If you’re looking for an e-commerce platform, then you may have heard about Wix e-commerce app, Wix Stores. You may even be considering whether to choose Wix over other popular website builders, such as Shopify, Weebly, WordPress.com or Squarespace. Are you wondering whether Wix has the right mix of features to optimally get your products to the market and, most importantly, to keep your customers happy? In this article, we give you a complete run-down on Wix and Wix Stores, so that you can decide whether it’s the best match for your e-retail business.
- What is Wix?
- Wix e-commerce: what is Wix Stores?
- Pros and cons of using Wix e-commerce
- Are Wix e-commerce sites SEO-friendly?
- How can you optimise an online store using Wix?
- Building a Wix e-commerce shop
- The Wix App Market
- Wix tools for e-commerce retailers
- How can you use Wix to manage your online shop?
- Wix inventory management options for e-commerce
- Wix shopping cart and payment options for e-commerce
- Wix shipping options for e-commerce
- How much does a Wix e-commerce cost?
- Is Wix the right choice for your online shop?
What is Wix?
Wix is a cloud-based platform for building HTML5 websites for personal or commercial use. Its website building software, the Wix Editor, has a strong reputation for being super easy to use.
Here are a few key facts about Wix:
- Wix is well-known for its ease of use.
- It is especially popular among small business owners and DIY e-retailers.
- Wix is growing in popularity. There are now over 180 million Wix users in 190 countries around the world.
As opposed to some other popular website builders (like WordPress.com), Wix is an all-in-one solution for both hosting and building your site:
- Because it’s all cloud-based, your site is stored on Wix’s hosting server.
- Wix operates on a “freemium” model, which means that users can use many of its website-building features at no cost, or pay to use premium features.
- If you want to sell products through your Wix site, you must pay for a Business plan (we’ll discuss prices below).
Wix e-commerce: what is Wix Stores?
Wix Stores is Wix’s own e-commerce platform. If you are building your site using Wix and have a Wix Business plan, then you can add the Wix Stores app to the Wix Editor to access many useful e-commerce features.
Wix Stores enables you to:
- Sell merchandise, including digital products, subscriptions and product bundles
- Display product videos and different images for various product options on product pages and in your site’s product gallery
- Connect multiple payment methods to your store
- Dropship products through Modalyst, Spocket and other platforms
- Automatically calculate sales tax
- Sell your products through multiple channels, like Facebook, Instagram, eBay and Google Shopping
- Send email notifications and marketing messages to customers
- Add customer-focused features, such as wishlists, order tracking numbers and express checkout
- Monitor your store’s analytics and use conversion tools like the Facebook Conversion Pixel
These are just a few of the features of Wix Stores. In short, Wix Stores offers virtually every feature that most small/DIY e-commerce retailers need to operate a successful business. Combined with the Wix website builder, it also gives you the freedom as an e-retailer to use many third-party plugins and apps to manage your inventory, customise your checkout process and streamline your shipping.
Pros and cons of using Wix e-commerce
Like with any website builder, there are advantages and disadvantages to using Wix. Below, we take you through some of the key pros and cons of Wix, so that you can see how it stacks up against other solutions, and decide whether it’s a good match for your needs.
- Access to an extensive app market: One of the most popular aspects of using Wix is its extensive app market, where you can find useful plugins for virtually anything you want your site to do. Wix users can access hundreds of free and paid apps that cover all areas of running an e-commerce business, from product page features, to checkout, to marketing, to shipping and beyond.
- Adding animations: Unlike most site builders, Wix lets you add animations to your site (animated text and other elements). This can be an eye-catching design feature for your storefront.
- Ease of use: The Wix Editor interface is famously easy to use. Use drag-and-drop controls to build your site, or work with templates that automatically reconfigure for viewing on mobile screens. The Wix Editor itself is available in 16 languages.
- Excellent support: Wix and Wix Stores are supported by a vast collection of FAQs, along with 24/7 customer service. It also enables users to submit feature requests, which it lists publicly.
- Huge selection of templates: Wix makes it easy to build a professional site by giving you hundreds of templates to choose from.
- No sales fees: Wix offers fair pricing for running an e-commerce shop, with no transaction fees (see the section on pricing below).
- Powerful e-commerce tools: Wix Stores includes sophisticated features for e-retailers, including abandoned cart recovery, which sends reminders to follow up with customers who abandon their cart.
- Selling through multiple channels: Wix Stores enables you to sell your products through multiple channels, including Facebook, Instagram and eBay. This opens your e-commerce business up to a much larger market.
