Picking an eCommerce platform is critically important. In our experience, the platform you choose can literally make or break your eCommerce business. We know countless of people who have paid developers well over $250,000/year to make changes that many eCommerce platforms innately have built-in as features!
The best thing you can do is research and understand the costs and benefits to each platform. While we're obviously biased (can you tell we love Shopify? 😊), we've worked with many different platforms in the past and keep up to date on the industry so we have a good understanding of each one of these platforms.
Keep in mind, these platforms are literally upgrading every day. One feature missing on Squarespace yesterday might be there today and another on Wix might be discontinued next week. Not picking on either of these platforms, just an example.
We've compared other eCommerce platforms to Shopify here:
Weebly was recently acquired by Square, the payment processor. We're excited to see what Square will do with Weebly given their fantastic track record of products.
We went through the remaining parts of the platform and below is our 1-10 rating of Shopify vs Weebly.
|Product presentation and features||7||8|
|Shipping Cost Settings and Carrier integration||10||6|
|Free Trials||14-day||Free tier|
Here's the Weebly onboarding process:
1. Here is Weebly's homepage. What's interesting is the feature to search for domains at the top right first. They're giving you as much as they can for free before making you sign up. It's a great user experience angle.
2. Once you sign up Weebly gives you the choice between a regular website or an eCommerce site.
3. Similar to many of the other platforms, Weebly gives you the option to choose what type of store you are building / what type of products you are selling.
4. Given that Square owns Weebly, the focus on processing payments during the onboarding process is expected.
5. Now we get to pick our theme or in this case called a layout. Our options are limited, only 6, but that makes sense if they're trying to onboarding new users. I would expect they have more options once you're onboarded.
6. We then go through basic decisions like fonts and colors to create a style.
7. Similar to Wix, we think the downside of this platform is that they try to stuff too much information in the editors. You have to go into the editor just to add products or pages.
8. Although it needs to be done in the editor, Weebly has fantastic product feature options. It gives you tons of options for product type and allows you to add custom inputs easily.
And that's it! That's the onboarding of the Weebly. There's obviously a lot more that's involved with creating a website but those first few choices can be critical.
Below is our criteria information broken down.
The Weebly editor has a great visual drag and drop feature. It allows you to see what your website will look like in real-time.
Although Weebly has a small selection of themes at first, they have a growing selection and for any beginner have enough of a selection to choose from.
Weebly has a built-in product modifier feature. Product modifiers allow your shoppers to customize your item with modifications or custom text.
The editor also has a nice product page layout but you can tell the platform wasn't built eComm first.
Both platforms offer good payment processing capabilities. While Shopify has more options, if you only need a basic payment processing capability, there isn't much of a difference here.
Weebly allows you to build blog as well.
Shopify has more options and better integrations with carriers. However, if you plan on doing your own shipping or using one of the more common carriers this is likely not going to be an issue.
Shopify has a language feature that allows you to change keywords to certain different words based on the language. Weebly doesn't have such international capabilities.
On the reporting front, Shopify wins on the number of dashboards and the level of detail on those reports. However, it could be argued that with tools like Google Analytics and such these capabilities aren't as important as they seem.
While SEO has a lot to do with activities off the platforms, on-site SEO is important and performances varies widely across eCommerce platforms.
This article breaksdown SEO capabilities across eCommerce platforms and doesn't recommend Wix while they do recommend Shopify.
Weebly is listed in the "Case by case" section while Shopify was listed in the "Recommend" section.
While pagespeed might fall under SEO, the core pagespeed you get at first when you whip up a site is an important factor.
Both Weebly and Shopify have strong customer service support. We expect Weebly's support to improve as they integrate into Square more.
Shopify has a crazy about of apps in the marketplace. Weebly has an App Center but the apps are fairly basic generally speaking and the number of them is dwarfed by Shopify's ecosystem.
Both Weebly and Shopify discounts has some limitations. For example, you can't really do multi-variant discounts based on products ordered from one collection and how that affects a different collection. Shopify has fixed some of this with automatic discounts recently but it's still not 100% while Weebly has similar limitations. The only reason Shopify won the criteria points is that they now have automatic discounts.
While storage isn't a usual consideration when picking an eCommerce platform, Weebly offers unlimited storage which includes videos while Shopify's does not.
Both platforms are fairly priced. The comparable plans are similar in cost but Weebly has a slight edge on pricing. Generally speaking, if you use a lot of apps as well these monthly prices don't usually hold up anyway.
Weebly offers a free tier where Shopify just offers a 14-day free trial.
Weebly doesn't feel like it's changed very much for quite a while. We're excited to see where Square can take this and what's next for the platform.