Wix VS Shopify: How To Choose The Best For Your Online Shop
Both Wix and Shopify offer attractive DIY websites with eCommerce functionality, but they have some key differences.
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|Best For||eCommerce vendors looking for a stylish and functional site||eCommerce merchants with big sales goals and complex product catalogs|
Shopify and Wix are two of the software platforms we recommend most frequently to small business owners. For that reason, it’s worth comparing the two in-depth. But because Wix is a website builder with optional eCommerce add-ons, and Shopify is a shopping cart platform built around the goal of online selling, you might be wondering how an apples-to-apples Wix VS Shopify comparison is possible. Look a little closer at each, and you’ll see that Shopify and Wix are more alike than they might seem at first glance.
Indeed, Wix is a website builder with easy-to-add eCommerce capabilities, while Shopify is an eCommerce platform with website building features. Both allow users to build a stylish website with excellent online selling features, supporting multilingual stores, dropshipping, and abandoned cart recovery, to name just a few. But only one — Wix — offers access to a professional logo maker and an artificial design intelligence tool that can actually build a website for you that includes your photos and text from your social media site. On the flip side, only one — Shopify — gives you unlimited storage and a homegrown fulfillment option.
A direct apples-to-apples comparison may not even be possible — or desirable. So forget about the fruit, and let’s dig in.
From features to pricing, Shopify and Wix have some important similarities as well as key differences. If you’re looking for a Wix vs. Shopify showdown, buckle up, because we’re about to scrutinize both and help you decide which is best for your business.
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Wix VS Shopify
Between Wix and Shopify, is there a clear winner in the category of “Overall Best” for eCommerce? It depends on what you’re looking for. At its heart, the Wix VS Shopify comparison boils down to this: Wix is a web-builder that allows users to add eCommerce functions, while Shopify is an eCommerce powerhouse that lets users build fully functional and in some cases exceptional websites.
Wix is near the top when you look at website builders. Websites, and all that a strong web presence entails, are what Wix does best. If you want native apps or freebies like Google Ads vouchers, choose Wix.
Shopify dominates among eCommerce platforms; it’s built to help merchants sell things and accept payments. For the best payment gateway or fulfillment options, choose Shopify.
For those who want both a well-built, highly functional website and strong eCommerce and payments tools, does a clear winner emerge from a Wix VS Shopify matchup? Let’s start with a look at each competitor and its strengths and weaknesses.
The Key Differences Between Wix & Shopify
Shopify and Wix both do what they do very, very well, and you’ll likely be satisfied, no matter which you choose to support your online business.
That said, you’ll notice some differences among those important similarities. So if your choice comes down to Wix eCommerce VS Shopify, here are some important differences to consider:
The only way to get around paying Shopify’s tiered transaction fees, ranging from 2% to 0.5% depending on what service level you sign up for, is to choose Shopify Payments as your gateway. Shopify’s transaction fees are in addition to credit card processing fees, which are mostly unavoidable.
With two great companies like Wix and Shopify, this is the rare case where one has the clear advantage over the other. Even though you will probably find it necessary to add on to your Shopify store, the number of integrations available stands at more than 3,500. So you’ll be able to choose from an impressive array of options that allows you to customize your store to meet your needs. The Wix App Market has a still good number of add-ons available, with 250+ at last count. That includes some of the most popular integrations out there, including Zapier.
This is another area where clear differences exist between the two platforms. Wix allows you to build an eCommerce website for starting monthly costs of $23, $27, or $49, depending on the plan you choose. When you compare that to Shopify plans at $29, $79, and $299, the difference is striking. While it’s true that Shopify offers more advanced eCommerce tools that may make the higher cost worth it, if price is a concern, take note.
Free Trial Period
Both Wix and Shopify offer a 14-day free trial, but they approach it a bit differently. With Wix, you can build the majority of your website before you need to pick a plan. Once you pick a paid business-level plan, your 14-day trial period begins. With Shopify, your trial begins as soon as you sign up, so you’ll have two weeks to build and test your site before you need to start making payments. That means you may feel less free to noodle around and more pressure to make decisions.
Users can use either Shopify or Wix stores to automatically calculate US taxes. However, if you use Shopify, you’ll have more choice for how to manage the process. Tax capabilities are built into Shopify, or if you prefer not to use the default option, you can add an app, such as TaxJar or Taxify. Wix partners with Avalara to handle tax calculations and collection on Business Unlimited and Business VIP plans only. Wix users can also set up their stores for manual tax collection, but you’ll be responsible for making sure they keep tax rates up to date.
