Ecwid, an acronym for E-commerce Widget, is a cloud-based service provider that offers a unique solution for small to medium businesses. It lets you sell on popular online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay and via social channels.
The e-commerce platform is not an online store builder. Instead, it works as a plug-in with existing websites. So, you add an e-store widget (designed using Ecwid) to your website/blog and start selling instantaneously. This is a far cry from big players like Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, and the like.
Ecwid is not designed for building stand-alone online shopfronts. Although it has a new functionality called Instant Sites, the shop you can build using this feature is also a one-page pitstop for your buyers.
Since Ecwid is not a full-spectrum e-store builder, it does lack the holistic support you’d get from Shopify, BigCommerce, or some of the other best e-commerce platforms of 2022. Its SEO capabilities could be a lot better too.
Continue reading as I dissect the pros and cons, features, pricing plans, security, and other relevant aspects of Ecwid by Lightspeed.
|Ecwid standout features|
|Best for||Startups and small businesses with existing|
|Promotion||Unlimited free trial for sellers with up to|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Ecwid?
Although you can quickly add a shop page to your WordPress, Wix, or Weebly website using Ecwid, you cannot build a stand-alone storefront using it. What works in its favor and what does not? Here’s what I think:
Pros of Ecwid
- Affordable: If you want to sell a limited number of products (<10), you can use Ecwid free of cost forever. That said, even its most expensive plan costs only $99 per month. It is one of the most affordable e-commerce platforms out there, great for those on a tight budget.
- Responsive design: Even though it’s a plug-in, Ecwid offers fully-responsive designs optimized for mobile devices. Its designs are a treat to the eyes. Plus, the shopping cart is easy to navigate, allowing your customers a seamless shopping experience.
- Easy integration: Ecwid is a plug-in that integrates seamlessly with any major platform that hosts your website. Be it WordPress, Wix, Weebly, or other key players, you do not have to be a tech wizard to add Ecwid to your website.
- Supports multiple languages: Ecwid supports 50 different languages. No matter which part of the world you are in and where you want to sell, its multilingual stores can help you sell your products and services.
- Automated tax calculations: Ecwid calculates applicable taxes for every sale you make at checkout. You do not need to integrate a third-party app or break a sweat over your tax calculations. The taxes are adjusted based on where you’re selling.
- Fully loaded app store: The Ecwid App Market has a wide selection of free and paid apps for marketing and sales support, dropshipping, product management, shipping, customer support, and much more. You can even cluster apps based on their purpose of use for easy access.
- Ecwid mobile app: You can manage your online shop on the go with the Ecwid Mobile App that’s convenient, easy to use, and gives you centralized control over your entire business operations.
Cons of Ecwid
- No stand-alone store: If you want to build a stand-alone online store, then Ecwid isn’t the platform for you. Even its Instant Site is a simplified, one-page version of an e-store and does not offer you the same functionalities that a Shopify, BigCommerce, or Squarespace shop would.
- Limited customizations: While you do not need much technical expertise to build your Ecwid shop page, the scope for customization is limited. So if creating a bespoke e-store is your goal, you’ll need to know CSS coding.
- Mediocre SEO: You get basic SEO support with the paid plans and none at all if you’re on the free trial, which is a big bummer. You’re also incapable of editing your product URLs because Ecwid auto-generates them for you.
- Complicated integrations: Even though there are a lot of apps to fortify your online selling, integrating paid third-party apps is not easy. You have to grapple with a fair share of permission issues and follow multiple steps.
- Lacks currency updates: You can sell in multiple currencies with the help of third-party apps, but Ecwid does not display the local currency during checkout. This is a hassle for both you and your customers and renders the multi-currency selling feature partially redundant.
Ecwid may be the best e-commerce platform for: SMBs with existing websites that want to sell a product or a service fast.
|Price||N/A||$12.50 per month (17% savings on annual plans)||$29.17 per month (17% savings on annual plans)||$82.50 per month (17% savings on annual plans)|
|Best for||Selling up to 10 products||Selling up to 100 products||Selling up to 2,500 products||Unlimited inventory|
|Basic features||All features of the Free Plan|
Android and iOS store management app
Branded shopping app for Android and iOS at $590 per month
|All features of the Venture Plan|
Android and iOS store management app
Branded shopping app for Android and iOS at $59 per month
|All features of the Business Plan|
Android and iOS store management appFree branded shopping app for Android and iOS if you’ve paid for an annual package
|Customer service||Live chat||Live chat|
|Scalability||One staff account||One staff account||Two staff accounts||Unlimited staff accounts|
|Sales support||Online store||Everything in the Venture plan||Everything in the Business plan|
|Order management||N/A||Product tracking||Product tracking|
Inventory Tracking Plus
(for all products across categories)
Inventory Tracking Plus
(for all products across categories)
|Reporting||Google Analytics needs to be integrated||Google Analytics needs to be integrated||Google Analytics needs to be integrated||Google Analytics needs to be integrated|
|Marketing||Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat Ads||Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat Ads||Everything in the Business plan|
|Shipping||Automated rates from U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FedExCustom rate for DHL and select others||Automated rates from the Postal Service, UPS, FedExCustom rate for DHL and select others||Automated rates from the Postal Service, UPS, FedExCustom rate for DHL and select others||Automated rates from the Postal Service, UPS, FedExCustom rate for DHL and select others|
|Security||Standard Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certified||Standard PCI DSS certified||Standard PCI DSS certified||Standard PCI DSS certified|
Considering the features you get with each plan remain unchanged (except the Unlimited Plan), Ecwid could be expensive for some people.
