When it comes to building an ecommerce website, Ecwid and Bigcommerce are two of the most popular options, but which one is better?
Ecwid vs Bigcommerce: What is the Difference?
Ecwid is a versatile, fully hosted ecommerce platform, which can be used to build standalone websites or integrate with popular platforms such as WordPress and Wix, Ecwid also offer multi channel selling including Facebook, Instagram, Ebay and Amazon. Bigcommerce is a fully hosted ecommerce platform that allows users to build a complete ecommerce website on the Bigcommerce platform and also sell through multiple online channels.
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Up to 2500 Products
No Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fees
Unlimited Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
Live Chat, Email & Phone Support
$50k Annual Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fee
Unlimited Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
To make this a fair comparison, I have chosen a package from each platform that is similar in terms of pricing and that is the Ecwid Business, which is their mid tier package and the Bigcommerce standard, which is their entry level package.
There are two main differences between the two packages, the first is the amount of products you can list. With Ecwid, you are limited to 2,500, which should be more than enough for most ecommerce website but Bigcommerce offer unlimited product listings on all of their packages.
The second difference is the annual turnover limit, Ecwid doesn’t have one, meaning that you can sell as much as you like and will remain on that package. Bigcommerce do have turnover limits on all of their packages and when you hit these limits, you are automatically moved on to a larger package, for their standard package, this is $50,000 per annum.
Unlike most platforms, Ecwid don’t offer a free trial. Instead they have a completely free package and while it is limited on features, it does give you the chance to try the platform out before committing to a paid plan.
Bigcommerce is much more conventional and offers users a 15 day free trial on the platform, which gives you access to all the features the platform has to offer, just in a test environment.
The business plan from Ecwid comes loaded with a really good selection of features, which are all focused on ecommerce and helping your website start generating sales, including:
- One Tap Checkout (with Apple Pay)
- Schedule Order Pickup
- Sell Digital Products
- Gift Cards
- Secure Checkout
- Product Filters & Variations
- Store Management App
Marketing & SEO
- Discount Coupons
- Sell on Facebook
- Sell on Instagram
- Sell on Etsy, Amazon & Ebay
- Abandoned Cart Emails
- Custom Meta Data
- SEO Friendly URL’s
- Number of Visitors
- Conversion Rate
- Apple Pay (via Stripe)
As you can see, there are lots of features available and there is a big focus on being able to sell your products via multiple platforms and using Ecwid as a central point to manage it all.
One of Ecwid’s main features is its ability to sell across multiple platforms and manage it all from one dashboard and also to integrate with other platforms. This works best with WordPress via a plugin and Wix via an App but can also be used with other platforms such as Squarespace.
Ecwid App Market
While Ecwid does come with a good selection of features, there are still some gaps that need to be filled and that is where the App Market comes into play. All of the apps within the market are made by third-party developers, which means that many of them do require you to pay for them.
As one of the biggest names in the industry, it is expected that Bigcommerce comes loaded with a good selection of features and they don’t disappoint as all of the following are included with the standard package:
- Single Page Checkout
- Product Ratings and Reviews
- Side by Side Product Comparisons
- Promotions and Special Offers
- Discount Codes and Coupons
- Google Trusted Stores
- Abandoned Cart Recovery
Marketing & SEO
- Social Selling
- Email Marketing
- Price comparison site integration
- Loyalty Program
- Google Shopping
- Social Sharing
- Custom Meta Data
- SEO Friendly URLs
- Number of Orders
- Total Revenue
- Number of Visitors
- Conversion Rate
- Average Order Value
There are also more features available as you move up through the packages and this has been done so that the platform grows with your business.
One other feature that Bigcommerce has, is the ability to integrate with WordPress with a plugin. It is not full integration as with Ecwid but it does allow you to list your products on a WordPress website, while managing all of your orders etc from the Bigcommerce dashboard.
Bigcommerce App Store
Even though Bigcommerce comes with lots of features built in, they understood that their users might want different functionality and that is where the Bigcommerce app store comes into play. Populated with over 700 different apps that have been made by selected Bigcommerce partners and these apps cover a variety of different options including marketing, payment processors and inventory management.
Within the app store is a selection of both free and paid apps, with the paid apps, many of them have custom pricing and it takes a bit of digging to find out exactly what these are going to cost.
When it comes to pricing, some have an upfront cost, where as others have a monthly recurring fee, which is charged on top of what you pay for your monthly Bigcommerce package.