At this point, it’s not possible to sell products in multiple currencies on a Wix store. If that’s important to you, you might prefer Shopify, where can set two currency values: store and customer, allowing you to sell in multiple currencies. You can even set rounding rules and customize your international pricing model. Shopify’s multi-currency options do vary by subscription level, so be sure to choose the plan that will work best for your sales goals.
If your online business plans include dropshipping, you may be better off launching your store on Shopify. That’s because Shopify has integrations with Amazon, AliExpress, Oberlo, Sprocket, MerchMixer, and more that allow users to build and manage a global dropshipping business. You’ll even find specialty dropshipping apps, such as Printful and Gelato’s print-on-demand service. Browse available options in the Shopify app store to see user ratings and prices — there are 381 search results returned, and many of the dropshipping apps are free to download and use. Wix does support dropshipping, but you’ll find fewer options for apps: Modalyst, Printful, Sprocket, Printify, and 365Dropship.
If you’re interested in linking your social media platforms with your online store, you can do that with either a Wix or Shopify site. You’ll find hundreds more options on Shopify, however, with 681 apps at the app store there compared to just a dozen on the Wix App Market. Check out both app markets to compare the options and make sure you can find what you need.
Shopify email is included on all Shopify plans. Users can send up to 2,500 emails to customers each month, at no additional charge. After that limit is reached, each additional 1,000 email messages costs $1. All Wix plans include a free monthly allowance of three email campaigns and a total of 5,000 emails on all plans. Users who upgrade to a paid Ascend email marketing plan have increased limits that top out with unlimited campaigns and messages to up to one million recipients each month. Billed as a separate subscription, Ascend pricing ranges from $9 to $45 per month.
Which Is Best For My Business Needs?
As you can see so far, the Wix VS Shopify comparison has already revealed some key differences. At this point, it’s important to emphasize that they’re both great products, and if you already have enough information to make a choice, you can confidently start your free trial with either one and get started.
Both Wix and Shopify work comparatively well, and whichever you choose to work with, you won’t need to hire a developer to get started, even if you’re completely new to eCommerce and unfamiliar with basic coding and website building. However, if you’re still weighing your options, here’s a quick guide that can help you move one way or the other.
Choose Wix If …
- You’re working on a tight budget and definitely want to choose the lower-cost option and to avoid transaction fees so you can keep as much of each sale as possible
- You want to take full advantage of the free trial to play around with the software and make sure it’s right before you choose a subscription level
- You want to offer a relatively small catalog of products with high visual appeal
- Your business is in a niche industry such as hotels, restaurants, event managers, musicians, and artists
- eCommerce is a need but not necessarily your whole focus
Choose Shopify If …
- Your new or established eCommerce business requires a scalable platform that can be customized with thousands of add-ons
- You are looking for robust, all-encompassing eCommerce software that includes functions like automated tax collection and built-in shipping software and which will work with your preferred accounting software
- Your online store sells significant amounts of physical inventory
- You’re looking for an eCommerce platform that can handle as many of the nitty-gritty sales details as possible, like tax calculations
- You want maximum options to customize your store with add-ons, integrations, and social media options
- Dropshipping is a major part of your online sales plans
Wix offers cloud-based web development services, at an attractive base cost of $0. And website building is a breeze on Wix, no matter whether you’re a rookie or a pro. But what about Wix eCommerce? Can a site-building champ like Wix add an eCommerce element that stands up to the competition?
The answer is yes — conditionally. Although you can build and use a Wix site for free, if you want to use it for selling online, you’ll have to pay for it. With that payment, you gain not only eCommerce options but also increased storage, sales and visitor analytics, vouchers for professional services, increasing levels of Wix support, and more.
No matter what eCommerce plan you choose, a key Wix selling point is its extreme ease of use. You won’t need any coding experience or specialized knowledge to use the drag-and-drop building options, although users with some expertise can customize to their hearts’ content. Wix even has an ADI (artificial design intelligence) that can build your site for you based on your answers to a few basic questions and access to your social media pages or Wix’s own database, if you don’t have a big social media presence.
It’s easy to modify or add complexity or functionality, at the outset or later. You just need to choose from the array of free and paid templates, then start adding your own words, images, and video. There’s also a robust help center to help you make improvements — like adding SEO (search engine optimization) tools to drive traffic to your site. All in all, you’ll have a fresh and functional eCommerce website for a low investment cost.
- Easy to use
- Free trial
- Low base cost
- Features and add-ons available
- 500+ free templates
- Extra costs for eCommerce
- Storage capacity limited by the plan
- Support tied to paid plans
But how does that compare to the competition?
