Multichannel inventory management can often feel like spinning plates. But with the right tools, it doesn’t have to.
Ecwid is an all-in-one platform that helps you master multichannel ecommerce selling from one convenient location.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of using Ecwid for your online store, as well as the unique advantages it has over other storefronts.
Let’s dive in.
What is Ecwid?
Ecwid by Lightspeed is an all-in-one ecommerce selling platform that helps multichannel sellers set up their online storefront quickly and easily.
Its intuitive user interface makes it easy for users to create an attractive, professional online store in minutes – with no coding or design skills needed.
So what sets Ecwid apart?
Ecwid clearly articulates its main selling point on its website header: “Start selling everywhere online.”
Multichannel ecommerce selling is essential for forward-thinking brands, but managing it without a dedicated system is a nightmare.
Brands are expected to be everywhere: eBay, Amazon, their website, in-person stores, social media… the list feels never-ending.
Have you ever needed to change a product description or price and then go make that change on every single selling channel? It’s a time-suck, not to mention a huge headache.
Ecwid exists to solve that problem by offering easy integration to all selling channels from one convenient location.
The platform also offers a variety of features that can help businesses attract and engage visitors.
- Easy product search,
- Product filtering and categorization,
- And embedded marketing tools like email campaigns.
You’ll have access to analytics to track visitors and shopping trends, as well as a mobile-friendly design that allows people to shop on the go.
In addition, the drag-and-drop editor makes it simple for users to customize their store’s look and feel. If you want even more assistance, their Unlimited plans offer priority customer support.
Overall, Ecwid works to bridge the gap between your experience level and your ambition while simplifying the multichannel ecommerce experience.
What are the benefits of using Ecwid for my online store?
You may be (understandably) fatigued by the number of new platforms and tools at your disposal. Ecwid is not only aware of this but explicitly tailored to unite multiple features into one solution.
Here are some specific benefits of using Ecwid for your online store:
You likely didn’t start your business to spend all your time tinkering with technology. Yet, some ecommerce platforms feel like they require a computer science degree just to get started.
Ecwid sets itself apart with beginner-friendly features like:
Easy setup: Ecwid offers plenty of tools, resources and step-by-step support that will help you get up and running in a matter of minutes.
Flexible design options: You can customize the look and feel of your store with a wide variety of no-code templates, widgets and plugins.
Scalability: Ecwid supports up to 10 million products and unlimited orders per month so you can keep up with demand. You can also export store data to save time moving to new platforms.
It offers lots of customer-centric features
A Shopify analysis revealed one out of five Americans uses mobile shopping apps multiple times per day. Ecwid makes it easy to meet your customers’ growing need for convenience.
Here are some of the ways Ecwid reduces the friction in the customer journey and helps you get more sales:
Mobile-friendliness: Ecwid storefronts function smoothly on mobile devices, making it easy for visitors to shop from anywhere.
Flexible payment methods: Lightspeed Payments crafted Ecwid to be compatible with debit and credit cards as well as platforms like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Translation and globalization options: If you purchase a paid tier, such as their Unlimited plans, you can translate your storefront’s labels and buttons into over fifty languages. This is a fantastic new feature for businesses that have a global audience and need flexible site content.
However, you will need to translate your original product catalog, product title, or product pages into multiple languages.
Industry-standard security: Your customers will enjoy secure payment processing, increasing their trust in your brand.
You’ll enjoy an all-in-one model
As you likely know if you’ve been in this business for any length of time, an ecommerce operation often takes at least half a dozen software platforms to run efficiently.
You’ve got your accounting software, billing and invoicing software, your CRM and your website. And that doesn’t even get into the realm of inventory management software (another critical piece in a successful ecommerce business).
And many times, these platforms don’t adequately integrate or communicate with one another.
Ecwid aims to solve this “switching” pain by giving you the flexibility to complete several tasks in one central location.
- Product management,
- Inventory tracking,
- Customer segmentation,
- Reporting and analytics,
- Email marketing and more.
Sales channel integration
As mentioned above, Ecwid supports selling through various channels, making it easier for you to reach customers wherever they are.
