Wix vs Shopify: Which Should You Choose to Sell Online?

Last updated on June 6, 2018

wix vs shopify featured imageWix vs Shopify is a match-up of two very popular online store builders.  

In the red corner, Shopify: a dedicated ecommerce heavyweight that’s helped 600,000 businesses generate revenues of over $55 billion.

And in the blue corner, Wix: website building’s drag-and-drop sovereign with ecommerce firepower.

If you’re looking to sell online, you’ve weighed up Shopify vs Wix. You might have read a few comparisons but are still scratching your head. Both Shopify and Wix handle the technical side of selling online. They host your store and provide security certificates.

So how do you decide whether Wix or Shopify is right for you?

Here’s a quick rule of thumb to help:

  • If you want to keep things simple and sell fewer than 10 products, pick Wix.
  • But if you want to sell over 10 products, go with Shopify.

This distills the Wix vs Shopify question down to the basics. Our comparison will go into more depth on Shopfiy and Wix’s pricing, SEO, customer support, ease of use, theme quality and much more.

By the end you’ll know whether Wix or Shopify is right for you.

First, here’s a quick snapshot of Wix vs Shopify. You can compare each platform and sign up for a free trial.

Best ecommerce platform
Top Choice

5 out of 5

Template Design

5 out of 5 stars

Ease of Use

5 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

5 out of 5 stars

Popularity

5 out of 5 stars

Pricing

5 out of 5 stars

Best store builder for small businesses

4.5 out of 5

Template Design

4.5 out of 5 stars

Ease of Use

5 out of 5 stars

Features & Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

Popularity

4 out of 5 stars

Pricing

5 out of 5 stars

1

Wix vs Shopify: Pros & Cons

Shopify Pros
#1 24/7 Support
Shopify offers round-the-clock support over the phone, LiveChat and email. You’re never left alone when running your store.
#2 Powerful ecommerce tools

Shopify is a market-leader when it comes to in-built ecommerce features. For example, Abandoned Cart Recovery is included with every plan.

#3 Over 70 payment options

Wide range of payment options available, including PayPal, Stripe and Shopify’s own fully-integrated payments system.

Shopify Cons
#1 Can be expensive

Extensions and premium themes, plus your monthly subscription, can add up. Plans are transparent and fairly priced, though, and should be seen as an investment in your store.

Wix Pros
#1 Stylish, easily-edited templates
Over 500 stylish templates for you to choose from, covering a range of industries and niches. Turning your template into a functioning ecommerce store is easy.
#2 Fairly-priced plans

Wix lets you get your store up and running for as little as $17/month. There’s no hidden costs and plans include everything you need to sell online.

#3 Large app store

If your Wix plan doesn’t have the feature you need, it’s highly likely you’ll find it in Wix’s 1200-strong App Marketplace.


Wix Cons
#1 Limited scalabiltiy
If you want to build an advanced ecommerce store, Wix’s plans may feel limiting.
2

Features

In the Wix vs Shopify clash, this is where Shopify flexes its ecommerce muscles. Shopify is like an ecommerce Swiss Army knife. It’s a one-stop-ecommerce-shop.

Basic Shopify plans provide Abandoned Cart Recovery, discount codes and manual order creation.

Upgrade your Shopify plan and you’ll unlock gift cards and detailed reporting. Plus sophisticated third-party shipping rates.

Shopify’s App Store gives you even greater scope to grow your store. You can add a customer wishlist, set up dropshipping, add product reviews and use currency conversion – to name but a few!

But it’s the out-of-the-box features you get with Shopify that make it such a market-leading ecommerce platform.

Shopify knows what helps merchants like you sell online. Take Abandoned Cart Recovery. It lets you email a prefilled cart to customers who have ditched your store at the checkout. By recovering lost sales, you can increase revenue by 25%, research claims! Think of it like sealing the holes in a leaky boat.

Currently, Abandoned Cart is unavailable with Wix. It’s a big hole in Wix’s ecommerce offering.

While Wix isn’t as powerful as Shopify, you still get impressive ecommerce features. Highlights include:

  • A ribbon advertising sale or limited stock
  • Customized thank you messages to customers
  • Secure shopping bag item on every page

A big plus of Wix is that it doesn’t stand still. It rolls out new features all the time. In May 2018, it brought out new checkout customization functionality. You can choose which fields to display, such as company name and address. Building a distinctive checkout page is great for your brand and your bottom line.

To sell on Wix, you need to sign up to its eCommerce plan and add the Wix Stores app. This unlocks a full range of Wix ecommerce tools.

The key thing is: Wix can’t compete with Shopify on ecommerce features. But when it comes to Shopify vs Wix, think about this in context. Wix includes what you need to sell online. If you don’t want to build a business or sell heaps of products, you’ll like this simplicity.

wix vs shopify shopify store homepage example
On ecommerce features, Wix vs Shopify is no contest. Shopify gives you more tools to build a powerful online store. Here’s one we made earlier!
Further Information:

Shopify Review – for a deeper look into Shopify

Wix Review – to get to know Wix inside out

3

Design & Themes

Theme quality is an important battleground for Wix vs Shopify. Design matters. If you walked past a disordered shop window, you’re less likely to go in right? It’s no different with online stores.  