Shopify is a fully-hosted eCommerce platform known for its ease of use. The flip side is that Shopify is also known for a lack of advanced features, although that doesn’t necessarily have to count as a drawback, since you’ll find a plethora of integrations and apps to meet all your needs. One of Shopify’s best features is an extremely intuitive user interface, with a full menu of basic store management tools and a Settings function that lets you control storewide configurations such as shipping methods and taxation.
Forget about coding experience. If you’re comfortable with basic internet navigation and standard computer programs, you’ll quickly feel at home building and managing a Shopify store. Even if you’re entirely new to eCommerce, you will have little trouble adding products, adjusting prices, and setting inventory. And you’ll find some handy features like discount functions that, again, require little more than a can-do attitude to master.
Building your inventory and managing sales functions is great. But what about your store itself? Can Shopify compete with a platform devoted to building websites? Shopify assigns your store a default theme, which you’ll probably want to change right away. Choose from 11 free templates, or pay up to $180 for a premium Shopify theme. You can browse by industry or by business size to narrow your choices. Once you choose a theme, Shopify guides you through customizing it, as you add text and images and make style choices.
Sooner than you’d believe, you can use Shopify to build a storefront that is ready for business. Add some integrations to hone your marketing strategies, accounting processes, and more, and you’re ready to be an eCommerce winner.
- Easy to use
- Free trial
- Tiered, affordable plans
- Endless add-ons
- Transaction fees
- Add-ons unavoidable and expensive
- Limited free themes
Comparing Wix VS Shopify Features
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Both Wix and Shopify are rich in features although, not surprisingly, each platform plays to its strengths. That means that as a general-purpose website builder, Wix offers a wider variety of features than Shopify does. Meanwhile, Shopify gets the win in the number of features focused strictly on eCommerce. That’s not to say Wix’s eCommerce feature set is paltry; it will work well for many online stores.
Let’s start with a look at the impressive list of features both platforms offer. It’s important to note that not every feature is available with all plans; some are reserved for the top-tier plans.
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited product listings
- Free hosting & SSL certificate
- Connect to your own domain and offer checkout there
- SEO tools
- Discounts and coupon capabilities
- Inventory & order management
- Send & manage invoices
- Customize tax & shipping rules
- Abandoned cart recovery tools
- Customer login/member area
- Built-in blog
- Multilingual stores
- Stock photos available for your site
- Dropshipping capability
- Google Analytics
- Square POS integration
- Mobile app for store management
- API access/developer tools
Now, let’s turn to some of the key differences:
When you sign up for a Wix eCommerce plan, you get some valuable perks tossed in. These include vouchers you can use to advertise on Google Ads, Bing, and Local Listings, a free logo-making tool, and a year’s subscription to a site booster app. Shopify does not offer similar freebies with its plans.
Wix offers native apps you can use to create multifunctional websites that are appropriate for events, restaurants, entertainers, hotels, artists, and more. While you can boost a niche Shopify store with third-party integrations, only Wix offers these out of the box.
Every Shopify site comes ready for eCommerce. You can use a third-party payment processor like PayPal or opt for Shopify’s in-house payment processor, Shopify Payments. It’s a program you must apply and be approved for, however, and not every business makes the cut. With Wix, you must sign up and pay for a Premium plan in order to accept payments online. Then you can accept credit card payments through Wix, PayPal, or Square.
With a Wix plan, you gain storage capacity as you go up in service plan levels, with the price tag rising along with you. Not so with Shopify, where every plan comes with unlimited file storage.
Shopify offers a service called the Shopify Fulfillment Network that provides inventory storage and management, picking, packing, and shipping for its sellers. Wix offers integrations that can connect you with fulfillment services but does not offer an in-house option.
While it seems that Shopify holds the lead in the features race, Wix isn’t far behind. And it’s important to remember that even if you find something missing in either platform’s feature set, it’s very likely you can add an app to fill the gap.
Wix VS Shopify Pricing
When comparing pricing for these two platforms, you first must understand an important advertising difference. While Shopify and Wix each offer discounts for paying upfront for a year or more at a time, Wix uses its yearly discount price as a starting place to advertise. This is simply a quirk of the slightly different software genre from which Wix originates. Traditional website builders like Wix often promote “when paid annually” prices, whereas most eCommerce platforms, like Shopify, focus on the true month-to-month cost.
