Wix and Shopify are market leaders in two different categories — Wix is the most popular website builder, whereas Shopify leads the ecommerce builders segment.
But there are certain overlaps in the kind of websites you can make with both.
And that’s where the Wix vs Shopify comparison begins.
I built online stores with both Wix and Shopify to find out how they solve the same problem (i.e., ecommerce). And I discovered some important differences — differences in the features-set, templates, editor, and the overall methodology of solving the problem.
This article will explain those differences to help you understand when to use Wix and when to use Shopify.
Use Wix only if you are building a small store and want an easy-to-use editor. Even better, use Squarespace (see our Squarespace vs Shopify comparison).
Use Shopify for its extensive range of ecommerce-first features. You can build a store of any size with Shopify.
Wix vs Shopify: Overview
At its core, both Wix and Shopify are different platforms.
What is Wix?
Wix is a website builder that has:
- An easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor. (But it’s unstructured, which is both good and bad — more on it later in the article)
- 800+ customizable, free templates for all types of websites.
- Features for all types of websites.
The “all types of websites” part is especially important when comparing Wix to Shopify.
Shopify solely focuses on ecommerce websites. In contrast, you can make an ecommerce website with Wix, but you can also make other types of websites - portfolio websites, photography websites, coaching websites, etc.
Note: If you are building a non-ecommerce website, you might want to look into our Wix vs Squarespace comparison.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce builder.
- It’s the most powerful and intuitive ecommerce platform available.
- It has a learning curve, but it’s perhaps the easiest-to-use ecommerce builder.
- Everything from templates to features to apps on Shopify serves one purpose: To help you build a great, functional online store.
Wix vs Shopify: Key Differences
Shopify and Wix can indeed help build a similar website. But since they are different at the core, they have fundamental differences:
1. Page Editor
Wix has a visual, drag-and-drop editor. It’s unstructured, which means you can add anything anywhere on the web page, and it’ll fit there — pixel perfect!
The Wix page editor is fantastic for its flexibility, but it has two major downsides:
- You will need to edit the mobile version of the website separately.
- It’s easy to mess up your web design if you don’t know fundamental design principles.
Compared to the Wix editor, Shopify’s editor is meh.
Shopify’s editor is similar to Microsoft Word — a rich text editor that lets you place images and videos in line with the text. Whatever you enter in the text editor adapts to your store theme.
Wix has over 800 templates in total and 127 templates for online stores.
Let’s stick to the online store website templates for this article.
All Wix templates are well-categorized across common online store categories - fashion & clothing, home & decor, arts & crafts, jewelry & accessories, etc.
And most ecommerce templates look modern and on par, unlike their website templates (This is because more than half of Wix’s online store templates were published in the last five years, i.e., modern times).
The best part about Wix templates is that they are free and easy to customize.
Shopify includes 9 free themes and 82 premium themes across all ecommerce categories. That is a total of 91 themes on Shopify Themes.
In addition, many themes also have multiple different theme styles — if we consider those as themes too, Shopify Themes has over 300 official themes.
For the comparison, let’s just consider Shopify has 91 themes. In this case, Shopify has lesser online store themes than Wix. But…but…all Shopify themes are excellent.
Shopify really focuses on quality. For instance, we updated our Shopify vs Squarespace comparison a couple of months ago. At the time, Shopify had 95 themes; now, they have four fewer. In other words, they removed the themes that weren’t on par.
In contrast, Wix has quite a few templates that give 2010 vibes (because they are from that time!).
Customizing your Shopify theme can be hit or miss.
The Shopify theme editor is structured and doesn’t give as much editing room as the unstructured Wix editor. Therefore, occasionally, you’ll need to edit HTML and CSS code to make your website look like you want to.
Wix is easier to use and has basic features to run a successful small store — but Shopify has much more sophisticated ecommerce features, making it an ideal choice for stores of any size. For instance, Shopify powers large ecommerce stores like Allbirds, Bombas, Kylie’s Cosmetics, etc.
I’d say Wix isn’t even in the same league as Shopify when it comes to ecommerce.
Shopify beats Wix at almost every ecommerce aspect - shipping options, tax settings, inventory management, customer management, sales channels, etc.
Shopify’s main competitors are heavyweight ecommerce builders like BigCommerce, Volusion, Magento, and WooCommerce. And among them, Shopify has risen to the top of this market over the last ten years:
Wix vs Shopify: Detailed Comparison
You now know the fundamental differences between Shopify and Wix. Consequently, you might have concluded which platform to choose for your business. But wait…
Are you making the right decision? There are some devils in the details that you might want to know:
If you are choosing between Wix and Shopify, you are likely wondering about ecommerce features. You want to know about the shipping options, payment options, taxes, inventory management, products you can sell, etc.
Well, let’s go through them one by one to understand them better:
Wix offers very basic shipping options out of the box.
You can choose a region and add shipping rates based on the product, product weight, or product price. Also, you can choose to offer free shipping or flat rate shipping. If you are in the US selling in USD, you can set up real-time shipping rates with USPS.
Besides, you can allow local customers to select local delivery or local pickup options.
Shopify also offers every shipping option Wix offers - free shipping, flat rate, local pickup, local delivery, location-based shipping, weight-based shipping, and product price-based shipping.
On top of that, Shopify gives an option to enable third-party calculated rates at checkout. You can allow Shopify to dynamically add shipping rates based on FedEx, USPS, UPS, and Canada Post charges.
Moreover, Shopify has tie-ups with all these carriers to give you, a Shopify customer, discounts on the shipping rates — you can get up to 88% discount on DHL Express, UPS, or USPS.
Storing items in your guest room, packing them, printing labels, and manually shipping is all fun (and cheap!) in the initial days. Also, they sure make for good “I am hustling” Instagram posts.
