This article will compare Shopify vs Wix in the context of creating an online store that sells physical products online. Both platforms have their pros and cons which will be clearly illustrated below.
First off, Shopify is well regarded as the industry leader in the ecommerce space. However, I’m often asked whether Wix is a viable ecommerce alternative.
Why? It’s because right now, Wix has over 190 million users worldwide. 190 million! That’s more than half the population of the United States! Meanwhile, Shopify is substantially smaller with only about 500K storefronts.
Both platforms have ecommerce features so I took the time to dig down into Wix and Shopify’s pricing, ecommerce features and usability in great depth for your review.
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What Is Wix?
Wix is a content management system that is similar to WordPress. However Wix is fully hosted, which means that they handle all of the technical and server related aspects of running a website.
Wix was originally designed as a solution for building content-based websites.
As a result, Wix is ideal if you want to…
- Create A Blog – Even though WordPress became the industry leader in this space, there are many blogs out there based on Wix
- Create A Brochure Site – Wix is perfect if you need a quick and dirty site to display your product or service
- Create A Design Portfolio – Wix became popular with photographers and graphic artists as a means to display your design portfolio online
- Create A Basic Company Or Business Website – Any business website that just displays content is ideal for the Wix platform
Bottom line, Wix became popular for its extremely user friendly drag and drop interface for displaying content online. Not only that, but it’s attractively priced as well.
Overall, you can think of Wix like an easy to use website builder with limitless power. There are tons of themes to choose from and any non technical person can get up and running at an attractive price.
What Is Shopify?
Unlike Wix, Shopify was designed from the ground up to be an ecommerce platform. In fact, Shopify allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products online without any technical knowledge.
In addition, they offer a point of sale option so you can accept credit cards in person at a trade show or booth.
Today, Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world catering to businesses of all sizes. They have a huge 3rd party development ecosystem which results in new ecommerce features reaching Shopify first before any other platform.
Shopify also has a huge library of themes to choose from and any technically challenged individual can design an attractive store front with their built in tools.
Bottom line, you can use Shopify to sell practically anything including subscriptions, digital products and physical products online.
Shopify vs Wix – An Overview
As you can see from the description above, both Shopify and Wix have overlapping features.
Wix offers ecommerce features that allow you to sell physical products online. Meanwhile, Shopify also offers an intuitive way to design content pages in addition to ecommerce.
So which one is better for selling online?
In this article, both platforms will be compared based on the following feature set
- Ease of Use – Which platform is easier to use for complete beginners
- Themes And Flexibility – Which platform offers more flexible designs
- 3rd Party Ecommerce Apps – Which platform has more ecommerce apps
- Shopping Cart Features – Which platform offers more shopping cart features out of the box
- Pricing – Which platform is cheaper
- Blogging/Content Creation – Which platform is better for blogging and content creation
If you don’t have time to read the entire article, here’s my concise summary.
|Overall Rating 1 – 5 (Best)
|Ease of Use
|Themes and Flexibility
|3rd Party Ecommerce Apps
|Shopping Cart Features
Wix’s ecommerce offering is designed for beginners whereas Shopify’s platform allows you to create an ecommerce store that scales well into the 9 figure range.
In fact, there are many 9 figure ecommerce stores running on the Shopify Plus platform. Meanwhile, I looked all over the place but could not find any larger stores using Wix.
When it comes to choosing between these 2 platforms, your decision will depend on your budget and how serious you are about growing your ecommerce store.
Choose wisely because it’s EXTREMELY difficult to switch platforms once you have made your choice.
Shopify Vs Wix – Which Is Easier To Use?
Having used both platforms hands on, Wix’s ecommerce platform is easier to use and setup but the reason is not what you might expect.
What’s unique about Wix is their “ADI mode” or Artificial Design Intelligence option. Basically, Wix can create a customizable site for you complete with images, video and text after you take a simple survey of what you are trying to achieve with your site.
How does this work? Basically, Wix scours the web for information about your business and pre-populates your site for you which may save you time.
Meanwhile, the basic Wix Editor allows you to pick from a variety of beautiful templates for your site and populate it any content of your choice.
Editing your site is entirely drag and drop and anyone proficient with Microsoft Word should be able to design a beautiful website.
Shopify offers a similar website design experience which is almost equally as easy to use as Wix. However, there is one main difference which is important to point out.
With Wix, you are modifying the look and feel of your website EXACTLY how it is displayed online. This means that you can see your edits in real time as you make them on the screen.
With Shopify, you have to make your changes, hit save and then refresh your browser to see your edits to your ecommerce store.
Needless to say, getting visual feedback regarding your changes can save you a lot of time during the design phase of your site.
Wix also allows you to edit the look and feel of your site on desktop and mobile completely separate. This allows you to create a “mobile first” experience with your website that could be drastically different from desktop depending on the device.
Overall, setting up a website on Wix will be quicker and easier because of their drag and drop UI. But keep in mind that Wix’s ecommerce solution doesn’t do as much as Shopify so there’s less to setup as well:)
Because Shopify has more features and more options to configure those features, it can take a bit longer to get up and running on Shopify.
