Wix eCommerce Review 2017

Everything You Need to Create Your Stunning Website. According to Wix, over 100,000,000 customers from 180 countries found these words to be true. As one of the best drag-and-drop website builders, it works great for bloggers and small business owners. But is it also a viable option for eCommerce entrepreneurs? That’s what I’m going to find out in my in-depth Wix review & guide.

Review Wix Score

7.2/10

Value for money: 7/10
Ease of Use: 10/10
Support: 7/10
Features: 8/10
Flexibility: 6/10
Scaling: 5/10

Summary

To sum it up, I believe that Wix is an interesting alternative to some of its more eCommerce-oriented competitors. If you already have a Wix account and know the ins and outs of the platform, I would say go for it – at least for a test. On the other hand, if you know nothing about it, there are better options which you could try.

Part 1: Introduction to Wix

Before we dive into testing its eCommerce potential, let me quickly introduce Wix, especially to those who never heard about it or are not sure how it works. Later on, I will discuss its eCommerce features and provide you with a step-by-step guide on setting up a simple online store. Finally, in the last part, I will summarise my thoughts in a list of Wix’s advantages and disadvantages.

What is Wix?

To put it in a nutshell, Wix is a platform which you can use to build and host your own website. If you are just starting out, it’s a perfect pick to set up your first site because you don’t have to worry about anything. There is no coding or configuring the hosting involved.

At the same time, there are many excellent customisation options, which means you can build anything from a simple About Me site to a full-blown online business of nearly all shapes and sizes. Including eCommerce – and that’s what interests us the most.

What is Wix

Is Wix exclusively for eCommerce?

The very first thing that you notice when you visit their homepage is that there is no mention of eCommerce at all. The only indication that you can build a store using Wix is a link at the very bottom of the page named Online Store. When you click it, you get taken to their actual eCommerce page WixStores:

WixStores

But, the fact that you have to look around for the eCommerce option won’t surprise anyone who knows Wix. Why? Their main target group was never the eCommerce entrepreneurs. Most people choose Wix because it’s an intuitive and newbie-friendly platform. To set up their website, Wix users don’t have to code and can just drag and drop everything thanks to one of the best drag-and-drop builders out there. Of course, you can use the very same builder to set up your online store!

What about pricing and hosting?

Every Wix account includes a hosting package. Note that because of the uniqueness of their CMS (content management system), once you set up a website using their platform, you can’t migrate anywhere else. Any migration would require recreating the store from scratch. On the other hand, if you host your store with Wix, you don’t have to worry about anything. Of course, they’ll charge you for that.

There are five different pricing packages in total. To get the online store, you need to buy their 4th most expensive one – eCommerce plan or the top one – VIP plan. Both are priced at $17 and $25 per month respectively, assuming you pay for a year upfront. If you want to pay on a monthly basis, the price goes up to $20 and $30:

Wix Pricing

This can make the starting cost pretty steep compared to other platforms. What’s the difference between the two packages? The eCommerce plan comes with just 20GB per month, what can quickly dry out, especially as you scale.

Luckily, the VIP plan allows you to drive unlimited traffic to your site and comes with other great perks such as VIP support and a professional site review. Considering how many other customers the platform has, a premium support will definitely come in handy.

But, even though the starting cost might be higher compared to other platforms, there’s one huge advantage to using Wix – no commissions on sold items. You pay them their monthly fee and they don’t care whether you sell one or 10,000 items. The price stays the same.

Does Wix offer a free trial?

Sadly, the biggest Wix drawback related to its pricing is the fact that there is no free trial. At least not a classic one. There are two things which you can try. The first one is a free account, which you can use indefinitely, but which comes with a highly reduced number of features (and there’s no online store). To enjoy everything that Wix has to offer, including its eCommerce features, you have to invest some money up front.

