If you are planning on starting an ecommerce website, then EKM and Wix will probably have come to your attention. But which one is the better option?
EKM vs Wix – What is the Difference?
EKM is a purpose built ecommerce platform with a range of plans to accommodate business of all sizes backed up by highly rated customer support. Wix is primarily a website builder, but the Wix Stores App allows users to add ecommerce functionality and is focused on small online businesses.
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To make this comparison as fair as possible, I have chosen the plans that are the closest in terms of pricing across the two platforms. This is the EKM Basic package, which is their entry level one and the Wix VIP package, which is their most expensive ecommerce package.
Up to 500 Products
Up to £50k Annual Turnover
No Transaction Fees
Unlimited Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
Standard UK Support
69 Free Themes
No Turnover Limit
No Transaction Fees
50gb Data Storage
Free SSL Certificate
86 Free Themes
Comparing a basic plan and a premium plan is a bit of a challenge but the only real difference between the two is the tiered pricing and number of products you can have on the EKM package but as both of these packages are aimed at small businesses, you get enough resources and space on both to get your small business online.
With EKM’s tiered pricing, it has been designed so that as your ecommerce business grows, so does the amount of resources and the level of support you get from the EKM team. While some people may not be the biggest fan of this, it can be very useful in the long term.
Both platforms offer a different approach when it comes to being able to test them out. EKM offer a traditional free trial (28 day instead of the usual 14 days if you the links in this post) but you get access to all of the features on the platform so you really do get a feel for what it is like to use.
Before starting, you will need to give your credit card details with EKM and choose which plan you would like. If you don’t want to continue beyond the trial period, you will need to let the team at EKM know.
Wix on the other hand have a completely free package for life but you are limited as to the amount of features you get. There is a 14 day free trial for the VIP package, that lets you try everything out before committing to the paid plan but you will know whether or not you like the platform just using the free plan.
One of the main selling points of any ecommerce platform is the features that they offer for their users, so what do these two platforms offer?
As EKM was designed as an ecommerce platform from scratch, all of the features of the platform are designed to help you build and grow your business so that you start generating sales. Some of these features are built in to the platform, while others can be installed in a very similar way to how you would install an app.
- Free 03 Business Phone Number
- Facebook Messenger for Live Chat
- Customer Reviews
- Related Products
- Promo Stickers
- Product Attributes
- Recently Viewed Products
Marketing & SEO
- Email Marketing built in
- ChannelGrabber (Cross platform selling)
- Google Tools (inc Analytics & Shopping)
- Loyalty Points
- Discount Manager
- Social Share
- WordPress Blog
- Custom Meta Data
- SEO Friendly URL’s
- Order Breakdown
- Best and Worst Selling Products
- Search Statistics
- Web Statistics (Premium)
- Barclaycard EPDQ
All of the features of the EKM platform are made in house by the EKM team and this means that they integrate and work perfectly. There is also a selection of features that allow you to integrate with third-party software such as Royal Mail Click and Drop and Linnworks.
EKM Evolution Mode
One of the best features of the EKM platform is their Evolution Mode. With this, you get a review of your site by EKM’s specialist Evolution team, who will give you advice on how you can improve your site from design to functionality. The best thing about evolution mode is that if you agree to the changes, the team will implement the for free on your behalf.
Wix was originally a website builder and the ability to sell on the platform was added at a later date. To add the ecommerce functionality to your Wix website, you will need to install the Wix stores app, once you do this, you will get the following features.
- Sell Physical & Digital Products
- Discount Coupons
- Create Promo Video
- Live Chat
Marketing & SEO
- SEO Friendly URL’s
- Custom Meta Data
- Send via Email Campaign
- Share Product to Social Media
- Sell via Facebook and Instagram
- Conversion Rate
- Purchase Funnel
- Top Email Campaign
- Wix Payments
Outside of the core features of the Wix platform and Wix stores app, there are quite a few different additions you can make with other Wix apps such as subscription, membership and booking sites. There are also plenty of other ecommerce related apps within the Wix App Market.
While the majority of these apps will have some form of free plan, to get all of the features of the third-party developed apps, you will have to upgrade to a paid plan on top of your existing hosting.
One of the things that really does let the Wix platform down is the poor selection of payment gateways on offer and there are no additional ones available in the App Market.
EKM – EKM have one of the largest selection of free themes of all the ecommerce platforms with over 60 mobile responsive ones to choose from. They do not offer any paid themes but you can have a custom theme built by the EKM team for £1999.99 + vat.
