f you're thinking about opening an online store, then chances are you've heard of Shopify and Wix before. While both of these platforms are no-code website builders that will allow you to build an online store from scratch in as little as a few hours, the question remains: Shopify vs Wix — which one is better?.
Ultimately, both of these platforms are suitable for an e-commerce business, but there are some noteworthy advantages and disadvantages to each option.
In this article, we'll take a look at some of the various factors that will influence your decision of which platform to go with. We'll probably go over some stuff that you already know, so if you don't feel like getting a refresher you can skip to the headline that best describes what you're looking for.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a content management system (CMS) that allows anyone to create an online store without knowing how to code. The Shopify platform allows you to streamline the entire process. You can choose a website theme to base your design on, customize it to your liking, and launch it, all within as little as a few hours.
Shopify has exploded in popularity over the past few years and has emerged as the go-to platform for starting an online store. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, but for our money, we would chalk it up to the scalability and ease of use of the platform.
What is Wix?
Wix is a different CMS, coincidentally founded in the same year as Shopify (2006) that is more of a general-purpose website platform. Whereas you would only use Shopify for an online store, Wix can be used for blogs, portfolios, online stores, and almost anything else.
Regardless of its history, Wix can still be used for building an online store as well. However, some of the e-commerce functionality that we would come to expect from Shopify is not native to Wix and will need to be set up manually. For this reason, Shopify is often viewed as the best out-of-the-box solution for a pure e-commerce business.
TL/DR (Too Long, Didn't Read)
Okay, so maybe you don't want to read the whole article, even though you're sure that it was well-written (wink wink). No problem! Here are the main things you need to know.
Wix is a versatile website builder that can be used for many things, of which e-commerce is just one option. It's a bit more affordable than Shopify, especially when you are scaling your business. It's very user-friendly, and there are tons of templates and built-in features that can help you get started.
Shopify, on the other hand, is less versatile and more specialized. The plans can be a lot more expensive if your business is booming, but it's still quite affordable. The themes are of higher quality, and the 3rd-party app store has over 20x more options. It is also very user-friendly and is equipped to allow you to scale up your business without making many adjustments.
Shopify vs Wix: How Do They Compare?
Pricing & Fees
One of the main ways that Shopify vs Wix differ from each other is in price. Shopify was built specifically for e-commerce, while Wix is more general-purpose, and even offers a free plan if you just need a basic web page.
However, if you want to sell products through your Wix store, you'll need to opt for one of their business & e-commerce packages.
Wix's 3 business packages are $20, $25, and $35 per month, respectively. These are billed on an annual basis.
Shopify, on the other hand, has 3 main plans available — $29 per month, $79 per month, and $299 per month. There is also Shopify Lite, which allows you to sell products on your pre-existing website or blog, and Shopify Plus, which is their enterprise solution. Shopify lite goes for $9/month, while Shopify Plus starts at $2,000 per month. All of these prices are on a month-to-month basis.
With this in mind, one can say that Wix is clearly more affordable. However, with Shopify's pricing coming with no yearly subscriptions and more features than Wix, it's closer than the price difference would indicate.
Winner: Wix (Slightly)
One of the major differences between Shopify vs Wix is the availability of free templates or themes. Unless you want to design your website's look and feel from scratch, you'll likely want to build off one of the templates that already exist on the marketplace. However, if you are looking to design your website from scratch, going with Shopify headless can help you further enhance personalization and speed.
For Shopify, there are 9 free themes and 70 paid themes available through their marketplace, for about $180 a piece. There is also a multitude of third-party themes available from other websites that can be imported to your Shopify store.
It's also worth mentioning that many of these themes have multiple styles with different color palettes and looks. Check out the themes available, and detect the theme of other Shopify stores, simply by inputting the URL to ShopThemeDetector!
Wix, on the other hand, has over 960 templates available, all of which are free. However, once we remember that we need to filter for online store themes, this number is reduced to 119. Although there are some third-party templates available on other sites, there aren't as many as with Shopify.
One thing to keep in mind is the quality of these templates. Based on our analysis, Shopify's themes are typically of higher quality. A lot of the Wix templates are for niche businesses, and involve clunky interfaces.
Winner: Draw (Shopify for quality, Wix for price)
Third-party apps are one of the biggest differences between Shopify vs Wix, and for good reason.
Years ago, if you wanted to upgrade your store with new features you would need to develop them yourself. Nowadays, you can simply install an app on your store, and you're off to the races.