But, practically, you’ll need to rent a place to store everything and hire someone as you scale; or you’ll need to opt for fulfillment service.
In 2019, Shopify launched its own fulfillment service called Shopify Fulfillment Network in the US. This means if you are in the US, you can let Shopify manage your end-to-end fulfillment, which includes inventory management, product storage, and delivery. We haven’t personally used it, but we found it’s more expensive than other 3PL or fulfillment services, + it lacks some fundamental features. But, no worries…
Shopify also integrates with many more mature third-party fulfillment services like ShipBob, ShipHero, Red Stag Fulfillment, Shipstation, Ship Monk, etc.
Wix doesn’t have as many fulfillment service integrations as Shopify. And those it does have don’t have any reviews or poor reviews:
Inventory management is central to any commerce business, whether online or offline. If you are understocked, you risk losing business. And if you are overstocked, the items can go bad/out of fashion, or you won’t have enough cash flow to run the business.
NOTE: You can add multiple inventory locations on Shopify. Wix doesn’t have that option.
Wix has basic inventory management features:
- You can add SKUs and inventory quantity, and Wix will automatically update the quantity when sales come in. You’ll also get a notification when the product is out of stock, but this notification is only shown on your Wix dashboard and Wix mobile app.
- You can mark an item “In stock” or “Out of stock” manually.
Shopify also has basic inventory features, including adding inventory, updating inventory, and automatically tracking inventory.
On top of that, Shopify has Transfers. Transfers help you track & record incoming inventory (from suppliers to your location as well as between your store locations):
You can also see the history of the transfers for each inventory item:
Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t alert you if items run out of stock. You’ll need to install an app for it, and it adds to the business cost. For example, Notify Me app costs $5/month.
These apps, though, do much more than Wix’s on-dashboard notifications. For example, with Notify Me:
- You’ll get email notifications and web push notifications when items are out of stock.
- You can add multiple warning levels to know when an item is low in stock. (There’s no way to know this in Wix)
- You can pretty much manage your whole inventory.
The Shopify App Store also has more advanced-level, enterprise-ready inventory management apps like Katana Manufacturing ERP. In contrast, Wix has no good inventory management app whatsoever.
Both Wix and Shopify have their own payment gateways: Wix Payments and Shopify Payments, respectively.
Besides, you can choose from many (local, national, and international) third-party payment gateways if you are on either platform. Wix allows 50+ payment gateways worldwide; Shopify allows 100+ payment gateways.
Note that Shopify charges between 0.5%-2.0% third-party transaction fees if you don’t use Shopify Payments. This can be expensive if you live in a country where Shopify Payments isn’t available. This YouTube comment illustrates a common scenario perfectly:
Wix has no such charges.
Some key details about Wix Payments and Shopify Payments:
Wix Payments is available in 15 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
If you use Wix Payments, you’ll have to pay payment processing fees that vary according to the payment method and the region. For example, the credit card/debit card processing fee in the US is 2.9% + 0.30 USD (which is typical).
Shopify Payments is available in 19 countries - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Shopify charges between 2.4% + 0.30 USD and 2.9% + 0.30 USD depending on the plan — the more advanced the plan, the lower the processing fees. This is one of the (less significant) reasons big-scale stores use Shopify.
Let’s understand it with a mid-sized ecommerce store example:
MrBeast’s Feastables store uses Shopify. The chocolate company made over $10 million in revenue. If the store were on the Shopify Basic plan (or any Wix plan), it’d cost the business $290,000 in payment processing fees. Comparatively, the payment processing fees would be $240,000 if it is on the Advanced plan.
That’s a $50,000 difference — MrBeast could probably make half a video (if he feels frugal) with that money!
Side Note: The Shopify Payments processing fee is even lower for Shopify Plus stores (which most big stores are). Reportedly, Shopify charges Plus users only 2.15% + 0.30 USD per transaction.
Selling in multiple currencies — Important to know!
You can’t sell in multiple currencies with Wix. You can convert the currency according to the visitor’s location, though.
Shopify allows you to sell in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments. This means your customers can view prices in their currency, pay for their orders at checkout in their currency, and receive refunds in their local currency.
Wix’s tax options are as basic as they get.
- You can manually add country and state tax rates.
- You can select whether the tax is included in the product price or whether it should be applied at the checkout.
However, if you are on Wix’s Business Unlimited or Business VIP plan, you can use Avalara’s automatic tax calculation system, AvaTax.
Avalara is one of the most advanced tax compliance software — they regularly update state and federal tax compliance data for a wide range of compliance types worldwide and automatically add accurate taxes to your invoices, so you don’t have to.
Unfortunately, the documentation around using AvaTax for Wix is unclear and, to some extent, deceptive.
We chatted with both companies’ customer support but couldn’t get precise information on how much you’d have to pay and how much is free, and what is free. From the limited information at hand, here’s what we understand:
- Wix plans only include tax calculations by Avalara. In contrast, Avalara has features for tax returns management and more.
- The transaction limit is set to 100/month on the Business Unlimited plan and 500/month on the Business VIP plan. In other words, AvaTax will do its job and apply accurate taxes to the invoices only for the first 500 transactions of the month, even if you are Wix’s most expensive plan. You’ll have to pay after that.
- The cost per transaction past 500 transactions isn’t mentioned, but Bigcommerce — another ecommerce solution that integrates with AvaTax — mentions, “After this limit has been reached, transactions are $0.30 per transaction.” This means that you pay $150 per 500 transactions! That’s a ridiculous rate for a feature so central to ecommerce.
The ridiculous rate for automated tax calculation alone proves why Wix isn’t for high-volume stores. Big stores easily cross 500 transactions each day, and there’s no way they’d want to pay $150 for tax calculations each day!
