Are you trying to decide whether you should go with ShopWired or Shopify for your online store?
In this post, I am going to compare these two ecommerce platforms so that you can make an informed decision as to which one you should go for.
Both platforms offer a selection of different packages but for this post I am just going to give an overview of the two basic packages. If you are interested in the higher level packages, then check out the full reviews of both platforms.
Up to 750 Products
Up to £75,000 Annual Turnover
Free SSL Certificate
No Transaction Fees
19 Free Premium Themes
Unlimited File Storage
Standard UK Support
14 Day Free Trial
No Turnover Limit
Free SSL Certificate
2% Transaction Fee
8 Free Responsive Themes
Unlimited Data Storage
14 Day Free Trial
Both of the basic packages are very similar in terms of what they offer. The main difference between the two is that ShopWired work on a tiered pricing structure, so once you go over £75,000 in annual sales you will be moved up to the next tier. With the Shopify packages, you pay a 2% transaction charge on every sale you make, unless you are using Shopify payments, this does reduce on the more expensive packages.
2. Performance and Security
Whenever I check the performance of a platform, I always use the same system. I take three of their example sites and run them through Pingdom's Speed Tool (London, UK server) once a day for three days to get an average load time. The example sites I chose were all in similar industries and had similar quantity and quality of content.
As you can see, there is not a huge difference in the load time but the Shopify average was just over the golden 2 second time. Of the three Shopify sites I tested, only one got under the 2 second load time on all three tests in comparison all three ShopWired sites loaded in under 2 seconds. As page speed is a ranking factor for search engines, this is something that should be considered when choosing between the two.
When it comes to security, both platforms have PCI compliant servers and include a free SSL certificate with every packages.
Neither platform is short on options when it comes to payment gateways. All the major gateways such as PayPal, Amazon pay, WorldPay and SagePay are supported, as I mentioned above, you will incur additional transaction fees with Shopify.
You can use Stripe with both platforms, under the Stripe name with ShopWired but it is known as Shopify Payments on the Shopify platform. Using Shopify Payments incurs no additional transaction fees.
Having a good selection of themes is an important aspect of choosing which ecommerce platform to choose. All of the themes available for both platforms are fully mobile responsive which is very important for online shops as an estimated 50% of traffic comes from mobile devices.
In terms of total number of themes, Shopify have a far higher selection with a total of 72 themes in the Shopify theme store compared to the 24 available with ShopWired. The big difference is that only 8 of the Shopify themes are free, whereas 19 of the ShopWired offerings are free.
When it comes to paid themes, all of the 64 themes in Shopify theme store are between £140 and $180 which is more than the 5 paid themes from ShopWired that range from £29 - £69 + vat.
Having a good selection of themes is one thing but you also need to be able to easily customise them so that they fit your business and brand.
Both platforms offer the ability to customise their themes but you can do more with Shopify, you can control design elements such as layout with the ability to add and remove sections on a page, image placement and access to a library of stock images, font styles and colours. The Shopify theme customisation area is also easy to use and you can instantly see the results of any changes that you make to your website.
Theme customisation is one area that lets down the ShopWired platform as you are quite limited to what you can customise on the themes. You can change the themes colours so that they fit your brand and can change the images and text that are used on the site but that is about it. Even though the themes are really well designed, having some more control over the layout would be nice, without having to delve into the themes CSS and HTML.
While both platforms are great for running an online shop out of the gate, every business is different and having the ability to add desired functionality to your store is always a bonus.
Now both platforms offer this ability but they approach it in slightly different ways. With ShopWired all of the apps and extensions that are available are made in house and nearly all of the apps are free, with most of the paid ones are integrations with accounting software. You also get more of the paid apps included with the bigger packages.
Shopify on the other have a app store and there is a selection of apps from the Shopify themselves but many of them are from third party developers. This means that they have a far bigger selection of apps, well over a thousand at the last time of counting. While this is a great from a functionality point of view, the main issue with many of the third party apps is that they come with monthly charges and if you are not careful, you could soon find yourself paying out a lot more than the standard package price!
