Shopify vs Wix
When building an eCommerce business, it’s crucial to pick the right virtual store-building platform. If you make it wrong, you risk running into embarking on a costly and time-consuming site migration to another platform while scaling the business will be impossible. And since Wix and Shopify are among the most popular variants in the market today, the choice falls between them in most cases.
From one side, to set up a content site with simple selling on the side, Wix can become the ideal choice. It features more in-built features than Shopify, while the drag-and-drop Editor is more flexible and convenient.
However, for those seeking a platform to set up a professional online store, Shopify appears to be a preferable option. Shopify online stores are always scalable, and the suggested range of eCommerce tools is the best in class. Shopify is a more robust website builder than Wix in tax calculation, dropshipping, and multi-currency selling.
In this review, I will draw parallels between Shopify and Wix website-building platforms to compare their templates, payment processors, interfaces, SEO features, and all other essential aspects.
Shopify is a software-as-a-service eCommerce solution designed specifically for those users who search for an easy and quick way of establishing a rather powerful online store. It has succeeded in supporting more than four million live stores as of today.
Shopify has gained the trust and a good reputation among millions of customers worldwide thanks to delivering high scalability and an impressive range of in-built eCommerce tools. So, regardless of the project size, Shopify always has an appropriate solution.
Compared to around 50 secure payment gateways of Wix, Shopify offers over 100 of them! While international customer support is available in 21 languages.
As for Wix, here we’re dealing with a beginner-oriented drag-and-drop website builder that currently supports around a million live sites. Wix eCommerce Wix product is dedicated to online retailers, merchants, and brands of all sizes worldwide.
Wix eCommerce introduces a series of premium features, from payment and shopping experiences for customers to management tools and plenty of other stuff.
To compare specific features of Shopify and Wix, we can’t but must mention such advantages of Shopify as a free slogan maker, gift card capability, the possibility to launch unlimited products, detailed sales reporting, and a Terms & Conditions generator.
The comparison of Wix and Shopify starts with the pricing. Both companies offer discounts if billed yearly. For instance, Shopify’s services are 25% cheaper with an annual subscription. The solution comes with three plans: the Basic, priced at $29/mo; Shopify at $79/mo; and the Advanced plan at $299/mo. The free trial period for a Shopify plan is three days, and it doesn’t request a credit card for the trial period.
The trial period helps one get acquainted with the platform for free, yet it doesn’t let you publish a site. For this, you will need to upgrade. Shopify also has a unique alternative option – the Starter plan, priced at $1/mo for three months. It allows selling products through social and messaging applications.
Another unique Shopify offer is the Shopify Plus plan, which starts at $2,000/mo. This is an all-in-one solution for premium-volume businesses.
As for Wix, we have eight plans separated into three groups – Website Plans, Business and eCommerce Plans, and Enterprise Plans. Website plans, Combo, Unlimited, Pro, and VIP, are priced from $16/mo to $45/mo. Business and eCommerce Plans are priced higher yet provide better eCommerce features. The included plans are Business Basic at $27/mo, Business Unlimited at $32/mo, and Business VIP at $59/mo.
And finally, the Enterprise Plan, tailored to large-scale businesses, is perfect for launching exceptional sites faster and managing them more effectively.
As it turns out, the Wix pricing system is structured better than that of Shopify. Although it yields in functionality offered through the plans, Wix eCommerce provides much scalability at a smaller cost. However, as long as you aim at creating an advanced online store, you will appreciate Shopify plans more.
Creating a Website
To develop your brand, get new clients, and boost sales, create a business site on Shopify or Wix.
Before you set up a Shopify site, think about your goals and give them a long-term vision. Depending on what you expect from your site (turning your site visitors into customers, selling services, expressing your brand identity, etc.), come up with a custom domain name. Now decide on a layout. Themes at Shopify are broken down into categories, so finding an appropriate template won’t be difficult.
It’s important that your site has all the relevant pages per your business niche. With Shopify, your website can have a homepage, contact page, product or service pages, FAQ page, about page, and policy pages. To add the necessary eCommerce functionality, connect a payment system and add some business tools.
Once everything is done, preview, test, and publish your site.
Meanwhile, creating a site with Wix starts with setting up an account. Wix suggests completing a quick survey that gatherers some basic insights about the website to be built. Surely, this step can be skipped. But if you are a beginner and haven’t decided on the design of your site, yet, let Wix help you make it out automatically.
Wix offers two tools to build the site – Wix ADI and Wix Editor. Artificial Design Intelligence helps users build their sites based on learning algorithms. Simply answer a couple of questions from the Wix drop-down menus, select a template, and let Wix build the site within minutes.
However, if you want to make everything yourself, omit the Wix ADI and use the Editor. On one side, the Editor requires more effort. On the other hand, it allows you to use comprehensive Wix tools and customize your site.
