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Shopify vs Wix – Which one is right for you in 2019

Choosing the wrong ecommerce website platform will cost you time, waste money, energy and resources.

It’s great to have so many platforms to choose from because it means everybody in that space will be working hard to differentiate themselves, and at the end, the consumer wins by getting a better product.

In this article I will be comparing Shopify and Wix due to their growing popularity.

The trouble with choosing a suitable ecommerce platform to launch your online store is when you visit their sales page, they all do a great job of telling you how good they are, and why they are the winning platform for you!

So how do you choose the one which best fits your business needs?

I have researched both platforms extensively side by side therefore after reading this article you will know how both stack up against each other, and you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into.

Shopify is the clear leader in terms of popularity but that is not to say Wix is not a contender. Depending on the requirements, skill level and the time you have to go to market, either option may be better suited.

Wix for ecommerce

For the most part, Wix is a great platform for anybody who is starting up. It’s ideal for entry-level online sellers.

Wix makes it incredibly easy to customise the store and allows pretty much anybody to start selling online quickly and effortlessly.

I highly recommend you to sign up to a free trial to test drive the platform. It is worth checking it out to get a feel for it.

Launching a store with Wix

Wix makes it intuitive to sign up and create a site. They literally hand hold you to get you up and running painlessly.

Wix claims to be for everybody; whether you’re a total amateur or an expert, Wix will play at your level.

Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) vs Wix Editor (classic editor)

Wix ADI is a response to a new breed of website builders that allow you to launch even faster by performing certain actions automatically.

Wix Editor is the classic editor and is what people are familiar with. The editor allows you to pick a template from a number of options.

The downside is that there are really only a limited number of themes/templates to pick from and for the most part you don’t have the option to download themes from marketplaces like envato.com and therefore restricted from a design perspective.

Wix is great for building responsive websites

What I like about Wix is that they do give you a really cool setup and allow easy switch between mobile and desktop preview as you’re building the website. This will help you optimize your website for viewing on mobile devices as well as desktop computers. With more than half of all internet traffic coming from mobile devices, it is extremely important to make sure your website is primed for mobile viewing and use.

Wix is SUPER easy to use

It is really easy to update your web page on Wix. In fact, it is so easy even your grandma can create a website!

All you need to do is click on an element and you can edit, move or remove it easily. Wix is straightforward and easy to navigate through. I am particularly impressed with the aforementioned click and drop feature that makes it simple to add elements to the page.

Wix has it’s limitations

Apart from the design limitations, Wix is not scalable. If you are planning to grow and scale your business in a short amount of time you may find that Wix cannot keep up with you.

Also, if you are working with a large list of varied products or need advanced features such as abandoned cart recovery to catch customers who have left items in their checkout – Wix is probably not for you.

Finally, Wix is missing social media integration so you won’t be able to connect to your Facebook store.

Wix price plans suit individuals and small businesses

Wix is super affordable but just like with everything else you get what you pay for. Yes, the basic plan starts at £3/month but you get very little storage (500MB) and low bandwidth (1GB) for your website. It would not work for a website with a lot of images or high traffic and is NOT suitable for online selling.

At £8.50/month you can remove Wix branding and integrate online forms. With the £18/month package you will get Social Media logo files, but I would question the value of that?

Finally, with business pricing between £13-£22/month we enter the eCommerce offering. The extra features you get  are Google analytics and the ability to accept online payments.

Visit Wix’s website for more details on pricing: www.wix.com/upgrade/website

Shopify

Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform that removes the headache of hosting and backing up your store. The platform is aimed at anybody looking to sell online quickly and easily but has the flexibility to do some really advanced stuff for experienced, high turnover sellers.

Big brands on Shopify
Launching a store with Shopify

Similar to Wix, Shopify makes breaking into their platform really simple by asking a bunch of rudimentary questions to get you started on the right foot

Shopify provides greater customisation

To truly make your online store your own, it is important to be able to have greater control over customisation. Wix by far is much simpler to use but with Shopify, you have the ability to customise your theme with greater flexibility.

Choose from 1000’s of Shopify themes

Shopify allows you to import themes from outside of it’s platform, meaning you can purchase awesome looking themes from places like envato.com and they even have their own theme marketplace!

There are literally 1000’s of themes to choose from and because of the large community of Shopify theme developers, the range is highly diverse and you can pick from 100’s of themes in any given industry.

Premium themes will cost upwards of $100. You should also remember that extending functionality of your shop also comes at a price, extensions or plugins are paid for separately, often as a recurring monthly fee or subscription, and the cost of running the store can quickly rack up.

Shopify price plans suit small to large businesses

The beauty of Shopify is that they have plans to suit all levels of businesses. Whether you’re just starting off or are already well established, have 1 product or 1000 products, turn over of £1000 or £10,000,000, Shopify has plans to suit all.

