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Comparing Wix vs. Shopify pits two e-commerce-friendly website builders against each other. Both Shopify and Wix allow you to create a website relatively easily and quickly, and both let you sell products and services online. So which platform is best for your website or online store? That depends on your exact business requirements.
Forbes Advisor analysed Wix and Shopify, looking at key features such as cost, e-commerce capabilities, customer support, ease of use and scalability. Each platform has its pros and cons, which we explain in depth in this review.
Wix vs. Shopify: at a glance
How Wix and Shopify stack up
There are several differences between the two website builders. Wix offers a free plan; Shopify does not. Shopify does not give you a free custom domain, but Wix does. Shopify’s gift card feature is built into the platform, while you’ll need a third-party app to offer gift cards on your Wix site.
You can sell digital goods on both platforms, but you’re restricted to a 1 GB file size limit with Wix, while Shopify allows files of up to 5 GB. Shopify offers more real-time shipping options than Wix, but Wix offers more product options and variations. Wix does not charge transaction fees and neither does Shopify if you’re using Shopify Payments, but it charges 0.5% to 2% for other payment gateways.
Ease of use
Wix and Shopify are both built with user-friendliness in mind; however, that doesn’t mean they’re both super easy to use. To understand which website builder is right for you, it’s helpful to know how each evolved.
Wix is built for those who need a professional online presence but have limited coding and design skills. The Wix platform is rich with features that help you create website content, such as “About Us” business descriptions, blogs and articles. Wix offers e-commerce functionality, but it was not originally designed to host online stores.
Shopify is, and always has been, a tool to create online stores. Content features such as blogs and business description pages are available with Shopify, but they are not the platform’s key focus.
The reality is that building a basic business website is much easier than building a full-fledged online store; that’s because there are fewer choices you need to make. With an online store, you need to make decisions about payment gateways, tax calculation, product variations, shopping cart functionality, shipping options, return policies and procedures – and that’s just to get up and running.
Both Wix and Shopify are relatively easy to use. Shopify is easier if you’re building an online store, particularly if you plan to scale it. Wix is easier if you’re building a content-rich website that also offers basic e-commerce functions, such as collecting payment for services or selling a limited number of items.
Wix offers a free plan as well as seven paid plans, plus customised enterprise plans. The free plan comes with limited features, contains Wix branding and is not e-commerce-enabled.
The four Wix basic website plans are designed for those who need a professional website but don’t plan to accept online payments. These plans all include a free custom domain, an SSL certificate and 3 GB to 35 GB of storage. The VIP and Pro plans also come with a professional logo and an events calendar app. Here is the pricing breakdown for these basic website plans:
- Connect Domain £4 per month
- Combo £7.50 per month
- Unlimited £11 per month
- VIP £21 per month
To accept online payments on your Wix website, you’ll need to choose from one of three Wix e-commerce and business plans. Pricing for these plans is as follows:
- Business Basic £15 per month
- Business Unlimited £20 per month
- Business VIP £21 per month
- Enterprise (price on application)
All Wix e-commerce plans come with the following features:
- Accept secure online payments (single payments and recurring)
- Customer accounts
- Free custom domain
- 20 GB to 50 GB of storage
- Unlimited products
- Abandoned cart recovery
The Wix Business Unlimited and Business VIP plans also come with 100 to 500 automated sales transactions, subscription sales, marketplace selling, dropshipping by Modalyst and product reviews by KudoBuzz. The Business VIP plan includes priority customer care, customised reports and a loyalty program powered by Smile.io.
Shopify offers a Shopify Lite plan which lets you add e-commerce functionality to your existing website, but it’s not available to new customers. Existing customers who add on Shopify Lite will be able to add Buy Buttons to Squarespace, Weebly, WordPress or even Wix website. You can also use Shopify Lite to accept credit card payments in person via the point-of-sale (POS) app that you can add to your iOS or Android device.
