Are you trying to start an online store but don’t know which platform to choose from? Then this blog is the perfect one you’d want. Here, I will tell you about two online platforms on which you can build your store, Shopify and Wix, the differences between them, and which one is the better version for opening your store safely and securely.
I shall be comparing both of the stores based on their design, compatibility, flexibility, functionality, sales, payment gateways, management, marketing features. However, before going to the differences directly, we need to know the basics of both these platforms.
Shopify is an online e-commerce store which helps you to open your store and guides you throughout the journey from logging in to opening your store. It provides themes that help you to customize your store. The themes can either be free or have to be purchased. It has different layout and font settings to customize your themes as well so that it fits the niche of your store. The platform consists of applications that help you to add more features to the store for the convenience as well as the functionality of the store.
Wix is an online e-commerce store just like Shopify but with one striking feature of budget-busting managing skills. Wix is very flexible in its themes as well as the campaigns given by the platform to do so. For the same reason, Wix is gaining popularity in the e-commerce market.
Now as we know about the basics of these platforms, we’ll start with the differences between these two: Shopify Vs Wix.
Look, features and flexibility
Both Shopify and Wix are unique in their themes. Both have free design themes in order to build an online store. These themes can be free or paid. Free themes are basic and do not allow many features and customizable options. However, the paid themes range from normal to premium, depending upon the range of features and the flexibility the theme offers to be able to change the look and feel of the store.
All the templates for both Wix and Shopify can be changed from the backend editor. To make the changes, you do not need the knowledge of coding. However, if you want to change some basic layout then you might also try changing the code in HTML and CSS. Whatever changes are made in the back-end editor only gets reflected in the store once you save the changes. You can review the changes that would appear to the customers in the front end editor option. All these are easily manageable from the admin area of these platforms.
The change in the themes and templates can be done very easily by the drag and drop method, all of which are managed under the admin areas. However, the basic difference between Shopify and Wix is that in the case of Wix, once you purchase a template it may be difficult to change it into some other template rest alone make some rudimentary changes as per the requirements of your growing business.
All the themes for both Shopify and Wix are tailored in such a way that they showcase the products from different niches and industries. Some recent themes in Shopify like Turbo and Flex have been designed to keep up with the fast-changing market trends and to be able to make a store that has several features like advanced payment options, subscription-based selling, and sale of services.
Ease of use
Both the platforms are fairly easy to use. Both the platforms can be customized as per the requirements of the store. However, as already mentioned in the case of Wix you have to stick to one theme as the conversion of themes does not work well with the platform.
In Shopify, one theme can easily be converted to another, and managing the site in terms of addition of products, adding payment and checkout options, Shipping, and discount offers can be managed very easily from the left-hand side panel. Since Shopify was built with the idea of creating interactive online stores, the entire site can be managed from the dashboard.
Both Wix and Shopify can be used to sell physical product subscriptions and digital products with equal ease. The digital products usually offer downloadable files to the customers upon purchase, which is then sent to the mail Ids of the customers.
Functionality and the use of Apps
Both Shopify and Wix have many functional features added to the platform. Comparatively, the features are more in Shopify than in Wix, and Shopify is more widely used to build E-Commerce stores. Both of the platforms have the feature of adding third-party applications to enhance the functionality of the platforms. Not only that, but cross-platform communication is also possible for both Shopify and Wix, although Shopify works better with most of the social media platforms.
Managing the store inventory
Managing the inventory is part of both the platforms, but since Shopify was specially created with the idea to manage online stores only, the inventory management system that is incorporated with the Shopify themes are much more advanced and provides a better option than Wix. To enhance the feature of inventory management certain applications can also be added to the platform.
Between both the platforms Shopify is a little more advanced in terms of inventory management while adding multiple product categories.
Modes of business
Both Shopify and Wix allows the drop-shipping business model where you can carry on your business without the need to stock the products. Both these platforms have apps that can enable linking products from other online stores to your store. These apps can also help you to complete the orders by going through the entire process of payment and checkout. Shipping instructions can also be included in these drop-ship orders and the products get directly delivered to the customer from the vendor.
These platforms can be used to sell customized products like T-shirts, diaries, mugs, photo frames, etc. This is also possible by connecting with the vendor who creates these customized products and the customized products directly get shipped to the customer. Platforms like Printify and Printful can be used for such business models. Between Wix and Shopify, I would say Shopify allows more flexibility to connect with other platforms and source products from them.
Shopify allows easy Import of products on AliExpress which is one of the largest online wholesale markets and is connected with the help of an app called Oberlo. Shopify also allows transactions of products from social media platforms as well.
Payments and charges
In terms of payment, Shopify offers a hundred plus payment gateway options. This facility allows customers from different countries using different currencies to purchase products across Shopify platforms. Payment transactions over Shopify are very easy and secure. The payment gateways are encrypted and come with SSL certification, which entrusts the details of the customer.
Wix has limited payment options and mostly operates through PayPal, Stripe, and Square. Since these payment gateways cannot work with all sources of payment options, this is a restrictive factor for customers in Wix. However, both platforms charge a transaction fee for the use of the payment gateway while transacting.
Apart from the monthly fees and the charges of the payment gateway Shopify also charges a transaction fee against every order that is processed on this platform. Also, the transaction fee is charged if the payment gateway used is something other than what Shopify allows like PayPal and Stripe.
Wix does not charge any transaction fee against orders apart from the monthly charges and the charges for the use of the payment gateways.
An advanced feature like store Analytics
Both Shopify and Wix platforms can be connected with Google Analytics. This feature enables store owners to draw out the periodic report in terms of sales made, products which are in demand, products that are least sold, source of traffic, and the number of customers who have visited the store.