Theme Selection & Customisation
Ecwid’s ‘theme selection’ isn’t really a theme selection in the conventional sense as all of their themes are effectively different header sections. Now there are lots of different ones to choose from and they are very well designed but the rest of your site will look the same, no matter which theme you choose.
Theme customisation within Ecwid is pretty good as you can rearrange the sections of the homepage and also choose to hide sections but unfortunately, there isn’t a range of additional sections that can be added.
Outside of the homepage, there are quite a few customisation options. With your product pages, you can easily change the layout such as the description next to or below your product images. You can also choose what displays on your product pages such as title, price, SKU and social share buttons.
You can also edit the look of your category pages as well, whether it is your category overview page or how your products display within those categories. You can also quickly change the aspect ratio of your images.
One thing that is missing from the customisation is the ability to change the colours and fonts that are displayed on your site, which is a little frustrating as it can be these little touches that can make a big difference.
It seems that one of the reasons why the theme customisation is a little bit limited is the fact that the majority of Ecwid users, integrate it with other platforms whose strengths are in design and customisation.
Bigcommerce has one of the largest theme selections of all of the fully hosted ecommerce platforms with over 150, free, mobile responsive themes. But unfortunately, only 12 of these are free to use and the remining selection ranges from $150 – $300.
Prior to 2020, the Bigcommerce theme customisation really wasn’t that great but they have now upped their game with some recent updates and that is down to the addition of their new page builder. This give lots of widget options that you can add to your themes homepage and can also be used to build custom pages such as about me/us.
The only real downside to the Bigcommerce theme customisation is that there is only limited control over the theme built in widgets in terms of layout and being able to add/remove them (which also isn’t the most straight forward thing to do). Hopefully, future updates will see this improve.
Bigcommerce is more limited when it comes to customising your product and category pages, especially when compared to Ecwid. Fortunately though, the Bigcommerce product pages are very well laid out.
Running an ecommerce website can be challenging at times and you require some help, so what support do you get from these platforms?
Ecwid – with the business plan, you do get access to good levels of support from the Ecwid team and they can easily be contacted via live chat, email or over the phone. The only issue with the phone support is that it is only available between 2pm and 10pm pacific time, which makes it not ideal for people in time zones on the opposite side of the world.
Bigcommerce – all of Bigcommere’s plans include 24/7 support through a variety of different mediums, including over the phone, via live chat and through email support ticket and all of the support options can be accessed directly from your admin dashboard.
Hosting & Performance
Both platforms offer a very similar set up when it comes to their hosting environment as they both offer:
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Data Storage
- PCI Compliant Servers
- Global CDN’s
- 99%+ Uptime
Now usually, I would test both of these platforms out but this is a little awkward to do with Ecwid as most of their example sites are showing their integration with third party platforms and I could only find one that was built and ran using Ecwid’s website builder.
This is a little frustrating as I usually test three customer example sites, so I had to get a little creative and used the one customer example site and my own demo site and put it up against the three examples from Bigcommerce.
As with all my performance testing, I ran the sites through Pingdom’s speed test tool (Washington D.C & San Francisco servers) and Google’s page speed insights, once a day for three days.
Washington D.C: 1.00 Seconds
San Francisco: 1.63 Seconds
Google Mobile: 25/100
Google Desktop: 42/100
Washington D.C: 2.84 Seconds
San Francisco: 3.43 Seconds
Google Mobile: 12/100
Google Desktop: 48/100
Ecwid had a respectable showing in all of the test but there is definitely some improvements that can be had with Google, especially their mobile scores. One thing to note with Ecwid is that when it is integrated with other platforms such as WordPress or Wix, Ecwid didn’t hinder the performance at all (in fact it improved the Wix performance!?).
Performance was lack lustre from Bigcommerce, which is surprising considering that they use Google’s Cloud Platform for their hosting but there were issues across all of the tests, especially the mobile score which was joint bottom of the performance testing.
Ease of Use
Facts and figures are one thing but what are these platforms like to use and how do they compare to each other? Well that is what I am going to be looking at in this section.
Getting started with Ecwid is very simple and all you need your name, email address and to create a password. Doing this will get you signed up to Ecwid’s free plan, which is a great way to get started on the platform. If you want to upgrade to paid one, then this can be done in the My Profile section of the admin dashboard.
