Ecwid Review: Trusted by Pros: Easy E-Commerce for Bloggers
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Can one million users in over 170 countries be wrong?
Ecwid stands for E–Commerce Widget, and it does pretty much what that name suggests: provides a nifty, useful piece of code that integrates with several platforms so you can create an e-commerce storefront on just about any site.
So if you’re a blogger in search of an e-commerce tool, you might want to consider Ecwid. Here’s why.
What Is Ecwid.com?
The company was founded in 2009 by Ruslan Fazlyev, and has offices in both Russia and the United States. Ecwid helps bloggers and online store owners run their e-commerce storefronts on a number of different platforms, including some very popular blogging content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Joomla.
Ecwid offers a pretty robust e-commerce platform, comparatively speaking. You can set up catalogs of your products, including images, pricing information, features, etc. for each product you sell. It has what you need to set up shipping rate tables or information, accept payments from customers using credit cards, and all the usual requisite commerce-related tasks you’d expect.
With Ecwid, you build your e-commerce store and input your product information (with copy and image files), then you add the store to your existing blog or site using a few lines of HTML code that integrates specifically with your CMS or site platform. That’s pretty much it. Using that code, you can add an Ecwid store to a WordPress blog, a Facebook page, or a site built on Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Joomla, or more.
Ecwid storefront designs are completely responsive so you won’t leave your mobile customers out in the cold.
Ecwid offers four plan levels, one free and three premium, with the price dependent mainly on how many products you have for sale. Although the paid plans’ fees are listed on a monthly basis, you can also pay by the year and secure a decent discount in the process.
The free plan offering is fairly limited. You only get about ten products to sell, and there are other features you’ll miss out on, such as the ability to offer promo codes and access to SEO controls. It’s also apparently not configured to offer support for selling digital products. However, it’s enough of a taste to let you know whether the platform’s the right choice for your store.
The premium plans also include additional helpful features, including a point-of-sale function, improved support, and at some levels the ability to edit existing orders. And with the top-level plan, you can take advantage of a consulting service the company offers.
There is a feature that lets you set up a standalone store — i.e., one that’s unconnected to an existing blog site, either hosted on Ecwid servers (with a second-level domain, such as mynewstore.ecwid.com) or directed to another domain/host of your choosing. However, this “starter store” feature is severely limited. You get a single page, and that’s it.
As a blogger engaged in e-commerce, you’re more likely to sell digital products — ebooks, memberships, subscription-based plans, digital courses, and the like — than physical products. However, you’ll probably want a tool that offers the capability to sell both types of products, to keep your options open if nothing else.
All the paid plans in Ecwid’s SaaS model support digital downloads. The free plan, as mentioned previously, does not. There are download limitations for file size, however. These limits range from 100MG to 10GB, but this is applied on a per-file basis.
For the plans offering point-of-sale (POS) functionality, you can take payments via your phone, assuming you have the app and hardware to support it. With POS capabilities, you can take your blog-related e-commerce show on the road to festivals, market stalls, concerts, and the like, expanding your customer base and meeting your market face to face.
Another great feature of Ecwid is that the copy (content) on its store sites can be translated into up to 50 different languages, so your customers can load and browse your product pages in their own languages. What’s more, the code actually detects the appropriate language automatically, so your users aren’t forced to use drop-down menus.
Your store can accept payments via credit cards right away using PayPal, for no additional fee (except for the usual PayPal fees). Additionally, you can integrate your store with over forty different payment processors, including Stripe, ClickandBuy, 2Checkout and others.
How Easy Is Ecwid to Use for Bloggers?
If you’re a blogger of any amount of experience, you’ll probably find the Ecwid user control panel fairly simple to use. You will have to spend some time getting acquainted with the basic features — creating catalogs, adding products, setting up product variants, establishing your shipping rates, etc. — but there’s plenty of guidance available.
There’s some limited integration between Ecwid and other apps that bloggers know and love, including MailChimp and Freshbooks. Other competitors — Shopify, for one — offer a more extensive integration experience.
Ecwid will be especially user-friendly with a negligible learning curve if you’re blogging on a self-hosted WordPress site already. The store can be integrated into your existing blog with the Ecwid plugin. All you need to do is sign up for the plan that’s right for your blog and brand, then install the plugin. Ecwid ports over your store automatically.
Your plan will determine how much and what kind of customer support you can expect from Ecwid.
Free plan users are restricted to support by email only. The entry-level premium plan adds support by a live-chat app on the site, and the top two premium plans add support-by-telephone into the mix.
Billing & Guarantees
Ecwid doesn’t offer refunds or guarantees. However, if you make good use of the free plan to assess Ecwid’s features, you should be able to figure out whether it’s a good choice for you.
There are no additional setup, storage, or bandwidth fees. All plans are available month to month, with no long contractual commitments. You can cancel at any time.
A discount in the form of six months’ free use of one of Ecwid’s premium plans is available for nonprofit organizations upon request.
Is Ecwid the Right E-Commerce Tool for Your Blog?
What kind of blogger is Ecwid right for? Primarily, it’s for those bloggers with established, existing sites built on a CMS they like using. Ecwid makes adding a store to your preferred site architecture a snap.
There aren’t many other services available that do the same thing. Shopify’s “Buy Button” lets you link your existing site to a Shopify store via a button you add to your site via a code snippet. And the WooCommerce plugin for WordPress operates similarly. WordPress bloggers should probably evaluate both options carefully before committing to one.