Ecwid vs Square (2022) – Which is Best for Small Businesses?

If you are looking to build a small online store, then Ecwid and Square are two very appealing options, especially as they both offer a free plan but which one is the better option?

Well, that is what we are going to be looking at in our in-depth Ecwid vs Square comparison, where we compare all the important aspects you need to consider when choosing a platform for your online store.

Ecwid vs Square: Quick Summary

While both are great options, Ecwid does come out on top due to being easier to use, having a larger range of payment options and the potential to integrate with website builders such as WordPress or Wix to build a very capable online store.

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Pricing

Ecwid Logo
  • Venture: $15/m
  • Business: $35/m
  • Unlimited: $99/m
square logo
  • Professional: $16/m
  • Performance: $29/m
  • Premium: $79/m

As you can see, Ecwid and Square are very close when it comes to the cost of their monthly plans but what are the differences between the plans these two platforms offer?

Ecwid

The primary difference between the Ecwid packages is the number of products you are allowed to sell:

  • Venture Package – up to 100 products
  • Business Package – up to 2,500 products
  • Unlimited Package – unlimited products

Ecwid also limits the number of features that are available on each package, with only the Unlimited package giving you all the tools and features that Ecwid offers.

Ecwid doesn’t have any annual turnover limits or charge any additional transaction fees.

At this point, it is worth talking about the free Ecwid plan, which basically takes the place of a free trial and it lets you try the platform out with real customers before committing to a paid plan but it is limited to 10 products and you only get a very limited selection of tools and features, which is understandable on a free plan!

Ecwid also offers a discount equivalent to 2 months free if you pay for the plans annually, which is a big saving, especially on the Business and Unlimited packages!

Square

The main difference between the Square plans is the number of features you get access to, with the Premium plan being the only one that includes all of the features that Square offers.

With all of the Square plans, you get:

  • Unlimited products
  • No additional transaction fees
  • No annual turnover limits

This makes the Square plans very attractive to small online businesses, especially as you can get started with their free plan, which understandably has fewer features than the paid plans but you can still sell unlimited products.

Features

Ecwid

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:

Ecommerce Tools

  • 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 URLs

Reporting

  • Number of Visitors
  • Revenue
  • Conversion Rate
  • Orders

Payment Gateways

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Worldpay
  • Square
  • Apple Pay (via Stripe)
  • Authorize.net
  • 2Checkout

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 the main plus points of Ecwid is that you can use Ecwid to add ecommerce functionality to existing websites. So if you have a WordPress or Wix website and want to add all the advantages that come with a fully hosted shopping cart, you can easily integrate Ecwid into your website and start selling.

To see a complete breakdown of all the features that Ecwid has to offer, check out our full Ecwid Review.

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.

Ecwid App Market

Square

For a platform primarily marketed at small businesses, you might think that Square might be limited in terms of features, but that isn’t true and even the free plan comes with a good selection but if you want to see a more in-depth breakdown of the features available, check out our full Square Review.

Below is a summary of the features that are available with Square (any features marked with an * are only available on the Performance and Premium plans):

Ecommerce Tools

  • Unlimited Items
  • Multiple Items Types 
  • Age Confirmation
  • Password Protected Pages
  • Item Quick View 
  • Item Badges 
  • Product Reviews*
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery* 

Marketing & SEO

  • Sell on Facebook & Instagram 
  • SEO Tools 
  • Facebook & Google Ads
  • Facebook Messenger 
  • Blog 
  • Vouchers 

One of the main negatives with Square online is the limited payment gateways that they offer, which may be a bit restrictive for some businesses as they only offer:

  • Square
  • Apply Pay
  • Google Pay
  • PayPal*

Square also has a selection of reporting and ecommerce analytics but these are only available on the paid package.

To see a complete breakdown of all the features that Square Online has to offer, check out our full Square Online Review.

So Square comes with a good range of features but they also offer a little bit more with their App Marketplace and this includes a selection of apps across a range of categories that allow you to link your Square store to third-party companies.

Some of these apps are not available for Square ecommerce (just the Square POS) and some are paid options.

Square App Marketplace

Theme Selection & Customization

Ecwid

Ecwid overhauled its theme customization setup in 2021, with the introduction of the New-Gen Instant Site, which has been designed to give users more control over the design elements of their website.

When it comes to theme selection, the New-Gen Instant Site includes over 30 well-designed, mobile-friendly templates that can work for a variety of different store types.

But the big changes have come in the customization options as users can build custom homepages using blocks and these can be added, removed and rearranged easily and each block has its own settings but unfortunately, this is just limited to the homepage.

Outside of the customizer, there are also design settings for your product and category pages and this adds another level of customization to your store.

Ecwid New Theme Customizer

Square

When it comes to theme selection, you don’t get much with Square as they 1 base theme, which you can then customize to fit your business and brand.

Now this might not seem great but theme customization with Square is very good and there are plenty of options to help you build a good-looking site, this is because the drag-and-drop customizer allows you to add, remove and rearrange sections within your page and there is a good selection of sections to choose from.

Each section also comes with its own set of customization options as well, which gives a lot of flexibility. You can also customize different pages on your site, not just the homepage and also use many of these sections to build blog pages, which is a nice touch.

Square Theme Customizer

Support

Running an ecommerce website can be challenging at times and you require some help, so what support do you get from these platforms?

Ecwid

The level of support available from Ecwid is dependent on the package you are on:

  • Venture Package: Email & Live Chat
  • Business Package: Email, Live Chat & Phone
  • Unlimited Package: Priority Email, Live Chat & Phone

The only issue with the phone support is that it is only available between 2 pm and 10 pm pacific time, which makes it not ideal for people in time zones on the opposite side of the world.