Shopify includes what AvaTax does for Wix by default (and for FREE!).
Shopify uses many default sales tax rates and updates them regularly, eliminating a lot of setup work. Also, you can override the default numbers if needed. Besides sales tax, you can also add “Duties and import taxes” for international orders, VAT, GST, and shipping tax.
Steve told me automated taxes is one of the main reasons he prefers Shopify over any other ecommerce platforms:
“Tax & automatic shipping estimates are the main reason I’m only ever using Shopify for stores in the future.”
Products You Can Sell
You can sell pretty much anything with both Wix and Shopify (you may need to add an app, though):
- Physical products,
- Digital products,
- Your own products via print on demand,
- Dropship products,
- Product subscriptions,
- Appointments (for service business),
- Workshops and virtual classes,
- Event tickets,
- Gift cards.
And you can sell all these things through multiple sales channels, not only your ecommerce store.
A sales channel is where you sell your products or services, directly or indirectly.
Yes, you’ll build an ecommerce store with Wix or Shopify, but that’s just one channel. Both platforms have integrations that help you sell the same inventory on other channels.
You can use Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, eBay, Amazon, and Wish as sales channels if you build your store with Wix.
For an additional $200/month, you can also build your own branded app with Wix, i.e., people can download your mobile app from Play Store or App Store, and the app becomes a sales channel.
Shopify has comparatively more sales channels than Wix, namely Google channel, Facebook channel, Shop channel, Shopify Inbox (showcase products & sell while chatting with the customer), Buy button channel, Pinterest, TikTok, eBay, Walmart, Amazon, SMS, Lyst, JD Marketplace, Rakuten Japan, Handshake for wholesalers, MyDeal Australia, Whatsapp sales channel, Spotify for artists, and more.
If you want to build a mobile app for sales, Shopify App Store has many great options: Plobal Apps (from $199/month), Shopney (from $99/month), Vajro (from $99/month), etc.
About Point Of Sale (POS)
If you sell your inventory both online (through an ecommerce store, for example) and offline (through a retail store, in events, etc.), you’ll need a POS system to keep everything in sync.
Both Wix and Shopify have their POS software that you can access via their mobile or tablet apps.
Both have pretty much all the POS features you may need, including ones for omnichannel sales, syncing inventory in real-time, native payments, analytics, team management, data collection, etc.
And you can buy POS hardware from both — though Shopify is more lenient than Wix when it comes to POS hardware: Wix requires you to use only their hardware (The Complete Retail POS Package by Wix costs $850 — not cheap!), while only the Shopify card reader is mandatory to accept payments with Shopify POS.
Besides the hardware restriction, Wix POS has geo-restrictions as well. Wix POS is only available to select US-based users!
In contrast, Shopify POS is available worldwide, and all Shopify users can use it.
On top of that, Shopify has a few advanced POS features as well. Though, those have more to do with its ecommerce platform than the POS system. For example, Shopify allows multi-location inventory (Wix doesn’t), so Shopify’s POS inventory management allows managing multi-location inventory.
Shopify’s in-person credit card rates start at 2.4%. Wix’s fees are slightly higher at 2.6%.
One thing Wix has going for it is Wix POS is completely free.
In comparison, Shopify POS has a free plan (Shopify POS Lite) that includes basic POS features and an $89/month per location paid plan with more advanced yet fundamental features related to inventory management, staff management, etc.
It becomes increasingly important to group your products well as your catalog size increases. After all, you want your potential customers to find what they are looking for as fast as possible.
Let’s take the most basic example to understand it better: If you sell clothing for both men and women, you must have a men’s and a women’s collection so that both parties don’t see unrelated clothing items.
Collections only get more complex from here — for example, say you sell seasonal clothes, then you should have a “Summer collection,” “Fall collection,” etc.
So the question is: How effectively can you make these collections with Wix vs Shopify? Well…
Creating collections in Wix is a manual and tiresome process. You have to create a collection and search & add each item you want in that collection.
In comparison, you can create two types of collections with Shopify:
- Manual collections: Like Wix, search & add products to a collection.
- Automated collections: You can set selection conditions to automatically add matching products to a Shopify collection. For example, if you want to make a collection containing all items under $50, you just add that condition to the collection. Similarly, you can add up to 60 selection conditions and specify whether products need to meet all conditions or any condition.
Most ecommerce stores need to showcase product options/variants. For example, a typical clothing store product has size, color, or material options.
So, obviously, both Wix and Shopify allow users to add product options.
But Shopify has one major advantage over Wix:
Wix doesn’t allow connecting images to a combination of options.
Say you sell a jacket in multiple materials (ex: suede and leather) and colors (ex: blue and brow), you can’t show product photos dynamically for all four combinations (blue x suede, blue x leather, brown x suede, brown x leather) with Wix.
In contrast, Shopify allows you to connect relevant product photos to all combinations.
Both Wix and Shopify require you to add an app to collect product reviews. The only difference is there’s no fully free app for Wix.
Some of Wix’s plans include Product Reviews by KudoBuzz, but there are limitations:
- First, let’s talk about the plan that doesn’t include free access to KudoBuzz: The Business Basic plan (Wix’s cheapest ecommerce plan) doesn’t include any free product review app. You’ll have to separately add/pay for a review app if you choose the basic plan.
- The Business Unlimited plan includes up to 1000 reviews for free, and the Business VIP offers up to 5000 reviews for free.
Besides KudoBuzz, you can find a few other product review apps on the Wix App Market.
Shopify has its own completely free product reviews app, creatively named Product Reviews. It’s very basic, though. You are better off with other options available on the Shopify App Store. For example, Judge.me is a good free alternative. In addition, the Shopify App Store has some awesome, better-than-any-Wix-app product review apps as well, like Okendo and Junip.
