With the closure of major physical shops such as Forever 21, Robinsons and many others, it is clear that physical retail is in a downturn. Instead, sales from e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Alibaba have increased drastically within the past few years.
COVID-19 has given the e-commerce market further shot in the arm with Circuit Breaker (and lockdowns globally), store closures and safe distancing measures.
Wix and Shopify have emerged as popular options for those starting their e-commerce businesses. While these platforms may be similar in nature, there are major differences which can affect which platform you choose.
#1 Themes And Drag-And-Drop Capabilities
At first glance, Wix is equipped with more than 70 free themes with every subscription, which can cater to specific businesses such as photography studio or women’s clothing store. Coupled with the simple drag-and-drop capabilities, it is easy for anyone to build an e-commerce store without any prior website building knowledge.
Wix also provides video tutorials to guide users, step-by-step, to set up your e-commerce stores. On top of the free themes, you can purchase themes from the Wix Pro Themes which makes it easier with more sophisticated designs.
Shopify comes with only 10 free generic themes but you can purchase over 70 themes from the official Shopify theme store, or from third party theme stores such as ThemeForest which contains over 1,200 themes. Having third-party theme stores grants you access to a wider range of templates and aesthetics that may be absent from official stores.
Unlike Wix, drag-and-drop capabilities are typically not enabled across all themes on Shopify, especially on the free themes. To use this feature, you will be required to install apps from the Shopify app store such as Buildify which costs $12.99 per month on top of your Shopify monthly subscription.
In exchange for the lack of drag-and-drop capabilities by default, Shopify’s website code is fully accessible, meaning that business owners can add their personal touch to the website so long as they have the prior coding knowledge or a tech team. While it is true that Wix is simpler to use to some extent, it is also a double-edged sword as it limits the users from making minor tweaks to their site.
#2 Types Of E-Commerce Business You Run
Users of Wix are typically business owners with a smaller range of products (100 or less), while Shopify is geared towards businesses with greater product breadth with 1,000 or more listings. This can be attributed by Shopify’s advanced inventory management which allows you to add multiple products in multiple variations easily.
Wix excels in its blog features compared to Shopify though. While both platforms feature blog functionalities, Shopify does not include blog data analysis, which is key to boosting brand image and awareness.
With the analysis from Wix Blog Analytics, customer-centric e-commerce businesses such as online jewellery stores or products with bespoke options can optimise their blog posts to appeal to their customers more. Many users have also reflected that it is easier to create an aesthetic blog entry on Wix, with more free stock images and dynamic templates available at your disposal.
#3 Integrated Data Analytics And Insights
Store and product insights are crucial for e-commerce business owners to analyse consumer behaviours, and make relevant adaptations to enhance the business operations.
Comparing the default insights from both platforms, Shopify provides more depth to their data while Wix provides a generalised overview. Take sales figures for example, while Wix provides summarised statistics such as total sales figures, Shopify provides more in-depth marketing analysis, sales numbers made by traffic source and sales made from specific ad campaigns.
To achieve a more in-depth analysis on Wix, you can enable Google Analytics to the dedicated URL of your e-commerce website. At the same time, it is also a common practice for Shopify users to use Google Analytics alongside Shopify’s integrated analytics tool to get a wider range of analytics. The table below shows how the different analytics service compares with each other.
|Analytics service||Shopify Analytics||Wix Analytics||Google Analytics|
|Sales from ad campaigns||Yes||No||Yes|
|Sales from Distinct Acquisition Channels (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, redirect, etc.)||Yes||No||Yes|
|Visitor Tracking Limit/month||30,000||100,000||10 Million|
|Return on Advertising Spend||Manual uploading of cost data||Manual uploading of cost data||Automatic|
|Grouping Audiences Based on Behaviour||No||No||Yes|
|Track sales to landing pages||No||No||Yes|
#4 Integrated Add-Ons
App add-ons can drastically improve the outlook and the functions of the website. While both Wix and Shopify features an App store, most apps found on Wix’s app store such as the Button Magic app and the Rollover Image effects app are related to the aesthetics aspect of the site.
In contrast, the function of many apps found on the Shopify App Store leans towards the e-commerce aspect. One example is an app called Kit, which possesses the ability to runs Facebook ads on your behalf and find potential customers with the help of AI, or the DSers app which aids drop-shipping business owners.
Social Media integration is also an important source of outreach for more consumers in the e-commerce business. In this regard, Shopify connects to several media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram or even third-party marketplace such as Amazon and eBay, while Wix only grants you the ability to sell through Instagram.
#5 Cost Of Subscription And Transaction Fees
The monthly subscription cost for similar offerings from Shopify and Wix are priced at US$29 (~$39) and US$25 (~$34) respectively. GST surcharge is also payable according to Singapore’s Legislation for electronic or digital services.
Apart from the monthly subscription being the main consideration, transaction fees can also add to your cost. Both platforms have established their own payment platforms: Wix Payments and Shopify Payments.
|Payment Methods||In-HousePayment (online credit cards)||In-house payment gateways|
|WIX||N. A||N.A. In SGNo additional charge on other payment gateways|
|Shopify||3.2% + S$0.50||2% additional charge applies for other payment gateways (i.e. Stripe or Oceanpayments)|
At the time of writing, Wix payments is unavailable locally and you will need to bundle another online payment gateway that is both supported by Wix and supported in Singapore, such as Stripe Payments and Oceanpayments.
If you wish to use another online payment gateway on Shopify, an additional 2% charge will be applicable for every transaction paid using a third-party payment gateway. For instance, Stripe charges 3.4% + $0.50 on every purchase. When tied to Shopify, that becomes 5.4% + $0.50 in total transaction charges. Alternatively, you can include transactions methods like bank transfer or PayNow which does not require transaction fees.
With that said, it would be a better choice to stick with Shopify Payments. Apart from being free to use, Shopify Payments natively supports widely used local payment methods such as PayLah and GrabPay to favour the local market, as well as international players such as PayPal.
Your E-commerce Business Will Influence Your Decision
Undeniably, both Shopify and Wix are good choices for business owners to start building their e-commerce business. Depending on the nature of your business, one e-commerce platform may suit you better than the other.
For example, if your business involves selling thousands of products, it would make more sense to pick Shopify. Similarly, if you run a bespoke store with a high emphasis on brand awareness, you will find the blog-centric feature and the aesthetics in Wix useful.
Before deciding which platform you want to start using, the chart below may help you to decide. You can even give Wix and Shopify a try as both of them offer free trials.
|Volume||1,000+ or more products||100 or fewer products|
|Brand Awareness and Image||Moderate||Highly Important|
|Customisation on Request (i.e. Engravement)||Minimal||Frequent|
|Social Media Integration||Facebook and Instagram Ads||Instagram Ads only|
|Preferred Payment Method||PayLah/GrabPay and other local payment methods||Credit Card and international payment such as AMEX|
|Usage and Updates of Blogs||Occasional||Frequent|
|Animations and Aesthetics||Functionality First||Aesthetics Above All|
|Example of e-commerce stores||Mass-produced products with many listings (i.e.: Fast fashion, books, electronics)||Customisable items (i.e.: Fountain pens, jewellery, bespoke leather goods)|
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