- Focus on DIY/smaller businesses: If you’re looking for a website builder for a huge online store, then Wix and Wix Stores are probably not at the top of your list. They are far more geared towards smaller e-retailers, which is their real focus group.
- Language settings are not always great for SEO: The automatic translation/language setting features for your pages are useful for reaching an international audience, but may not be ideal for SEO purposes, since you cannot set a unique URL for each language version of your page.
- Only one site per premium plan: If you want to set up and operate multiple e-commerce sites using Wix, you’ll need a separate plan for each of them.
- Relatively low loading speeds on mobile devices: Since loading speed is an important factor for SEO and user experience in general, some have expressed concerns about the relatively low loading speed for Wix-built mobile sites.
- Sites are non-transferrable: Once a Wix site, always a Wix site. Your Wix website is hosted exclusively on Wix’s servers and cannot be exported or transferred elsewhere. You also cannot export or embed files or pages that you create using the Wix Editor to another host.
Are Wix e-commerce sites SEO-friendly?
The internet is home to many mysterious and stubborn rumours. One of these is that sites built using Wix are supposedly less likely to rank high in search engine results. This rumour has caused many e-retailers to think twice before using Wix to build their shops.
However, these rumours are actually completely unfounded. In fact, John Mueller, the Senior Webmaster for Trends Analyst at Google, has even publicly stated that there is no substance to this rumour and that Wix is actually just as SEO-compatible as any other website builder.
According to Mueller, it’s not the builder you use, but the content of your site that actually influences SEO. However, as mentioned above, others have pointed out that Wix’s loading speed may slightly affect your site’s SEO performance, as it may increase your bounce rate.
How can you optimise an online store using Wix?
If you’re looking for a flexible, customisable website builder for your e-commerce shop, Wix and Wix Stores give you plenty of options. The Wix Editor is extremely user-friendly. You can choose to keep things relatively simple with professional-looking design templates or optimise your shop with a wide range of add-ons and widgets.
Building a Wix e-commerce shop
Especially for small businesses and DIY e-retailers without extensive web design experience, Wix is a great option for getting an online shop up and running quickly.
The Wix Editor is designed to be extremely easy for anyone to use. It follows a ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) approach which lets users build professional sites without having to write a single line of code themselves. You simply drag and drop design elements such as text boxes, videos, images or contact forms to wherever you want them to appear on your pages. The editor shows a full preview of what your site will look like when it goes live. When you’re done editing, you simply publish the site and it’s ready to welcome your customers.
The Wix App Market
One of the best things about Wix is that it develops many of its own apps, such as Wix Stores. These apps are designed specifically for building and managing the perfect Wix site. That’s a key advantage over other website builders that rely heavily on third-party apps, which offer little guarantee regarding their effectiveness or continued support. Wix actually offers its users a selection of over 80 original, high-quality apps. Its app market also gives you access to many popular third-party apps.
Wix tools for e-commerce retailers
Wix is designed to help e-commerce retailers get a professional site set up and running quickly, without having to do a lot of testing or coding on your own. It offers many built-in tools to support business owners and e-retailers. These include useful features like:
- CRM software for managing your customer data.
- The Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI) feature, which is an automatic design feature that uses an algorithm to handle many of the basic tasks of setting up a new web shop. This tool can help you set up a site more quickly as well.
- Wix is responsive to the viewer’s device. It automatically adapts your site for optimal viewing on your customer’s device.
- It also includes smart accessibility features which adapt the page to your user’s browser. This is especially beneficial for users who have a disability.
When you open up a business account with Wix, you first have to specify which type of business you are. Based on your business type, Wix automatically configures your settings and offers you a selection of featured templates. This saves you from having to browse through templates on your own.
In general, Wix simplifies the web design process as much as possible for e-commerce retailers. It offers a wide range of automated tools that make your life easier, even if you don’t know anything about HTML or CSS codes.
How can you use Wix to manage your online shop?
So, as you can see, Wix makes it easy to set up an online shop. But what about keeping your shop running? How does Wix stack up when it comes to managing your e-retail business?
Wix e-commerce: inventory management options
Thanks to the Wix App Market, you can install popular plugins for managing your shop’s inventory. The most popular app to use with your Wix shop is Wix Stores. When you add Wix Stores to your Wix Editor, you have you two options for managing your shop’s inventory:
Automatic inventory tracking: This lets you keep track of how many units of a specific product you have in stock. The inventory updates automatically whenever you sell a product. Automatic inventory tracking can also be used to keep track of up to 300 specific product options (product variants, such as specific colours, customisations, etc.). This helps you to manage your inventory for add-on components that may not be sold separately.