Most dropshipping stores I come across are made with Shopify.
It’s because of these three obvious reasons:
- Shopify has a wider range of dropshipping apps than Wix: Searching “Dropshipping” on Shopify App Store gives 450+ results; the same on Wix gives only 36 results. Also, Shopify dropshipping apps are rated highly — the DSers - AliExpress Dropshipping app has almost 10,000 positive reviews on Shopify, for example. Comparatively, Wix’s own Modalyst app has under 1000 reviews.
- Shopify has been a promoter of the dropshipping model for a long time (them acquiring Oberlo, a dropshipping platform, in 2017 is proof). Wix only recently started focusing on dropshipping — they acquired Modalyst in 2021, and many of the dropshipping apps on the Wix App market were added in the last couple of years.
- Shopify is a better ecommerce platform.
Shopify Ecommerce vs Wix Ecommerce: VerdictIn every important way, in the world of ecommerce builders, Shopify is better than Wix.
- Shopify offers more shipping options.
- Shopify offers more fulfillment options.
- Shopify’s tax setting feature is superior.
- Shopify Payments is better and cheaper than Wix (at least for US-based businesses).
- Shopify helps manage inventory better. Also, you can add multiple inventory locations in Shopify (most big stores have multiple locations).
- Shopify’s product collection, product options, product reviews, and dropshipping features/apps are preferable.
Templates (and, in extension, demo stores made with them) tell a story about how your website will look and function. The templates also showcase what kind of & size of websites they are made for.
Here’s how Wix Templates compare to Shopify Themes — I compare them for the looks, the functionalities, and ease of use.
Wix has over 800 templates overall and 127 templates for online stores. They are free and easy to customize.
Because Wix has started to take ecommerce seriously only in the past few years, most Wix Templates are made recently and hence look modern. For example, Wix’s favorite T-Shirt Store Website Template is trendy and well-organized:
However, I feel Wix likes to advertise the massive number of their templates (“We have 800+ templates”), so they don’t get rid of arguably dated templates. For example, this Wix template would be considered good…if it were 2010(!):
Wix templates are suitable for small stores
If you look through all Wix templates, you’ll notice a pattern (in its features) that points you to one conclusion: Wix is only good for small stores.
For example, many Wix templates (like the “trendy” t-shirt store template) don’t even have a search bar embedded in the header.
My interpretation of it is this template looks best/is for stores that don’t require a search bar, i.e., stores with so fewer products that visitors can look at them all in one scroll or a couple of clicks. [You can externally add the search bar by adding the “Wix site search” app.]
Besides, I noticed Wix templates don’t have/have subpar mega menus, detailed product filtering, live search, etc. These features are necessary to build high-converting large catalog stores.
Wix template editor
Wix has a drag-and-drop, visual, unstructured template editor. It gives you a lot of control over the theme of your choice.
You can add/remove/edit/move sections and blocks anywhere and everywhere on the webpage. For example, here, I added a “Welcome” section and moved its text blocks to multiple places, and they fit there pixel-perfect:
It’s great from a customizability point of view, but it brings two major disadvantages:
- If you are not familiar with web design principles, you can easily mess up your store’s design, UX, and conversions. And sometimes Wix does it for you:
- You’ll have to edit the mobile version of your site every time you edit the desktop site (and vice versa).
Besides the drag-and-drop editor, Wix also has Dev Mode (Velo by Wix) that lets you make custom edits through code. For example, if you want to animate a transition on your website, you’ll need to edit code — a drag-and-drop editor won’t do.
Shopify has 91 verified themes. Nine of them are free. And the paid themes have a one-time cost of anywhere between $180-$350. (You can also choose from thousands of unverified, third-party themes — more on it below.)
You can explore all the themes by the features, catalog size they’re meant for, theme category, etc.
Each theme is fresh, modern, and sophisticated. And each theme follows the UI best practices for ecommerce stores. For example, this theme is free and comparable to Wix’s T-shirt store theme (and this one has a search bar by default!):
Shopify Themes are suitable for stores of all sizes
The Sense theme is for small stores. But Shopify also has powerhouse themes that suit big catalogs (200+ products) and high-volume stores well.
For example, the Canopy theme is one of the top-listed themes under the 200+ catalog size filter:
And everything about it hints it’s meant for big stores. For instance:
- Collections (not products) are featured at the top.
- You can use the search bar to look for a particular item in a particular category:
The ‘Shop’ dropdown mega menu helps navigate to categories and subcategories:
There are thousands of Shopify themes created by 3rd party developers.
These themes cost money and rely on the 3rd party developer to provide support, but there are lots of examples of live Shopify stores that look beautiful.
When it comes to 3rd party Shopify themes, there are two classes: verified providers and unverified.
- Verified (90+ themes) — I already talked about these. Sold in the official Shopify theme store. All providers are vetted to ensure they provide the proper support— there’s nothing more frustrating than a theme that’s out of date in a year!
- Unverified (13,000+ themes) — For sale on marketplaces like Theme Forest. Not verified by Shopify.
Shopify Theme Customization
Shopify includes a Customizer tool for customizing themes. It’s structured (unlike Wix), and you can add sections and blocks to it and move them up or down essentially:
Unfortunately, the Customizer tool is very limited. You can do basic things like changing the heading size between small, medium, or large or choosing how many columns you want for displaying the products.
You’ll need to jump into code to make most changes. For example, the only way to change the navigation text color is to edit the CSS code.
Here’s a rule of thumb: If you want a custom Shopify theme, you’re not going to be able to do it without jumping into CSS code occasionally or hiring a Shopify theme expert.
