Wix vs. Shopify
Ease of use is a big draw for any website builder. No one wants to waste time working on their website when they could be attending to their customers, practicing their craft, or providing services. Neither Wix nor Shopify require any website-building expertise, which makes them relatively simple to use, but let's see how these two stack up head-to-head.
For more information on ecommerce builders:
Ease of Use
Wix is a point-and-click and drag-and-drop website builder, which means that you can create a basic site for your business in a short amount of time. It's easy to upload your graphics and get them into place with Wix's intuitive, well-marked menus. These menus also make it simple to place text on your website, toggle between pages, and make space for plug-ins like calendars. After you first manually save, Wix autosaves while you work, preventing potential headaches from lost content.
You can get started with Wix with a 14-day free trial, and once you choose a plan, there's also a 14-day money-back guarantee on your first premium plan purchase. Wix wants to give you every opportunity to select the best plan for your business, and you can upgrade at any time.
Wix offers several plans for both service and retail-based businesses. The prices shown here reflect the cost per month when you pay upfront for one year of service. Costs are slightly higher when you pay by the month, or you can get discounted rates should you choose to pay in advance for two or three years. Wix frequently runs sales of up to 50% off for a year of its premium plans, so keep an eye out to take advantage of these savings.
Wix has separate plans for ecommerce websites. They come with all the site-building features of the regular website plans, like 24/7 support, SSL certificates, and a domain free for the first year, but they also include everything you need to get set up selling and accepting payments online.
- Easy point-and-click, drag-and-drop interface
- Plenty of available free and low-cost apps and plugins
- Several tiers of pricing plans to fit any business and budget
- 24/7 customer support and extensive troubleshooting library
- Generous data storage for higher plans
- Unlimited product listings and transactions for ecommerce sites
- The ability to book services and sell goods from the same platform
- No transactions fees on any sales, ever
- Sites are data/media-heavy, making them slower to load than other web builders
- Some features aren't fully customizable which can seem a bit "cookie-cutter"
- Big jump in pricing for its upper-tier plans
It's as easy to build an ecommerce store with Wix as it is to create your website, but that also means that your store could end up looking a little generic. Wix stores can accept a wide range of payment options with no transaction fees, which is helpful, but Wix stores also require apps and plug-ins to run a fully customized retail business via the web. Wix also has a reputation for being slow-loading, so that’s something to consider if you're looking to build a high-traffic web store.
Templates and Themes
Wix has dozens of diverse themes that you can choose from to begin building your website. You can search them through several different filters, including free or paid themes, and by business or industry. Once you pick a theme, the templates offer color and text options to further customize your website's look, plus you can drag and drop page sections to only use what you need for your business. Wix's themes and templates appeal to a broad spectrum of aesthetics, although they do have a signature feel about them— you know they've all been created by Wix, much in the way you can tell that one builder constructed many houses in the same neighborhood.
Apps and Plugins
Wix has a proprietary App Market, where you can find everything from calendar plugins to advanced analytics trackers and everything in-between. Wix's App Market has apps and plugins that are specifically designed by Wix engineers, as well as third-party apps to make integration with outside partners quick and easy. Many apps are free or low-cost, but some are subscription-based. Be sure to know which you're buying before you make a purchase, so you don't get locked into any unwanted long-term overhead.
If you're still looking for more of the top alternatives to Wix, be sure to read our Wix Competitors guide.
Ease of Use
Shopify's builder allows you to upload photos, arrange your page sections, and add text through a series of click-through menus. These menus are well-marked but can begin to seem redundant or have too many repetitive steps. Shopify is straightforward to use, but it doesn't have an autosave feature, so users need to frequently and manually save their work. It takes a bit of patience to remember to save after every change and while toggling through the lengthy menus.
You can play around with a Shopify site for 14 days before choosing a plan, which is a decent amount of time to decide if you like the platform or not. When you choose a Shopify plan, they each include the features of the previous plan, so it's easy to upgrade at any time without sacrificing anything on your website. These prices are per month when billed annually. Like Wix, prices are slightly higher if you pay as you go and lower if you choose to pay upfront for two or three years of service.
Shopify Lite, $9/month:
The Shopify Lite plan is a bare-bones option that doesn't have a front-facing web store. It does allow you access to Shopify's dashboard so you can track your sales and inventory, create customer accounts, and manage payments and shipping. You get 24/7 support, the Lite version of Shopify's proprietary point-of-sale system, Shopify POS, and a "Buy Button" to add to your existing website or social media sales channels. This is a good place to start for people who sell their products primarily off-line, at pop-up shops, and as a side business.
- Dedicated ecommerce platform
- Dozens of themes for desktop and mobile-ready sites
- Detailed business tracking metrics
- Inventory management from multiple locations and multiple user profiles
- Hundreds of free and low-cost plugin applications
- Multiple sales channels and the ability to accept global currency
- Point-of-sale systems make transactions easy from anywhere
- Unlimited cloud storage space
- Subscription app fees and plan charges can be pricey over time
- Shopify takes a percentage of all transactions, except for Shopify Pay
- No autosave feature can lead to lost work while building and updating
Shopify is a dedicated ecommerce platform, meaning it's all about product presentation and tracking metrics. It's easy to load, categorize, showcase, and sell your goods with a Shopify store. Inventory management and customer accounts are built into every Shopify plan. Although you may want to integrate apps for calendars and scheduling, it's possible to maintain a Shopify store without any plugins. You can also use a Shopify store for advertising and selling services.
Templates and Themes
Shopify has over 100 free and paid themes for your use, and you can also import a theme using a CSV file. Shopify also allows you to modify the code on existing themes for further personalization. Once you've chosen or uploaded a theme, the templates will enable you to remove sections you don't want to use, but you can add them back at any time. Because Shopify is a builder dedicated to ecommerce, the themes tend to center heavily on product presentation.
Apps and Plugins
Shopify also has its own app store, where it offers thousands of apps and plugins from third-party developers. Shopify vets every app to ensure they work with its platform, and that they can be installed in just a few steps. Many apps come in a Lite version for free, with full versions available for a one-time fee or a subscription. You should take care with the paid apps, especially the subscriptions— they can add up and become pricey over time.
Our Pick for Best Ecommerce Builder: Shopify
For our money, Shopify is the better ecommerce platform. If your goal is to build your own online store, Shopify has all the tools you’ll need to succeed.
Sure, Wix offers some ecommerce features, but if your goal is to run an ecommerce business, you’ll want to opt for Shopify. You can see our comparisons in several categories below, but both websites offer a no-obligation 14-day trial if you want to check them out for yourself.
Get Started With Shopify
Shopify has most everything you'd need to get your online store up and running within an afternoon. Click the button below to check out a free trial and see what this ecommerce platform can do for you.