Luckily, if you choose the monthly billing option, you don’t have to break the bank to do the test. And, if you don’t like what you see, you can always ask for a refund. Because there’s no typical trial, the process is very simple:

Wix Free Trial

But, there’s a catch. Only your first purchase can be refunded. This means that if you upgrade for the second time, you have only 14 days starting with the initial upgrade date to cancel. After that, you can’t ask for your money back. Also, any upgrades such as domain names, mailboxes or app market purchases are not included in their refund policy.

What’s Wix support like?

Considering their target market consists of people who have little technical skills and just want to focus on building their business, Wix had to offer them a great support. Otherwise, a big chunk of its customer base would move elsewhere. There are three ways in which you can look for help and a few “extra” things that might help you, but won’t be your first choice in case of an emergency.

Wix Help Center

This is where you should go in the first place. There are hundreds of topics organized into categories such as Billing, Domains, or Wix Stores followed by many other. You can browse them manually or use a very convenient internal search engine. Just type your keyword and get the answer to your question immediately. It will also provide you with suggestions as you type, helping you nail the right answer even faster.

Wix Help Center

Wix Blog

The second place where you can look for information on running a Wix website or store is their blog. The posts include a lot of great tips which you can use to solve some of the technical problems or adjust your marketing or eCommerce strategy.

The blog is split into six main categories with a few of them having additional sub-categories. As an online entrepreneur, you will spend most of your time reading content in the Small Business Tips and eCommerce ones. The first one covers a wide variety of topics including productivity, marketing (both strategy and educational articles) as well as tips on building websites for specific types of businesses.

Because Wix customer base is made of a variety of business owners, some of the articles won’t apply to your online store. Luckily, the second mentioned category – eCommerce – is all about businesses just like yours. The only drawback is that it’s not updated that often, and has just a few posts in it.

Wix Blog

Wix Support

Not all solutions are available on their website. Some problems apply to your particular situation only. In this case, it’s a wise thing to contact their support. There are two ways in which you can do that – by submitting a ticket and getting an answer via email or by requesting a call back from their call centre.

Unfortunately, while they offer a 24/7 email support, their call centre is open Monday – Thursday 6 A.M. – 5 P.M. PST only. Also, submitting a ticket is not that easy. To do that, you need to go to the Wix contact page, scroll through the most common issues listed there, and then choose to submit a ticket.

Wix Support

Extras: Wix Stories

The next section of Wix website that might provide you with some help in running your business is “Wix Stories”. While it’s not designed to help you solve your problems directly, it can provide you with some inspiration and guidance.

Sadly, there are not many stories that come from entrepreneurs involved exclusively in eCommerce – the only ones I’ve found come from local businesses that made eCommerce one of their distribution channels. Moreover, the stories are usually short, covering only one or two critical aspects of online presence.

Extras: Wix Lounge & Wix On the Road

If you live in New York and are thinking of setting up your own eCommerce store using Wix, you’ll love their free co-working and event space – WixLounge. It’s free for Wix customers, and its only drawback is the fact that you’d have to live in New York to visit it.

But, if you happen to be there, working with other aspiring entrepreneurs using the same platform who might have similar goals is an excellent way of brainstorming new ideas and learning.

Wix Lounge

And what if you are not from NY or even from the US? From time to time, Wix holds workshops and other events all around the world, including London or Manchester. While it’s not the same as a co-working space, every event is attended by entrepreneurs who use Wix. It’s an excellent chance to network and get some inspiration.

Extras: Wix Arena

If you have the budget but don’t have the time to learn everything and design everything from scratch yourself, you can hire an experienced Wix designer to do that for you.

Thanks to Wix Arena, you can find all of the best professionals in one place – no need to search online on other freelance platforms or sift through tens of random applications. You can view the portfolio and sample Wix-based work of any designer you want and contact them directly.

Wix ArenaAre there any tools to help me run my business?

Wix is a platform dedicated to small business owners. Because of that, they have a tremendous number of features aimed at those who need a professional online presence for their business. But are these features useful for eCommerce entrepreneurs?