About Shopify Liquid
Note: This section likely doesn’t concern you.
You can fully customize your Shopify theme or build a whole new theme for your store with Shopify Liquid API. Liquid is a template language created by Shopify. All Shopify themes are built on top of it.
A website builder’s page editor plays a huge role in its “ease of use” and “development time” factors.
For some, these factors are more important than extensive ecommerce features. For instance, an artist wanting to sell his paintings online will be happy with basic ecommerce features if he can easily build and manage his own website.
And for them, Wix makes a lot of sense because of its beginner-friendly page editor.
Wix Page Editor
Wix’s page editor and theme editor are the same — you can edit any Wix page with its easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor.
On top of the user-friendly editor, Wix has many well-designed templates of commonly-used pages - About, Services, Landing page, Contact, Blog, etc. You can start from them and quickly edit and publish.
A note about Velo by Wix and Wix ADI
Wix’s drag-and-drop editor is its main editor and one most people mean when they say “Wix Editor.” But Wix has two more editors:
- Wix ADI: This is for users who want to get up and running quickly. Wix ADI is like a setup wizard for your website. It asks you a series of questions (what is your website for? Do you have design preferences?), and it automatically sets up a website that has those things for you.
- Velo by Wix: Velo is Wix’s full-stack development platform. It’s basically Wix’s code editor that helps you make the site of your dreams (with code).
Shopify Page Editor
Shopify’s editor is similar to Microsoft Word — it’s a rich text editor that lets you place images and videos in line with the text. Whatever you enter in the text editor adapts to your store theme.
This isn’t as intuitive and as flexible as the Wix editor. Therefore, making a beautiful page with the default Shopify page editor is hard.
Note: You can use a page builder like PageFly, Shogun, or Gempages to build beautiful Shopify pages.
About Product Editors
A product editor is different from a page editor. A product editor is where you add information that shows up on your product page or helps with product organization.
Both Wix and Shopify product editors have primary features: You can add the product name, product description, media, price (MRP and sale price), product variants (size, color, etc.), inventory details, shipping details, brand name, collection, and SEO details.
But Shopify product editor has a few more features that makes it superior:
- Customs information: Customs authorities use this information to calculate duties. This is especially helpful if you sell internationally.
- Product tags: You can assign tags to products on Shopify. It makes bundling and searching for products easier.
- Metafields: This is a comparatively new Shopify feature but very useful. Metafields enable you to add specialized/dynamic information to your pages (product pages and others) that you can’t add with the default product editor. Say you want to display your product’s history and not bury it in the product description, you can add a metafield definition for it and show it on the product page wherever and however you like:
- Preview button: Forgive me for screaming, but THERE’S NO WAY TO PREVIEW WIX PRODUCT PAGE FROM THE WIX PRODUCT EDITOR!! This is such an obvious feature to have, and Wix doesn’t have it — Shopify obviously does.
Any kind of online business, especially ecommerce, needs marketing to achieve business goals. And both Wix and Shopify have a suite of marketing features.
Wix Marketing Features
Wix has a separate entity for marketing features. It’s called Ascend.
Wix Ascend is a collection of marketing tools and add-ons. You get limited access to it with your website plan and will need to upgrade to use it fully. Plans start at $10/month.
Here are some of the tools included in Wix Ascend:
- SEO Wiz: It’s basically an SEO checklist wizard. Besides this, Wix has many SEO features like custom meta tags, robots.txt editor, structured data markup, URL customization, XML sitemaps, etc., built into the site builder itself. In simpler words, you can rank your Wix site on search engines like Google.
- Email Marketing: Wix’s own email marketing tool. It includes an easy-to-use email editor and nice email templates for newsletters, special offers, and announcements. You can also see basic metrics like open rate and CTR as well.
- Wix Forms: To collect visitor details for subscriber sign-up, lead nurturing, easy contact, and more. Paid plans add more form builder functionality (for example: accepting online payments).
- Wix Automations: Create triggers and actions for marketing automation. For example, you can automate sending an email for abandoned cart recovery.
- Social Posts: A tool for creating social media assets.
- Marketing Integrations: Easily connect with tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel.
- Logo Maker: A free tool to create professional logos.
- Contacts: Like a CRM for anyone who interacts with your website and business. [Side note: Shopify includes similar customer management options by default!]
- Members: Adds membership functionality to your website.
- Wix Inbox: Manage live chats and form submissions.
- Wix Chat: Add live chat to your website.
- Wix Invoices & Price Quotes: For sending quotes and invoices to customers.
- Tasks: A to-do list app.
Built-in Marketing Features
Though most of Wix’s marketing-related features come under Ascend, you have access to some features out of the box:
- Gift cards: Let customers send personalized e-gift cards to friends & family.
- Loyalty program (by Smile.io): Reward loyal customers and retain them. This is only available on the Business VIP plan.
- Blogging: You can add a blog and publish blog posts to your Wix store site to attract and engage potential customers. The Wix blog post editor is nice — you can add text in different fonts & sizes, add media, add products from your store, add meta tags & optimize URL slug for SEO, assign categories and tags to posts for easier navigation, translate posts in 180 languages, put your articles behind a paywall, etc.
Wix’s Third-Party Marketing Features
You can add third-party marketing apps to your Wix site through Wix App Market. It has niche apps for email marketing, SMS marketing, popups, affiliate marketing, upselling, and more.
Marketing Features on Shopify
Shopify chooses a similar route as Wix in presenting its marketing features, though in different packaging.
Firstly, Shopify — like Wix — has basic marketing features pre-installed on the platform: a good blogging platform (see Shopify blog examples to see how other Shopify stores are using it), announcement bar block, essential SEO features, etc.