Once you have signed up to Ecwid, you will then be taken through to the admin dashboard that looks like the image below and on your first sign in, you will be greeted with a short set up guide, which contains the basic things that you need to do in order to get up and running.
Outside of the set up guide, the Ecwid dashboard is well laid out and easy to navigate, even though they have used slightly different terminology for order (my sales) and product (catalog) but this isn’t an issue.
As well as having access to all of your order and product information, you can quickly and easily set up and access all of the channels that you can sell on via Ecwid. Being able to manage all of your sales channels in one place can be very useful.
It is also very easy to get started with Bigcommerce as all you need is an email address and create a password, you will then be asked a few questions about where your business is currently at, so that they can tailor the dashboard more towards your business.
Once this is done, you will be take through to your admin dashboard and be greeted by the Bigcommerce set up guide and it takes you through all of the important steps you need to do in order to be able to get your website up and running. In the homepage of your admin dashboard, is also the notification section, which shows you updates to the platform and also useful hints and tips to help you get more out of your store.
The Bigcommerce dashboard has been well designed and is easy to use, the sidebar navigation menu makes it easy for users to quickly and easily move around and the heading are well labelled.
Adding and Managing Stock
Being able to manage your stock efficiently and effectively is a hugely important part of running an online store and for me there are three main areas to this and they are:
- Adding products
- Organising your Products
- Managing your inventory
Adding a new product in Ecwid is a simple process and they have gone for a tabbed layout and this gives you lots of options for adding different types of products but it is not over complicated.
The only thing I don’t like about the create a new product in Ecwid is that you cannot edit the URL and while the auto generated URL’s a pretty good, for all the products, they do include a random number sequence at the end. My personal preference would be to remove these to make the URL’s look as good as possible.
Organising your products is also very simple and Ecwid has gone for the tried and tested category model. It is also very easy to create parent and sub-categories as there are separate tabs in the category management page, which is very useful for organising a large inventory.
One thing that Ecwid does fall short on is managing your inventory as there is no options in Ecwid to manage makes and changes or updates in bulk, this all has to be done on a product by product basis. This could get quite tedious if you do have a large inventory to manage.
Bigcommerce have gone for a single page layout for their add new product page but they certainly haven’t skimped on the amount of sections that are included. This is evident by the secondary sidebar that appears on the add new product page and it allows user to quickly navigate between the different sections on the page.
The Bigcommerce add new product page is arguably the most comprehensive single page layout of all the hosted ecommerce platforms that are out there.
Organising your inventory within Bigcommerce is very simple as they have gone for the tried and tested category method, which allows users to create both parent and child categories, which is great for creating a good hierarchy for your products.
One of the things that really makes Bigcommerce stand apart from their competition is their bulk editors as they allow you to easily manage your inventory, without having to go in and edit the products one by one. It is also a very easy tool to use as it operates in a similar way to a spreadsheet, which many people will have experience of using.
Ecwid – Has a very good order management system and is arguably one of the best and easiest to use as it allows bulk management of orders, including printing invoices and updating order statuses. Orders can also be exported in CSV format if you are using third-party order management or accounting software. Orders can also be edited on an order by order basis.
Bigcommerce – Are no slouch in this area either and offer a system that is comparable to that of Ecwid’s in that there is so much that can be done from the order overview page.
Both platforms really do excel when it comes to order management and are definitely two of the best at this within the industry.
• Multi Channel Selling
• Order Management
• Free Package
• Product Options
• Layout Display for Product and Category Pages
• Limited Theme Custimosation
• No bulk update for Products
• Easy to navigate dashboard
• 24/7 support
• Multi channel selling
• Bulk product editor
• Order management system is very good
• App store
• Small annual turnover limits
Both of these platforms are very good options for building an ecommerce website but in completely different ways.
Ecwid’s strong point isn’t as being a standalone website builder, even though capable, it is lacking in some areas. It really shines when combined with other platforms such as WordPress or Wix as Ecwid’s strengths really compliment these platforms weaknesses and vice versa. It also shines when it comes to managing multiple sales channels in one place.
Bigcommerce is the better option if you want to do everything on one platform as it is a true all in one ecommerce solution. The website builder is very good and is always improving and the ecommerce features and tools make it a platform that very few businesses will likely outgrow.
So it depends on what you are looking for in an ecommerce platform as to which one will be the better option for you.
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