Square

Square offers a range of support options, including:

  • Email Support – which aims to get back to you within 48 hours
  • Phone Support – available 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday
  • Community Support Forum

These are available to all users, Square also has some very good help documentation, which covers many of the more common issues that users experience when using Square.

Hosting & Performance

Both platforms offer a very similar setup when it comes to their hosting environment as they both offer:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Data Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • Global CDN’s
  • Free SSL Certificate

But unfortunately, we weren’t able to put either platform through our usual performance testing as neither Ecwid or Square showcase any customer example sites.

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, we are going to be looking at three main sections for this, which are:

  • Getting started with the platforms
  • Managing your inventory
  • Managing your orders

Getting Started

Ecwid

Getting started with Ecwid is really easy and all you need is your name, email address and to create a password, which once completed will get you signed up to the free plan.

If you want to upgrade to one of the paid plans, this can easily be done in the My Profile section of your dashboard.

For users who are new to the Ecwid platform, they have created a short to-do list to help you get up and running with the platform and it covers most of the main areas such as:

  • Adding products or services
  • Regional settings such as currency, country and language of your store
  • Add shipping method
  • Add a payment gateway

All pretty basic steps but it is still useful to have a prompt, the only one missing is to set up your terms and conditions and privacy policy.

The first step in the to-do list does show where Ecwid’s primary focus is as it is a prompt to add Ecwid to your website or social network, rather than building a website using their ‘instant builder’.

One thing that Ecwid has definitely done a good job on is its ease of use and this is not only our own testing but also from feedback we have had from existing users, it just works and it works well!

Much of this is down to the main admin dashboard which is really easy to navigate around and the main sidebar navigation menu, which has one very neat little touch and that is that they have broken it down into three sections:

  • Store Management
  • Sales Channels
  • Configuration

A simple thing but it does make it very easy to move from one section to the next but the rest of the admin dashboard is also easy to use as all of the page layouts are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical.

Square

Getting started with Square isn’t the most straightforward process because when you sign up, you are not just signing up to the ecommerce platform but also the payment gateway and this means there are many more steps in the signup process, which isn’t ideal if you just want to try it out.

Once you have gone through the signup process, you will go through to the main Square dashboard and to access the website builder, you will need to click on the Online Store option, you will then be taken through to the Ecommerce dashboard.

On your first sign-in, you will be greeted by a short setup guide that takes you through the basics of setting up your store including designing your site, creating a product listing and setting up your domain. Overall, a good intro to the platform but a prompt to set up the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy would be a good addition.

Square Ecommerce Dashboard

The dashboard itself is very easy to use as it has a nice, clean interface and the clearly labeled sidebar navigation menu makes it very easy to learn where everything is.

Inventory Management

Being able to manage your stock efficiently and effectively is a hugely important part of running an online store and there are three main areas to this, which are:

  • Adding products
  • Organizing your Products
  • Managing your inventory

Ecwid

Adding a new product in Ecwid is a simple process and they have gone for a tabbed layout, which gives you lots of options for adding different types of products but it is not over complicated.

The one negative about creating a new product in Ecwid is that you cannot edit the URL and while the auto-generated product URLs are pretty good, they do include a random number sequence at the end, which means they aren’t the cleanest from an SEO perspective.

Ecwid Add New Product

Organizing 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 organizing a large inventory.

To manage your inventory, Ecwid includes a full bulk editor, which allows you to quickly and easily change the:

  • Product titles
  • SKU codes
  • Price
  • Stock Quantity

There are also other options that can be added/remove using the filter system.

Square

Creating a new product is very simple and easy to do with Square as they have opted for a well laid-out, single-page layout.

With Square offering many different product types, including Physical, Digital and Membership products, the sections available on the page does depend on the type of product you are creating.

Square Add New Product

Organizing your inventory is very simple as Square has opted for the traditional category system and you can create main and sub-categories, making it very easy to create a nice, easy-to-use hierarchy for your customers. You can also create multiple sub-categories, which makes this even better.

Managing your inventory isn’t great in Square as they don’t offer any real bulk editors and most changes including stock quantity and price need to be done on a product-by-product basis, which isn’t ideal for large inventories.

Managing Orders

Ecwid

Ecwid’s order management system is very good and allows quick and easy processing of orders, including:

  • Printing Orders Invoices
  • Export Orders via CSV or Google Sheet
  • Update Payment Status
  • Update Fulfilment Status

This can be done in bulk or on individual orders and this complete process is very simple and easy to use.

Square

Unfortunately, we were unable to test the order management system as we only set up a test environment and didn’t complete the signup process for the Square payment gateway, which meant we couldn’t create a test order.

Summary

Ecwid Summary

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customization
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Ecwid Pros

• Multi-Channel Selling
• Order Management
• Product Options
• Layout Display for Product and Category Pages

Ecwid Cons

• Limited content creation options
• Website builder is lacking in some areas

4.2

Square Summary

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customization
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Square Pros

• Easy to use admin area
• Good theme customizer
• Low Cost
• App integrations

Square Cons

• Limited payment gateways
• No pre-built themes
• Limited bulk editors

4.1

Conclusion

Ecwid vs Square – Which is the Best for Small Businesses?

While both platforms are viable options for small businesses, Ecwid does just come out on top because:

  • It is easier to get started with
  • Offers a better selection of features
  • Offers a larger number of payment options

One area where Ecwid isn’t great is the website builder but you can integrate Ecwid with website builders such as WordPress and Wix, which can be a very good combination.

Square would be a great option if you are already using the Square POS and want to add a simple online store for your business but for building an online store from scratch, it is a bit limited in some areas.

But you can try both Ecwid and Square out for yourself to see which one works best for your business.

Try Ecwid for Yourself

Try Square for Yourself

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Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!