With typical site builder tools, you often have to rely on that standalone platform to power your entire site.
However, the Ecwid e-commerce platform integrates instantly with content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
This saves an incredible amount of time for website owners who want to add a simple online store to a thriving blog or business website.
If you use Ecwid, you’ll also receive a native app for your stores, making it easy for mobile customers to tap and buy from you again. Ecwid also makes it easy to start selling on social media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr.
What You’ll Learn
In this article, we’ll discuss what makes Ecwid stand out from the sea of website builders and e-commerce platforms.
You’ll learn what they offer in sales and marketing support, SEO, mobile point-of-sale, payment gateways, reviews, product display, tax and shipping calculators, and much more.
After reading this review, you should be able to make an educated guess as to whether or not it’s the right platform for you.
- What You’ll Learn
- A Quick Introduction to Ecwid
- Ecwid’s Standout Features
- Can I Use Ecwid With My Current Website?
- Is the Control Panel User-Friendly?
- Can Ecwid Help Me With Sales and Marketing?
- Product Presentation Options
- Will I Get Help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
- Additional Add-ons and Upsells
- How is Ecwid’s Customer Support?
- Who Should Use the Ecwid E-Commerce Builder?
- FAQ on Ecwid
A Quick Introduction to Ecwid
In 2009, a man by the name of Ruslan Fazlyev started Ecwid with the idea that more people could use an e-commerce system that merges with previously built websites.
Fazlyev was also the creator of X-Cart, so it makes sense that he remained in the e-commerce arena after experiencing first-hand the concerns that customers had in the past.
The interesting part about Ecwid is how rapidly it grew. In 2016, Ecwid reported that it had more than 1 million users, and these people were scattered around the globe in more than 175 countries.
This rapid expansion was partly because the company decided to translate its website into over 45 different languages.
2001: U.S. Office Opens
Ecwid opened a U.S. office in 2001, primarily because it received a large Series A funding round of $1.5 million. In 2014, a $5 million Series B funding round came in, putting the company in a far more comfortable position. Ecwid plans on investing in development and expanding its partner programs.
Fazlyev is still the CEO of the company, but dozens of other people have come on board to help the company grow.
As of 2017, Ecwid has become the #1 Facebook e-commerce app, most likely due to the seamless integration between the two platforms.
Ecwid’s Standout Features
There are a number of reasons to appreciate Ecwid’s e-commerce solution. Here are the standouts:
Can I Use Ecwid With My Current Website?
Yes. Ecwid supports most CMSs (content management systems) and social media platforms like Facebook as well.
This means you can have an existing website, yet still combine the shopping cart with your current site to make money with the store. And you can sell on social media as well.
Some of the supported platforms include:
- Adobe Muse
Is the Control Panel User-Friendly?
Yes. Ecwid updated its control panel in 2018 to improve the design and make it easier for small businesses to navigate.
- Re-ordering the tabs based on merchant data use to place the most frequently used functions higher up the menu.
- Displaying the menu vertically so you can see all sections when you open the control panel.
These changes cut down on the time you have to spend navigating to the section you need. Along with these updates, the control panel is responsive so you can easily work in it from your smartphone.
Some of the functions you might need to access include managing your sales channels. Sales channels are the different platforms where you sell your goods. This could be your blog, social media networks or an offline platform like a pop-up store.
Video above: This Ecwid video gives you a helpful overview of the dashboard and the process of setting up and managing your store..
Ecwid’s YouTube Channel features a satisfying number of well-produced and simple-to-understand tutorials, like this one above.
Compared to other e-commerce solutions on the market, Ecwid is fairly affordable. Ecwid has always had a free plan as its main selling point, so you don’t have to worry about punching in your credit card information for a free trial.
As can be expected, the biggest draw of a free plan is that it gives you the opportunity to play around with the platform to determine whether or not it’s right for you before paying. Sure, the free plan is rather limited, but it at least gives you a taste of what to expect.
In addition, the starter plan doesn’t take transaction fees, so you keep most of your money when making a sale. We say “most” since this doesn’t include whatever processing fees the credit card companies and gateways take.
All in all, the basic plan supports small businesses and bloggers that might be looking to venture into e-commerce. Here are some of the main features that come with it:
- A full online store
- A Facebook store
- A mobile responsive shopping cart
- Unlimited bandwidth
- A free starter site if you don’t already have one.
In addition, Ecwid offers paid plans for customers who need expanded options for their online store. These all range in price, but they’ve remained competitive over the years and the transaction fees always remain at zero. This way, you keep more of your money instead of giving it to Ecwid.
Can Ecwid Help Me With Sales and Marketing?
Of course, no e-commerce business (or any online business, really) would be complete without marketing tools. Here’s an introduction to what’s available:
- An abandoned cart saver tool to encourage customers to come back to complete abandoned transactions
- Discount coupons that customers punch right into the shopping cart
- Social media tools so customers on your site can like your page or share it with friends and family.