Here’s an overview of some key sales channels supported by Ecwid:
Website: You can embed your Ecwid store into an existing website or create a new one using Ecwid’s site builder. Ecwid is compatible with many popular website builders, including WordPress, Wix, Weebly and Squarespace.
Social media: Ecwid allows you to sell directly on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can create shoppable posts and even integrate your product catalog with your Facebook Shop, allowing customers to browse and purchase items without leaving the social media platform.
Marketplaces: Ecwid can also integrate with popular online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, enabling you to list and manage your products across multiple platforms from a single dashboard.
In-person sales: With Ecwid’s POS integration, you can sell products in person at events, markets, or brick-and-mortar stores. Ecwid integrates with popular POS systems like Square, Clover and Vend, allowing you to sync your online and offline inventory and sales data.
Marketing and SEO tools
Ecwid provides various marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) tools to help you promote your store and improve its search engine ranking. Here’s an overview of some key marketing and SEO features available in Ecwid:
Social media integration: Ecwid makes it easy to share your products on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also add social sharing buttons to your product pages, allowing customers to share your products with their network.
SEO optimization: Ecwid’s platform is designed with SEO best practices in mind, which can help improve your store’s visibility on search engines like Google. Features like customizable meta tags, clean URLs and automatic sitemap generation can help search engines better understand and index your content.
Google Shopping integration: Ecwid offers integration with Google Shopping, allowing you to list your products on Google’s popular shopping platform and increase your store’s visibility to potential customers.
Email marketing: Ecwid supports integration with email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, allowing you to create targeted email campaigns, send newsletters and automate customer communications.
Discount coupons and promotions: Ecwid enables you to create and manage discount codes and promotions to encourage customers to make a purchase or return to your store.
Abandoned cart recovery: Ecwid’s abandoned cart recovery feature allows you to send automatic follow-up emails to customers who left items in their cart without completing the purchase, helping you recover lost sales.
These features, combined with Ecwid’s compatibility with various marketing apps and integrations, can help you create and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy to drive traffic to your store and boost sales.
What are the drawbacks to using Ecwid?
While Ecwid is an accessible and powerful platform, it’s not suitable for every ecommerce website. Here are a few drawbacks that could make it incompatible with your business or your goals.
Limited customization options
If you’re a tinkerer at heart or you feel the need to make a pixel-perfect storefront customized precisely to your liking, you may run into a few hurdles with Ecwid.
When it comes to technology, there’s often a universal trade-off between ease of use and customizability.
Highly adaptable solutions (like a WordPress site or custom-coded platform) are often much more challenging and time-consuming to get up and running.
However, they allow you meticulous control over every aspect of your brand. The price you pay for getting set up quickly is often a more locked-down design ecosystem with fewer options.
This is certainly true of Ecwid. Understandably, the platform prioritizes speed-to-market over deep customization.
Further, Ecwid doesn’t support every payment method, so businesses may need to integrate third-party or custom payment solutions.
Limited features on free plan
While Ecwid offers a free plan, its features are limited compared to the paid plans. For example, the free plan supports only five products in two categories and advanced features like abandoned cart recovery, discount coupons and multilingual support are not available.
Fewer built-in features than some competitors
Ecwid may lack some built-in features offered by other eCommerce platforms, such as built-in blogging tools or native dropshipping support.
This is a significant downside, as other competing platforms (namely, WooCommerce and Shopify), come with a built-in CMS for publishing and content marketing.
Content marketing is an essential part of growing your business and while Ecwid does integrate with popular website builders, it doesn’t include a native website builder like Shopify.
This means having to spend more money on another separate web and content publishing platform, which you’ll need to factor into your overall storefront cost.
No native support for multi-vendor marketplaces
Ecwid doesn’t offer native support for creating a multi-vendor marketplace, where multiple sellers can list and sell their products on your platform. This may be a drawback if you’re looking to create a marketplace-style business.
Third-party app dependency and limitations
To access some advanced features, you may need to rely on third-party apps and integrations, which can increase costs and complexity.
This is pretty standard, as even with Shopify or WooCommerce, extra plugins are often needed to achieve the functionality you’re looking for.