Ecwid also does not let you sell digital goods on the free plan. However, you can sell digital products with all its other plans if the file size per item does not exceed 25 GB.
At first glance, I found Ecwid’s dashboard pretty straightforward. It doesn’t differ much from most other e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, or Squarespace.
You can start designing your store by taking your pick from over 70 professional themes.
But here’s the catch: if you want to fully customize it, you need to create your own theme, or write your CSS code. You can simply copy-paste the code from somewhere else or use your technical knowledge to edit the existing code.
Ecwid generates a preview for every other aspect of your store design: from your product page layout to product description cards, image sizes, gallery, and thumbnail. You simply have to click on the option that best suits the overall look and feel of your store page.
Some of the display labels, like your product attributes, are preselected. Just don’t forget to double-check before you take the page live.
So if you don’t mind dabbling in a bit of CSS coding, designing a store on Ecwid should be a cakewalk for you. If not, it could be a bit of a steep learning curve.
If you need more than just a shopping widget for your website, you must opt for Ecwid’s Instant Site.
This one-page “website” comes with integrated e-commerce features and an SSL certificate for added security. You can connect your domain to it before you start selling. The shop page is already pre-embedded, so you can start selling the moment you go live.
You can use the Instant Site as a landing page or independently. Hide the shop section on the Instant Site if you don’t want to sell at that moment.
But what’s the use of the Instant Site?
It’s a time and effort-efficient way of setting up your e-commerce site without building a stand-alone store from scratch. I think it’s a very useful feature for those looking to earn a few quick bucks from seasonal sales.
Adding products to your shopping page is easy. You can add multiple pictures of your product from different angles and fill in the name, description, price, and other details in the designated boxes.
Also, you can upload the files for your digital products in a few clicks.
From editing products in bulk to creating duplicates, Ecwid delivers on the basic product upload functionalities as well as any other e-commerce platform.
The only drawback I found is that you cannot edit or enhance your product photos on the dashboard to make them look more professional. All the work needs to be done before you hit the upload button.
I love that you can add different shipping options for each product you put in your catalog. Overall, Ecwid does not disappoint with its product upload capabilities.
Abandoned cart recovery
My biggest disappointment with Ecwid is that abandoned cart recovery is only available in its Business and Unlimited plans.
Otherwise, automated recovery emails are sent two hours after a customer abandons their cart. You can also add discount coupons to your abandoned cart emails to coax your customer to take that last step.
If you play around with the standard abandoned cart email template, you can personalize it and make it appealing to your customers.
Ecwid also closely tracks all abandoned cart activity to help you with better insights for your upcoming email marketing campaigns.
You get access to a rather handy order editor when using Ecwid’s Business or Unlimited plan. The editor lets you create and edit orders from the dashboard, update customer information, and create discount coupons and promo codes, all in one place.
If you’re not using either of these two plans, though, you’ll need some help from third-party apps to manage your orders. Ecwid’s app store gives you access to a whole lot of order management apps, like Order Desk. But you’ll have to pay for them.
This feature, or lack thereof, is one of the stark differences between Ecwid and big players like Shopify or BigCommerce, both of which offer excellent order management at no extra cost.
Ecwid’s SEO support is not the best. Ecwid prepopulates some SEO fields for you, like the alt text for images. While you can edit the page title and meta description to suit your needs, you’re solely at the platform’s mercy as far as the alt text is concerned.
You cannot create custom URLs for your products, either. Even the so-called “advanced” SEO features that come with the Business and Unlimited plans do not offer any SEO customizations.
So, you can’t really do much to get your page to perform well with limited SEO capabilities.
I also could not create the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) version of my products. But given that Google’s algorithm has stopped giving AMP websites preference, this no longer remains an issue.
There are other ways of amping up your SEO game, of course. But why go for a third-party app and pay extra when you do have other players providing these functionalities to you?
Ecwid is all about social selling, and it spares no effort in making it easy for you to launch campaigns on Google, Facebook, and TikTok from your dashboard in just a few clicks.
I appreciated that you can make your offers more enticing by creating promo codes and discount offers for your customers on all four pricing plans. Even if you’re a beginner, you have nothing to worry about since you’ll have all the guidance you need.
If you want to create a highly targeted email marketing campaign, you can do that too. Ecwid allows customers paying for its business and higher plans to use Mailchimp to schedule email campaigns, newsletters, and much more.
As I’ve been using Mailchimp for a while now, I have to give it to Ecwid for this added capability. Add products to your emails and create special promo codes for a specific set of customers, so the marketing efforts are a big win-win.