Absolutely. The platform gives you access to tens of tools that can help you get control over every aspect of your online website. From SEO tools to plugins (called add-ons) which you can add to your site, such as customer reviews, live chat, social media add-ons and even… an easy way to add a Shopify store to your website.

Of course, if you want to run a full-blown store on Wix, it’s probably better to stick to WixStores. On the other hand, why would Wix allow integration with one of its biggest competitors, if it has its own online store system? In my opinion, this only proves that eCommerce is not their primary focus.

Is Wix safe for eCommerce?

As a business-oriented web hosting platform (because, in the end, one of the main Wix services is hosting), they are obliged by law to provide certain security measures for every customer. But, considering the nature of eCommerce business (credit card processing, personal data storage), those requirements are a bit higher when you run an online store, compared to owning a static website with no forms on it.

Luckily, for those who would like to start their e-business adventure with Wix, the platform introduced all the major security measures:

  • PCI Compliance – Wix is compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. This means that the environment in which cardholder data is processed is secured, and the risk of credit fraud is highly reduced.
  • ISO Compliance – the platform is also certified as ISO 27001 and ISO 27018 compliant. These mean that they follow industry best practices for managing security risks and handling of personally identifiable information (PII).
  • TLS Certification – the platform utilises Transport Layer Security (TLS), which encrypts the data and helps protect online financial transactions of your customers.

While this might not sound like much, the company is compliant with all of the industry security standards. As a big enterprise, Wix has a full-time security team at your service. They also perform frequent scans looking for potential vulnerabilities and educate business owners on the safe Internet use. This includes alerting them of potential phishing attempts or other issues targeting Wix users.

Do I need coding skills or anything like that to set up a Wix store?

Although I talked about this a few times throughout the article, I decided to add this point anyway – for all those who might be just skimming the article. If you just stopped scrolling and would like to find out whether Wix is a good pick for beginners, the answer is yes.

Moreover, even though the platform is suitable for running a big online store, it boasts with great user experience and very easy setup. Of course, if you are completely new to this stuff, there will always be a slight learning curve – but when it comes to Wix, it shouldn’t take too long for you to understand how the platform works.

5 stores that use Wix

The majority of websites built on Wix are that of small and medium-sized businesses. In the end, this is what Wix is intended for. Their eCommerce feature is quite new, and not as popular as some other choices. Nevertheless, there are a few quite interesting stores set on Wix that are worth sharing:

Who the Dickens

This Australia-based store is a perfect example of what Wix is all about. The couple running the store, sells a variety of handmade products made out of (usually a mix of) timber, copper, glass, beeswax or concrete. Their Wix store is clean and very easy to navigate. The products are presented in a very enticing way, and go very well with the brand they’ve built:

Who the Dickens Website

Piece of History

The second store is frequently named as one of the best examples of what a Wix eCommerce store should look like. And it’s no surprise it’s excellent. While the product is, without a doubt, the main driver of success (figurines of famous historical people, plus some extras such as prints, pins and T-shirts), the store is managed by Wix employees who know what they’re doing. If you want to see what a good Wix online store looks like, make sure to visit Piece of History:

Piece of History Website

Stolen Goods

No, the name is misleading – you won’t find there any shady deals on products of unknown origin. Instead, you can find bags, clothing and accessories. All products are designed and illustrated by two sisters based in Tel Aviv. An excellent example of what a small business with a mix of passion can look like:

Stolen Goods Website

BeardTamer – Wix Stunning Awards Finalist

This next example is available only in German, as it’s owned by a Switzerland-based company, with a target market in German-speaking countries. But I could not go next to it without including it in the list. Excellent branding and eye-catching design – something you can’t miss, no matter what platform you’ll end up using:

Beardtamer Website

Resurrection – Wix Stunning Awards Finalist

While it’s yet another store with handmade products (clothes and jewellery), it’s also a Wix Stunning Awards Finalist. And, after browsing the store, I have no problem telling why. It may look too dark for some, but the presentation of products and the branding look great with its black background and dark colours. If you’re looking for inspiration and something different, don’t forget to pay this store a visit:

Resurrection Website

Of course, there are many other stores. But the biggest problem I had with Wix is the fact that the vast majority of stores I’ve found sell handmade products. Of course, you may also be looking to sell your handmade products. In this case, that’s great, as you might find some inspiration. Nevertheless, I was unable to find a store that would be selling high-ticket items, what I consider a big disappointment.

