix is a little muddled though. It has apps for both an eCommerce store and the regular websites all in the one place, making it harder to sift through them for appropriate add-ons.
You can integrate with all kinds of social media right out of the box, which further streamlines the set up. It has all the SEO tools needed to create an on point easy to find service, it can be automated as well, but you’ll want to target keywords pretty heavily and try to game the system a little when you’re just starting out. There is one area in particular where Wix is superior to Shopify. Language integration. You can implement other languages at the touch of a button here, and customize the translations your self. Shopify does have options in this field, but they aren’t as well developed.
Rounding us off is their excellent customer support, a must in the market these days. Anytime you come across an issue, which should be seldom considering how simple the whole set up is, you can contact Wix support and their knowledgeable staff will get you sorted.
All that and a little extra. Shopify has more tools for managing inventory, their app store, a very focused experience, is filled with all manner of helpful programs. Bulk transferring items to various other sites, like eBay or Etsy, can be a simple click away. Shopify does not come with integrated social media, bar Facebook, but there’s an app for that. Literally all avenues can be explored, from Twitter to Google+. All of your SEO needs are catered to as well, with tools to match Wix, and all the other eCommerce platforms. The back end is intuitively laid out, giving you way more control over your Shopify store than the Wix equivalent.
The icing on the cake with Shopify is the their POS system. They recently branched out into this service and have done a wonderful job of implementing it. If you have a brick and mortar store, or you like to travel the convention/festival circuit with your products, Shopify POS is perfect for you. It allows you to manage your entire offline store in conjunction with your online store. It can also take payments, by connecting it to an iPad. In all the service is top notch, and not offered by any other provider on the market, that I have seen.
When the services offered are so similar the decision is made in the details, and the level of customization and control offered by Shopify surpasses that offered by Wix. they are both great products, Wix is perfect for those just entering the market, but that is something than can be said about most new eCommerce solutions. Shopify has a few more features, better options for said features, and their Shopify POS system giving them another win.
Winner – Shopify
Shopify Vs Wix – Dropshipping
Dropshipping is an increasingly popular way to supplement your storefront. You can do it on its own, but success there requires a lot of skill and a touch of luck. You need to know how to set up a store front from scratch, how to cater, how to generate content and land hits from google if you aren’t selling something unique. Better then to focus on supplementing I think. Regardless, Shopify have apps that allow you to succeed regardless of style. Unfortunately the options from Wix are less robust.
Shopify have two big apps that allow you to drop ship with ease. Oberlo and the Shopified App. The Shopified app is the more robust of the two. Shopified gives you the tools to grab products from pretty much anywhere and integrate them into your storefront. If you are a power user this is the one to go for, the price might be steep, but if you have the sales volume it is pittance, while also allowing you to increase sales and further refine your categories. Oberlo is my preferred option to be honest. It is light weight, fast, easy to use and focused. it allows integration with he most popular drop ship sources, Alibaba and Aliexpress. The price is nice and cheap too, so you can test the water if you like, see how it feels and lose very little in the long run.
I wish I could say that Wix provides even basic tools for the avid drop shipper, but while their core features are robust and well designed, there are no options for drop ship integration. It means that if you intend to supplement you will have to look elsewhere. Bit of a minor league black mark, but I know that a lot of people are looking to take advantage of these kinds of services, even the boutique bespoke artisan craftspeople, so know this going in.
No contest here I’m afraid. Shopify have amazing options in this field, Wix have none, don’t take a brain surgeon.
Winner – Shopify
Shopify Vs Wix – Flexibility, Ease of Use, & Scalability
I feel like I answered this section in the previous bit by accident. Let’s start with flexibility. Wix lacks the level of customization offered by its competitors, and Shopify is one of their biggest, compounding the issue. If you want to change something on your site you can, but only if it’s the number of products or the layout of images. I expect them to gain more functionality as the service expands, but as of right now there is too little there that you can edit. Shopify by contrast allows you to change whatever you want, and if you know how to code, you can even add an app that allows custom code injections. It makes for an all round more flexible system to work with.
When it comes to ease of use though, while Shopify is a doddle, Wix is more so. Their drag and drop system for design is so easy to use. Adding products is a simple screen and changing SEO data is super easy as well. They really have out did themselves in this category. If you’ve are just entering the market and want an eCommerce solution that can be set up quickly and easily Wix just might be what you’re looking for. Shopify is very easy to set up, and a lot of the more customization features can be ignored if you like, but simply removing options is always easier for the layperson to understand.
Now to scalability. Shopify’s tiers of service are broadly comparable to Wix, but the increased control you have over your business offered by Shopify makes it the clear winner. I’ve already said, Wix is great for those wishing to enter the market, Shopify is better for those who know a bit more about business and want their expertise to matter. I expect the gaps in Wix options to close over the next few months, but for now Shopify is the clear winner.
Winner – Shopify
Shopify Vs Wix – Cost & Value
You need to take all of the features and the themes into consideration when selecting your product. If we look at this section as a straight up numbers game we lose the bigger picture. Wix is currently significantly cheaper than Shopify, no argument here, but in terms of value for money, Shopify offer a better product at a competitive price. Let’s break it down a little.
The cheapest package for eCommerce from Wix is currently $16.58 per month. For what you get that is a bargain. But limited bandwidth and a lack of support options make it less attractive. For those entering the market is perfect though. The next rung up is $24.92, and in terms of features it is the most comparable to Shopify. There is a storage limit of 20GB, but that is the only real downside to it.
Shopify’s prices are a little steeper, but their cheapest matches the most expensive package that Wix offers. The Basic Package is $29 flat. It comes with social media integration, back end support and all the bandwidth and storage you can eat. As you move up the tiers you find more specialized features, perfect for a business on the rise. The Pro package is $79 and the Unlimited package is $179.
The final price to consider is the transaction fees. neither company charges you a thing, though I must stress that you have to use Shopify Payments. You can implement over seventy alternative payment methods but depending on your package Shopify charge between 2% and 0.5% per transaction. You also cannot get around credit card fees, which usually sit between 2.2% and 3%.
This is a hard one to call, on one hand Wix is cheaper, but on the other Shopify is better value for money. I have to call it a draw.
Update: You can get a free trial of Shopify by clicking here.
Winner – Draw
Shopify Vs Wix – Recap & Review
- All in one Solution
- Better variety and quality of themes
- Top notch back end support
- Shopify POS offline service
- Easy set up and customization
- Fantastic value for money
- Better Scalability
- More expensive than Wix
- More complicated to set up, but not by much
- Language integration still not up to standard
- Perfect for those just entering the market
- Very reasonably priced
- The easiest set up on the market
- What apps are available are well implemented
- Better blogging support by virtue of being a website creation tool first
- Support for a variety of languages from the get go
- Does not scale to larger businesses
- No real offline integration
- Limited customization options
It is almost unfair to compare Shopify to Wix. One is a fully featured eCommerce colution, catering to all business, big and small, while Wix is exclusively focused on the small business owner, an arena that Shopify already perform very well in. I don’t feel like Wix’s niche is clear enough to be honest. If they improve their scaling options then maybe they might become a contender, but as of right now, they simply aren’t.
2018 Free Trial Update: Don’t miss out on the offer for a Free Shopify Trial. Even if you end up going with another platform it doesn’t hurt to hop in and see how everything works. You can get the free Shopify trial by clicking here.