- An automated Google Shopping advertising app
Video above: Ecwid states that they are the “only e-commerce platform with a fully automated Google Shopping advertising solution.” The solution uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize your ads. Small business owners interested in AI solutions should also consider Shopify, which recently rolled out their AI-powered “Kit” – which they call a “digital marketing assistant.”
Sell Across Channels with One Dashboard
Let’s start with the sales channels provided:
- Every plan starts with a full online store
- Then there’s the Facebook store and integration
- You can also sell concurrently on eBay and other channels
- A point-of-sale (POS) system comes with some of the plans, in case you want to combine brick-and-mortar retail with your online sales
- A mobile POS is also an option if you want to process sales for your business in various locations, such as at events
- There is an Android and iOS store management app for keeping an eye on your sales and customer support at all times
- Some of the plans enable customers to create their own branded iOS and Android apps for their stores, giving you another channel through which to make sales.
Then there are the tools that enhance the sales experience:
- Automated tax calculations ensure you store collects the right amount of tax by the end of the year
- The inventory management tool keeps you in the know at all times: how many items you have of each product, delivering products to customers on time, etc.
- You can even create wholesale pricing groups in case you’re planning on selling big batches of items at wholesale.
There’s a Large App Market, Too
For those of you who opt for the paid plans with Ecwid, you’ll find that you now have access to a large app market with extensions for your store. These plugins will enable you to do some truly awesome things to expand your sales and marketing capabilities.
Here are some of the common apps that will extend the functionality of your store:
- Currency converter: converts the price of your products into the buyers’ currency
- Printful: enables you to sell products like printed t-shirts and phone cases with no inventory. Once a product is purchased, Printful automatically receives a notice to create that single product and ship it with your business’s name on it.
- Taxjar: automatically creates “return-ready sales tax reports in each state, and will even AutoFile your sales tax returns for you to take sales tax entirely off of your plate.”
- How did you find us? This tool will automatically ask your customers this question when they checkout.
- Exit offer: detects when someone is about to leave your site and automatically displays a special offer you designate, like a percentage off.
- New products and bestsellers: visual display of your newest products and bestsellers.
- Imajize: provides 360 degree interactive image views.
- Reload SEO: makes recommendations for alterations in your content to drive more (and better) traffic to your store.
- Promo bar: displays at the top of your store. For announcements like seasonal discounts, free gifts, coupon codes.
- Social Proof and Order Notifications by Assistantly: Displays customer purchase activity in real-time. Also contributes to a sense of trust.
- HelpfulCrowd: Displays reviews, ratings, and Q&A. GDPR-compliant.
- Klicken Marketing: Enables you to start running search engine ads within 5 minutes and retargeting ads.
Video above: How do you get started selling on Facebook? This Ecwid video shows how their Facebook integration works. Product catalogs are now synced with Facebook and Instagram. And the Facebook pixel (for advertising) is integrated.
Product Presentation Options
Ecwid offers a great deal of versatility when it comes to presenting your products. Here are just a few of the options.
You can showcase your products on your site without having an actual checkout. Customers can download your product catalog or share on social media.
Promoting related products to customers can boost your revenue. These may be products that complement each other. When you activate this feature, customers will see the “You may also like” section.
When you select the “Product options” function in your store, you can add variations to your product, such as a different color or size.
Automatically Optimize Your Prices to Boost Sales
Competitive pricing is an important part of your offering. Ecwid can help you find the best pricing strategy with its Price Optimizer application.
The application runs A/B testing on your products to identify the price point with the highest conversion rate. It then assigns the best price automatically.
Smart Recommendations Provide a Personalized Experience
The Smart Recommendations app lets you personalize your customers’ shopping experience. Based on their behavior, the app will display recommended products on different store pages like the homepage or shopping cart.
New Products and Bestsellers App
The New Products and Bestsellers app displays new products and bestsellers to your customers.
Will I Get Help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
If you’re running an e-commerce store — or establishing any kind of online presence — you need to know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of improving your site’s ranking in organic search results. Every day potential customers are turning online to search for products. SEO helps those customers find your business.
Learn About SEO
If you’re new to SEO, Ecwid has a straightforward introduction to SEO. This guide takes you through the basics of SEO, like keyword research.
Once you’ve gained an understanding of SEO, you can explore Ecwid’s other resources like their E-commerce Guide to SEO. They also have detailed articles on putting together a local SEO strategy, and step-by-step instructions on indexing your site with Google.
Built-In Tools to Boost Your SEO
Ecwid also offers built-in search optimization tools so you don’t have to look elsewhere for assistance:
- Google Shopping integration expands your reach online, enabling Google users to find your items in a search
- Advanced SEO tools to boost Google rankings for your e-commerce site and product pages.
Additional Add-ons and Upsells
With most e-commerce website builders, you’ll find that you don’t get upsold too often. They typically make money through subscriptions, along with possible transaction fees and app sales.
Nonetheless, Ecwid needs to make money and one of the ways this e-commerce builder tool does it is through app store extensions; not all of them are free.
The e-commerce platform has 147 apps in their app market.