You can accept payment through Stripe, Square, and PayPal, which come auto-synced with every Ecwid account. Although Ecwid does not charge any transaction fees, you will have to pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for using Stripe and Square. But that’s normal and expected.
Ecwid also works with Apple Pay and gives you the option to take your pick from more than 120 payment processors. These include Alipay Wallet Payments, Crypto.com Pay, Cayan, and many others.
I love that qualified sellers can get discounted transaction fees with Stripe and Square. It definitely gives you a wide range of options to choose from, unlike EKM, another player in the U.K.
Ecwid partners with all standard shipping operators, like the Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. You can avail of custom shipping rates from DHL and a few other operators. However, the charges are fixed and auto-generated for the first three.
If you run your business locally, you can opt for doorstep delivery. You can also give your customers the option of curbside, drive-through, or in-store pickup, which is simple.
I found Ecwid’s app store to be extensive with apps for every need. Some, like ShipStation, Quickbooks Online, Salesforce, and Zoho, can be used free of cost. And these are really good ones.
You will need to pay for other apps, including Wholesale2b: Dropshipping for Your Store, Spocket, and such.
But what Ecwid doesn’t tell you is that not all apps are available on its free or Venture pricing plans. You can only use the app store to its fullest if you’re on one of the higher-paid plans.
Reports and analysis
How do you track progress, understand Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and strategize your next steps?
Ecwid will ask you to trust Google Analytics, and that’s because it does not have any built-in reporting and analytics capabilities. There’s also a free app called Kliken Stats: Powerful Stats for Your Store to help you out. But in my opinion, any e-commerce platform worth its salt should come with its own reporting tools.
And in this regard, despite its third-party competencies, Ecwid falls flat.
Ecwid’s security is among the best and fulfills the industry’s best standards. There’s no need to lose sleep over security concerns.
Just ensure that the website where you’re inserting the Ecwid plug-in is safe and secure too. Because if the host website is under attack, there’s not much a widget can do.
To reiterate, you may not always get all the help you want from Ecwid’s customer support team. For example, you can raise a ticket via email or live chat and request a callback. Only then will you be able to talk to the team. Even then, there are restrictions:
- Live chat: You can only live chat with a customer care expert if you’re on a paid plan.
- Email support: This is available round the clock, although you should expect a turnaround time of at least 24 hours for query resolution. You can send billing-related queries to [email protected] and login-related concerns to [email protected]. Emails are not answered over the weekend.
- Phone support: If you request a callback, you can expect the support team to reach out to you between 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. PDT, from Monday to Friday. Phone support is available only in English and via requests only.
Priority support is reserved solely for customers using the Business and Unlimited plans.
I found a lot of value in Ecwid’s tutorial videos and community help.
Ecwid’s support could be better; nevertheless, you can take advantage of the user forum and other resources it has to get started. One such resource I found particularly helpful is the Ecwid Academy, which has a series of video courses on online selling and using the platform. If you do not want to spend so much time on courses, then Ecwid’s Facebook Messenger can be of great help.
Add custom fields at checkout
You can add custom fields at checkout for specific customers. This helps you collect data about important customers and allows you to edit their orders the way you want.
For example, say you have a repeat customer who always orders bulk. You can offer them special discounts at checkout with this feature.
Your customers enjoy a great shopping experience, and you get all the insights you need to help retain them.
Calculate taxes at checkout for more countries
You can now automatically calculate taxes at checkout for the following countries:
Albania, Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, and Switzerland.
If you’re selling in one or more of these countries, the latest update has simplified your overall accounting process.
Get shipping labels from Ecwid admin
While this update is particular to sellers from Belgium and the Netherlands, it’s still an important one. You do not need to use third-party apps to print your shipping labels. Instead, you can directly access them from your Ecwid account dashboard. Although the update is currently valid only for local shipping, it will soon be upgraded to support international shipping as well.
Compare Ecwid Alternatives
Although Ecwid makes an impressive case for itself as a one-of-its-kind e-commerce plug-in, other major players like Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, and WooCommerce have unique advantages too. Below is a comparative analysis of all these platforms so you can understand what each offers and take your best pick.
See how Ecwid stacks up against the other players in this space.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ecwid
What is Ecwid?
Is Ecwid a Russian company?
Is Ecwid free?
Is Ecwid safe to use?
How much does Ecwid charge to sell?
How many products can I sell on Ecwid?
How many stores can I run on Ecwid?
Does Ecwid give you a website?
How I Rated Ecwid by Lightspeed
I test drive e-commerce platforms and check out their features firsthand so I can give you an unbiased review. After testing Ecwid by Lightspeed and comparing it with other key contenders in the market, I found the platform useful. It’s perfect for small businesses that want to start selling instantly, without the hassle of building a full-fledged e-commerce store from scratch.
With its easy-to-use user interface, a plethora of apps, and judiciously priced plans, Ecwid has everything you could ask for in e-commerce selling. I definitely recommend the platform, especially if you already have a website or want to explore seasonal selling on a global scale.