But Shopify is about as easy to use as it gets when it comes to creating a powerful ecommerce platform.
Shopify Vs Wix – Themes And Flexibility
When it comes to ecommerce, Shopify wins on themes and flexibility hands down. Unlike Wix, Shopify was built specifically for ecommerce and has a lot more themes to choose from.
Every theme in Shopify’s store looks beautiful, is guaranteed to be responsive, and looks great on desktop and mobile. The only downside is that Shopify only offers 10 free themes.
If you want a premium theme, it will set you back a few hundred dollars.
But aside from the theme selection and cost, there’s one HUGE factor that makes Shopify so much better than Wix.
Wix was designed from the ground up to have an intuitive drag and drop interface to design your site and that comes at a price.
Once you’ve designed the look and feel of your website, it’s extremely manual to make major changes. Unlike Shopify, you can just pop in a new theme and you have a brand new store.
However with Wix, you basically have to rebuild your entire website if you want to make a drastic change to your site. In addition, you don’t have access to the HTML and CSS (which is important to me:)).
As an aside, I’ve redesigned my ecommerce store over 3 times already and it’s never been from complete scratch. Templates and themes make the process so much easier.
Over the course of your store’s life, you will make template changes more than once so keep this in mind.
Bottom line, when it comes to templates and changing styles, Shopify is the hands down winner for flexibility.
Shopify Vs Wix – 3rd Party Apps
When it comes to ecommerce features, it’s not even a fair fight. Shopify wins hands down! Because Shopify is so popular, every new plugin and feature always gets developed for Shopify first.
Looking at Wix’s app store, it’s the complete opposite of Shopify. There are far less ecommerce developers creating apps for the Wix platform.
In any case, I’m often asked what the show stoppers are for me personally when it comes to Wix and here’s my short list.
- No Google Shopping Feed – Running Google Shopping Ads is of huge importance when it comes to advertising your products online. Not having a built in Google Shopping feed is a showstopper
- No Facebook Product Feed – Running Facebook Dynamic Product ads is easy money when it comes to making sales through retargeting. No Facebook product feed means no dynamic product ads.
- No Native Integration With Email Marketing – Email marketing makes up over 30% of my revenues for my store. The only way to integrate a Wix store to Klaviyo, for example, involves writing code or using a hack like Zapier
Trust me, there’s a lot more missing than the short list above.
For example, if I want to add SMS functionality or a simple browse abandonment flow to Wix, it’s not easy to do.
There’s also no good analytics and forecasting options for Wix. Bottom line, do NOT use Wix as your primary platform if you are even remotely serious about selling physical products online.
But if you are just a casual seller, then you can probably get by with Wix.
Shopify Vs Wix – Basic Ecommerce Features
When it comes to basic out of the box selling features, Wix has most of the functionality that you need to run a basic shop.
For example, you can issue discounts and coupon codes on both platforms. Both Shopify and Wix also offer basic inventory management via their backend interface.
The main difference lies in the volume of supported payment options.
Shopify supports over 100 different payment gateways. Meanwhile, Wix only supports a small fraction of Shopify’s options which DO NOT INCLUDE mobile options like Apple Pay, Android Pay and Amazon Pay.
But the biggest showstopper in my opinion is the lack of marketplace support.
Today, most sellers sell on multiple marketplaces like Amazon. And a common practice is to take orders on Shopify but fulfill your orders through Amazon FBA or a 3PL.
As of this writing, there is VERY limited support for 3rd party marketplaces on Wix whereas it’s built-in on Shopify.
Shopify Vs Wix – Pricing
As far as I can tell, the ONLY reason anyone would ever sign up for Wix over Shopify for ecommerce is price.
The most attractive feature of Wix is that they offer an entirely free plan. Meanwhile Shopify only offers a 14 day trial.
But you have to understand that Wix’s free plan is EXTREMELY limited. You can’t use your own domain or sell online with the free plan (even though many readers have tried)
Wix’s Paid Plans
Wix currently offers 8 plans which are divided into two categories for “Websites” and “Business and Ecommerce” respectively.
In my opinion, Wix’s pricing structure is somewhat confusing but in ecommerce land, only the “Business and Ecommerce” plans make sense because they are the only plans that allow you to sell online.
Right now, the “Business and E-commerce” plans range from $23 to $500 per month as displayed below.
- Business Basic – $23 per month
- Business Unlimited – $27 per month
- Business VIP – $49 per month
- Enterprise – $500 per month
All of these plans are differentiated by the following parameters
- Storage — More expensive plans offer more storage. Realistically speaking, the basic plan should offer more than enough storage unless you are hosting video
- Access To Apps — The free apps like Site Booster and Visitor Analytics are pretty much worthless and shouldn’t be a part of your decision making process
- Support — Premium support is only available on the VIP or Enterprise plans.
Most users who are considering Wix tend to be newbies. As a result, the best value ecommerce plan for Wix costs $23 which covers the basic features you need to sell online.
In general, the VIP and enterprise plans shouldn’t even be considered. After all, if your store is at the “enterprise” level, you should migrate to Shopify.
