If you dream of starting your own e-commerce business, or if you already own one and are considering switching platforms, then you might feel a bit overwhelmed by all the choices available to you. Two popular platforms – Wix and Shopify – are e-commerce platforms you likely already recognize, but perhaps are confused by which is better.
While the two platforms share similarities, ultimately it comes down to which one has the features best suited for the needs of your business and perhaps the size of your budget.
As a marketer or business owner, your primary goal is to sell a product or service and get it into the hands of as many people as possible. To do this, you need a website and an e-commerce platform that can keep up with the demands of your business, or scale to meet your increasing demands.
Wix and Shopify offer similar services for your business, but the differences are just enough where each one meets different needs.
What is Wix?
Founded in 2006, Wix now has over 200 million users across 190 countries across the globe. Wix is the leading cloud-based development platform in the world, providing all the tools you need to create a beautiful site. The primary focus of Wix from the beginning, and what remains today, is website creation. You can create a website for free, or you have the ability to add an e-commerce component to your site.
Today there are a number of major brands that rely on Wix, including Hilton Hotels, Lyft, Deloitte, and DHL while still focusing on the website needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs.
How Wix works
Wix is primarily a website builder, with the ability to let you run an online store. Wix combines the use of templates for you to easily create a site, with powerful AI technology. It uses a drag-and-drop editor so you can set up your site without an ounce of design expertise or experience.
Wix brands itself as a hassle-free way to build a site in a matter of minutes while giving you full creative control. Because the focus is so heavily on the design of a site, it’s a popular option among entrepreneurs, freelancers, restaurateurs, and small businesses to showcase products and services.
Features of Wix
The Wix Editor allows you to start your website from scratch, or choose from one of over 500 templates if you need creative inspiration. There are a wide range of apps for customization and your site is fully mobile-optimized.
With your storefront, you are able to add discount codes, shipping information, and vibrant product pages. There are multiple payment methods available and you can accept secure online deposits for your business.
Content creation is a focus for Wix. Wix allows you to create beautiful blogs and edit and post them in a few easy steps, even if you have multiple writers or contributors. If you have a branded video channel, you will appreciate being able to manage your channel from your Wix dashboard while promoting and selling your channel for revenue.
You have a full range of analytics at your disposal to assist you in growing your business. Tools such as a personalized SEO growth plan, visitor statistics, and email marketing campaign tools are a few available to you with your Wix site.
No matter what type of business you own, from salon owner to photographer to pet store, Wix provides access to professional design elements to make your business shine.
Wix has separate pricing plans for those who only want a website versus those who have transactions. You also have a 14 day free trial before you must choose which plan you like.The pricing below is for businesses that need to accept online payments.
- Business basic: This plan is $23 per month and is geared towards those who mainly focus on selling through social media channels. You can accept payments, host your website, and sell an unlimited number of products.
- Business unlimited: If you upgrade to this plan, you will pay $27 per month, but you receive additional features such as more storage space, automatic sales tax calculation for up to 100 transactions per month, and shipping discounts.
- Business VIP: For $49 per month, this plan gives you unlimited video usage, access to Priority Customer Care support, 500 transactions per month with automatic sales tax calculation, and maximum storage capacity.
What is Shopify?
A Canadian company founded in 2009, Shopify is part of the SaaS family of platforms. Shopify supports over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide. With revenue totaling over $1 billion annually, it is a giant in the e-commerce space.
You’ll recognize quite a few names of big companies using Shopify these days. Global companies including Heinz, Staples, Rothy’s, and Allbirds all rely on Shopify for their daily e-commerce transactions.
How Shopify works
Shopify is focused on e-commerce, with website building as a secondary offer. Your store can be through a website, a physical brick-and-mortar store, or one operated through a social media channel. The chances are if you can sell something, then Shopify can support it.
Shopify hosts the servers and you have access to the use of the software to run your store. This keeps you from having to invest in your own IT department – you are basically renting the IT infrastructure you need to conduct business.
You can also register your web domain through Shopify. This allows you to get started right away and again, everything you need is in one place.
Shopify has numerous features to help you run your online or physical store. For starters, there are over 70 themes for you to choose from. So if designing is not your specialty, you can choose from a pre-selected theme and take the guesswork out of it. Since it has a web-based site builder, the idea is that anyone can build a site and store from scratch.
Shopify allows you to customize your site to showcase your brand and make it as unique as you want. If you do have coding knowledge, you have access to HTML and CSS for a truly personalized website.
When it comes to payments, Shopify works with all major credit card companies, including over 100 payment gateways. Splitit easily integrates with Shopify, so you can offer your shoppers a Buy Now Pay Later option effortlessly during the checkout process.
Shopify assists you in your content creation for your store too. From SEO optimization to creating blogs, product recommendations and search tools, you have access to a wide range of plugins so your content integrates seamlessly.
Shopify has three price plans to choose from and each one is based on the size of your business and your store needs.
- Basic Shopify: This is the entry-level plan for brand new online businesses and is only $29 per month. While there are plenty of features, the drawback to this plan is the higher transaction fees. But this is the recommended option for those who are getting started or have smaller revenues.
- Shopify: This is the mid-range plan for blossoming online businesses and costs $79 per month. Additional features are added versus the basic plan, such as professional reports, competitive shipping rates and lower transaction costs.
- Advanced Shopify: This plan is for larger e-commerce stores looking to scale their growth. It’s also the most expensive at $299 per month. The number of features increase, including the ability to add third-party shipping rate calculators, up to 15 staff accounts, and you can even integrate your own shipping company, all with the lowest transaction fees among the plans.
Another option, and the least expensive one, is the Shopify “Lite” plan. If you already have an existing website then this plan offers a buy button to place on your site. You can sell any product, you only need your own website to add this feature. Like Wix, Shopify does provide a 14 day free trial to get started and choose the best plan.
Which is better for me — Wix or Shopify?
Choosing between the two platforms is a decision based on the needs of your business. Both offer a variety of options to optimize your e-commerce business. When choosing between the two, consider the following:
- Monthly budget
- Marketing support
- Customer service support
- Customization and design options
- Ease of use
- Payment integration
Again, Wix is an excellent website builder, while Shopify is more powerful when it comes to e-commerce transactions and expanded payment options.
Choosing the right e-commerce platform is a critical decision in the life of your business. But like so many other aspects of running your company, it takes careful thought and planning to understand which platform ultimately leads your company to the most growth.