Wix vs. Shopify: Which Is Better for Your Business?
Wix is a website builder that offers ecommerce functionality, and Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to build a website. Wix can accommodate low-volume ecommerce merchants, but Shopify offers more to serious sellers.
Wix and Shopify have a lot in common. Shopify is an ecommerce platform that features a website builder, and Wix is a website builder that can be turned into an ecommerce store. Both businesses launched in 2006, and both have gone on to dominate their respective industries. Wix has grown to over 150 million users, and Shopify has helped merchants generate over $100 billion in sales.
Given the popularity of both services, let’s compare them to try and determine which is a better option for ecommerce merchants. We’ll go over the basics of each platform and show you which types of businesses Wix and Shopify are best for. We’ll also hear from ecommerce merchants who have experience using both platforms.
Wix: The Basics
Wix’s ecommerce platform is called WixStores. You can create a WixStore account and build your website at no charge whatsoever. To launch your website, you must select a pricing plan. Even then, Wix gives you a 14-day free trial to test their service and determine if it is right for your business. All plans feature cloud-hosting, an SSL certificate, unlimited bandwidth, and a free domain name for one year. The lowest level plan comes with 20 GB of storage.
You have two options when it comes to building your store: You can use Wix’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, or you can use Wix ADI—an AI-powered system that builds your website for you. To really capture your business’s brand, we recommend building your own store. Start by choosing from one of Wix’s 500 free mobile-responsive templates. If you don’t see a template you like, you can build one from scratch down to the size and color of your fonts and buttons.
Next you’ll handle your ecommerce logistics: adding your product catalog and arranging payment processing and shipping. You can handle all of these functions from your account dashboard. Wix features some nice product features: You can upload an unlimited number of products, product photos, and product variants. Each product can also receive its own dedicated product page, or showcase all products in a category via a gallery. You can also mark products for sale using a ribbon icon.
Wix does not offer in-house payment processing, but integrates with a variety of third-party vendors at no extra charge, including PayPal, Square, Skrill, and Authorize.Net. You can also accept offline payments via ACH transfer. In terms of shipping, you can set rates from your dashboard based on where your customer is located and what they ordered. When a customer completes a purchase, Wix will automatically factor the tax and shipping into the final price.
Every purchase is added to the Store Manager tab of your dashboard so you can easily view all the details. Once an order has been shipped, you can mark it as fulfilled. The Store Manager tab also allows you to view and update inventory, and send emails to your customers via ShoutOut—Wix’s free email marketing tool.
Other features Wix offers to their ecommerce customers is the ability to share coupons and discount codes that can be applied at checkout, and send thank you messages to customers after they place an order. There is also a blog, SEO tools, mobile app, booking platform, and developer kit. Via the Wix App Marketplace you can integrate your store with a variety of different applications.
What all this will cost you depends on how much extra stuff you want. WixStore’s lowest cost plan—Business Basic—is $20 per month and comes with 20 GB of storage, the option to remove Wix ads from your website, an integration with Google Analytics, plus a form builder and SEO tools. The next level up is Business Unlimited, which costs $25 per month and boasts increased storage and the ability to build a professional logo for your site. The Business VIP plan costs $50 a month and comes with everything included in the previous plans plus 50 GB of storage and priority customer service.
There is also an enterprise plan that features tailored onboarding and support for $500 per month.
Shopify: The Basics
When you sign up for Shopify, there’s no need to specify that you want the ecommerce package. All Shopify pricing plans come with your own dedicated cloud-hosted ecommerce website and domain name, plus unlimited storage and an SSL certificate.
Shopify’s three main pricing plans range from $29 per month to $299 per month. All come with unlimited storage, and the higher cost plans have lower credit card processing and shipping rates, plus more staff accounts. There is also a $9 per month social selling plan and a quote-based enterprise plan. Note that all plans come with a 14-day free trial—but you won’t be able to launch your store without selecting a pricing plan.
