We’ve come across several instances where clients (and potential clients) have opted to get started with e-commerce using the Wix platform.
While Wix makes it easy and economical to get started, the limitations of their e-commerce platform quickly become apparent.
Here are some of the reasons why Wix is an awful choice as an e-commerce platform:
- ATTRIBUTION AND REVENUE TRACKING: When customers check out in Wix, they are forwarded to a separate domain to enter their credit cards details and thus Google Analytics records the referring domain for successful checkouts as Wix itself, rather than the actual source domain. Wix doesn’t integrate with Google Analytics’ e-commerce tracking, so product sales and revenue data are not available in GA. For revenue tracking, one workaround is to set up a goal in GA (e.g. Checkout Complete page) and assign a fixed value to that page. This is highly inaccurate, and there is no ability to track the actual products purchased. However, as Facebook does integrate with Wix, merchants can get accurate data from Facebook Analytics. But Facebook Analytics is a likely to be a new platform for many users, thus introducing more costs in terms of time. Having said that, it’s well worth it to become familiar with Facebook Analytics.
- CODE ACCESS: Wix does not permit their customers to edit the code in their chosen templates. For example, adding pop-up windows to collect email addresses or adding Google Tag Manager or Facebook pixel codes must be done by manually adding a code block to each page where you want the code to appear. This quickly becomes unsustainable when merchants are managing many SKUs and introduces too many opportunities for coding errors.
- ABANDONED CART FOLLOW-UP: Wix does not make cart abandoners’ email addresses available to their customers, whereas this is standard in Shopify. Under Shopify’s basic plan, merchants can follow up manually with cart abandoners via direct email. In Shopify’s premium plans, automated cart abandonment is a standard feature. Cart abandonment email sequences alone will easily justify any additional costs of Shopify vs Wix. Even a single cart recovery will offset Shopify’s monthly fee for most merchants. The fall-back cart abandonment process for Wix merchants is to run paid campaigns on Google and Facebook, which is certainly effective and should be done even if you’re using Shopify’s direct method.
- LACK OF INTEGRATIONS WITH THIRD-PARTY SERVICES: Wix has weak support for third-party services. For example, they don’t integrate with MailChimp, perhaps the world’s most popular email platform. While there are workarounds that can push emails from Wix to MailChimp (e.g. Zapier or Automate.io), they require some technical proficiency and can easily ‘break’ when the underlying protocols are updated. It’s just not a sustainable approach and not something that a typical merchant should be spending time on. Another example is Google Shopping and automated product feeds. Shopify has a free app that connects your store to Google Shopping and directly facilitates Dynamic Product Ads (i.e. ads which show the products that a potential customer viewed when visiting your site). Shopify also links to Amazon, so the merchant need not duplicate efforts to add listings to Amazon nor to keep them in sync.
- TECHNICAL SUPPORT: Shopify clearly outclasses Wix in the area of customer support. Shopify offers 24/7 support via email, chat or phone. Their staff are well trained, technically skilled and have a genuine desire to help their customers. The typical Wix customer service response is to link to an existing entry in their online knowledge base.
The basic reason for the deficiencies in Wix’s e-commerce platform stem from the company’s origins as a website builder. E-commerce is not really in their DNA. On the other hand, Shopify was founded by coders specifically looking to build a hosted e-commerce solution. They place far higher priority on technical excellence and the ecosystem now has plenty of attractive e-commerce templates which are also fast and efficient.
There is simply no reason to opt for Wix over Shopify if you have serious intentions as an e-commerce merchant.
If you’re currently using Wix for e-commerce and would like to migrate to Shopify, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you get started. We’ve worked with other merchants doing such a transition and have mapped out a reliable checklist which makes the process efficient and accurate.