Part 2: Signing up and Setting Up the Store

In this section, I will take a closer look into the functioning of the platform itself. You’ll see how to set up an account, and manage your store. The focus will be on beginners – that’s why I will create a new account and treat it as a trial. You should do the same – if it works out for you, then you just keep the account. And if it won’t – you can always ask for a refund.

How to setup your WixStores account and create your online store

To get started, you need a Wix account (if you already have one, you can ignore this part and just update to their eCommerce plan). Head over to their homepage and click Start Now:

Start Now

You will be asked to provide your email address and password. You can also sign up using your Facebook or Google accounts:

Signup

In the next step, you will be asked to select what website you are going to create. Because we are going to use it for our eCommerce venture, let’s click Online Store:

Type of Website

When you make a pick, Wix will ask you whether you want to create the store yourself (starting from a template) or let Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence) create it for you. While ADI sounds like a great feature, I believe it’s better to do everything yourself from scratch or pay a real designer to do that. If you do it yourself, you get to check every step of building the site and can be sure that everything is set up properly.

Moreover, if you get the site created using ADI and want to make extra edits in the editor, you won’t be able to move back to using ADI anyway. That’s why I believe that it is necessary to have a full control over the whole process – especially in eCommerce. So, instead of using ADI, let’s go with one of the templates and use their standard editor:

Choose Template

What’s great about Wix is that you can pick a template right during account setup. That way, you get a foundation on which you then build your store. There are also a few categories which you can choose. For this review, I’ve decided to go with Fashion & Clothing. To pick the template you would like to use, just hover over it and click Edit. As you can see, you can check which plan the template belongs too (note that we still didn’t even pick one):

Templates

Next, you will be taken to the famous Wix drag-and drop editor:

Drag and Drop

Let’s leave the edits for later. Hit Save in the top right corner and finish the account registration. You will be asked to pick the domain for the page. You can choose to go with the free one, created on the wixsite.com domain, or you can connect the one you own.

I recommend the second option. The use of a free one (regardless of the provider) doesn’t look professional. Not to mention that you will be unable to build a brand. That’s why, for this test, I will connect my customised domain:

Choose Domain

If you already have a domain, go on and connect it too. But if you don’t have one, you will be asked to get a new domain name. My recommendation is always to split the domain and hosting providers. It’s better to buy the domain somewhere else and then connect it to the hosting (unless you know you’re going to stay with Wix and pay upfront for a year or two – in this case, you get it free of charge):

Site Saved

That’s also the moment in which you will be asked to pick the plan (finally!). Remember that to set up a store you have to go with either the eCommerce or the VIP one. Once you make a pick and choose the billing schedule (monthly, yearly or every two years) you will be taken to a standard signup form:

Purchase Plan

When you are ready, scroll down and click Submit Purchase:

Secure Payments

If you filled all the info correctly, this is what you should see:

Congratulations

How to connect a domain to your Wix store?

If you are still on the success page, you will be asked to connect the domain. To do so, just click Connect it at the bottom of the page:

Connect Domain

On the other hand, if you have already left that page, go to the settings of your store. To get there, hover over your profile in the top right corner and click Domains:

Domains

Choose to connect a domain you already own:

Already Own A Domain

And fill in the form. Do not change the connection method, unless you specifically know what you’re doing:

Enter Domain

If you picked one of the listed providers, you might get instructions how to change your domain settings at your registrar’s site. If you choose Other, you will be provided with the name servers only. In this case, if you don’t know what to do, contact your domain registrar for help. The switch might take up to 48 hours, but most of the time the name servers are ready to use much faster (even in less than an hour).

