Set-up and Design
A great starter solution for merchants using WordPress or Joomla or merchants with an existing website. Not recommended for experienced merchants of stores with high transaction volume.
The Good – Ecwid has the commonly found 3 levels of paid plan options but also offers a free version (limited to 10 products). Their system is easy to set up, allows you to deploy multiple stores at no addition cost and will automatically integrate with your existing site.
The Bad – You may notice Ecwid is missing some important marketing features and lacks any real design tools. This is because they cater to and work best with existing online websites who are looking for an eCommerce shopping cart.
Cool Features – One unique feature we love was “Ask a Friend”, which allows customers to post products on Facebook and solicit advice before they purchase. This is a fun feature which may attract an unlikely fan following. They also give their eMerchants the ability to have multiple storefronts and sell digital products.
To Sum It Up – Ecwid is actually pretty neat system and works exceptionally well for online business owners who are already using WordPress or Joomla (you won’t find tighter integration than between these companies). That being said, this software isn’t for everyone as it may lack features you are hoping to find if you don’t already have an existing website.Store Setup and Design
Ecwid isn’t your “traditional” eCommerce system. Its name, Ecwid (which stands for eCommerce Widgets) should tip you off to that fact. Instead of being a stand-alone shopping cart, Ecwid has been designed to work with your existing website and it’s current design. To merge your store with Ecwid, simply copy and paste a couple lines of code and bam!.. you’re in business. If you’re running WordPress or Joomla, just download their plug-in through your control panel and connect it to your Ecwid account.
Because of the way the system is set up, they don’t provide you with a lot of tools to design your store. In fact, they really don’t provide you any features since the target online websites that already exists and just needs an eCommerce shopping cart. From the design perspective, you only have access to the CSS and a couple of custom CSS themes. The bad news is that the CSS isn’t very well documented and they recommend using FireBug to find the elements you want to edit. The good news is you really don’t need a lot of design tools. The thought here is pretty simple, Ecwid will adopt the design of your existing site into its software. It’s actually a pretty cool concept, but it does have some minor drawbacks. For example, when we deployed it within our WordPress, we noticed a couple of things didn’t align correctly and that some of the fonts were off. This shouldn’t be that much of an issue for most merchants using Ecwid , but it should be noted.
The Ecwid store setup does a fantastic job with helping with your store. Is it complete? Not really… once you finish, you’ll still have to go back into the control panel to complete some odds and ends. However, it does do a great job of getting you started.
There aren’t as many features in Ecwid as you’d find in a “traditional” eCommerce solution, but Ecwid never claimed to be traditional. It does let you set-up related products for upselling opportunities and add your products to Facebook. And finally, if you upgrade to the paid version (highly recommended) you can create discounts, discount coupons and syndicate your products to highly trafficked sites.
From a social media perspective, Ecwid is rock solid. In addition to “Shares” and “Comments” they also include a feature that allows your customers to share their purchases with friends and they’ve even created a feature that allows shoppers to ask their friends about their potential purchase on Facebook. All of these are really great tools and can significantly increase sales and traffic to your store.
We didn’t see any features that allow you to send newsletters, create quantity discounts or pricing discounts. Having the ability to sell gift certificates would be a nice addition to the system, also. Ecwid does provide instructions on several ways to add an affiliate setup and generate more income with your website, including selling your products on another affiliate page (which is only possible because they allow multiple storefronts). While they don’t have a true built-in affiliate system, their explanation of how to get it done and the ability to put your selling on other sites is a nice touch.
While customers shop and view products on your site, when it’s time to checkout they are directed to Ecwid to complete the order process and enter their credit card information. All of the transactions take place on their site and are fully secure, there is no need for you to purchase an extra SSL certificate to run Ecwid . The free version supports only PayPal checkout. Upgrade to the paid version and you’ll be able to choose from about 18 different payment gateways including Authorize.net, iDeal, BeanStream, SagePay, eWay, HSBC, RoboKassa, EMPS, First Data, 2CO, iPay88, PayJunction, ClickAndBuy and more.
Product and Store Management
Ecwid’s category and product management areas are pretty standard. You can add as many categories as you like, but products are limited based on your subscription plan. The Add Product page is very simple and gives you the ability to create product options (Variants), upload multiple images, set up related products and manage inventory. You can even sell electronic products through Ecwid.
This shopping cart solution is able to get real-time shipping prices from FED-EX, USPS, UPS, EMS, Australia Post and will allow you to create your own custom methods based on order amount or percentage of the total. You can also set up zones based on state or zip codes and apply any shipping method to that zone. The system comes with 45 storefront translations and allows you to transact in just about any currency and / or units you can imagine.
The Ecwid system uses responsive design, which puts them ahead of the curve when compared to many other eCommerce solutions on the market. Responsive design ensures your website will automatically generate a mobile version of your store and adjust size according to which tablet or phone is being used. If you’re on a paid plan, you can also download their mobile app and manage orders directly from your phone.
Ecwid has a very robust knowledge base and some fairly active forums for support. And while you’ll never be able to talk to a live person on the phone, you get live chat support on plans over $35 a month.
Contact support by phone: N/A
Live Chat: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on plans over $35 a month
Online Manuals and Knowledge Base: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Look, Ecwid is a great, unique eCommerce software but isn’t for everyone. We woud not t recommend it for advanced users of stores doing over $500,000 a year in transactions, but it does have a pretty good sweet spot with SMB merchants. If you already have a site set up on WordPress or Joomla, you might want to consider Ecwid because it delivers on the promise of getting you up and running quickly without the headaches associated with designing your own store.
We took some time to research other online reviews about Ecwid and most were overwhelmingly positive. The few complaints were centered on their support (or lack thereof) and general dissatisfaction with their pricing, specifically that you only get 10 products with the free version. What?! It begs the question, should you really be allowed to complain about something that’s free?