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:
Wix released what they call ADI, Artificial Design Intelligence, so we wanted to focus on this over the traditional Wix editor. One reason being, it's so much better in our opinion. However, changes you make in Wix Editor cannot be transferred over to Wix ADI. So you're stuck you need to use one or the other. This is one of the reasons we don't like Wix, there's too many unnecessary and sometimes frustrating setups that come at the expense of true value-add features. It's been over UX'ed in a way.
We went through the remaining parts of the platform and below is our 1-10 rating of Shopify vs Wix.
|Product presentation and features||7||9|
|Shipping Cost Settings and Carrier integration||10||5|
Here's the Wix onboarding process:
1. Once you sign up Wix gives you the choice between Wix ADI or the traditional Wix Editor. For this comparison, as we said, we chose ADI.
2. The ADI gives you an interesting choice to type in the type of site you want to create. We went with the "Online Sporting Goods Store" but you could type in whatever you want. We get the hunch that all this does is query certain keywords for themes that include those tags.
3. Before you get offered your actual site theme choice, you chose your site style. This portion reminds us of picking a Powerpoint theme.
4. This is when you pick your theme.
5. Now we get to the actual ADI. It's set up well and as mentioned earlier reminds us a lot of Squarespace editor. The downside of this type of editor is that it's easy to get lost where different settings live.
6. We were impressed with the product page options (something Shopify doesn't have as much).
And that's it! That's the onboarding of the Wix ADI. 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 theme editor was fun but honestly felt more like I was picking a powerpoint presentation template than anything else. I have a hard time believing anyone who was going to build a serious site would find they built what they came for.
The editor in some ways is almost too good, it has a great visual feel and you feel like you can do anything. But then you can't do anything. There are a lot of pre-built features that feel appropriate in the beginning until you try to do the thing you want to.
The visual editor is very similar now to Squarespace's with the pages on the left and a similar setup.
The Wix ADI isn't a true drag and drop editor. Which isn't a bad thing if you ask us, it helps you build cleaner if everything is defined.
Within the ADI they only give you a few options likely to keep their variables limited but the traditional Wix Editor has a plethora of theme options.
One major beat on Shopify is the ease of editing a product page layout on Wix. You can do some product page changes with Shopify but most of the time is requires some level of code or changing a layout rather than using the visual editor.
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.
Shopify allows you to manage multiple blogs at once on the same site while Wix has an easier implementation of different blog layouts.
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. Wix 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.
On the tracking front, Wix got brownie points for Google Tag Manager integration as an innate feature. Shopify only allows this on their Shopify Plus plan.
While SEO has a lot to do with activities off the platforms, on-site SEO is important and performances varies widely across eCommerce platforms.
Shopify allows you to add customized sitemaps, customized canonicals, and AMP pages while you can't that on Wix.
This article breaksdown SEO capabilities across eCommerce platforms and doesn't recommend Wix while they do recommend Shopify.
While pagespeed might fall under SEO, the core pagespeed you get at first when you whip up a site is an important factor.
Both Wix and Shopify have strong customer service support. We've found Shopify customer support to be slightly more helpful but more important, Shopify has a much more detailed and comprehensive documentation.
Shopify has a crazy about of apps in the marketplace. With ADI, you only get to use a limited number of apps.
The larger Wix editor platform has more apps but not as many as Shopify.
The number of apps can be argued whether that's a good or bad thing for eCommerce platforms. On one hand, more apps mean a larger developer community and more options to enhance your site, on the other hand, it also means that the core platform doesn't have those capabilities and you'll be paying for that service from the app as an additional monthly fee.
Both Wix 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 Wix 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, Wix has a slight edge of Shopify. On the Wix business plans, you can have up to 20 GB of storage on the starting plans while Shopify's is unlimited. However, the key component is that Wix allows you to host video while Shopify will not allow you to upload any video over 20 MB.
Both platforms are fairly priced. The comparable plans are similar in cost but Wix 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.
Both platforms have a standard 14-day free trial. This should be enough time play with the platforms and get a feel for them. It might not be enough time to get your website built and fully functional but at least will get you to a point where you are familiar with the platforms.
This was the first time we've reviewed Wix in a while and honestly, we were pleasantly surprised. Wix has come a long way and we were impressed by the platform it is today. Ultimately, it's difficult to compete with Shopify.