Shopify vs. Wix: E-Commerce Platform Showdown
POSTED. March 31, 2020
In our last blog post, we compared Shopify and Squarespace in an e-commerce platform showdown. Spoiler alert: Shopify won. While the victory wasn’t unanimous (Shopify lost to Squarespace when it came to blogging), in most categories Shopify was the clear winner.
This time, we’re comparing Shopify to another popular do-it-yourself website building platform in Wix.
Wix is similar to Squarespace in some respects. Like Squarespace, Wix is a template-based platform. When you create a site on Wix, you first choose from a list of over 500 templates and then build up from the template you selected. Also like Squarespace, Wix wasn’t originally designed for ecommerce, but the platform has added a bunch of ecommerce functionality in recent years.
The main difference between Wix and Squarespace is the freedom you have to customize said templates. We’ll get into that in a bit...
Using the same criteria from our Shopify vs. Squarespace post -- Templates, Marketing, Blogging & SEO, and Shipping & Payments -- let’s get into our breakdown of Shopify vs. Wix for ecommerce.
Wix has no shortage of templates (more than 500), but only about 10% of those are specifically designed for ecommerce. The templates that are made for ecommerce come with just about everything you’d expect -- customizable collections and product pages, a checkout funnel with its own dedicated payment processing service (Wix Payments), native social linking, and integrations with shipping, fulfillment, and other third-party services.
Of all of the website building platforms that rely on templates, Wix probably offers the deepest level of customization without requiring custom code. The drag and drop functionality of Wix is really extensive and allows you to put pretty much anything anywhere on your site. Compared to a platform like Squarespace that has pretty rigid rules on where you can put elements, Wix is made for someone who wants complete control of their store.
Stolen Goods is an awesome example of a Wix ecommerce site.
One particular area where Wix stands out even compared to Shopify is in the ability to customize the checkout page. On most Shopify plans, you can’t really do much (if anything) to change your store’s checkout page. On Wix however, you do pretty much whatever you want to change your checkout page. For some business owners, it’s a nonissue, but for others it can be frustrating to feel that you don’t have a say in what your checkout looks and feels like.
Both Shopify and Wix give developers the ability to edit the look and feel of a site with custom HTML and CSS, but only Shopify allows you to edit the actual template code. Again, this comes down to personal preference -- if you do ever plan on working with a developer, we’d expect that a majority would rather work with Shopify however.
One of the most glaring issues with Wix is that once you select a template, you’re stuck with it. To change templates, you actually have to create a new site -- you can have an unlimited number of sites on your Wix account but you can only have one live per plan. Shopify on the other hand allows you to add a new template whenever you want.
As we’ve touched on previously, most of Shopify’s marketing functionality comes from the plethora of third-party apps made just for the platform. The built-in marketing features are more limited, but include essentials like order confirmations and automated abandoned checkout emails. Shopify also has built-in integrations with social sales channels like Instagram, Pinterest, and Amazon.
Wix on the other hand has a robust built-in marketing system in Ascend by Wix. From email marketing to SEO to social media posts, Ascend handles all of it from within the Wix platform. The tools themselves aren’t incredibly powerful, but the convenience of having all of your marketing efforts organized in one place is a big plus for some store owners.
While Shopify doesn’t have the same extensive built-in marketing platform, the individual third party apps are far more robust than the tools you’ll find in Ascend. If you’re serious about building a powerful ecommerce marketing stack that scales, Shopify apps will take you there. From automated email marketing flows from Klaviyo, user generated content like reviews from Yotpo, and site search from SearchSpring (just to name a few), Shopify Apps are the best tool for the job, whatever the job.
At the end of the day we’d rather use a number of tools from companies that each specialize in one very specific function, than get less out of a single tool that tries to do a bit of everything. But if you value convenience over capability, Wix Ascend may be everything you need.
Wix Blogging & SEO
Again, blogging is the critical weak point of Shopify when compared to other platforms. Especially for business owners without technical chops, it can be difficult to get your Shopify blog to look and feel the way you want it to.
In comparison, the built-in blogging features of Wix are easy to use and look great from the get-go.
Wix also gets the edge over Shopify when it comes to the out-of-the-box SEO capabilities. Every site built on Wix gets access to the free SEO Wiz tool. The tool automatically creates a plan and checklist for all of the essential on-site SEO features a site should have. Moreover, the tool has a built-in keyword suggestion function for your site’s copy.
Wix Shipping & Payments
It’s always going to be difficult to compete with Shopify in this category. With Shop Pay, Shopify makes checking out a breeze for users across all Shopify stores. Wix’s equivalent, Wix Payments doesn’t offer the same level of convenience for users. However, Wix Payments can be a boon for merchants. Unlike some payment processing services, Wix Payments does not charge an additional transaction fee, nor does it charge a fee on chargebacks.
On the shipping front, Wix doesn’t offer nearly the gamut of capabilities that Shopify does.
Shopify vs. Wix: Our Verdict
This one isn’t a blowout, but Shopify is the winner once again (yes, we’re probably a little biased). While Wix does offer a load of built-in features and functionality, especially with regards to customization and marketing, quantity isn’t worth more than quality.
Yes, Wix has a lot of tools. No, they are not more powerful than Shopify Apps.
With that said, for merchants who value convenience and simplicity over everything else, and are willing to sacrifice some valuable ecommerce capabilities, Wix makes it easy to run everything without ever having to leave their platform.
In most cases, the needs of store owners will better align with the power of Shopify’s platform, its apps, and its integrations.