If you want to build a fully functional, e-commerce-ready website with Shopify, you’ll need to choose from three plans. All Shopify plans come with unlimited products, 24/7 support, the ability to sell on online marketplaces and social media, discount codes, abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, shipping labels, fraud analysis and Shopify POS Lite.
The chart below illustrates some of the key differences among the three Shopify plans.
With over 800 design templates, Wix offers far more design flexibility than Shopify. Wix comes with a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor so you can tailor your site for your business needs. If you prefer, you can opt to use the Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) editor instead. With the ADI, you simply answer a few questions regarding the purpose of your website and basic visual preferences, such as fonts nd colours, and the Wix ADI designs your website for you.
Shopify has only 10 free design templates, though each of those comes with two to three variations for a tad more design flexibility. There are further 70+ charged-for Shopify themes available.
The Wix App Market lists 300+ third-party integrations that allow you to add advanced features to your Wix website. Many of these apps are free, while others charge.
Integrations can help you perform several business functions including collecting leads, analysing traffic, improving visitor engagement, selling more online or enhancing your website’s design. Popular third-party apps that sync with Wix include Privy, Overtok Call Conversion, MarketPush Cart Recovery, Shippo, SKU IQ Inventory Sync, Printful, Birthday Club, Low Stock Alerts, Gifted, Etsy Shop and Compare Ninja.
Shopify has a lot more third-party integrations than Wix; all 6,000+ Shopify integrations are related to marketing and operating an online store. Here are just a handful of the most popular apps available for Shopify:
- UpPromote Affiliate Marketing
- Facebook Channel
- AfterShip Order Tracking & SMS
- Trustpilot Reviews
- Back in Stock: Customer Alerts
- Klaviyo Email Marketing & SMS
- One-Click Upsell – Zipify OCU
- Bulk Discounts Now
- QuickBooks Sync
- Amazon FBA Shipping
- Easy Digital Products
- Snapchat Ads
- Return Magic
- Wishlist Plus
- DSers – AliExpress Dropshipping
The Wix Help Centre features an extensive knowledge base that is adequate for finding answers to frequently asked questions and addressing common technical issues. Wix offers call-back and email support for all its paid plan customers. Support is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese from Monday to Friday between 5am and 5pm. Customer enquiries are usually addressed within 24 hours, except on weekends. Priority support is available for Wix VIP plan customers.
Shopify offers true 24/7 live support via email, chat and telephone. Shopify also gives you access to an extensive online help centre that features guides, FAQs and tutorials. In addition, Shopify has nearly 900,000 members in its online forum, where you can also turn for support. The contest between Wix and Shopify for best customer support is not even close; Shopify wins.
In the contest between Wix vs. Shopify, the best solution for you comes down to what you intend to do with your website. Hands down, Shopify is the one of the best e-commerce platforms if you need a feature-rich, scalable online store. While Shopify’s plans can get pricey, it’s money well spent when you consider all the built-in e-commerce features plus the 6,000+ third-party integrations.
Wix is the right choice if you need a content-focused website builder that, at most, needs basic e-commerce functionality. Wix offers affordable website plans, more design flexibility and is exceptionally user-friendly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which is easier to use: Wix or Shopify?
While both Wix and Shopify are generally regarded as user-friendly content management systems for e-commerce, Wix is much more beginner-friendly. This is due to its intuitive drag-and-drop site editor and prebuilt online store templates.
How does Wix compare to WordPress?
While WordPress is one of the world’s most popular content management systems, Wix is much easier to use making it better for beginners. However, since WordPress is code-based it offers far more customisation capabilities, making it better for those building a site with unique requirements. Learn more about Wix vs WordPress.
What are some ways that my business can benefit from a website builder?
A website builder makes it simple for you to design a website that meets your specifications and allows you to host where you choose when it comes time for the site to go live. If your budget allows, Shopify and Wix offer features that meet your needs.