Now that the account is ready and the domain is connected, it’s time to play with the store. Of course, to see it live, we would have to publish it – but I recommend leaving that until you have at least some of the work done. Note that the site has to be live to be visible after you type your domain name in the web browser.

How to add and manage products in Wix?

The store management is one of the things that I liked about Wix the most. Their Wix Stores app is very intuitive and easy to navigate. To access it, click Manage Store in the main management dashboard:

Manage Products

Once you’re there, click Products Catalog in the left-hand side menu. If you picked a template during setup, you should already have some products added. To add a new one, click + New Product. To make changes to an existing one, just click the one you want to edit:

Products

Just like with anything else in Wix, the majority of work is already done for you. All you need to do is fill in a few sections, add images and save the changes. As you can see, there are also a few options that could help you promote the product – coupons, search engine optimisation settings, and a shortcut to send a promotional email campaign:

Campaign

When editing product info, you will be asked to provide the name, price and description:

Product Info

You can also add specific details about the product, return, and refund, as well as setup inventory tracking so that you don’t oversell anything:

Inventory

When you scroll down, you can also specify product variations such as sizes or colours. Moreover, you can set to standardise or customise settings per variation. This means that if your products are similar despite some minor differences, you won’t have to copy any settings over and over again. After everything is ready, click Save:

Save

How to edit the Wix template

After adding the products, it’s time to play with the design. Remember that changing your products and their graphics will impact the look of your store. To make visual edits to your store, go to the page that you want to alter. As you will quickly see, almost everything can be dragged – you don’t need any coding skills to make the changes that you want:

Edit Wix Template

When you edit a page, you get access to two different menus. The first one, on your left-hand side, allows you to change things like background and add contact forms, buttons, product widgets, and a lot more. Just pick what you need and drag it on the page:

Store Elements

On the opposite side, there’s a menu that allows you to edit the size, position and arrangement of the elements that you put on the page:

Elements Bar

Once you learn where everything is in both of these menus, editing and creating new pages will be a smooth process. And speaking of new pages – let’s take a look at how you can create a new one.

How to add a new page

Every store needs more pages than just the homepage or product ones. Even if you are a super small store, you will need pages like Contact, FAQ, About Us or Privacy Policy. Some of those are included in the template, and you can just edit them. But adding a new one is just as easy. All you need are two clicks. First, click the pages menu, and then the Add Page button (well, actually, there are three clicks – you’ll also be asked to pick what you want to create):

Find Page

How to organise products?

Once you start growing your store, it’s a good idea to categorise your products. In Wix, these categories are called Collections. To add one, go to the products catalogue and click the big + (or + New Collection in the top-right corner):

Collections

The settings of a collection in Wix are very basic. All you can edit is the name, image and the products that belong to it. Additionally, you can create coupons or promote the collection using an email campaign:

My Collection

When you finish, hit Save.

How to manage payments and view orders in Wix?

Just like everything else, managing payments is also quite straightforward. To access these critical settings for every store, go to Business Setup and click Payments. There, you can choose between accepting Credit/Debit Cards, PayPal or manual payments on delivery. Note that available payment methods may differ depending on your business location:

Payments

Viewing orders are just as simple. To do that, go to the Orders tab, right below Products Catalog:

Wix Orders

Wix Settings that come in handy and are easy to overlook

If you use the eCommerce Wix package, most of the settings that you will pay extra attention to are in the Wix Stores app. This makes it easy to overlook a few other things which you should take care of. The first one is Personalised Mailboxes. It lets you create personalised email addresses that use your domain. You can set them up in the Domains and Mailboxes app:

Personalized Mailbox

Why should you set personalised mailboxes? The first and critical reason is trust. You could use Gmail or any other provider to contact your customers. But when they see an email from name@yourdomain.com or sales@yourdomain.com they will trust you a lot more. And, if you already use Gmail, everything will look familiar – the mailbox will be set with G Suite.