The process of getting set up with Shopify isn’t dissimilar from WixStore. You’ll log into your account dashboard and upload your product catalog. You can do this via a CSV file, by migrating it over from another platform, or by entering in each product manually. If you choose to add products manually, Shopify provides many options that allow you to organize the way they appear to customers—including a short description, product images. SKU code, shipping information, and product variants (different sizes, colors). Once you have uploaded your products, Shopify allows you to group products into collections for customers to find them by category (i.e. sale items, seasonal products).
After your catalog is uploaded, you can customize the look and feel of your Shopify store using one of its 100 different free or paid themes. Like Wix, Shopify has a drag-and-drop store editor, allowing you to edit your store and see the updated changes in real time. Most themes can be further customized on the backend by editing the theme code. Note that most of the theme code is written in Liquid, Shopify’s custom templating language.
In terms of shipping, Shopify allows you to create a custom shipping method. You can either charge a flat rate or a custom rate depending on the customer’s order and location. You can set rates for an unlimited number of shipping zones around the world. Shopify also offers a free shipping plugin (called Shopify Shipping) that gives you access to calculated rates through USPS, UPS, and DHL, and the ability to print shipping labels. You can configure custom sales tax rates that Shopify will apply at checkout.
In terms of payment processing, merchants are encouraged to use Shopify’s in-house payment processing system—Shopify Payments. With Shopify Payments your rate will start at 2.9% + $0.30 and only decrease depending on the pricing plan you use. If you use a third-party payment gateway, Shopify will charge you an additional fee.
Once you launch your Shopify store, you can take advantage of a variety of different features and tools, including abandoned cart recovery, the ability to manage product reviews, a gift card program, dropshipping functionality, Shopify’s POS system, and an app store with over 1,500 integrations.
Wix vs. Shopify: Similarities
As we said in the beginning, Wix and Shopify have a lot in common. In terms of their ecommerce products, here is a list of areas where they overlap:
- Sell an unlimited amount of goods and services
- Free SSL certificates
- Drag-and-drop store editors
- Blogging and SEO capabilities
- Mobile apps
- Discount programs
- Multilingual functionality
- API access
Perhaps the area where Wix and Shopify share the most in common is their ease of use. Aside from the fact that both platforms offer drag-and-drop store editors, both are generally designed for ecommerce rookies. With either Wix or Shopify you get a dashboard where you can manage most of the back-end functions of your store—including managing orders, adding products, contacting customers, generating discounts, viewing analytics, and adding integrations. If you ever run into issues, both services offer support centers with a range of resources, including webinars and community forums. One important thing to note is that Wix does not offer 24/7 phone support, whereas Shopify does.
Wix vs. Shopify: Where Wix Is Better
Here are some areas where we feel Wix has an advantage over Shopify:
You can get a Wix store for $20 per month, compared to $29 per month for a Shopify store, making Wix the budget option of the two. Beyond the simple monthly fee, Wix’s payment processing costs are also comparable to Shopify’s. You can use Square and PayPal with Wix for a per transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30—the same cost as Shopify Payments. The difference is you have to use Shopify Payments if you use Shopify, whereas Wix lets you choose from a variety of payment processors. All in all, you won’t get as many features with Wix, but you’ll save on your bottom line.
At its heart Wix is a website builder, so it would make sense that if offers more customization than Shopify. It starts with the fact that Wix offers two different design options—the Wix Editor or the Wix ADI. You then get over 500 free design templates to choose from, including 74 designed specifically for ecommerce. The drag-and-drop editor makes it possible to click on any element of your template and customize it. You can also add additional elements and place them anywhere you want on the page. With the Wix ADI, you can tell Wix the purpose of your website and the features you desire, and it will create a custom designed store for you—for free!
Shopify has some nice design options, but it just can’t compare to Wix’s level of customization.
Wix vs. Shopify: Where Shopify Is Better
Here’s what a platform that is designed specifically for ecommerce merchants can do:
Because Shopify is the most popular ecommerce platform on the market, a lot of third-party vendors design software that can work with it. This has allowed Shopify to compile a massive app marketplace, giving merchants numerous options when it comes to extending the functionality of their store.