Lets take a more in depth look into the features both platforms offer.
Out of the box, ShopWired is a really good ecommerce platform but they do offer a lot of really useful additional functionality in terms of apps and extensions.
To help you expand your sales reach beyond your website, ShopWired offer integration with multiple sales channels such as Ebay, Facebook and Google shopping. If you offer digital products, you can sell the using the Digital Downloads app.
They also have a selection of apps that can help you market your site and increase your conversion rates such as a blog, MailChimp integration to help you grow an email list and an Abandoned Basket app that automatically sends an email if someone leaves the site after adding something to their basket.
If you want to create a b2b site, then a lot of the apps and extensions will add many of the features that you could want.
It is a bit difficult to list the add-on possibilities with Shopify just down to the huge amount of apps that are available! In terms of what you get as standard, you get the ability to create marketing campaigns with Facebook and Google directly in your Shopify dashboard. You also get a blog and can offer voucher codes to your customers as well.
If there is any specific functionality you want to know about, you really do need to see if it is available in the app store.
If you planning on starting a dropshipping business then both of these platforms have apps that can enable you to do this. ShopWired only offer a single app but this one is set up so that you can start dropshipping directly with Aliexpress. Shopify on the other hand have a number of apps that integrate with many different dropshipping companies, so if you have a particular partner in mind then check out the Shopify App Store to see if they have an app.
5. Ease of Use
Now when it comes down to how easy each platform is to use, this is just my opinion and everyone will have a different experience of the platforms. For me, both platforms are really good ways to get an online shop up and running really quickly. This is great if you are short on time or are just doing a proof of concept to see if you have a viable business or not.
They are both aimed at people who are just starting out and they keep the admin area simple and easy to navigate. I did prefer the ShopWired setup guide to the Shopify one as it contained more important and relevant sections, the Shopify one was a little bit too light for me and didn't cover all the things you need to get an online shop set up properly.
Adding and Managing Products
Both platforms make it really easy to manage your inventory and they both have well laid out pages to make it easy to add new products.
The difference between the two only really shows when it comes to organising your stock. ShopWired stick with the traditional category options, which makes it easy to know exactly how you are going to organise your products and you can start building a hierarchy of main categories and sub-categories if you so wish.
Shopify use a system called collections, which is similar to categories but there are many different options as to how you can manage your collections and for me, it was more difficult planning how to create a hierarchy for my products. If you decide to go with Shopify, I would suggest reading up on the documentation about collections, so that you understand exactly how to organise your products as trying to guess your way through it could cause your site to be a bit of a mess from a user experience stand point.
Both platforms offer a really good order management set up but I do feel that you get more control with ShopWired as they allow you to manage your orders in bulk. Whether it is updating orders statuses or printing off packing slips, this can make a big difference in the amount of time you spend doing this. When I tested this out with Shopify, I could only edit orders and print them off on an individual basis.
Both platforms do allow you to export your orders in CSV format, which is great if you use a third-party order management or shipping software.
Both are great options for anyone just planning to start an online shop. They are both simple and easy to use, with good documentation to help you with anything you might be stuck with. If you are planning on starting a dropshipping business, then for me it does come down to these two platforms, because they both offer integration with third party dropshipping companies.
From my experience, they both offer good quality support, should you run into any issues and you can't find a fix in the documentation.
There are two main differences between the platforms, the first is the amount of design customisation you can do to your online shop, it is an area where ShopWired are lacking but Shopify do really well. The second is the amount and cost of adding functionality, while you can add more with Shopify, the costs can soon add up and there might be things you would pay for with Shopify that you could get for free with ShopWired.
I think you should definitely take advantage of both platforms free trials so that you can get a feel for them both, you may find that you click with one far better than the other. I will leave links below to my full reviews of both platforms, if you want to take a look at them in more detail.