When an item or variant reaches ‘zero’ stock, it will automatically be labelled as ‘Out of stock’ in your shop’s product gallery or on individual product pages.
Manual inventory status: Alternatively, you have the option to manually label products on your shop as either ‘In stock’ or ‘Out of stock’.
If you want to dropship items in your shop rather than maintaining your own stock, you can use Wix Stores to connect to a number of dropshipping suppliers. You also have the option of installing the popular Modalyst app to your Wix Store to incorporate dropshipping inventory. Modalyst gives you access to over 100 million products manufactured by thousands of American and EU-based suppliers.
Wix e-commerce: shopping cart and payment options
Wix Stores also gives you a full range of shopping cart and payment options for your e-commerce shop. Wix Stores usually preselects the payment options that are most popular in your region. You can choose from the following payment options:
- Credit Card: With this option, you will need to connect to a third-party payment provider which processes credit card transactions through your Wix Store.
- PayPal: This lets you accept payments through the popular PayPal online payment platform. PayPal can also process credit card payments to your store, even if the customer does not have a PayPal account.
- Wix Payments: This is Wix’s own payment service provider.
- Manual: This method includes any form of payment that is not tracked online, such as cash on delivery, payment through apps, cheques or bank transfers. If you set up this method in your Wix Store, your customers will receive instructions during checkout to advise them on how to complete the payment.
Wix Stores lets you customise the checkout process with additional steps, if you wish. You can also add options like an email subscription tick box and a tick box for the customer to confirm that they have read your general terms and conditions or other policy statements.
Another useful option using Wix Stores is express checkout. This boosts repeat business by enabling existing customers to complete orders without having to fill in all their billing and shipping details each time.
If you prefer to use a third-party shopping cart app, you will also find options such as the popular ECWID app in the Wix App Market. ECWID also enables you to accept payments via the usual payment methods, as well as with Bitcoin. You can use a free version of ECWID to sell up to ten products monthly, or upgrade if you want to sell more.
Wix e-commerce: shipping options
Wix Stores can also be used to manage shipping in your shop too. You can select the regions that you ship to and set various shipping rules, such as conditions for free shipping, flat-rate shipping, etc. You have the option to offer your customers multiple shipping methods using Wix Stores.
Another option to make your life easier is to choose an external app for shipping. The benefit is that the shipping process will be optimised, so you avoid having to process shipping manually. Sendcloud is available in the Wix App Market and offers you an optimised shipping process to increase conversion while fully automating the process in the back.
Sendcloud lets you generate branded tracking notifications to send to your customers. It also provides an automated returns portal, so that customers can easily handle return shipping through your Wix shop.
How much does a Wix e-commerce cost?
If you want to sell products on your Wix-hosted website, you will need to buy one of Wix’s ‘E-commerce and Business’ plans, with prices ranging from €15.50 to €40 a month. Wix currently offers the following plans to its European customers:
- The Business Basic plan starts at €15.50 per month. It is recommended for small businesses and offers a stripped-back version of the features available in the more expensive plans.
- The Business Unlimited plan starts at €22 a month. Under this plan, you get more storage space, additional video playtime as well as access to automatic bookkeeping. You can also dropship up to 250 items through Modalyst.
- The Business VIP plan starts at €30 a month. With Business VIP, you get even more data storage and video playtime, along with access to automatic bookkeeping and unlimited dropshipping through Modalyst. It also provides user-defined reporting to give you greater insight into your customer base.
Is Wix the right choice for your online shop?
As you can see, Wix offers an attractive mix of functionalities, customisation options, ease of use and good customer support, all for a competitive price. Thanks to its intuitive design options, it is a good option for many types of e-retail businesses that do not have the time, expertise or staff to build their own websites from scratch.
Wix is particularly recommendable if:
- You want to get an online store up and running quickly.
- You wish to sell either digital or physical products.
- You want to enable your customers to create an account in your shop.
- You are interested in a flexible, customisable shopfront that lets you add third-party plugins for checkout, shipping, etc.
- You do not want to host your own site and prefer the convenience of cloud-based hosting.
Bottom line: with its affordable monthly fees, Wix offers good value for money for smaller scale e-retailers.
Evaluating more e-commerce platforms? Find out in our article about the best e-commerce platforms which one suits you best. If you wanna have a look at other articles about different platforms, here you can find useful tips on the best Magento extensions and the best WooCommerce plugins.
And if you want to know more about a shipping tool that works with your e-commerce platform, be sure to sign up for free today!