This is a good time to note that Shopify offers one plan, Shopify Lite, that does not include a full online store but does allow access to some good tools for business owners who want to start selling online. It can be a good option for sellers who aren’t quite ready for a full store but still want to get started in eCommerce. If that sounds like you, look into using Shopify Lite at just $9/month to gain some impressive tools you can use to manage your business and promote it online, without jumping all the way in. Similarly, Wix offers users options for building a completely free website; if you to sell online you’ll need to move to a paid eCommerce plan.
One final note before we look at each platform’s pricing in some detail: Both Shopify and Wix offer enterprise-level plans aimed at high-volume businesses. Because these plans use custom pricing that is tailored to each user’s needs, you’ll have to contact Wix and Shopify for more detailed information on each.
Wix eCommerce Pricing
Keep in mind that while you can build and publish a Wix website for free, if you want to enable eCommerce on your site you’ll need to sign up for a paid Business plan. The monthly costs of Business plans are based upon an annual subscription, where the full 12-months is payable upfront. Here are three Wix plans that enable and support eCommerce:
As you can see, when you climb the Wix subscription ladder, you’ll gain the following:
- More storage (including longer video capacity)
- Email marketing service/campaigns included
- Better customer support
Importantly, Wix plans involve no additional transaction fees on top of the regular processing fees from your payment gateway. Each level of Business plan allows users to connect their own domain and removes all Wix ads from your site.
You’ll need to look at two figures to understand the true cost of Shopify: the monthly subscription cost you’ll pay and the per-sale transaction fees you can avoid only if you’re approved for a Shopify Payments account. Those transaction fees are in addition to the ubiquitous transaction fees you’ll pay to whatever gateway provider you choose.
Let’s start with the subscription plan costs. Remember, you can sign up for the $9/month Shopify Lite plan if your plans involving dabbling in online sales rather than operating a full online store. There are three plans that are fully enabled for eCommerce:
Now, what about those transaction fees? If you sign up for the Basic Shopify plan, you’ll pay a 2% fee on each sale. With Shopify, the fee drops to 1%. And when you upgrade to Advanced Shopify, it drops to 0.5%. Two things to remember: These fees are in addition to the normal payment processing fees your processor charges. And the only way to avoid them is by choosing Shopify Payments as your gateway. Learn more about Shopify Payments to decide if it’s a good choice for your business.
Last but not least, users are able to purchase a custom domain through Shopify or on their own, to remove myshopify.com from their store’s address.
So how does a Wix VS Shopify pricing matchup end? For starters, Shopify definitely is an outlier in the eCommerce field with those additional transaction fees. And if you compare the pricing and features, you’ll see that you can sign up for Wix’s best eCommerce package for between $27.50 and $40 a month, depending on how much you pay upfront. Shopify, on the other hand, reserves its “advanced” features for those willing to pay a much higher monthly fee. Wix also frequently offers discounts of up to 50% off annual subscriptions.
Of course, you must consider what you’re actually getting for your money. Shopify’s advanced eCommerce system may well bring you more bang — enough so that you’ll feel willing to part with more of your bucks.
One additional difference is worth repeating here. While both platforms offer a 14-day trial, the way that trial is set up is different. With Shopify, you can test the software free for 14 days, and then you must sign up for a paid plan to continue. With Wix, you can test the software for free for as long as you want, including most of the eCommerce features aside from accepting payments. The 14-day trial kicks in after you’ve signed up for one of the paid subscription plans. And you can ask to receive a refund if you decide to cancel the subscription before those two weeks are up.
Ease Of Use
It’s so satisfying to be able to point to clear differences and declare a winner in a head-to-head matchup! Sadly for us — but happily for users — in the battle of Wix VS Shopify, there is no obvious advantage in the ease-of-use category. The two platforms are a very close match in terms of their user-friendliness. In short, you can develop a functional and good-looking site without touching a line of code, unless you want to, thanks to the magic of drag-and-drop editing tools or even an artificial design option that does the design work for you.
As is typical with most software programs, simplicity and flexibility can involve a bit of a tradeoff. For example, Wix gives you a lot of design flexibility compared to Shopify. Wix is also a very modular platform, allowing you to pick and choose features beyond straight eCommerce as the core of your site. The combination of these factors can make Shopify feel a little easier to use than Shopify when it comes to both backend navigation and storefront editing, and could result in a slightly higher learning curve with Wix. Is that trade-off worth it? Thankfully, because both these platforms excel in ease of use, it won’t be a factor for most.
In the grand scheme, both platforms are designed for novice users (although more experienced programmers easily can add their own touches), and both provide excellent resources to help you through any roadblocks you may encounter. And of course, we recommend using the free trial period to test each of these platforms. Your own personal preferences as well as your prior exposure to the backend of website builders and/or eCommerce platforms could be enough to elevate one platform over the other in your own view.
