While Shopify and WooCommerce often get the most hype in the e-commerce space, there are a variety of other easy-to-use and affordable platforms and plugins that budding online entrepreneurs can use to start their e-commerce store and sell online.
Ecwid is one such e-commerce solution that can transform almost any website, including those developed on WordPress, Wix, Drupal and Jooma, as well as Facebook and Instagram business pages, into an online store.
From Russia with love
Ecwid was founded in 2009 by Ruslan Fazlyev, a Russian internet entrepreneur who co-founded X-Cart, the world’s first PHP e-commerce platform back in 2000. Ruslan’s vision behind creating Ecwid was to develop a tool that could allow any small business owner to start selling online from their existing website. With Ecwid, all that’s required is to add a few lines of HTML code to a webpage or a social profile page, and Voila! the online store is displayed.
Due to its ease of use and functionality, Ecwid has become one of the world’s most popular add-on store builders with over 200,000 small and medium-sized businesses in 175 countries using the e-commerce solution (at the time of writing this).
Intuitive design and functionality
Unlike Shopify, which is a dedicated e-commerce platform, and WooCommerce, which is an e-commerce plugin for WordPress websites, Ecwid enables business owners to add an online store onto any of their existing websites or embed an online store on their social media pages, marketplaces or blogs. If you don’t have an existing website then you can make use of Ecwid’s Instant Site feature, which allows you to create a limited one-page website to sell products.
Ecwid offers everything that you would expect from an e-commerce tool. Through its intuitive interface it’s easy to customise your online storefront using a selection of free themes, or even create your own using CSS. Via the Ecwid dashboard, you can set up and manage online catalogues of products and easily track inventory and orders to confidently manage your customers’ expectations. Another bonus of Ecwid is the ability to sell in multiple places simultaneously and manage the storefronts from one central control panel.
Attractive costing models
One of the most attractive aspects of Ecwid is its pricing model, which includes four different packages that cater to different business needs. The Freemium account is a completely free package that is ideal for businesses starting out and who want to test the e-commerce waters. With this free package you can sign up without having to enter your credit card details and are limited to an inventory of 10 items or less.
The paid packages cater for larger inventories as well as a number of other features suited to larger businesses. For more information on the different packages, visit Ecwid’s pricing webpage.
Integrating PayFast with Ecwid
Once you have registered your free PayFast account you can integrate the online payment gateway with your Ecwid store to accept a variety of payment options, including Visa and Mastercard credit card payments. For instructions on how to integrate Ecwid and PayFast in less than 2 minutes, watch this video.
An important point to note is that while PayFast doesn’t currently integrate with Facebook or Wix directly, you can integrate Ecwid with either platform and accept payments through PayFast.
At the end of the day, Ecwid’s ease of use and broad compatibility with different platforms makes it the ideal e-commerce solution if you want to add an online store to your existing website that receives high traffic, or sell products through your social media pages. Visit the Ecwid website for more information on how you can start using the e-commerce plugin to sell online today.