ECommerce Review

I recently had the opportunity to work with a few different E-Commerce Resources. The purpose of this article is to briefly go over the strengths and weaknesses of each resource, and hopefully you can gain some valuable insight into building your online business.

What is E-Commerce?

Simply put, E-Commerce is a term used to describe the online trading of goods and services. There are many platforms out there which can help you in reaching your goals, whether they be large or small. Three such platforms include: ECWID, Volusion, and Shopify. All three of these options have their own site, where you can register and they will host your online store for you. All three have WordPress Integration via WP Plug-Ins/Widgets.

Ecwid_Logo.svg

ECWID

The CEO of ECWID, Ruslan Fazlyev, co-founded the world’s first PHP e-commerce resource, X-Cart, in 2000. It was developed into ECWID in 2009, and currently serves over 700,000 merchants in 175 countries. [source]

First thing to note, you need your own website first before getting into ECWID. It can be a free website such as a Facebook business page, Squarespace, WordPress, Drupal, or even a blog on TUMBLR. Your store can be integrated almost anywhere with a widget. They make it incredibly easy and simple. You can sell up to 10 items this way completely free. If you would like to sell more items, there are premium plans available. This pricing and feature are as follows:

FREE – $0

  • 10 products
  • Mobile optimized
  • Sell across multiple sites

VENTURE – $15/mo

  • 100 Products
  • Discount coupons
  • Sell on the go with Ecwid and PayPal
  • Enhanced SEO capabilities
  • iPhone Management App
  • Live Chat support

BUSINESS – $35/mo

  • 2500 Products
  • White glove setup and onboarding
  • Advertise on major marketplaces
  • Edit Orders
  • Phone support

UNLIMITED – $99/mo

  • Unlimited items
  • Priority Support

ECWID’s main strengths comes with it’s simplicity and versatility. If you are an already-established business, especially if you already have an online presence, ECWID can help you integrate an online store almost effortlessly.

Volusion-review-logo

Volusion

Volusion is an E-Commerce platform that can help you get your store up and running from scratch. They will host a full website for you, which includes your store and many other features like blogging and social media integration. Volusion powers over 40,000 merchants and features lovely design templates. While Volusion offers a free trial, there are no free plans offered. Their pricing is as follows:

Mini – $15/mo

  • 100 Products
  • All plans include:
  • Online Support
  • Social Media Tools
  • Facebook Store
  • Mobile Commerce
  • Automatic Tax Rates

Plus – $35/mo

  • 1,000 Products
  • Mini plan and:
  • Phone Support
  • Newsletters
  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Abandoned Cart Reports
  • Import/Export

Pro – $75/mo

  • 10,000 Products
  • Plus plan and:
  • Priority Support
  • Amazon Integration
  • eBay Integration
  • API Access
  • CRM

Premium – $135/mo

  • Unlimited Products
  • Pro plan and:
  • Priority Support
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Unlimited Products

Personally, I found the Volusion UI (user-interface) experience to be a bit more convoluted and complex than Shopify or ECWID. Often times, you have to navigate through many menus to get to where you’d like to be and it just isn’t as intuitive as the other options. You are going to be paying a little more for Volusion but you will have guaranteed support and a professional looking store.

unnamed

Shopify

Much like Volusion, Shopify offers to host a website all your own, where you can add features like an About page or Blog. Shopify is a bit easier to navigate and use, and all of their plans (except the starter plan) let you sell an unlimited number of products. Their pricing is as follows:

Starter – $14/mo

  • No transaction fees
  • Up to 25 products
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 1 GB file storage
  • Chat & email support

Basic – $29/mo

  • 1 GB file storage
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 Support
  • Discount code engine
  • No transaction fees
  • Fraud analysis tools

Premium – $79/mo

  • Shopify POS
  • 5 GB file storage
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 Support
  • Discount code engine
  • No transaction fees
  • Fraud analysis tools
  • Gift cards
  • Professional reports
  • Abandoned cart recovery

Unlimited – $179/mo

  • Shopify POS
  • Unlimited file storage
  • Unlimited products
  • 24/7 Support
  • Discount code engine
  • No transaction fees
  • Fraud analysis tools
  • Gift cards
  • Professional reports
  • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Advanced report builder
  • Real-time carrier shipping

Personally, I found Shopify easy to use and friendly. They are only a few dollars less expensive than Volusion yet they offer just as much. Consider Shopify is you are just starting your business and need the help. One last important item to note, Shopify will not charge you to close up shop, however Volusion will charge you $99.