Navigating the world of eCommerce can be a confusing process, and, no pressure, choosing the right eCommerce tool for your website is extremely important. The key to discovering what will work for your business starts with knowing exactly what your business needs are from an eCommerce tool. To find the best option for your business, let’s break down two of the most popular eCommerce website builders.
Wix and Squarespace are great options for small businesses and for those who have minimal web development experience. Their drag-and-drop editing features allow for simple website creation with options to add an online store. To help you decide the best option for you, we’ll consider: ease-of-use, template selection, pricing, features, customizability, inventory management, payment processors, security, and support.
Wix is an industry leader among do-it-yourself website builders. With over 100 million registered users, they must be doing something right. Wix’s interface is extremely intuitive, and the drag-and-drop editor makes it very simple to build a website in little time. The same can be said for Wix’s eCommerce function. It’s easier than ever to start an online store! Wix was created so people with little to no web development experience could build a good-looking website for a fairly low price. Building an online store is as easy as dropping in a picture of your product and typing out a description. If you’re still not sold on how easy it is to use Wix, take a look at what editing a template really looks like.
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As you can see from the photo above, everything is editable in real-time. Every element you see is clickable and editable. The sidebar on the left offers options like adding sections, using apps, and uploading your own content. Little tips and helpful information pop up as you’re working, too.
Templates & Pricing
If you’re already a Wix user and want to start selling items on your site, upgrading is simple. An online store can be created on any of the 500+ templates, but if you’re looking to build a website specifically for the eCommerce functionality, they offer 48 online store-specific themes that were designed with selling products in mind. Additionally, all Wix eCommerce websites are automatically mobile responsive, so your customers will be able to access your store on any device. There is even a separate editor for building the look of your website in mobile view.
Unfortunately, for those who are using the free Wix platform, adding an online store will require you to upgrade either to the eCommerce plan or the VIP plan. At $17 and $25 a month, Wix is one of the most affordable online store solutions on the market. With these premium plans, you’re getting much more than just online store functionality. Each plan includes 20GB of storage, ability to connect your own domain, a free domain, zero Wix ads, $300 in ad vouchers, the site booster app (regularly $60), and the form builder app (regularly $48). Although it is more expensive, the VIP plan offers everything you’d get from the eCommerce plan plus unlimited bandwidth, VIP support, priority response, and a professional site review. If you think you might need the extra professional support to build your site, the VIP plan would be the best option. Learn more about upgrading and pricing plans here.
The Wix platform is automatically equipped with all of the bare-bones functionality for getting your online store up and running, but what if you are selling digital downloads or need more advanced features in your shopping cart? There’s an app for that. Wix’s extensive app market has all of the powerful functions you may be looking for to supplement your site. So far, there are 43 different apps just in the online store category, which doesn’t include the business and marketing tools they offer to help your online business grow. One noteworthy app is Online Store by Ecwid. Ecwid makes your online store even more powerful, offering advanced shopping cart features like: real-time global shipping rates, 50+ payment options, order management, CSS store editor, abandoned cart recovery, automatic tax calculations, and point-of-sale integrations. Take a look at the full list of awesome online store apps here.
Integrating apps into your site is a breeze. All it takes is one click and you’re good to go – no messing around with code. You can use as many or as little of these apps as you’d like, but one thing to keep in mind is they are not all free. Many have free trials, but once that ends, you’ll be tacking on extra monthly payments. It’s worth mentioning with Wix, you are unable to sell digital download products natively; you must purchase an app that allows for digital sales. You’ll be happy to know that even though Wix’s apps can add up on your monthly bill, Wix does not take any type of commission or charge any transaction fees when customers buy your products (not many eCommerce website builders can say this).
As mentioned before, Wix gives you the ability to edit every clickable element on your Wix template. This is great for people who love the look of their template and want to build their site in that exact structure, but this may be frustrating for users who have web development experience. In general, Wix template structures are pretty set in stone, and for developers who may want to add their own CSS or edit the layout of a template, options are limited. Wix does not allow the source code of a template to be edited, but what you can do is integrate an HTML editor app and hope for the best.
Wix eCommerce by itself packs a pretty lightweight, yet effective, inventory management system with all the necessities. You can add products, input shipping and tax information, track inventory, display how many units are left, include product options, and create coupons/store promotions. One great part about Wix’s inventory management system is everything can be seen and controlled in one place. Once a customer orders your product, you’ll immediately be notified by email, the order will appear in your Store Manager, and the customer will receive a confirmation email.
If you’re looking for more advanced features from an inventory management system, it’s possible Wix may not be the right option for you. However, before discarding the idea completely, it’s worth it to look into some of the Wix apps, because there may be one to better suit your needs.
Payment Processors & Security
With Wix, there are three main types of payment methods to offer your customers: credit cards, digital wallet (like Stripe and PayPal), and offline. Credit cards are a no-brainer and what we usually use to purchase things online. PayPal and Stripe are also extremely popular and act the same as a credit card, without the work of having to type in your card information each time. Digital wallet options are great for customers, because it gives a sense of security knowing their card information is housed on a reputable, secure site. The only downside of payment processors like PayPal and Stripe is your customer will be redirected from your website to log into their digital wallet account, which may scare them away from making the purchase. Nonetheless, PayPal and other digital wallet payment options are great. The final, less popular payment method is offline. A customer can order a product online but he or she must complete the payment over the phone or in person with you. This is definitely not a widely used option, but if for some reason you do not want to accept online payments, this would be your only choice! If you do choose this option, be sure to leave your customer detailed instructions on how they can pay you.
Customer security is a first priority for Wix. Your customers can rest assured their payment information is safe because Wix has full SSL secure payment support, and they only work with payment gateways that offer the highest level of protection.
If you purchase the VIP plan from Wix, you automatically have the highest level of support available to you. VIP support means you skip the line when calling the support phone number. You’ll also receive priority response when you ask questions on the Wix Answers page. However, eCommerce plan purchasers shouldn’t feel left out, Wix is known for its high-quality support. If you take a look at the Wix Help Center, you’ll find documentation, forums, and FAQs. Chances are someone had the same question as you, and the search function of the Wix Help Center can deliver you the answer!
Wix would be best for small businesses looking to sell a small selection of items (100 or less) mainly because of the limitations in automating things, such as calculating tax and shipping for different regions. There is also no import function to bulk add information. However, the interface is extremely easy-to-use and doesn’t require any tech knowledge. The templates are clean and simple, and there’s a great amount of support available to you. If you like the sound of all this, then Wix may be a good option for you.