The basic package starts from $29 per month and scales up to $299 per month, which includes advance features and better transaction rates.

What sets Shopify apart from Wix is that it has an enterprise version called Shopify Plus for large scale online businesses with fantastic features including campaign automation, checkout customisation, performance monitoring and much more.

Visit Shopify’s website for more details on pricing: https://www.shopify.co.uk/pricing

So which one, Wix or Shopify?

Wix makes it very easy for you to just drag and drop things on the website with incredible simplicity and is insanely easy to use but Shopify has the bigger selection of themes available and gives you much greater control to go beyond the basic features.

To help decide which one will be right I have evaluated the key ecommerce components.

Ease of managing products
Wix

Wix provides a very easy to use dashboard where you can add, modify and delete products. Everything is where you’d expect to see it and you have the ability to add images, videos, price, sale price, description, visibility, categorise, assign voucher codes, manage inventory and split products by size, colour or material.

Wix allows you to choose from a gallery of images

What I like about Wix is that they are really trying to get you up and running as quickly as possible. They’ve recognised that most people who choose Wix for ecommerce are having their first attempt at selling online and therefore struggle with things like image sourcing which hampers them from launching the website. To overcome this barrier, Wix give you a library of free images, social media icons and the option to pay for professional stock imagery through their Shutterstock integration.

Shopify

Similarly to Wix, Shopify’s product management is easy to use and intuitive. They give you freedom to upload images, add product description, select product types, choose brand (vendor), categories, add tags, add price, compare price and cost price, manage inventory, add barcodes, choose fulfilment option and add variant options.

If you want to get more advanced, Shopify will allow you to add apps (plugins) to give you enhanced options to do some really clever stuff.

SEO tools
Wix

Wix is heavily criticised by the SEO community for it’s crawlability. It’s definitely come along way since the days when Wix used to use Flash, which was utter abomination for SEO professionals, but the platform is still not great for growing sites that depend on non branded organic search taffiic.

Historically Wix has been poor for SEO for the following reasons:

  • Terrible url structure
  • Not giving you the ability to add alt attributes to images
  • Lack of control with url personalisation
  • Inability to customise sitemap
  • Poor tablet version of website
  • No option to add canonical tags
Shopify

Shopify is a platform developed with SEO in mind. I have launched several websites that have enjoyed a boost in organic ranking compared to when they were on WordPress, Magento and alike.

Having said that, much like any hosted platform like Squarespace and BigCommerce, there are limitations to what you can tweak. There is no option to simply FTP into the server and make changes directly.

Payment options
Wix

Wix is limited in the number of payment options that are available but they are improving as they have recently entered the ecommerce space. Currently, there are up to 17 payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, Square, Wirecard, Braintree, and Authorize.net.

Shopify

Over 70 payment gateways are available through Shopify, including PayPal, Stipe, Authorize.net and much more.

Price plan comparison
Wix

Affordable for the most basic websites, but you may find yourself eventually missing features and space even on the Business VIP plan at £22/month.

Shopify

Basic e-commerce starts at $29 but expect additional costs such as:

  • Theme purchase or have a custom one built by a Shopify developer (seek no further)
  • Plugins to enrich functionality
  • Shopify transaction rate which starts at 2.2% + 20p.

Conclusion

Who is Wix for?

If you don’t have many products and just want to dip your toe into the world of ecommerce, you are better off with WIX since it’s easy to get started and the startup costs are low.

You would spend more time and money with Shopify to get the same result as you would with WIX if you’re just getting started online and it’s much easier to edit themes on WIX compared with Shopify.

Because Wix is such an easy platform to use, their support system is not great and they usually take a long time to answer queries so do bare that into consideration if support is important to you.

Who is Shopify for?

If you have a large catalogue of products and are looking for a platform that is not only feature rich but scalable as the business grows then you should seriously consider Shopify.

Shopify has a robust stock management system and lets you sell products directly on your website, through multiple marketplaces and on social media.

The cost of running your shop will be recurrent and is likely to increase as you enhance functionality by adding extra features through plugins.

New features are rolled out often and the platform is being constantly improved.

If support matters to you then Shopify will not disappoint because their support system is remarkably proficient, they’re quick to respond and generally very helpful. The Shopify Plus plan grants your special live chat privileges for lightning fast support.

Have more questions?

Feel free to contact me here or send me a message on LinkedIn. I will be me more than happy to answer any questions 🙂

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About the author

Mamo has been in the Online Marketing space since 2005, has a background in Software Engineering, User Experience Design and has a deep understanding of the principles of Digital Marketing.

He founded his first company at age 17 and has been instrumental in launching over 300 website builds and executing 100’s of successful marketing campaigns generating millions in revenue.