Everything other than that is borrowed from a separate entity — the separate entity in Wix’s case was Ascend; for Shopify, it’s the Shopify App Store.
You can install Shopify’s own marketing apps as needed. Most of them are free or freemium. Here are a few of them:
- Shopify Inbox (Free): To chat with customers and drive sales.
- Shopify Email (Freemium - first 10,000 emails per month are free. Then, it is $1 for every 1,000 emails.): Shopify’s email marketing tool. It includes basic templates and a nice email editor.
- Shopify Collabs (Free): Shopify has built a database of millions of creators. You can find the right influencers to promote your products through this app.
- Shopify Flow (Free): Shopify’s automation app.
- Linkpop (Free): Shopify’s link-in-bio tool.
However, these apps are subpar compared to the goldmine Shopify has in the form of third-party apps.
Shopify’s Third-Party Marketing Features
Shopify’s third-party apps give you access to any ecommerce marketing feature you need (most good apps are paid):
- Email marketing: Add Seguno, Privy, Automizely, or the marketers-favorite Klaviyo to build automated email campaigns.
- SMS marketing: Install Postscript or SMSBump to boost sales with SMS.
- Pop-ups & Announcements: Popupsmart, Optimonk, Justuno, etc., enable you to design high-converting pop-ups.
- SEO: You can use Secomapp’s SEO tool to optimize images, meta tags, URLs, schema, sitemap, etc., in a way Google recommends to improve SEO ranking & drive organic traffic.
- Affiliate marketing: Build affiliate programs with UpPromote, Social Snowball, etc., to boost word-of-mouth.
- Whatsapp marketing: Use Delightchat to communicate with customers over Whatsapp.
- Snapchat marketing: Add the Snapchat Ads app to sync your Shopify products to your Snapchat Catalog and run ads.
- Push notifications: Add Pushowl to recover abandoned carts or announce discounts via web push.
- Upsell & cross-sell: Increase AOV with an app like Reconvert or One-click Upsell.
- Personalization: Use an app like Rebuy Personalization Engine or Twik to personalize the customer experience.
- Quizzes: Use Octane AI or Prehook to build quizzes and collect zero-party data.
- High-converting landing pages: Use PageFly, GemPages, etc., to build beautiful Shopify pages.
These are just a few of the top marketing apps on Shopify. Shopify has 1600+ of these listed!
Wix Marketing vs Shopify Marketing: VerdictShopify’s marketing apps are wider in range and deeper in features. Shopify wins this round.
Apps & Extensions
Wix and Shopify allow third-party developers to make apps for their platforms. I already mentioned a few of them, especially the ones for ecommerce marketing. Let’s see what more both platforms’ app stores have to offer.
Wix App Market
Wix App Market has a total of 300+ apps — only a portion of them are meant specifically for Wix Ecommerce. They are divided into categories like Marketing, Sell Online, Services & Events, etc., and subcategories like Conversions, SEO, Email, etc.
Shopify App Store
Shopify’s App Store is in its own league — not only when compared to Wix but any ecommerce platform.
The Shopify App Store has over 7500 apps (!) across categories like store design, marketing, merchandising, conversion, store management, fulfillment, customer service, shipping, etc.
The apps on Shopify App Store are not only superior to Wix in width but also in depth.
Let’s talk about width first. Shopify App Store has a wide range of apps, many of the types (and with features) you won’t be able to find in the Wix App Market. For example:
- You can’t make your own ecommerce marketplace with Wix. In contrast, you can install the Multi Vendor Marketplace app on Shopify and allow unlimited sellers to sell on your store.
- Even basic apps on Shopify are better. A review app like Okendo that helps collect reviews & UGC in multiple ways and showcase it beautifully everywhere is better than anything Wix has to offer.
- Most big-name Shopify apps integrate with other relevant apps, making everything easy to automate. For example, you can collect zero-party data with Octane AI (a quiz platform) and push it to Klaviyo (an email marketing platform) to create customer segments for running targeted email campaigns.
- Moreover, they typically have more features specifically tailored for ecommerce brands. For example, Klaviyo can give personalized product recommendations via email based on customers’ purchase history.
Wix App Market vs Shopify App Store: VerdictThough Wix App Market has a good range of apps, they don’t even compare to the mammoth Shopify App Store.
Reporting & Analytics
You must track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) like AOV (Average Order Value), conversion rate, cart abandonment rate, LTV (Lifetime Value), etc., to know the results your efforts produce and make informed decisions.
Both Wix and Shopify have well-rounded analytics platforms. Is one better than the other?
Wix provides in-depth analytics into sales, traffic, customers, and more.
You can see reports of
- Sales: Sales over time, sales by item, sales by coupon, etc.
- Traffic: Traffic by location, traffic by entry page, traffic by device, etc.
- Stores: Inventory snapshot, conversion funnel, most abandoned products, slow-moving inventory, and more.
- Blog: Top blog posts, blog activity over time, etc.
- Marketing & SEO: Top traffic sources, email campaign performance, etc.
Shopify has a mature analytics platform that shows and reports important ecommerce KPIs.
You can see these metrics on the Shopify Analytics overview board: Total sales, Online store session, Returning customer data, Online store conversion rate, Average order value, Total orders, Top products by units sold, Online store sessions by traffic source, Online store sessions by location, Online store sessions by device type, Online store sessions by social source, Sales by social source, Sales by traffic source, Top referrers by sessions, Top landing pages by sessions, and Sales attributed to marketing.
Under its Reports section, you can find in-depth reports on sales, acquisition, orders, profits, and pretty much all dimensions I mentioned above.
Compared to Wix, Shopify offers more insights for ecommerce businesses. For instance:
- Shopify runs ABC analysis by product reports to give ecommerce owners insights that help with inventory optimization and forecasting. Wix doesn’t.