Shopify’s in-house features are just as impressive. We already mentioned Shopify’s POS and shipping solution. There is also Shopify Experts, a service where you can hire programmers to help you build and customize your store. Ecommerce merchants also get a free mobile card reader when they sign up, and have the option to purchase additional POS hardware if they plan on selling in person. Pair this with all of the aforementioned features (abandoned cart recovery, gift card program etc.), and it becomes obvious that Shopify doesn’t just have more features than Wix, but more features than any other ecommerce platform on the market.
The difference between having 24/7 support and not having 24/7 support can be huge for ecommerce merchants. With Shopify, you can reach a representative via phone, email, or live chat 24/7. With Wix you can only email 24/7, meaning your response probably won’t be as instantaneous as you want it to be.
On top of that, Shopify’s support center is more robust than Wix’s. You can read guides, FAQs, and blogs, watch training videos, and learn how to run an ecommerce store via Shopify’s “Ecommerce University.” Wix offers a decent level of support, but it pales in comparison to Shopify’s.
The other benefit of Shopify is that it is better suited for the long-term growth of your business. Wix constrains you in certain ways by placing storage limits on your website and making you pay extra for your domain name after the first year. Shopify offers you greater incentives as you upgrade to higher priced plans in the form of lower credit card processing and shipping rates. Furthermore, more software works with Shopify, meaning you can likely find more solutions to facilitate your business’s growth.
Wix vs. Shopify: User Reviews
Here’s how Wix and Shopify compare on the major user review aggregators:
|Platform||G2 Crowd||Trust Radius||TrustPilot||Capterra||Better Business Bureau|
4.2 stars out of 5
8.0 stars out of 10
1 star out of 5
4.5 stars out of 5
4.3 stars out of 5
8.5 stars out of 10
1 star out of 5
4.5 stars out of 5
We also spoke to some ecommerce entrepreneurs who have had experience using both Wix and Shopify. Their responses were fairly one-sided:
“When it comes to selling things online, Shopify is a much easier platform to work with than Wix, and because it is so popular, there are far more apps developed for it that allow you to further expand your website’s capabilities.”
—Dave Hermansen, Store Coach
“Wix is great for sellers who don’t really want to customize a website and are looking for a quick fix, but it’s not very friendly with other apps and software. I find that a majority of the top apps you can add to an e-commerce website integrate with Shopify, then work on integrating with the others. That means that everything you need to optimize the customer’s shopping experience is available to Shopify before Wix.”
— Alex Ivko, Seller’s Choice
“For ecommerce, it’s hands down Shopify. The checkout experience is significantly better on desktop and mobile with Shopify—their UX sets the standard. The backend analytics on Shopify are set up for ecommerce owners. Lastly, the Shopify app marketplace can truly support a brand that’s scaling into a 7 or 8 figure business.”
— Jim Huffman, GrowthHit
Wix vs. Shopify: Which Platform Is Right for Your Business?
After comparing Wix vs. Shopify, here’s what we’d say the use cases are for both products:
Use Wix If…
Use Wix if you want to sell a small variety of items on a beautifully designed website. Wix is really ideal for those who just need a website, but if you are going to dabble in ecommerce, Wix can provide you with a suitable option for a low-volume of sales. However, higher volume merchants will get more bang for their buck with a platform dedicated to ecommerce.
Use Shopify If…
Use Shopify if you are the aforementioned high volume merchant, or if you are a business owner looking to start selling online. Shopify is a solution that can truly work for any business situation—even the merchant who is thinking about turning their Wix website into a WixStore. You’ll have to pay a bit more than you would with Wix, but what you get with that extra money is more than worth it.
That wraps up our comparison of Wix vs. Shopify. But there is one element we didn’t account for: personal preference. We recommend leveraging the free trial offered by both platforms and coming to your own conclusions on Wix vs. Shopify.