The second thing which you cannot miss is the SEO dashboard. To access it, go to Site Settings and open the SEO tab. There, you will be able to configure your Wix SEO Wiz:

SEO

In the app, you’ll be asked to enter your business name, its location (you can skip it if you’re a drop-shipper or don’t need to rank for your location), pick your keywords and create an SEO plan:

SEO Plan

The last crucial setting is the analytics integration. It is a must have, especially if you’re planning on promoting your store with paid traffic. That way, you will know exactly what converts and what simply doesn’t work. To add a connection to Google Analytics, go to the Analytics tab and click Connect Your Domain:

Google Analytics

Of course, these are not the only settings which you should look into. Don’t forget to add a favicon, edit language settings or connect social media accounts – but I simply cannot go over all of them here.

How to publish your Wix store

Ready to make the store available to your customers? It’s time for the big opening! Hit Edit Site to get to the site editor and then Publish in the top right corner:

Publish

If you set everything correctly, this is what you should see:

Congratulations

Hooray! Your store is live. So, is Wix worth it? Let’s jump straight to a summary.

Part 3: Conclusion

After introducing you to WixStores and showing you the basics of managing the platform, it’s time to review the most important aspects included in my review & guide once again.

What are the Pros of Wix?

  • It’s super easy to use: this platform truly is created with beginners in mind. There are many drag-and-drop builders out there, but Wix’s one is probably the most intuitive and easiest one I have ever worked with. You really can set a store without writing a single line of code. Moreover, all of the options are categorised and presented in a way that’s not overwhelming and easy to comprehend even for a complete newcomer.
  • There are no fees on your sales: This is a big one. Unlike many other competitors, Wix doesn’t take a cut from your hard-earned money. Of course, that doesn’t mean the payment processors such as PayPal won’t. But you can save a lot once you scale.
  • Lots of apps: thanks to the App Market, you can add a lot of great tools to your store, which in turn can help you build your business, attract new customers or enhance user experience.
  • Great community & a free workspace: Sadly, there is no strong eCommerce community around Wix, and the workspace is available only for those who are in New York. Nevertheless, it’s a plus.

What are the Cons of Wix?

  • Its main focus is not eCommerce and you can feel it: the main target market of Wix are small local businesses run by people who have no idea about all this Internet stuff and just want simple, all in one solution. It seems like Wix just wanted to jump on the eCommerce train with their platform. And while it’s solid, professional marketers might be disappointed.
  • High start-up costs: because Wix is mainly targeted at smaller businesses, it’s eCommerce features are available only in the two most expensive plans and there is no real trial period (you have to pay upfront and then ask for a refund – but the good thing is, they tell you how to do that).
  • Once you build a Wix store, it’s expensive to leave the platform: lack of coding comes at a very high cost. If you ever decide to leave the platform, you can’t just copy your files to a new server. Because of that, migration costs can turn into thousands, especially once you grow your store to hundreds of products.
  • The platform lacks freedom: Because Wix keeps guiding you all the time, there is very little freedom and customisation. Of course, there are apps and you can change settings of site elements. But it’s still very far from what other platforms offer.
  • It’s not that easy to contact them: While their help centre is great, it took me some time to figure out how to actually contact their staff. Not to mention one has to jump through a few hoops to do that.

To sum it up, I believe that Wix is an interesting alternative to some of its more eCommerce-oriented competitors. If you already have a Wix account and know the ins and outs of the platform, I would say go for it – at least for a test. On the other hand, if you know nothing about it, there are better options which you could try.

Review Wix Score

7.2/10

Value for money: 7/10
Ease of Use: 10/10
Support: 7/10
Features: 8/10
Flexibility: 6/10
Scaling: 5/10

Summary

To sum it up, I believe that Wix is an interesting alternative to some of its more eCommerce-oriented competitors. If you already have a Wix account and know the ins and outs of the platform, I would say go for it – at least for a test. On the other hand, if you know nothing about it, there are better options which you could try.