- Similarly, Shopify gives insights into specific data like Product recommendation conversions over time that Wix doesn’t.
Wix Analytics vs Shopify Analytics: VerdictBoth Wix and Shopify have solid analytics & reporting platform. Plus, you can use a third-party analytics platform like Google Analytics with both platforms.
But if I had to choose one, I'd choose Shopify because it has slightly better reporting features.
How optimized and feature-rich a website builder’s mobile app is should probably be the last thing to affect your platform choice. Most people use it just to see analytics or do basic edits. I know many Shopify users, in specific, keep the app for just the dopamine-pumping cha-ching notifications.
But both Shopify and Wix have invested quite a bit in their mobile apps. So how do they compare?
Wix Mobile App
Firstly, Wix has numerous mobile apps: Wix Owner, Spaces, Fit by Wix, Dine by Wix, and Wix Logo Maker. I am focusing on the Wix Owner: Website Builder app.
Wix’s mobile app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Apart from making or editing the web pages, you can do everything on the Wix app:
- See reports and track real-time analytics,
- Chat live with visitors (Handy feature for one-person team entrepreneurs!),
- Create and send email campaigns,
- Create and share social media posts,
- Build and manage your online store: manage inventory, upload product details, fulfill orders, make custom coupon codes, etc.,
- Manage your blog, etc.
Shopify Mobile App
Shopify has an Android and an iOS app.
Because its page editor isn’t unstructured like Wix’s, you can create and edit web pages as well. That’s the main difference between the Wix mobile app and the Shopify mobile app.
Besides, it has all the ecommerce-related features Wix’s app does: You can set up your store, add products, add apps, make design changes, publish blog posts, see analytics, and pretty much handle your whole business from the Shopify mobile app.
The importance of online security for ecommerce businesses cannot be overstated. One mishap and the whole business comes crumbling down.
How well would Wix and Shopify — both closed platforms — handle your store’s security? Short answer: Well enough (and then some). Long answer:
Wix does everything in its power to keep your site secure:
- All Wix plans include a free SSL certificate, i.e., any information being passed by a visitor to you (like email, credit card details, phone number, etc.) is encrypted and secure.
- PCI DSS compliant. PCI compliance (payment card industry compliance) refers to a set of 12 security standards businesses use to keep customer card data secure. “PCI DSS compliant” means Wix complies with the highest PCI standards.
- Rigorous development process: Wix uses security best practices to ensure security.
- Third-party app security: For many features, you’ll need to add an app from the Wix App Market. If any of the apps are vulnerable to attacks, your store is too. Wix has a strict TPRM (Third-party risk management) program to ensure no app or app update with safety threats is published.
- Security monitoring: Apart from having a secure core, Wix also monitors all sites on the platform to catch security attacks.
- Bug bounty program: It’s impossible to have an unhackable platform. If an expert hacker comes with an ill intention to your store, it’s possible they will succeed. But Wix minimizes the risk to a very high degree by having a bug bounty program. In simpler words, a “bug bounty program” means Wix pays independent security researchers a bounty for finding and reporting bugs on the Wix platform.
About Wix Backups
Wix gives you access to all manually-saved versions of your site. You can look at the site history and restore any revisions.
Unfortunately, you can’t restore data saved inside apps; only customization and design changes are reverted back. Let’s understand it better with an example: Say you made product detail changes in Wix Stores. You won’t be able to restore the previous product version data with Wix.
Note: No third-party app on the Wix App Market takes fully automated backups.
Shopify is similar to Wix in security regards. They add SSL certificates to all stores, are PCI compliant, and have systems in place to avoid security disasters.
One of the biggest threats for a platform like Shopify (that heavily relies on third-party apps) could be the vulnerabilities third-party apps bring. But fortunately, as long as you install an app from the Shopify app store, you are safe. Shopify has strict security requirements for developers submitting apps.
Shopify also has a bug bounty program. Since its launch in 2015, security researchers have reported 1400+ bugs, and Shopify has resolved them.
About Shopify Backups
Shopify performs platform-wide backups, but it cannot restore your individual account data. You’ll need to rely on an app like Rewind if you want peace of mind.
Rewind costs start at $39/month, which is expensive, but it’s value for money. Rewind continuously backs up your entire store, including all items, images, product descriptions, blogs, themes, orders, pages, customer lists, and more. As I already mentioned, there’s no such feature or app in Wix.
Wix and Shopify come neck and neck when it comes to customer support. Both reply reasonably fast and have similar support options.
Wix Customer Support
Wix has an extensive help center with articles related to common customer questions regarding getting started, Wix editor, billing, Ascend, mobile editor, site performance, Wix Stores, Wix ADI, Editor X, and more. There’s also a Wix Forum Community where Wix users help each other.
Besides, you have 24/7 access to their customer support via live chat and email.
You can also request a callback from the support team. Depending on the language you speak, phone support is available 24/7 or within specific working hours.
Shopify Customer Support
Shopify has solid help center articles and video tutorials for solving frequently asked questions. Then there’s the Shopify Community — with over 900,000 Shopify merchants and partners — ready to help you.
For the “talking to an actual human” aspect, Shopify covers all three main channels 24/7: live chat, email tickets, and phone support.
Plans & Pricing
By now, you know Shopify is a superior ecommerce platform, and Wix lacks quite a few primary ecommerce features. Does it translate in both platforms’ pricing, i.e., does Wix cost less than Shopify? Well…decide for yourself:
Wix has one very limited free plan, eight paid plans, and enterprise plans. The eight paid plans are divided into five Website Plans (these plans do not have ecommerce features) and three Business and eCommerce Plans. For this article, I am focusing on the Business and eCommerce Plans to keep the comparison fair.