Additionally, while the Ecwid App Market is growing, it doesn’t hold a candle to the thousands of plugins and apps available in the WordPress and Shopify ecosystem.
For example, when doing a keyword search in the Ecwid marketplace for “Slack,” it returns no results.
Conversely, doing the same keyword search in the Shopify App store reveals 107 apps that support Slack integration (a very common and popular integration for communication and visibility).
While Ecwid offers customer support, it is limited on the free plan and live chat support is only available on higher-tier plans. Depending on your needs, you might find the customer support options insufficient.
Although Ecwid is user-friendly, there might be a learning curve for users who are new to ecommerce or have specific requirements that require advanced customization or app integrations.
Is Ecwid right for my brand? Key features to consider
Should you make the switch or not? Below are our main takeaways and the key features you need to consider before making the plunge.
Easy setup and customization but limited design options
This platform allows users to quickly establish their online store with a few simple steps and then customize it however they like.
Design options are limited with fewer available themes than platforms like Shopify or WordPress.
Flexible payment options but limited payment gateways
Ecwid makes it easy for buyers to pay online through a variety of methods, including credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay and more. Some gateways are still not available and require third-party solutions.
Ecwid is fully optimized for any mobile device, making it easy for people to shop for digital products or physical products on the go.
Easy inventory management across multiple channels
Ecwid makes it easy to keep track of product stock levels, shipping rates and order fulfillment across multiple channels.
However, it lacks some of the more advanced features of a dedicated inventory management platform like Linnworks, including advanced forecasting, shipping management and stock control automation.
Ultimately, Ecwid is a great choice for anyone who wants to get their store up and running fast on multiple channels and with very little technical know-how.
If you’re not looking for precise control over your checkout experience and you’re okay with having a separate solution for your actual website, Ecwid may be a solid choice.
Setting up Ecwid to Sell Online
Thinking of trying out Ecwid? We’ll walk you through the process of setting up your storefront.
1. Create an Account: You can make your account either through their website or via one of their integrations with CMS platforms such as WordPress or Wix.
2. Design Your Store: Customize the look and feel of your storefront. This step includes selecting colors, fonts, logos and product page layouts.
While Ecwid doesn’t have a fully-featured site builder, it does offer the ability to create basic “Instant Sites.”
These are very simple, yet stylish navigation and checkout storefronts that users can build with a drag-and-drop style block builder.
3. Add Your Products: Upload your products by entering product information such as pricing, inventory levels, descriptions and images.
4. Choose Payment Methods: Add payment methods so buyers can pay for their purchases using credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay and more.
5. Manage Orders: Integrate with shipping providers to calculate taxes and shipping costs for orders. Their shipping rates come in real time, flat, custom, or free depending on your product.
6. Choose Your Domain Name: Connect the domain name of your choice or add Ecwid to an existing website you own. For example, WordPress users can download the free plug-in from the Ecwid site.
7. Market Your Storefront: Start promoting your brand by setting up marketing campaigns, connecting to social media, or adding widgets and plugins to your website.
Integrating Your Ecwid Store with Other Systems and Platforms
Ecwid really comes alive when you start integrating it with your existing ecommerce software and technology stack.
Here are some common integrations:
Integrating with a website
With Ecwid, you can easily add an ecommerce storefront to any website. No coding or technical knowledge is needed. All you need to do is copy and paste a script into your HTML or add the Ecwid plugin for popular CMSs, such as your WordPress site and Joomla.
Integrating with social networks
The platform makes it easy to sell on Facebook and other popular social networks. You can add a store tab to your fan page or embed Ecwid products directly into your timeline posts.
Integrating with mobile apps
They have robust API integrations for both iOS and Android, so you can easily add Ecwid products to your mobile apps.
Integrating with other systems
Ecwid has integrations for more than 40 payment processors, email marketing services, shipping carriers and other popular systems. This makes it easy to sync Ecwid with the rest of your ecommerce operations.
FAQs about selling on Ecwid
Is Ecwid an ecommerce platform?
Yes, Ecwid is a comprehensive ecommerce solution that enables brands to sell products and services online. It’s simple to use and includes features such as payment processing, marketing tools and analytics.
