2020 proved how impactful online shopping can be. For the first time in history, a global pandemic couldn’t stop the retail industry from continuing to be the relentless bustling machinery that it always has been, while it strained most of everything else. Established eCommerce giants reported record-breaking increase in revenue, but even those who’ve just moved online, witnessed their business booming.
The point being, we entered an era where technology redefines how retail will function from now on, and if you’re thinking about expanding your business online, we’re absolutely behind you on that decision. As a matter of fact, we assembled this article to help you choose between two of the most popular eCommerce website builders.
Enter Wix and Shopify – two services acclaimed for their expertise in website building and sales managing. You might’ve never heard of them before, so here you’ll get a great chance to meet both, compare their strengths and weaknesses, and decide which to go for based on your business needs, budget, and personal preferences.
Why Choose Wix or Shopify?
There are certainly more than two eCommerce site builders on the market, but we wanted to unload the burden of having to go through so many of them yourself, so we analyzed the best and figured that Wix and Shopify deserve a show-off at the very top. Which of the two takes the gold is up to you, but if you follow through to the very end of this article, we’ll reveal who our winner is, and how they got there.
If you’re familiar with Wix, you might be giving us a puzzled look right now. We know, while Shopify specializes in creating online retail stores, Wix is a multi-purpose website building platform. With Wix you can create portfolio pages, blog websites, magazines, directories, etc. So, why are we even comparing it to Shopify? The answer is simple – Wix is widely used for building eCommerce platforms and offers amazing point of sale features. Compared to other similar services out there, it’s the most deserving contender to Shopify.
Let’s Compare Shopify with Wix
For this article, we tested every feature Wix and Shopify offer, tried their drag-and-drop editors, and evaluated the end products. It’s quite impossible to be unbiased when you cannot experience every unique situation, so for that reason we went through tons of user reviews and analyzed their experience to get a better understanding of what they liked or disliked about these two services.
In terms of our criteria, we’ll take a look at the two test subjects from 8 different angles. You’ll get a chance to see how each tool performs in each category, and you might even discover new features about them that you’ve never encountered before. At the end of every section, we’ll state our opinion about which tool outflanks the other.
These are the aspects that we’ll use to pit Wix and Shopify against one another:
- UX – User Experience
- Templates & Themes
- Marketing & Sales
- Customer Support
- User Reviews
Without further ado, let’s dive into each of these aspects.
1. UX – User Experience
Ecommerce owners appreciate having more time to run their business than spending time on building their websites. That’s fair, because almost everyone in the eCommerce space isn’t a tech wizard; that’s why they actually turn to services like Shopify and Wix that can do the coding part for them. So naturally, UI/UX is a key factor for them.
Shopify’s strategy with user experience is to provide structure and more back-end control to its users. It uses a drag-and-drop editor to help you construct a website, however, you don’t have to start from scratch – there are some amazing templates to choose from, which is great to set you up to start selling right away.
The platform uses a top-notch dashboard for when you need to toggle the settings of your theme. What’s great about it’s that your efforts are applied across all devices, meaning you’ll get a fully responsive online store.
You’ll also gain access to a learning center for whenever you need help during the building process, although this can be a bit time-consuming.
Wix boasts with one of the simplest and easiest website builders. The platform is big on ease of use and they ensure this is one of their top priorities.
Despite using a straightforward drag-and-drop editor that provides you with the ultimate creative control over what you’re building, Wix recently included a feature called Wix ADI – a capability to design your online store’s layout in seconds with the help of artificial intelligence.
Wix puts an accent on sophistication and flexibility even though their website building methods are quite simple. Whenever you find yourself facing hardships during the editing process, Wix ensures you’ll be provided with fast tutorials so you could deal with the issue immediately.
We found Wix to be a much simpler online store builder, so it takes the lead in this category. However, the reason behind its superior UX is because it creates simpler eCommerce sites than Shopify. If you’re interested in creating a more comprehensive web store with tons of products, then you might want to consider Shopify as a better solution.
2. Templates & Themes
A clear idea about how your online store should look and function isn’t something that always pops up in our minds, but we often require a little push to form that picture in our brains. Templates are a great basis to discover different page layouts, styles, and sets of colors, and help draw inspiration for the future website. And not only that – taking off from a preset template is a huge plus for busy entrepreneurs.
Shopify makes it super convenient to choose from their 70+ themes (9 of which are free!) providing filters that help narrow down your search, such as industry, layout style, number of products that you’ll be selling, marketing tools, price, etc.
