Updated 23 February 2024
Determining The Most Suitable eCommerce Application For Your eCommerce Business
Ease of Use
Adding products, categories and making shipping options clear is essential for any ecommerce business.
We look at how easy this overall on each platform.
We look at how easy this overall on each platform.
Shopify: Shopify's "add a product" means business, serious business. For each product a user has exceptionally detailed data fields to populate, ranging from Title, description (which you can link text to other websites or pages), to SKUs, barcodes, inventory policy application and photo gallery. Shopify's standard fields offer everything you need to upload a product with every specific presented.
Wix: WIX is overall easy to use, but it lacks the detail and love that Shopify delivers with its platform. And it’s that detail and love that make ALL the difference. Like ALL the difference. WIX is a distant second place in this race – Shopify has ecommerce sewn up in comparison. If you were selling an uncomplicated offering, like rocks or bottles, then WIX may work, but otherwise you’ll see limitations very quickly. And these limitations don’t have apps (see below) or any fixes.
Support, a crucial element to moving your business forwards.
Any business needs support, and ecommerce platforms give rise to their own set of special questions. You'll need the best support you can get, even if you don't have the questions right away.
Shopify: With 24/7 phone support and online authentication to save time, and a local Melbourne number to call, there is no ecommerce platform like it when it comes to helping customers. Shopify works 24/7 to answer your questions. Their ecommerce community is also very active meaning lots of tips are on hand.
Wix: Running on USA Pacific Time (6am to 5pm) which is 11pm Sydney time to 10am, not great for business hours support. No online chat is available, but there is email support ticket submissions.
Beyond Support, the ability to call in a professional web designer/expert for tricky requests
At some point in the life of your ecommerce business, you'll need an expert. Even if it's an hour of time, it can save your business significant time if you hire someone that knows Shopify. But how do you find someone who is familiar with the application, and can they be trusted? We look at the methods both platforms use to make hiring an expert seamless.
Shopify: Shopify nails it with a number of approved platform experts listed on its own site located in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. With a number of partner reviews, making the transition into hiring a web developer and getting someone who knows how to deliver the good, literally, in Shopify is transparent. Experts even list their hourly charges and what scope of work they perform.
Wix: WIX offers a number of Australian based “Pro Designers” which are freelance agencies and individuals able to offer their assistance at agreed fees. This is really just a directory, with no mention of fees or reviews.
Apps, plugins and the integrations available
So, beyond the standard features of both ecommerce platforms, there will be a moment when you ask “oh, can I do….” and the answer is likely to be YES, but with an app. Apps are developed by external partners to Wix and Shopify, and are either free or subscribed to for an ongoing monthly fee. These apps cover functionality and features in Marketing, Sales, Social Media, Shipping, Inventory, Customer Service, Accounting, Tools, Reporting and Sales Channels. With such a wide scope, we look at the number of apps and quality available on both platforms.
Shopify: A lot of developers are flocking to Shopify as the platform dominates the ecommerce arena. As at September 2016, there were over 5,000 apps. With more being published everyday and introduced to the Shopify arena, there is a lot of choice.
Basic features and benefits for a beginner plan.
We start off looking at what you can get for under $40/month (the price point of entry level plans) and maximising the built-in features to build the best ecommerce experience for your customers.
Shopify: At AU$29.95 on month-to-month terms, Shopify is affordable for the startup. It packs all the features with a lot of free add-ons apps available to give you more ecommerce swag.
Wix: At US$19.95 on month-to-month terms, the WIX ecommerce plan offers basic ecommerce features (product images and descriptions, shipping details, variations in product such as colour and size). However, WIX puts a cap per month of 10GB of bandwidth with 20GB of storage. While we believe 20GB of storage is more than enough for a budding ecommerce website, limiting the traffic is a growth killer. The VIP plan, at $29.95 permits unlimited traffic, but we think this is anti-business by WIX – would you be comfortable knowing your website will go offline if it becomes to popular?
It’s better value for money given the features, benefits over WIX and unlimited traffic.
Bonus: Physical Store? If you're a physical shop, you can upgrade to the Retail Plan for staff access to process sales for in-store customers, syncing your inventory and reporting effortlessly.
Themes, and why the design of your ecommerce store is everything
Themes are the pre-set design of your website.
Shopify: There is no competition - the endless number of Shopify Themes is unrivaled. Some are free with the platform, others are paid, but the individuality is endless and you can quickly edit your theme to make it unique.
Website features beyond ecommerce, such as blogs,
galleries and formatting tools.
If you’re a business that isn’t JUST in the business of ecommerce, then it's perhaps better to have a website tool that has all the features to make your business stand out. This applies to professionals selling items "on the side".
Shopify: Shopify has page simple editing which is superior to BigCommerce and other ecommerce-driven platforms, but there are limitations and the design features aren't as beautifully intuitive as they could be. Shopify certaintly isn't the platform if you're 95% offline business and 5% ecommerce.
Wix: WIX’s origins were a drag and drop website builder, much like SquareSpace and Weebly, so adding new pages is easy but getting the right look and layout may take you some trial and error.
We don’t recommend WIX overall, owing to business experiences with clients using WIX and the process of migrating, editing or simply understanding WIX. We can’t call a winner because Shopify isn’t suitable for non-ecommerce businesses overall. Check out our Weebly vs Shopify review.
Shopify: There is no competition - Shopify transaction fees comes standard with every Shopify account, and the fees are as followed:
Wix: Australian based businesses have a number of choices for payment integration.