Wix – Wix has a selection of over 80 themes to choose from for building an online store with the platform but it is not clear if any of their other themes support the Wix Stores app?
There are also a few third-party developers who have build some premium Wix themes and the pricing very much depends on the developer.
One of the reasons why people choose a hosted platform such as EKM or Wix is that they get help and support to run their website. But how good is either platforms offering?
The quality of the support is one of the things that really makes EKM stand out from the crowd. Unlike many platforms, EKM gives all new users an introductory phone call to not only welcome them to the platform but also take users through the set up process and answer questions they may have about the platform.
Once you are using the platform, it is very easy to contact the EKM team as they have a live chat icon in the admin dashboard. If you would like to speak to EKM over the phone, then they very helpfully leave their contact phone number and support pin on the dashboard homepage.
With the Wix VIP plan, you do get access to far better support than you do with the other Wix plans. This includes priority response to your email tickets and VIP phone support, which means that your call gets first priority between 6am and 5pm pacific standard time (2pm – 1am gmt).
While this all does sound great, contacting Wix support isn’t the easiest thing to do as their help centre will more than likely refer you to a help article, rather than providing you with Wix’s contact info. This can make it a little frustrating to start with, especially if you need to sort something out ASAP!
Hosting & Performance
EKM and Wix take a very different approach when it comes advertising their hosting information. EKM are very upfront and provide the following information:
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Storage
- PCI Compliant Servers
- Free SSL Certificate
- 99.9% Uptime
- 24/7 Server Monitoring
- Fast Servers
Wix on the other hand only say that they include a free SSL certificate, have 99.9% uptime and 50gb storage.
This doesn’t stop me putting both platforms to the test! And to do this, I took three of their customer example sites and ran them through Pingdom’s speed tool using their London, UK server. I did this once a day for three days to get a nice spread of data, so how did they do?
Average Load Time
Website 1: 1.63 Seconds
Website 2: 1.33 Seconds
Website 3: 0.95 Seconds
Average Load Time
Website 1: 5.88 Seconds
Website 2: 7.48 Seconds
Website 3: 5.52 Seconds
As you can see, there is a massive difference in performance. All of EKM’s sites came in well under the golden 2 second mark, which is what all ecommerce sites should be aiming for and they were all very consistent.
Wix on the other hand had what can only be described as shocking performance and this is also noticeable when the example sites loaded as you would see individual page elements load in. Not only is this not great from a user experience perspective but page load time is also a ranking factor for search engines.
Only website 3 on the Wix test had load times that were consistent across the three days. The other two websites had differences of up to 2.5 seconds, which is a big difference and not the kind of thing you want to be happening on your site.
Ease of Use
Now I do know that ease of use is subjective to the person using the site so the following is just my opinion and should only be used as a guide.
The sign up process with EKM is a little bit different to most platforms as they do require you to give your payment details before you get started. Once you have completed the sign up process and sign into your dashboard for the first time, you will be greeted by a comprehensive set up guide that takes you through pretty much everything you need to know in order to get started.
You also get a 30 minute welcome call from one of the the team to help you get started and also answer any questions you may have about the platform.
EKM have opted for a top navigation bar for their dashboard and while the majority of the EKM dashboard is easy to learn where everything is, the Shop section can be a little confusing to start with as it isn’t clearly defined as to what this section is as it contains quite a few different things including where you add new products and categories along with a live editor for your shopfront and this does take a little getting used to.
There are two ways you can try out the Wix VIP plan. This first is to sign up to a free Wix account and then go into the premium subscription section of the settings and upgrade your account. Alternatively, you can go to the pricing section of Wix and select the VIP and sign up through there.
Whichever sign up process you decide to use, on the first sign in, you can go through the Wix ADI (Advanced Design Intelligence) set up and this will take some basic information from you and build out the foundations of your site.
When you have completed the ADI set up, you will be taken to your dashboard for the first time and will be greeted by one of the most comprehensive set up guides that I have come across and goes beyond what most platforms offer. The amount of steps in the set up guide will depend on which apps you chose to be installed when you went through the ADI.
The Wix dashboard is easy to use and they have gone for a sidebar navigation menu and all of the sections are clearly labelled. The Wix stores app integrates really well into the dashboard and creates new headings that allows you to manage your store from the main menu.
Customising your Theme
EKM has a pretty good set up for customising themes, the first thing to note is that you get to choose from over 60 free, mobile responsive themes and these cover a variety of different industries and niches.
The only downside to the EKM theme customisation is that it is split over two sections in the dashboard.