The app categories in this store include:
- Store Management
- Storefront Customization
- Accounting Tools
- Social Media
The free apps range in functionality, but you can find options for product reviews, checkout notices, buyable links, sitemap generators, recently viewed products, and more.
As for the premium extensions, here’s a taste of the selection:
- Buy One Get One Free: Sales Promotions
- HelpfulCrowd – Ratings & Reviews | Question & Answer
- Kliken Marketing: Google Campaigns and Retargeting
- Timer Plus – Sale Countdown Timer
- Wholesale2b Dropshipping
- LeadDyno: Easy Affiliate Marketing
- Convead Analytics and Actions
- Increase Sales by Returning Bounced Visitors — Scaler.
The apps range in price, but you typically have to pay for them on a monthly basis. Therefore, it’s essential you consider this pricing into your overall costs before pulling the trigger on Ecwid. After all, you may be able to find another e-commerce platform that’s the same price but with the specific features, you need at no extra cost.
There are quite a few useful apps like the CrowdLever app, which lets you enable recent order notifications on your website, showing potential customers your site is trustworthy. The LiveChat app activates live chat on your site, and for many customers, this is a must.
That said, Ecwid does provide impressive built-in tools, and most of the time you can boost the functionality of your site by using a free extension from the app store.
Need a Store Website? Consider Ecwid Themes
Do you have a website right now or are you building one with Ecwid? If you’re trying to integrate Ecwid with a previously built and owned website, you don’t have to worry about a new theme or getting a full website through Ecwid. This is because you’ve already done the work. It’s possible your site runs through WordPress and you already have a beautiful premium theme.
However, some people are looking to launch their sites without running it on a different system. It makes sense. What’s the point of running two dashboards?
Get Up and Running Fast with Pre-Built Designs
If that’s the case, you can buy a theme directly through the Ecwid app store. The basic store designer from Ecwid provides a smooth interface for constructing your store and website from scratch.
It also has links for finding custom theme designs, where you work with a designer to make your store and shopping cart branded to your company.
WordPress and Ecwid
Finally, since Ecwid integrates nicely with WordPress, you could go to ThemeForest to find a theme that’s made specifically for the combination.
Who knows? You might even want to replace your old WordPress theme if you’re thinking of adding the Ecwid functionality.
Video above: Ecwid integrates with a number of POS (point-of-sale) systems. This video shows how you can integrate your online Ecwid store with a brick-and-mortar store, to keep track of inventory.
How is Ecwid’s Customer Support?
Ecwid has some rather impressive customer support, and it all starts with the personal onboarding that comes with every plan.
They work with you to get your site online, integrate with whatever website you currently have and get transactions rolling through your site without any problems.
Besides the several social media pages, Ecwid has multiple ways that you can contact them for support.
There are options for:
- Live chat
- Phone support
The priority support goes to users who pay for it, and it bumps you to the front of the line whenever you call.
Also, for those of you who may need a little more assistance, one of the highest pricing plans has an option for custom development work.
If you want to brand your site or fix some issue that’s bogging the performance down, this add-on could come in handy.
Who Should Use the Ecwid E-Commerce Builder?
The main reason Ecwid is so special is that you can combine the shopping cart with existing websites. Most e-commerce systems force you to trash your old site and go all-in with their platform.
Ecwid also has a free plan for launching small stores — great for committing to an e-commerce builder tool without really committing to one.
No Transaction Fees
Finally, Ecwid doesn’t charge transaction fees. You’ll still have to pay fees for the payment gateway, but it’s a huge plus to keep some money in your pocket at the end of the day.
This combination of awesome features and offerings brings us to the conclusion that Ecwid is by far one of the top online store solutions for small to medium-sized stores.
FAQ on Ecwid
Here are a few commonly asked questions about Ecwid, with answers.
Is Ecwid PCI-compliant?
Yes, Ecwid is PCI-compliant. They are a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) validated Level 1 Service Provider. This means that Ecwid has the highest level of compliance available internationally and that they process over 300,000 card transactions annually. You can view Ecwid’s Attestation of Compliance with PCI DSS for Level 1 Service Providers. Level 1 Service Providers are eligible to be listed on Visa’s Global Registry of Approved Service Providers.
Is Ecwid GDPR-compliant?
GDPR (or The General Data Protection Regulation) is a European privacy law that took effect on May 25, 2018. Ecwid is GDPR-compliant. You can read the specific steps they’ve taken to be GDPR-compliant. Ecwid also states that “We are certified under the EU – U.S. and Swiss – U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks; this arrangement calls for certified organizations to guarantee a level of security in line with EU data protection law regarding the transfer of personal data from the EEA and Switzerland to the U.S.”
Is Ecwid compatible with Wix?
Yes, Ecwid is compatible with the Wix site builder. In fact, Ecwid is compatible with nearly every content management system (CMS) including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Weebly, Duda, Yola, Squarespace, and Blogger. Ecwid also provides professionally designed pre-built website store designs for those who do not yet have a website. These designs are “responsive” — meaning, they look and perform optimally on any device, whether desktop, tablet, or smartphone.