Starting off with Wix, there are now currently about 282 apps on the Wix App Store, according to our calculations. About 50 of these are produced by Wix, while the others are third-party companies that have integrated with Wix's API and passed the application process. This is fine and well, but instantly gets dwarfed when we compare it to Shopify.
Shopify has become the leader for third-party app integrations, with over 6030 apps listed at the time of writing this and more being added every day. Out of these, only 30 are produced by Shopify, and the rest are all third-party developers. This means that you have thousands of companies all looking to create technology that will support you as a merchant.
Winner: Shopify (by a landslide)
If you're going to be selling products online, you'll need to process payments. A payment processor is a service that allows your customers to pay through credit cards, Paypal, crypto currency, or whatever else. It integrates directly with your store, and assures your customers that their payment information will remain secure.
One thing to note is that the payment processors that are available to you will depend on what country you are in. Many platforms are only available in select regions. With that in mind, we'll stick to comparing the in-house payment processors Shopify Payments and Wix Payments.
Shopify Payments is available in most of North America and Europe, as well as some Asian regions like Hong Kong and Singapore. The fee for domestic US transactions is 2.9% + $0.30, or 3.9% + $0.30 for international transactions. This is standard across the industry of processing credit card payments.
If you need to convert currency, you can expect an additional 1.5% to be tacked on. These rates can vary by location.
It's also worth mentioning that if you elect to use one of the 100+ third-party payment processors like Stripe, Shopify will charge you a transaction fee of 0.5%-2% on top of the processor's fees, depending on your Shopify plan. The more expensive your plan, the less the fee will be. The only way to avoid this transactional fee is to use Shopify Payments.
In comparison, Wix Payments is available in most European countries as well as the USA. The processing fee is exactly the same at 2.9% + $0.30 for US-based users, but can be lower in other regions. If you elect to use a third-party provider, you won't need to pay an additional fee like Shopify.
However, one downside to Wix is that if you process a refund for an order, the order's original transaction fees will not be refunded. Shopify issues full refunds.
Winner: Wix (slightly)
With the exception of Wix's Free Plan, both Shopify and Wix allow you to install a custom domain name. If you decide not to, Shopify will set you up with a domain name that ends in .myshopify.com (e.g. YourStore.myshopify.com). Wix takes a similar approach, but instead, the format is Username.wixsite.com.
One of the main differences here is that Wix will set you up with a free domain name for your first year. In other words, they register the domain name you want, and you receive a free domain name. However, this isn't completely altruistic. By setting up your domain name through Wix, you will need to renew it through them as well, which is where they will draw a profit.
Overall, both platforms are receptive to custom domain names, and the $10-$20 of savings from Wix's domain name isn't enough for them to take the lead.
Hosting, Bandwidth & Storage
Hosting and bandwidth are probably two things you haven't put much thought into, and luckily, you don't really need to with either of these platforms.
All of Shopify's plans (except Shopify lite) come with hosting included, and unlimited bandwidth. This means that you don't have to worry about your servers getting overloaded with users, even if they are all shopping or watching videos at the same time. You also get unlimited storage, but the file size is limited to 50 MB. Any larger files (like videos) will need to be hosted elsewhere and embedded.
Wix is also a hosted platform with unlimited bandwidth, so you won't need to worry about either. However, in contrast with Shopify, Wix puts a cap on your storage that is correlated to your plan. Business Basic gets you 20 GB while Business VIP gets you 50 GB. You are also limited in how many video hours you can set up on your website, ranging from 5 to unlimited, depending on your plan. Lastly, your files can be much bigger than Shopify, with a limit of 500 MB per.
One big point of differentiation between Shopify vs Wix is their level of responsiveness. Responsiveness is how the website will change when displayed on different devices, such as smartphones.
Shopify's themes are all 100% responsive, which means that the components —images, text, products, etc — all automatically adapt to the device that you are on. In other words, you can design your site and it will automatically look great on smart phones, laptops, desktops, and tablets.
In contrast, Wix uses something called Absolute Positioning, which means that the website design is done through pixel spacing. This means you'll need to make adjustments to each version of your site, such as the mobile and desktop versions. While this can allow for greater customization, it also adds a layer of complexity.
This isn't to say that Wix doesn't do its best to make it easy for you to edit both versions of your site. However, given that Shopify takes care of it for you, we'll have to side with Shopify on this one.
One of the main factors that you'll want to consider before building your site on either of these platforms is the versatility that they offer.