Most of Shopify’s premium themes are somewhat pricey, but considering they’re high-end and regularly updated they’re worth every penny.
Currently, the majority of online shoppers do their shopping on their smartphones, so Shopify ensures their templates are fully responsive to provide a seamless and effective shopping experience.
Wix offers a lot more templates than Shopify – the number reaches almost 800, however, about 100 of them are adapted for online store creation, while the rest can be used for other types of websites.
What’s great about Wix can also be a bit of a downside. While Wix offers more flexibility to alter a chosen template to your specific needs, you’d still need to code the changes yourself or hire a developer. Additionally, unless you opt in for the new Editor X, you’d need to work separately on the mobile version of your eCommerce site, since Wix’s templates aren’t fully responsive.
We’ve chosen Shopify as the leader in this category since the themes it provides are specifically designed with online selling in mind. Especially with all the amazing product features included with each theme. Although expensive, Shopify’s themes are a great investment for your company.
Having said that, if you’re a small business on a tight budget, Wix’s templates are always a great alternative to Shopify due to them being free.
<h3id=”three”>3. Marketing & Sales
It’s no wonder why we chose these two platforms to compete as two of the top online store builders on the market. Wix and Shopify are packed with all the features that you’ll ever need to successfully promote and sell your products and services.
Almost anything you want to do with Shopify regarding marketing is done through third-party apps. There are several add-ons you can choose from to connect your online store with Facebook and Instagram, and even marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.
Some notable qualities that Shopify offers to help you capture more leads are their product display options that enable zoom functionality and the new Augmented Reality feature that gives customers new ways to experience your products.
What intrigued us is that Shopify allows options for tipping and donations during checkout, and supports abandoned cart recovery, meaning you can email customers who didn’t complete their checkouts which can substantially increase your revenue.
The service also offers integrated shipping options with competitive shipping rates from DHL, UPS, and USPS.
What’s more, Shopify has a capability to automatically calculate common taxes for your products so you can focus more on converting leads.
Wix recently introduced Wix Ascend which immediately became a game changer in the eCommerce industry – it’s a state-of-the-art marketing solution to fully manage your marketing campaigns and features a CRM tool. With it you can grow traffic, capture leads, close deals, and increase brand loyalty – all from one compact dashboard.
To up its marketing game, Wix enables creative video carousel options for product display and integrates with social media platforms beautifully, encouraging audience engagement in the process.
Regarding sales, at the checkout point, Wix offers storing card details for easier accessibility for later use, and just like Shopify, it supports abandoned cart recovery.
While Shopify imposes additional fees on every transaction if you don’t use Shopify Payments, with Wix you don’t have to pay anything extra.
Even though you’d need an add-on to enable international shipping options, Wix lets you track orders and organize tax rules for your products.
With so many fantastic capabilities and positive experiences, Wix and Shopify both deserve the highest marks regarding sales and marketing. So, in this category we declare a draw.
Every business has its own specialty, and Shopify and Wix can’t always accommodate each store using the standard set of features that they come with. That’s why both platforms implemented app stores to offer eCommerce stores the apps that best suit their individual needs.
There’s a jaw-dropping number of apps included in the Shopify App Store – over 5000 apps for various purposes lurk there, waiting to be integrated and fulfill your selling ambitions.
The add-ons featured in the Shopify App Store are designed by Shopify’s team or other third-party developers. They can be free or paid, but all share the common goal to assist with every area in the eCommerce sphere.
The following are some great examples of what you can discover there:
- Wishlist Plus – an app designed to help your customers save their favorite products and create wishlists;
- BEST Currency Converter – an app that allows customers to see prices in their local currency;
- Oberlo – an app that lets you discover products of any kind and dropship them to your customers;
- Judge.me – an app that enables your customers to leave product reviews and lets you showcase them in your online store.
In the Wix App Market you can refine your search by choosing your industry and the app category.
However, Wix’s app inventory isn’t as extensive as Shopify’s – there are about 300 apps that can help you market and sell online. But anyway, that’s still a solid number for you to choose from to power up your eCommerce store.
A particular app that we think does a great job is Wix Stores. It’s amazing as a global shipping payment solution, and also offers abandoned cart recovery, social media integration, and finance management.
It’s a no-brainer that Shopify takes the gold in this category, mainly because of the substantial amount of apps its app store offers.