Customer Support & Service
Both Wix and Shopify fall slightly short of an “Excellent” rating in the customer support category. Both platforms promise varying levels of phone and email support and have strong self-help resources, like a knowledge base and help center. However, their offerings differ significantly.
With the exception of its basic plan, Shopify offers users 24/7 support via telephone and email as well as live chat. That around-the-clock availability is especially important in eCommerce, where “business hours” can mean whenever your customers go online, and you’ll want to get the help resources right away if your site goes down, even if it’s the middle of the night. With its multiple contact options, you are likely to reach someone to help with your Shopify site. You’ll also find a wealth of information contained in the Shopify Help Center as well as an active community discussion page.
If you need help with your Wix online store, your options are still good — but not quite as good. While Wix does offer 24/7 phone support via a callback service, when you initiate a call you’ll be guided by a contact bot through a series of questions that seem designed to reduce your likelihood of actually speaking to a service rep. That may be helpful in many cases, but if you’re expecting to connect to an actual human when you request phone support, you may be disappointed. Additionally, support is offered via email 24/7, and Wix offers priority support to its top-level users. That means emails and/or callback requests jump to the front of the queue. That’s nice, but it does come at a price.
Reviews & Complaints
Wix and Shopify both have an enormous number of users, and it’s not surprising that they’re not meeting every customer’s needs, all the time. One common complaint from Wix users is storage limits. Others take issues with the customer support options or complain about slow load times and buggy sites. On the flip side, many Wix users rave about the quality of Wix design tools, though it’s fair to note that not all reviews are centered on eCommerce options.
As for Shopify, two top complaints focus on money. Shopify users do not appreciate the extra transaction fees they encounter when not using Shopify Payments. Furthermore, they say the add-ons required to customize their sites add up to an expensive addition to the monthly subscription costs. Shopify users also complain about poor customer support. However, they love the easy intuitiveness of the platform, as well as the well-designed templates. Bottom line: It’s fair to say that both Wix or Shopify have high overall customer satisfaction in their respective genres.
Wix VS Shopify Integrations
Both Wix and Shopify have an extensive selection of integrations ready to plug into your site. While Wix performs quite well in this category, Shopify’s sheer number of integrations easily outnumbers Wix’s, with well over 3,500 integrations currently available in its vast app market. At the same time, Shopify’s impressive integrations roster reflects one of the main criticism leveled against it. Many Shopify apps are free, even! The thing is, you’ll probably need to pay for a few before your store works the way you want it to, and that compounds your monthly operating costs.
The Wix App Market has a respectable number of integrations to choose from, with over 250 listed, including both free and premium. Around 60 apps are dedicated “online store” apps, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from the other categories as well. Wix Stores — the software you use to build an online store with Wix — technically is an app itself. One interesting twist on Wix integrations is that you can even add an alternate shopping cart plugin (such as Ecwid or even Shopify Lite) if you’d rather not sign up for a Wix eCommerce subscription plan that lets you use the Wix Stores app.
The most obvious reason Shopify takes the edge in this category is that it integrates with a lot of major third-party software platforms — particularly software that is fundamental to running a store of any significant size. While you can find shipping, accounting, or tax apps on Wix, you may not like the few you find, whereas with Shopify you have your choice of dozens of top names. That discrepancy won’t matter if Wix has the apps you want to use, but you should do your own research to be sure.
FAQs: Wix VS Shopify
Wix VS Shopify Comparison: The Final Verdict
Home to more than a million stores today, Shopify is hard to beat as an all-around eCommerce solution. No matter what size your inventory or sales volume, you can use Shopify to build an elegant and functional storefront that reflects your brand, then customize it through the in-house app store. Then, once established, you can add functionalities to keep abreast of your growing needs. Just be sure that you include transaction fees and the cost of third-party integrations into your budget as you plan your Shopify store, so you’re not taken by surprise when the bill comes.
If Wix seems like a better choice for you — and there are good reasons it might — you’ll find yourself in good hands. Wix excels at building fully functional, visually appealing websites with serviceable eCommerce options. It can be a cost-effective solution, and you can give Wix more of a test by taking full advantage of the free trial before you have to choose a paid plan.
In the Wix VS Shopify showdown, there’s no knockout blow, because they are both top contenders. So the good news is, you probably won’t regret your choice, no matter which platform you use to set up and run your online store. Do your research, and we’ll say it one more time: Take advantage of the free trial period available with each platform. That will give you a chance to test the software and see how it feels to you.