Needless to say, these analytics are highly beneficial to track sales and also to scale your business in the future. This gives you an approximate idea of the number of customers you are receiving per day and the source of traffic, which helps you to strategize your marketing policy so that you can reach out to avenues that have not been tapped yet.
Marketing and sales channel
In terms of marketing and sales channel, Shopify is hands-down better than Wix since it allows customization with many online market channels like Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, Google shopping, etc. Also, the online platforms that do not allow direct transactions with Shopify can be enabled with the help of apps that can be downloaded from the Shopify platform.
Wix also connects with cross-platform online marketing sites but mostly focuses on Instagram and Facebook. The reach of Wix to cross-functional online marketing platforms are quite restricted if compared with Shopify.
Since a lot of marketing activities happen over email for the online business, Shopify allows a lot of flexibility in terms of sending emails to customers for abandoned carts. These emails can also be customized depending upon the purchase history of the customer allowing the store owner to offer a discount coupon to lure the customer into purchasing the products that have been left in the cart. This feature enables better customer conversions.
Partner and Affiliate program
Both Wix and Shopify offer partner and affiliate programs. If you become a partner for Wix or Shopify, then you can get a partner commission for all decisions that you will for your clients based on these platforms. if you have the experience of building a couple of hours then you should be well versed with the use of these platforms and can take your business to get to the clients to help them build their stores on these platforms and get a partner commission in return.
Shopify and Wix also offer affiliate programs to online marketers. These platforms online and makes people join us platforms or by subscriptions through their affiliate links. the commission queries depending upon the subscriptions and the theme that the clients choose and the amount they pay to these platforms.
Though it has been known that Wix provides better affiliate commission than Shopify, Shopify is more lenient in paying to their affiliates. However, before joining any of the programs go through the terms and conditions as they keep these terms dynamic.
Store Owner support
Both Shopify and Wix provides customer support to the store owners. Where Shopify provides support on emails, live chat, and phone calls, Wix provides support only upon submission of a ticket for getting help. To be able to speak to customer support in the case of Wix you will have to submit a ticket and the customer representatives call you back.
Since customer support is one of the major features of an online platform the faster the resolution offered by the platform, the more convenient it is for the store owner. Since the working of the online business is volatile, even one unresolved issue can make you lose your customer base. In the case of Wix, the resolution time is more compared to that of Shopify, hence you should be able to take the chance to deal with the problems that you might face while managing and operating your store.
If we compare the support infrastructure of both platforms in terms of the customer reviews, we will find that Shopify has fared better than Wix in providing satisfactory customer support. However, both platforms provide sufficient material for reference to build up the customized online store.
Shopify allows different models of business to be conducted on its platform like drop-shipping print on demand and sale of their own products. It is also easier to do business with other online marketing platforms in Shopify. Moreover, you can also create blogs in Shopify, which reflects on the news feed page. With the help of the blogs, you can create product awareness, let the customers know about the discount schemes, and also give general information about your Store.
Wix has limitations while dealing with different platforms meant for online marketing. Apps available on the Wix platform allows some sort of cross-functional interaction between social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, however, these are not as widely applicable as in Shopify.
Both Shopify and Wix have got separate pricing plans depending upon the theme that you select to build your online store. These plans vary from one-time payment, monthly payment, and annual subscriptions. There are also separate price structures for additional use of applications and software on both these platforms.
If you are trying to build your online store for the first time on Wix, it gives you the option of a free theme that does not connect the custom domain to the store. Shopify offers a 14-day free trial scheme that allows you to get a hang of the Shopify platform that can be used while building your store. You can also test different themes during these 14 days for which do not have to pay anything.
Since Shopify has multiple themes which cater to shops that sell limited products to shop that has a huge catalog of products, the themes are also differently price depending upon the features and functionalities that it offers to the store. The premium themes of Shopify charge something around 350 dollars to 450 dollars as a one-time subscription fee, which includes a free supported upgrade for that year.
There are also monthly payment structures available for the Shopify platform, which varies from $29 to $299 depending upon what it offers to the store owners.
Wix also offers monthly payment schemes which range from $17 to $35 depending upon the features that they offer. Each feature comes with some superior addition function and is charged accordingly. If we compare the price point between Wix and Shopify, I would say that Wix subscription plans are much cheaper compared to that of Shopify.
However, since Shopify offers a wide range of features and flexibility to customize the look of the shop, the few extra bucks that you are charged by Shopify makes complete sense. It is upon the shop owner to decide what kind of theme he wants to build his shop on and accordingly choose the theme as per his budget.
Both Wix and Shopify have their pros and cons, and it is entirely different in the features that they offer. If somebody is a newcomer and wants to try the online shopping business by setting up a customized Store, my suggestion would be not to go for an elaborate theme that would cost you more. You should be prudent while investing initially and as your business develops and you start making a larger customer base, you can try shifting to some advanced theme as per the requirements of a growing business.
Scaling your business in Shopify is very effective as you can easily shift from one theme to another without making any changes. You can put your entire product catalog when transferring to another theme and there is no necessity to create the product catalog afresh.
Both Wix and Shopify are SEO friendly and are optimized to rank higher on the search engines. In Shopify, you have the provision of creating blogs that can be connected to other blogging sites created with WordPress. You can also connect your blogs on social media handles.
The premium themes of Shopify have specifically been designed to cater to businesses that want to diversify their business and take it to a different level. These themes are also compatible with browsers and are mobile application friendly. The premium themes are available in various color schemes and offer different features that can be used for products of different niches and industries.
There is sufficient training material available for both the platforms Wix and Shopify that can be used as a guide for entrepreneurs who want to set up their store for the first time. Step by step guide in the form of a training manual and videos are also available which is a bonus for new ventures.