In the main design section, you can change the layout of your homepage by removing and reorganising the sections on your page. Unfortunately there aren’t any additional sections you can add beyond the ones that are included with your theme. Within the design section, you can also change the colours, edit your logo and inject custom code, if you know how to do that.
Depending on the theme, you can also edit some of the pages in your shop such as the category, product and checkout page.
To edit any of the content on your site, you need to go into the shop section of your site. Once you are in this section, you select the edit design button at the top and you can then change your images and alter the text that is on your site.
While there is a lot you can do to your site, having it all under one section would make the customisation process much easier.
While changing your theme on Wix isn’t straightforward, as you pick your template from the main Wix.com site and then start editing it but there is no way to do this from within the editor! Wix certainly doesn’t fall short when it comes to customisation!
This is because has not 1 but 2 theme editing tools. The original one is called simply the editor and offers a lot of customisation but there is almost too much you can do and can be a little intimidating when you first start using it.
In this editor, you can make very minor tweaks to the look of your site, such as moving where things sit on the page to adding and organising elements. For beginners, I wouldn’t recommend using this tool until you start getting accustomed to the Wix system as it is quite easy to ruin the look of your site. Instead, you want to take a look at their new ADI tool.
The ADI is the next step of what helped set your store up and it a much more user friendly system to use. It allows you to change the look of your site but organising where your sections go and also add new sections.
It is also very easy to edit these sections, by hovering over them you will see two main options, edit and design.
By clicking edit, you can edit the content of the section such as the image and text. If you click the design button, you will see different design options for that section. The number of section and layout configurations means that Wix offers possibly the most customisation options of any platform.
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 new products and categories in EKM is really simple. On the shop page, you simply click the add product or category button at the top of the page and a pop up will appear (as can be seen in the image below). The tabbed sidebar in the pop up makes the flow of adding a new product really nice and it is easy to navigate between the section.
Adding a new category is very similar to adding a new product, only with less sections that you need to fill out. With EKM, you can add parent and sub-categories, which makes creating a category hierarchy to organise your products very easy. This is helpful for both user experience and SEO.
Without the advanced inventory manager feature installed, managing your inventory isn’t the easiest thing to do as you have to find the product on your site in the shop section and click on it to edit it.
Fortunately, the advanced inventory manager makes this much easier to do and I do recommend installing this feature straight away as it is a very useful tool. Within this feature, you can manage much of your inventory from the overview menu, including the product name, stock code, stock quantity and price. It doesn’t matter if you have a large or small inventory, this feature will make life a lot easier.
Wix have opted for a single page layout for their add new product page but before you can get started adding a new product, you first need to select whether it is a digital or physical product as the two pages are slightly different but both are equally as easy to use.
The amount of options on the Wix page is less than you get with the EKM set up but it still has all the sections you need in order to properly set up your products. From the product creation page, you can start promoting the product straight away by creating a promo video from your images or sending out a marketing email.
Organising your products in Wix isn’t the best, they call their categories, collections but they work in the same way. The only issue is that you can only create parent collections and this could be problematic if you have a large product inventory.
Managing your inventory in Wix has to be done on a product by product basis, which once again could be problematic if you have a large inventory.
EKM – EKM has a very good order management process that allows you to manage your orders directly from the order overview menu. You can update order statuses and print of invoices either in bulk or individually. If you want to export your orders, you can do by installing the Import/Export feature.
If you need to manage or update an individual order, you can do this from the overview page or by going into the order.
Wix – Unfortunately, I was unable to test the Wix order management system out as it wouldn’t allow me to create a test order. If I do get to try this out, obviously I will come back and update this post.
• Excellent Support
• Evolution Mode
• Theme Selection
• Order Management System
• Very Good Performance
• Theme Customisation could be better
• Credit Card info required before trial
• ADI set up
• ADI theme customisation
• Dashboard set up guides
• Wix App Market
• Add/edit product page
• Hidden support contact details
• Poor Performance
• Limited payment gateway options
• Lack of sub-categories
When it comes to building an ecommerce website, EKM is the better option out of the two, this is because: Yes, EKM isn’t perfect (but no ecommerce platform is!) but the combination of a purpose built ecommerce website builder and very good UK based support does equal a more complete package for UK businesses.
There are also more ecommerce based features within the EKM platform and you can add a WordPress blog to help with content creation.
One of the big differences between the two is the performance, EKM is up there with some of the best in the industry when it comes to the quality of their hosting, were as Wix is very much towards the bottom.
The Wix ADI tool is a very good theme customizer but the lack of payment gateways and limited category creation options does limit the Wix platform, especially when it comes to building an ecommerce website.
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