Shopify is primarily designed for online stores. All of the themes are built to display products or services, have shopping carts, and process transactions. You could still use it for a blog, or another purpose, but that isn't what it is designed for.
Wix, on the other hand, is a lot more versatile. You can use it to set up a blog, an online store, a portfolio, or whatever you want.
If you're just looking to build an online store, and you don't think you'll change your mind, then Shopify is the go-to option. If you think you might change your website's purpose over time, you might appreciate the versatility that Wix offers.
Shopify vs Wix: Built-in E-Commerce Features:
Abandoned Cart Recovery:
One of the major frustrations for online store owners is abandoned carts. On average, over 70% of shoppers will abandon their carts before checking out. This rate can be reduced through effective marketing efforts, such as abandoned cart recovery emails. While there are plenty of third-party apps that can help with this, both Shopify and Wix come with services included.
The two are largely similar, with the exception that Wix allows you to send two follow-up emails, whereas Shopify limits you to one.
Both Wix and Shopify come with built-in email marketing if you don't want to go with one of the many third-party apps or services that exist.
Shopify's email marketing tool 'Shopify Email' allows you to send up to 2500 emails per month for free. For every additional 1,000 emails will set you back an additional $1, which is especially cheap for the industry.
Wix allows you to send up to 3 newsletters or 5000 emails per month, whichever comes first. If that isn't enough, you can upgrade to a Wix Ascend email marketing plan, as needed.
Generally speaking, Shopify's price is just too hard to beat.
If you have customers in different countries around the world, then it is important to allow those customers to shop in the currency that they are used to.
Both Shopify and Wix allow you to set up automatic and manual currency conversions. For Shopify, you can use a geolocation tool or a third-party currency conversion app. For Wix, there are plenty of third-party apps available.
One key difference between them is that Shopify will allow you to process payments in other currencies, whereas Wix does not. For this reason, we see Shopify as having an advantage here.
Product Options & Variants:
If you are looking to sell something that comes in a lot of different variations, then you'll want to make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for. Both of these platforms allow you to set up multiple product options (e.g. color, size) and variations (i.e. color and size combinations).
However, Wix allows you to set up 6 product options and 1000 variations, while Shopify only allows for 3 and 100 respectively. While it won't matter for most of us, Wix has a leg up in this regard.
Forgetting to collect sales tax when you need to can be a nightmare for small business owners. Fortunately, both of these platforms have a feature to support you with this. However, they are quite different in their approach, and things can get complicated quickly.
First, Shopify will allow you to automatically calculate and withhold tax on your purchases, but only if you are a resident of the USA, Canada, the UK, or the EU. If you aren't in one of those countries, then you'll need to use a third-party app instead.
On the other hand, Wix users will soon find out that the platform will automatically calculate and withhold tax but only for a certain amount of transactions per month. The Business Basic plan covers zero transactions per month. The Business Unlimited covers 100 transactions per month. And the Business VIP covers up to 500 transactions per month.
If you can't tell by now, Shopify's system is much more user-friendly, especially if you reside in one of the aforementioned countries.
Shopify vs Wix: The Verdict
Overall, both platforms can be great for building an online business.
The benefit of choosing Shopify is that the platform is exclusively catered to e-commerce sites, and there's a big ecosystem of apps to support you. There are thousands of third-party apps, nearly 100 eye-catching themes, and other benefits like Shopify Email. It's less versatile and more expensive than Wix, but it excels at most things e-commerce.
The benefit of choosing Wix is that the platform is versatile, and can accommodate you whether you are building a store, a blog, or anything else. You can switch back and forth without switching platforms or paying for a bunch of features you don't need. It can also be more affordable than Shopify in some respects,
If we had to pick one platform to recommend for e-commerce, it would be Shopify. But, we are confident that you'll be able to succeed with either of them if you adopt the right approach.
How We Can Help:
If you're starting an online business, then you need to hear about DropCommerce. We just launched our Wix integration, so whether you're thinking about using Shopify vs Wix, we've got you covered.
DropCommerce is a dropshipping platform that allows you to sell products without buying any inventory ahead of time. We have over 20,000 products to choose from and stock your online store with, and all of them ship from real businesses in the United States or Canada.
Or, if you are looking to make and sell your own products, then DropCommerce can give you a way to reach more customers without paying for more advertising. By putting your products on DropCommerce, thousands of merchants can sell them for you. And yes, it's free to join as a supplier.
Either way, we're here to help you succeed.
Best of luck!