So when it comes to themes, do you choose Wix or Shopify?

Both platforms provide a great range of free and paid templates. The big advantage to Shopify’s themes is that they’re geared towards helping you sell. Shopify uses its sales data to create themes that convert visitors into customers.

39% of online shopping in the US is now done on a mobile. And it’s only going up. All Shopify’s themes are mobile responsive. Your store will work as well whatever device your customer is using. With Wix, you need to do more legwork to check your store looks good on a mobile.

Independent designers ensure Shopify’s 100+ themes are up-to-date and cover almost every industry. No matter what you’re selling, Shopify will have a theme designed for you.

At $180, some of Shopify’s paid themes are on the expensive side. But it’s a one-off payment that you should see as an investment in your store.

Wix’s selection of specific online store themes is more limited – 57 at the time of writing. Once you choose a Wix template, you can’t switch. This can make it hard if you want to rebrand your store further down the line.

Wix’s templates are so easy to edit (more on this in our next section), you can turn any of them into an online store.

The bottom line: The simplicity of Wix’s online store templates makes it a great option if you’re a small trader. They’re packaged to help you do the basics straight away: add products, build a customer navigation and connect payment methods. But if you want a more powerful online store optimized for sales, Shopify’s themes are for you.

wix vs shopify theme example mobile preview
Shopify’s templates are designed with selling in mind - whether on desktop or mobile (inset)
4

Ease Of Use

If you’re selling online, time is money. That’s why ease of use is key to any Wix vs Shopify comparison. The easier you find running your store, the more time you can spend getting customers.

So is Wix or Shopify easier to use?

Let me cut to the chase: Ease of use is central to Wix’s business model. It’s a drag-and-drop builder. To create an online store, you click on a feature (an image, for example) and drag it to where you want. It’s that simple.

Wix’s quick-start templates help you get online with no hassle. Adding features like product pages, images and a navigation bar is very straightforward. It’s like putting blocks of Lego together.

Shopify has a steeper learning curve. The editor’s interface, for example, is more focused on running your online store. There’s more emphasis on tracking orders and monitoring analytics. But considering how powerful Shopify is, it’s still very intuitive to use.

You don’t need to know code to:

  • Set up payment options (more on this later).
  • Create a blog to boost your store’s SEO (more on this later too!)
  • Arrange products into categories

That said, for pure simplicity Wix is hard to beat. If you’re new to the world of online selling, you’ll get fewer headaches using Wix.

The trade-off is that you get less backend control with Wix than on Shopify. With Shopify, you can access the code using its own language, Liquid. This unlocks advanced customization. It’s why if you’re looking to build an advanced online store Shopify is the best platform available.

wix vs shopify - wix editor adding text box
Wix makes it easy to add content elements to your online store
5

SEO

When it comes to Wix vs Shopify on SEO, it’s neck-and-neck. Both provide great support for getting your store found online.  

First things first, what is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the practice of making sure your store appears in Google’s rankings.

Let’s say you sell vintage cars. When people type ‘buy vintage cars’ into Google, the higher your store appears, the more traffic – and sales – you get. That all comes down to good SEO.

After all, what’s the point creating a great online store that no one visits? It would be like writing a book no one reads.

Shopify and Wix make it easy to add:

  • Meta titles – the headline that appears in Google.
  • Meta description – the text underneath the heading that describes the site.
  • Tagging – adding tags to your products that tell Google exactly what you’re selling.

These are the building blocks of good SEO. In Wix’s editor, you can preview how this will look in Google:

wix vs shopify - wix preview seo mode - meta title and meta description
Wix or Shopify is a tough one when it comes to SEO. Wix’s editor makes it really easy to preview your site in Google’s results.

Ranking high in search results takes time. You’ve got to play the long game when it comes to SEO.

Shopify is strong on in-built SEO functionality. For instance, Shopify avoids duplicate content through automatic tagging. Google hates repeat content. An example is two products with the same name and description.

What Wix and Shopify do well is help you tick off the SEO boxes. Both also have in-depth SEO resources to help you optimize your store.

Which leads us on to…

6

Customer Support

If you’re weighing up Wix vs Shopify, think about the level of support you’ll need. Good support is like having a business advisor, IT-expert and designer rolled into one.

Choosing Wix or Shopify as a winner for support is difficult. Both platforms offer:

  • Set-up wizards that guide you through any roadblocks.
  • Customer agents available over the phone and email.

Shopify, though, offers LiveChat support –  a feature Wix currently doesn’t have.

Plus, unlike Wix, Shopify offers 24/7 support. Modern, global ecommerce stores operate round the clock. If your store experiences problems at 4am, having support available immediately is crucial. In our experience, Shopify’s customer support is quick to answer and very helpful.

One area of support where Wix is stronger is in-built editor help. You get great instant-access assistance when building your Wix store. Hover your mouse over the editor’s question marks and you bring up small speech bubbles that answer common problems. In Shopify, this process is clunkier and requires you to visit a separate page.