What does “Ecwid” mean?
It is kind of an interesting name, isn’t it? Ecwid is a blend of ecommerce widget. This term refers to how their ecommerce features integrate into existing websites.
What is the difference between Ecwid and Shopify?
While they’re both popular storefronts with robust ecommerce features, they have their own way of doing things. Their similarities lie in their beginner-friendly approach, as well as boasting similar features such as different language versions and SEO tools.
Where they primarily differ is in store type and pricing. Ecwid is more useful for people who want to run multiple storefronts due to its integration features. Shopify works better as a standalone storefront.
To put it bluntly, Shopify just has more features than Ecwid, most notably a powerful built-in website builder and a more robust app ecosystem.
Ecwid also has a Free plan while Shopify has free trials.
Does Ecwid provide hosting for a website?
Ecwid does not provide hosting for a website. Instead, this platform integrates into existing websites (such as a WordPress or Shopify site) so people can easily add improved ecommerce functionality to their online presence.
Can I have two stores on Ecwid?
You can run multiple stores as long as they’re compatible.
Can Ecwid accept payments from major credit cards?
Yes, they support payments from all major credit cards along with PayPal and Apple Pay.
Ecwid also offers support for other payment processing services, such as Amazon Pay and Stripe.
Does Ecwid offer customer service?
Yes, Ecwid provides dedicated customer support through email, chat and phone. Ecwid also has an extensive Knowledge Base with tutorials and FAQs to help you get the most out of its features.
Is Ecwid suitable for businesses of all sizes?
Yes, Ecwid is an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes. Ecwid offers features such as unlimited products and storage for growing stores and it is easy to scale with Ecwid’s advanced features.
Is Ecwid easy to use?
Yes, it’s easy to use and manage. They boast an intuitive user interface with drag-and-drop tools for quickly creating attractive storefronts in a few clicks.
You’ll also enjoy a range of marketing and analytics tools to help brands optimize their online presence.
If you’re looking to build a simple storefront with a payment gateway, basic product data, product filters and a checkout page, Ecwid is a good choice.
Just remember you’ll need to look to other platforms to create a full-fledged marketing website.
How much does Ecwid cost?
They offer a range of plans to suit businesses of all sizes, starting with a free account, then ranging from $14.08 to $82.50/month. Their Enterprise plan is for larger businesses and comes with advanced features and custom solutions.
Their pricing is competitive and includes a free SSL certificate, unlimited products and custom domain support.
What is Ecwid’s customer support like?
They provide dedicated customer support through email, chat and even phone support. They also offer an extensive Knowledge Base with tutorials and FAQs to help customers get the most out of their features. According to Ecwid reviews, the speed of your response isn’t always consistent, but they’re available 24/7.
If you want to stay on top of the latest updates or troubleshooting, they offer a community forum where Ecwid users can connect with other users to discuss issues and solutions.
How much does Ecwid charge per transaction?
A major appeal of this platform is its simplicity – there are no transaction fees.
There are only monthly fees according to the paid subscription you choose (or no fee with the Free plan).
What are Ecwid’s key features?
They offer a range of features to help businesses create successful online stores, including payment processing, marketing tools, analytics, language versions and more.
It’s also easy to use with an intuitive user interface and drag-and-drop tools for quickly creating attractive storefronts.
While Ecwid lacks some of the features of Shopify (namely content marketing, a website builder and a robust app store), it’s an excellent solution for existing businesses that want to streamline their multichannel selling strategy.
Ecwid is perfect for beginners who need to start selling fast but lack the technical experience. Established shop owners who need to consolidate their inventory management tools will also enjoy their streamlined solution.
While their Free plan’s SEO tools are limited and they don’t offer additional bandwidth, they’re a robust option for many storefronts. They also have useful translation features and more advanced SEO tools when you upgrade your plan.
If you’re not ready to commit, they offer a free version that lets you establish your storefront fast. From there you can switch to their paid plans (and keep an eye out for their discount coupons).
There are many ways to promote digital products, provide services and run your small business. At the end of the day, the best solution is one that makes running your online store a little easier.
Thanks for reading and happy selling!