Ranking higher on search engines is of crucial value to the success of your store. Search Engine Optimization should be an important factor in your traffic growth strategy, and luckily, both Wix and Shopify allow a few options to reduce your legwork in this area.
The platform enables adding custom meta data for your page titles and descriptions which is a basic condition for improving SEO.
Shopify also offers attaching alt text to your product images to describe what they actually represent. URL customization is available as well, although you cannot fully customize a slug which isn’t that great for SEO.
What’s great about Shopify’s SEO abilities is that it supports AMP compatibility. AMP is a web framework backed by Google which significantly speeds up content delivery – something Google values highly when ranking your store.
Additionally, Shopify automatically redirects your old URLs to your new ones, so you can rest assured that each of your pages will keep ranking properly.
All in all, Wix possesses all of the basic SEO capabilities we mentioned with Shopify – adding meta titles and descriptions, attaching alt texts to images, etc.
Some key differences between Wix and Shopify in terms of SEO are that Wix doesn’t support AMP pages and it doesn’t automatically redirect URLs – you have to remember to redirect old URLs yourself.
However, something that Wix offers, but Shopify doesn’t, is keyword support. Every Wix user gains access to the Wix SEO Wiz which helps them discover the keywords worth using in their content so they can rank higher on search engines.
Again, Shopify is the winner in this category, mainly because of its support for AMP.
6. Customer Support
Building a website might be child’s play for some, but some beginners often struggle even with the most straightforward editor. Having someone to turn to whenever you need anything fixed is sometimes a deciding factor when choosing a service.
Shopify offers a 24/7 phone support and live chat which can come in really handy when it’s 11 p.m. and your online store is down and needs an immediate intervention.
There’s also email and social media customer support, and Shopify’s Help Center is full with information about anything you might need.
The Wix Help Center offers hundreds of articles about any kind of problem related to their services, augmented with highly educational videos – something that Shopify’s Help Center lacks.
Similarly to Shopify, Wix offers 24/7 phone and email support, however, they don’t feature live chat.
Another awesome addition to Wix is its ability to assist directly in its editor interface. Whatever you’re working on and have questions about it, simply click on that element’s question mark and you’ll be presented with a concise answer or a video walkthrough.
We really liked Wix’s approach to helping its customers, so we declare it a winner in this section.
It all comes down to cost when making up one’s mind about which service to go for. So, in this section we’ll specify Wix’s and Shopify’s pricing plans and see which one offers better value for your money.
There are three main packages included on the platform:
- Basic Shopify – priced at $29/month;
- Shopify – priced at $79/month;
- Advanced Shopify – priced at $299/month;
Shopify offers two more packages for those that don’t find the above plans suitable:
- Shopify Lite – priced at $9/month and suitable for existing websites that want to start online selling;
- Shopify Plus – starting at $2000/month and designed for large companies that need a dedicated service as an enterprise-grade solution.
Wix offers three plans as well:
- Business Basic – priced at $17/month;
- Business Unlimited – priced $25/month;
- Business VIP – priced at $35/month.
Since Wix offers pretty much the same functionality for a modest eCommerce store as Shopify does, but for a significantly lower price, our vote goes to Wix here.
However, if you’re looking to grow your business and want more scalability, Shopify is better suited for higher-volume selling.
8. User Reviews
For our last category we went through many online ranking services to see what Wix and Shopify users have to say about their experiences with these services. These websites calculate an overall score comprised of all the reviews each person posts.
Let’s compare several of the top consumer reviews websites:
The numbers speak for themselves. Shopify won in yet another category.
Thank you for bearing with us through this extensive article. We should be wrapping things up, but before we go, let’s sum up and declare our winner.
In this article we pitted two of the top online store builders against each other in order to figure out which one is a better option. The 8 factors that we took into consideration when evaluating these services were User Experience, Templates & Themes, Marketing & Sales, Add-Ons, SEO, Customer Support, Pricing, and User Reviews.
It was a tough battle and the outcome is as follows:
- Wix was declared winner in 3 of the categories – User Experience, Customer Support, and Pricing;
- Shopify performed better in 4 of the categories: Templates & Themes, Add-Ons, SEO, and User Reviews;
- There was no winner in the Marketing & Sales category, as both platforms were amazing in their own respect.
Therefore, based on the total number of wins we have our champion – Shopify! We found the service better for aspiring eCommerce companies, as it offers better control and a superior range of sales features.
Ultimately, if you’re just starting out and you want to run a simpler online store, Wix is a fantastic solution as well.