Shopify Paid Plans
Shopify offers 5 basic plans to choose from.
- Shopify Lite – $9/month. You probably didn’t even know about this plan because it’s hidden on their pricing page.
- Shopify Basic – $29/month + 2.9% and 30¢ per transaction. This is Shopify’s entry level plan with limited features
- Shopify Regular – $79/month + 2.6% and 30¢ per transaction. This is Shopify’s main offering which includes a few additional features over the basic plan
- Shopify Advanced – $299/month + 2.4% and 30¢ per transaction. Basically the same as the regular plan except with some additional reporting features
- Shopify Plus – $2000+/month + 2.15% and 30¢ per transaction. Shopify’s enterprise ecommerce solution. The pricing for this plan is not advertised on the site but generally starts at $2k.
Unfortunately, there’s no free plan. And in reality, the “lite plan” shouldn’t even be considered unless you already have a website and just want to add “buy buttons” to it.
Most of you reading this article will gravitate towards the “Basic Plan” which allows you to run a basic ecommerce store. But here’s the rub.
The Shopify basic plan does NOT allow you to offer gift cards. If gift cards are a part of your marketing strategy, then you’ll need to upgrade to the Shopify plan which costs $79/month.
In addition, if you want point of sale functionality, you will need to upgrade to the $79/month Shopify plan.
Shopify Transaction Fees
If you do not use Shopify’s built in payment platform (Shopify payments), you will be assessed an additional transaction fee for every sale which varies based on your plan.
Shopify payments only supports a limited number of countries. So if your country is not on the following list, you may get charged an additional 2% for every sale.
- Hong Kong SAR China
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States Shopify Payments is not available to US territories except Puerto Rico.
Wix does not charge any transaction fees for any of its e-commerce plans.
Shopify Vs Wix – Which Is Cheaper?
On the surface, Wix’s minimum ecommerce plan costs $23/month whereas Shopify’s basic plan costs $29/month.
But in reality, your Shopify plan will cost a lot more than $29/month because of 3rd party apps.
Now if you plan on being an ecommerce power user, there are a number of Shopify apps that are required that aren’t even offered for Wix.
But if you want an apples to apples comparison of Shopify and Wix pricing based on out of the box features, Wix will be cheaper than Shopify by about $6/month.
Shopify Vs Wix – Blogging And Content Creation
Comparing Shopify vs Wix in terms of blogging shouldn’t be a huge consideration in your decision making process because neither platform is as good as WordPress.
Shopify is first and foremost an ecommerce platform whereas Wix is a content management system designed to build simple websites.
But if you have to compare the 2 platforms in terms blogging, I would say that Wix has a slight edge over Shopify simply because it offers easier to use design functionality out of the box.
For example, Wix offers a ton of drag drop components that you can easily incorporate onto any page or post. You can quickly and easily insert a gallery, a contact form or a map anywhere on your site.
Basically, you have total “drag and drop” control over everything which is nice if you don’t know any HTML/CSS.
In Shopify land, there are pre-existing page templates designed for a specific purpose. For example, most ecommerce stores have a contact page so in Shopify, you would simply select the “contact page” template to implement the page.
However, it’s not as straightforward to integrate a contact form within an existing page.
Overall, using Shopify’s templates are less flexible and more limiting than Wix unless you use a page builder like Zipify which carries an additional cost.
Managing A Blog
Shopify offers a blogging platform as does Wix. And in terms of content creation features, I’d say that both are fairly similar.
You can create posts, add photos and categorize them however you want. But overall, Wix has a lot more convenient blogging addons built in.
For example, Wix provides a huge collection of images, video, music for free. These days, images are crucial to improve the readabilty of your blog and Wix gives you access to a large collection of stock images and videos.
You can also easily share music from your Spotify account on your site and stream videos from YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo.
There are also convenient addons which allow you to quickly create a forum, manage events, display your images and build custom forms that Shopify simply does not have.
Bottom line, Wix’s content features are far better than Shopify. If you sign up for Shopify and want a blog, I would suggest bolting on a WordPress blog to your shop.
Editor’s Note: If you want to learn how to merge a WordPress blog with Shopify, read my post on How To Start A WordPress Blog On A Shopify Or BigCommerce Store And Should It Be On A Subdomain?
Shopify Vs Wix – Which Is Better For Ecommerce
When comparing Shopify vs Wix, it’s important to understand that exact purpose of your website. If ecommerce and selling online is the most important feature, then Shopify is the clear winner.
Wix is missing many crucial features which will handicap your ecommerce store. If you are serious about selling online, do NOT even consider Wix.
If you are trying to start an online store on a budget, I still would not consider Wix because the $6/month you save on the platform will cost you thousands of dollars in lost sales.
Some of you might want to start out with Wix and then migrate to Shopify but remember this.
It is a major undertaking to migrate your site to a different platform. Your SEO rankings may never recover and you will make mistakes.
It’s always better to start with a long term platform than it is to take short cuts based on a few dollars early on. Good luck!
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Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.