Both Shopify and Wix are designed for no coders, i.e., you don’t have to code or be experienced to set up a professional-looking and well-functioning online store. Wix drag-and-drop editor gives complete power over the content management on the front-end interface. Accessing the Editor, you will find all the primary site-building tools, including adding elements, sections, pages, and menus, accessing the site design menu, adding apps, eCommerce tools, media, and content manager.
You can drag titles, logos, images, and other stuff from here and drop them anywhere on your site. For users with little-to-no tech experience, the Editor is highly convenient. You can also switch from desktop to mobile site editing mode from the dashboard.
As for Shopify, you will face separate dashboard and editing systems. In this regard, it feels frustrating to move back and forth between the preview and the back-end of your site to check how the changes look on your site’s front-end interface.
Other than this, it’s pretty straightforward to use the platform to set up a store, optimize an attractive storefront, add products, and start selling them online. The Shopify interface is clear and accurate. All the main sections, such as Orders, Marketing, Customers, Products, etc., are accessible from the left-hand menu.
A dazzling storefront is what can entice new customers, thus implicitly boosting sales. In this regard, both Shopify and Wix stand out for beautifully designed responsive templates to satisfy any user’s requirements irrespective of their business niche. Moreover, they suggest customizing a site with provided CSS and HTML coding languages (Wix also offers its own Wix Velo coding language). And yet, hands down, Shopify’s themes are more robust for use in the eCommerce context.
Shopify introduces a series of themes that meet the highest standards, perfectly optimized for selling online. There are 118 themes, including free and paid options, categorized into industries, including Arts and crafts, home and decor, electronics, services, etc. Paid themes make up the vast majority and are priced from $180 to $350. In spite of the high price, these themes are artistically and functionally cost-effective since they are designed by specialists for specialists.
As for Wix, here we have a much more comprehensive selection of options to choose from. Over 800 free attractive templates are available to choose from. They cover all possible industries and are easily modified for selling purposes. However, despite the bigger number of options compared to Shopify, Wix templates lack a brand signature and look less professional.
Shopify’s themes are geared towards eCommerce, including all the required features for a perfect online store. Shopify has a very intuitive drag-and-drop editor to change the webstore pages and edit templates.
Although all Shopify themes are modern in nature and easy on the eye, you can still enhance any of them. Add blocks and sections to page layouts, move them around with ease, and perform other functions through the “customize theme” option in the home section of your Shopify dashboard.
Aside from the basic tools, Shopify has an impressive app store where you can find both paid and free apps. For instance, although Shopify doesn’t have a fully-fledged form builder (the simple Forms tools with contact or mailing list signup forms not counted), the Shopify Forms free app will make up for the lack.
On the other hand, Wix features an unmatched simplicity in design, thus beating Shopify in this regard, provided that you are a small online trader. It offers more freedom in website design customization. If Shopify has pre-designed areas for every element to drag and drop, with Wix, you can literally do anything with your site.
Both Shopify and Wix enable coding. If you want to take over the website designing, enable the Developer Tools from the Code in the Editor if you are on Wix or simply click Edit HTML/CSS on your admin page on Shopify.
In terms of SEO functionality, Shopify stands out as an adequate, effective, and helpful platform. If utilized appropriately, Shopify can help your site to be ranked high. A certain part of the SEO is carried out automatically. For instance, auto-generated canonical tags are added to the landing page by default, thus preventing duplicate content from being detected by search engines.
Also, all themes available at Shopify have social media linking and sharing options. This will definitely augment store marketing. The built-in SEO features and the extended app store with endless SEO possibilities make Shopify quite a powerful solution.
Anyway, Shopify SEO isn’t free from faults. For instance, you can’t modify the Sitemap and Robots.txt file, while some URLs have a mandatory string.
As for Wix SEO functionality, you won’t be disappointed here. Every site built with Wix is backed by a solid infrastructure perfect to meet all the requirements of search engines. With a Wix site, one gets an excellent opportunity to compete in organic search.
Wix allows customizing URL slugs, meta tags, descriptions, structured data, canonical tags, etc., attaching alt text to images, and so forth. In this, Wix and Shopify are equal. And yet, Wix also offers keyword support by suggesting the most searched-for words and phrases per the site or blog niche that are worth using and have more powerful blogging features.
Publishing a Website
Shopify is a SaaS solution, meaning you don’t need to outsource hosting to have your website launched. So, to publish your first Shopify online store and start making sales, think of a unique name or come up with a free tool titled Business name generator. Just enter a desired word and let the system offer you the best options.
After creating and adding a domain name, choosing a respective theme, filling the store with products, removing any storefront passwords, and setting the primary domain, your store is ready to go live. Click Publish to launch the store, and it will become accessible for your customer within seconds.