Wix’s Help Center has hundreds of articles and videos to support you. The layout is clearer than Shopify’s Help Center, which doesn’t include videos. Both hubs will have more than enough information to answer any of your questions.

Shopify’s support is superior because it’s geared around ecommerce. There’s more focus on helping you succeed as a business. Instead of only providing technical support for your store.

wix_editor_homepage
Helpful question marks bring up Wix's setup Wizard
7

Payment Options & Fees

Wix vs Shopify on payment options is a mismatch. Shopify outguns Wix by letting you accept payments from over 70 processors in many different currencies.

While Wix can’t compete for number of payment processors, it’s offering is solid. You can accept payments through 18 third-party merchants. These include PayPal, Authorize.net and Stripe. You can add more through the Wix App Marketplace. Customers can pay using all major credit and debit cards.

What you can’t currently do is take your customer’s money direct through your store. This is what Shopify Payments, the company’s own gateway, lets you do. It’s integrated with your store. Because it keeps your business and financials together, it saves you a lot of hassle.

That’s not all. Use Shopify Payments and you won’t pay any transaction fees. These are between 0.5% and 2% depending on what Shopify plan you’re on. Wix does not take a commission from your online sales.

Whatever payment processor you use, you will need to pay credit card fees – these are set by the card company.

Shopify innovates far more than Wix when it comes to payment processors. It’s never standing still. For example, in May 2018 it added 300 cryptocurrencies to its platform by integrating with CoinPayments. This is one of the reasons Shopify is number one for stores that want to grow.

But when deciding between Wix or Shopify, don’t go for which platform has more payment options. Ask yourself:

  • How will my customers want to pay?
  • What payment options do I need to cater to that?
  • In the future, will I need to add more advanced payment options?

If you want to sell a normal product to a modest customer-base, Wix’s payment options will be more than enough.

Last, but by no means least, it’s time to talk about…

8

Pricing

No Wix vs Shopify comparison would be complete without a look at pricing. Is Wix or Shopify more expensive? Which one offers better bang for your buck?

These are the big questions we’ll answer in this section.

The two Wix plans that let you sell online are:

  • Wix eCommerce – $17/month
  • Wix VIP – $25/ month

Both come with unlimited bandwidth, 20GB storage and the same value in apps and ad vouchers. Upgrading to Wix VIP gets you premium support and a professional site review.

Shopify’s three main plans are:

  • Shopify Basic – $29/month
  • Shopify – $79/month
  • Advanced Shopify – $299/month

Unless you’re a large store, Shopify Basic will be able to cater to your needs. You get discount codes, unlimited products and storage. Plus a bunch of other features like fraud analysis. Upgrading to Shopify or Advanced Shopify gets you better analytics and reporting.

The fairest comparison is between Wix eCommerce and Shopify Basic. These are the two plans you should be looking at if you’re building your first online store.

A monthly Shopify Basic plan will cost you $144 more a year than Wix eCommerce. The key benefits are better customer support and Abandoned Cart Recovery. Depending on your sales volume, Abandoned Cart could make up the price difference.

Both plans are a great way to get online and selling. Which one is right for you will depend on the scale of your business and your ambition.

Wix offers fantastic value for money. For the price of a few Starbucks coffees and a sandwich you get: ecommerce tools, hosting, security, storage and enough bandwidth to handle 2 million visitors per month. If you’re working to a budget or want to keep things simple, Wix eCommerce is a stellar option.

Because of the tools included as standard, Shopify is a better investment if you plan to grow a fully-fledged store. The more advanced your store, the more you will enjoy being on a Shopify plan. But Wix eCommerce is a great entry-level plan for fresh online sellers.

9

Wix vs Shopify: Conclusion

Wix vs Shopify is a battle between two excellent online store builders.

Whether you should pick Wix or Shopify depends on what you want from your ecommerce business.

Ask yourself: are you a regular user or an aspiring ecommerce entrepreneur?

Shopify works with some of the world’s biggest businesses, such as Budweiser and Tesla Motors. It’s better for full-time businesses.

Wix is better if you’re a smaller operation looking to shift a limited number of products. Wix is also suitable if the store isn’t the main goal of your site. For example, you might be a blogger or an artist that sees selling as only one part of what your site does. But if you want a sophisticated store with a greater level of personalization, Shopify is the platform for you.

No two ecommerce stores are the same. Use the free trials to make sure the platform is right for your online-selling needs:

Wix vs Shopify is a top-of-the-table ecommerce match-up. Whichever one you choose can help you sell online.

Fred Isaac

About Fred Isaac

I’m not a developer or a designer, so I know how daunting computers and the internet can be. Having worked at start-up businesses and websites for many years (and seeing what works and what doesn't), I'm now sharing this experience with you to help you get online safely and successfully.

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Fred Isaac

About Fred Isaac

I’m not a developer or a designer, so I know how daunting computers and the internet can be. Having worked at start-up businesses and websites for many years (and seeing what works and what doesn't), I'm now sharing this experience with you to help you get online safely and successfully.

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