- Business Basic ($27/month): The Business Basic is Wix’s first ecommerce plan. It has some feature limitations (for example: no subscription products, no dropshipping, no automated sales tax, no product reviews, no advanced shipping options, you can’t display pricing in multiple currencies, etc.).
- Business Unlimited ($32/month): This plan gives you limited access to many features Basic doesn’t. For example, it includes Product reviews by KudoBuzz (up to 1000 reviews) and automated sales tax (up to 100 transactions/month).
- Business VIP ($59/month): This one’s Wix’s most advanced ecommerce plan. There are still some limitations, but it’s good enough for low to mid-volume stores (i.e., Wix’s target audience). It includes a loyalty program by Smile.io, custom reporting, and priority customer support.
We talk about Wix’s website plans here. They start at $16/month (if we exclude the limited Connect Domain plan).
A few notes regarding Wix Pricing:
- Wix advertises the monthly cost of annual plans on its pricing page. It’s confusing. You cannot see the actual price of monthly plans until you hit checkout.
- All ecommerce plans (Business Basic, Business Unlimited, and Business VIP) also include online store tools for bookings, ticket sales, restaurant orders, hotel reservations, and artist ecommerce features.
- You get a free domain name for the first year if you choose an annual plan. This is available for every plan except for the Connect Domain plan. (This must be for a new custom domain name— you can’t use this to renew an existing domain name.)
- All plans include a free SSL certificate.
- Wix includes $600 in Ad Vouchers: $500 Google Ads (with a $500 purchase) and $100 Bing Ads for all ecommerce plans. These vouchers need to be used within two months, or they expire.
Shopify has five plans in total: Shopify Lite, Basic, Shopify, Advanced, and Shopify Plus. Each plan includes all major features, unlimited products, unlimited bandwidth, fraud analysis, and support. And all plans come with a 14-day free trial.
- Shopify Lite ($9/month): This plan allows you to add ecommerce functionality to your non-Shopify site (through the Buy Button channel). For example, if you want to use Wix for its easy-to-use editor and Shopify for its ecommerce prowess, you can do it using this.
- Shopify Basic ($29/month): I’d recommend most stores start with this plan. It has everything needed to build a solid ecommerce store.
- Shopify ($79/month): Move to this plan when you need gift card support, reporting, 3rd party shipping rates, and lesser 3rd party transaction fees.
- Shopify Advanced ($299/month): This plan includes features for advanced reporting, more staff accounts, more inventory locations, ecommerce automation, adding custom pricing by market, etc.
- Shopify Plus (starting at $2000/month): This one’s for enterprise-grade stores like AllBirds, Rothy’s, Gymshark, Staples, etc.
About third-party app costs
The way Shopify has structured its platform, you’ll inevitably need to add apps to your store. The basic ones are free and from Shopify itself, and they are good enough for most new stores.
However, you’ll need to add third-party apps to your store as you scale. These third-party apps can quickly add to the business costs. Typically, beginner-level stores invest between $50-$100 per month on Shopify apps, but the number can go in hundreds or even thousands depending on the size of the business. For example, this Reddit user $1200 per month on Shopify apps:
Wix Plans vs Shopify Plans: VerdictWix’s Business Basic plan is a couple of bucks cheaper than the Shopify Basic plan. And if the Basic plan features serve your needs, then maybe Wix wins.
But the Shopify Basic plan is comparable to Wix’s Business Unlimited and even the Business VIP plan in most aspects. So I’d say Shopify plans are a better value for money.
When To Use Wix Instead Of Shopify
Firstly, I would only ever recommend Wix’s ecommerce platform for small stores (for numerous reasons discussed above).
I can think of two good reasons to choose Wix over Shopify for your ecommerce website:
- Wix’s page editor is flexible and beginner-friendly. You can use its drag-and-drop editor to build your web pages however you like. A lot of what Wix’s editor can do, the Shopify editor can’t (unless you know how to code or can hire a developer/designer).
- You/your target audience is located outside the US and/or countries other than where Shopify Payments is available. Wix Payments offer a better (lower) transaction rate than Shopify Payments in many countries outside of the US. Plus, Wix doesn’t charge any transaction fees if you use a third-party payment processor; Shopify does.
When To Use Shopify Over Wix
There is one really good reason to use Shopify instead of Wix: Shopify is a complete ecommerce platform and much more powerful.
This makes sense, really: Shopify is just for ecommerce websites. Wix is for general websites. So Shopify as a company will always be more focused on ecommerce features.
Wix lacks basic ecommerce features and barely touches any advanced ecommerce features. In contrast, Shopify is a fundamentally-solid ecommerce platform in itself + it has an app store with 7,500+ 3rd party apps that extend your store features.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Wix compete with Shopify?
It depends on the criteria:
- If the criteria is 'making beautiful websites,' definitely -- Wix will, in fact, win.
- If the criteria is 'making a small store,' there's some completion. Still, Shopify wins.
- But if the criteria is 'making a full-fledged ecommerce store,' there's no competition - Shopify is miles ahead.
Is Wix easier to use than Shopify?
Yes, Wix is easier to use than Shopify. It has a drag-and-drop editor that makes building a website very straightforward. A lot of what you can do with Wix editor can't be done with Shopify unless you know to code.
Why do people prefer Wix?
Firstly, not everyone prefers Wix (especially for ecommerce). But Wix surely is easier to use and a well-rounded platform for many types of websites, including small ecommerce stores.
Is Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify better?
Depends on the use case.
For a feature-rich ecommerce store, Shopify is better than Squarespace & Squarespace is better than Wix.
For a beautiful website, Squarespace is better than Wix & Wix is better than Shopify.