Nearly the same steps are to be made to publish a Wix site. You needn’t worry about dealing with a hosting provider here, as Wix uses its own hosting platform. You just sign up, choose a pricing plan per your requirements, and start building your online store. Once you are happy with the result, find the blue Publish button on the top right-hand corner, and your site will be published. You will get a message with a direct link to it.
Created purely as an eCommerce platform, Shopify has more sophisticated and powerful product and inventory options than Wix. Surely, the latter does a good job, especially if the user needs to build a simple store easily. However, Shopify definitely rocks when it comes to creating complex stores.
Shopify allows tracking stock and getting access to such benefits as automated purchase orders, stock alerts, annual inventory reports, user permissions, and accounts. It gives the user thorough control and insight into their business, which is crucial for running an online store effectively.
As for Wix, here, customers have the chance to connect preferred inventory methods with the open APIs to a Wix store. Currently, Wix offers two inventory management methods – Inventory Tracking and In Stock/Out of Stock.
Report and Analytics
With Wix, you get insight into such analytics as customer shopping behaviors, website traffic, conversion rates, and revenue breakdowns.
On the other hand, Shopify offers plenty of reporting features that are upgradable with higher plans. For instance, deep analysis becomes available with Shopify and Shopify Plus plans. Shopify’s analytics and reports functionality provide merchants with such data as the store’s recent activity, insight into the visitors’ behavior, the store speed analysis, and all the inspection of transactions.
Shopify has an unparalleled POS system. You get it regardless of the pricing plan (Shopify Starter is not counted). The feature includes comprehensive reporting and analytics. As for Wix, POS is definitely not its strongest point. It’s available only for some US-based merchants.
Both Shopify and Wix feature premium payment solutions. For instance, Wix supports all traditional payment gateways, involving Square, Stripe, and PayPal. Furthermore, with Wix, such a payment solution is available as “buy now pay later”.
As for Shopify, users are provided with tens of the most popular options, such as PayPal, Stripe, Apple Pay, Klarna, and Amazon Pay, and also the brand’s own payment solution – Shopify Payments. If you prefer the latter, money transactions will be free. Otherwise, there are fees to be paid.
One of the vital parts of running an online store is product shipping. Shopify performs a full-fledged shipping functionality, from free shipping to coordination with alternative shipping providers. The advanced Shopify plan also unlocks third-party calculated shipping rates, local delivery, curbside pickup, and international shipping.
As for Wix order shipping capabilities, they are more reliant on third-party apps. The platform allows tracking orders and setting tax rules for every product. However, integrating a respective app becomes a must for global shipping payments and other essential metrics.
So, Shopify definitely beats Wix in terms of Shipping functionality.
Although not primarily built as a blogging platform like WordPress, Shopify, and Wix, both value the importance of a blog on the site since high-quality blogging is a powerful way to increase the site’s visibility in search results and get inbound traffic.
Overall, the blogging possibilities in Shopify and Wix are similar. Both platforms are great for building simple posts and categorizing them. With either of them, you can have other people subscribe to your posts and feature any post of yours on their websites.
Anyway, Wix has a slight edge over Shopify in the blogging department. With Wix, your website can have a really nice blog with little effort. It has such a unique feature as an Autosave. The latter won’t let you lose any content in case of a computer crash or an internet connection breakdown. Perhaps the only issue it struck upon is the archive functionality.
As for Shopify, here we have fundamental functionality. The platform provides some essential functionality to write blog posts, but once you seek advanced tools, you find none. There are no blogging analytics, in-built searching features, or social bookmarking. You will have to rely on third-party apps to boost this side of your website.
Even though Shopify and Wix are both easy to use and have clear interfaces, no one is ensured against problems or issues while setting up an online store. Both platforms offer live chat, extended knowledge base resources, and message forms on the sites.
Wix features round-the-clock customer support, which stands out for its responsiveness and intelligence. But what makes it preferable over Shopify in many cases is the presence of in-editor support. Wix guides a new user through every step of building a site and provides screenshots.
On the other hand, Shopify suggests hiring an expert at an additional cost to ensure the most professional site is built in due time. As for the 24/7 customer support, this majorly refers to support in English. But when you need support in a different language, you should check the support hours to catch a specialist online.
So, Wix features more user-friendly customer support than Shopify.
Whether Wix or Shopify is a better choice for you depends on what you plan to build and what you expect from the chosen service. For instance, Wix is a far better choice for anyone who wants to set up a new, small business. Wix offers an affordable entry plan yet doesn’t sacrifice functionality. The platform is easy to use and provides much freedom for creative users. Wix is a fabulous site builder for brand-conscious entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, larger business owners searching for a more robust website-building solution will appreciate Shopify more. This service supports long-term growth and better eCommerce features, yet it requires a larger budget. However, it will be a worthy investment since Shopify guarantees impressive sales tools and an exhaustive app store.