Ecwid: Mini shop for under 10 products created in one afternoon

Ecwid free shop - my experiences

A few weeks ago my wife and I started marketing the little ones Simbrix handicraft stones taken over in Germany. So that we could also offer the Simbrix kits online, I was looking for an uncomplicated shop system that would ideally be hosted by the provider. I didn't want to tie myself down to work as much as possible because this was going to be my first online shop.

The Simbrix kits are only available in three versions, which is why there is no need for categories and variants for the products. The number of product pages is also a manageable number of three.

With Ecwid I finally found the right shop system that perfectly covers my needs and does not incur any monthly costs - but no, I don't sell sunglasses, I sell small Simbrix stones for handicrafts.

With Ecwid I finally found the right shop system that perfectly covers my needs and does not incur any monthly costs - but no, I don't sell sunglasses, I sell small Simbrix stones for handicrafts.

Don't feel like reading? Here is the most important information!

To cut a long story short: I ultimately chose the shop system from Ecwid. If you're interested in why I chose Ecwid, please keep reading the article. If you want to go straight to Ecwid, it goes this way.

And for all quick readers, here are the pros and cons that came to my mind for the Ecwid free plan.

Ecwid online shop solution

Advantages

  • Permanently free mini-shop
  • easy setup
  • WordPress plugin creates a subpage with the shop with one click
  • beautiful, elegant and design templates
  • adaptable to German law
  • Category usage optional
  • Ads can be placed in Google Shopping, Instagram and eBay
  • easy integration of Stripe and Paypal
  • no sales-based fees in the free plan
  • Shop admin available in German

Disadvantages

  • does not offer a CMS even in paid tariffs
  • Data processing in the USA

For me, Ecwid is a perfect solution for people to test their online business. You don't even need your own website, as the shop can run on a subdomain at Ecwid - permanently for free.

WooCommerce - too complex and too expensive

Since we created the website ourselves with WordPress, it would actually make sense to use WooCommerce as a shop plugin, but there are three things that have stopped me.

  1. It is quite complex from the admin area and overwhelms you with functions that you may not even need.
  2. It is not a solution that is hosted by the provider; it must be hosted itself.
  3. The legal side of WooCommerce is a bit opaque. In order not to take a warning risk here, one would have to use the plugin "German Market“Book from MarketPress for WooCommerce and then plan something for legal texts every month. That was too many monthly costs for a shop that might not bring in anything a month.

For these reasons, I didn't pursue WooCommerce any further and stuck with Shopify for a short time, because I already knew Shopify from a few customers and I get along with the setup quite well.

For large projects, I would still use Shopify, as you can create sophisticated designs here and also easily set up a blog with Shopify's CMS function.

For large projects, I would still use Shopify, as you can create sophisticated designs here and also easily set up a blog with Shopify's CMS function.

Shopify - monthly costs too high for our project

I think Shopify is a nice shop solution in itself. There are instructions on how to set up Shopify for German law and the GDPR and the operation is very intuitive for me. In my case, the monthly costs (29 USD and taxes on sales) have thwarted the bill again.

Ecwid - permanently free and free of charge for up to 10 products

At some point I came across the Ecwid shop solution, which even offers a permanently free tariff if you create a maximum of 10 products and can live with a few restrictions. One of them is, for example, that you have to use a subdomain from Ecwid, which we use as follows: simbrix.company.site

If you look at the shop at the URL, you can see that you get a fully functional shop that is very simple but visually appealing.

In the shop's admin area you will find an assistant that shows you which steps you still have to take. This is particularly helpful for newcomers to the shop.

In the shop's admin area you will find an assistant that shows you which steps you still have to take. This is particularly helpful for newcomers to the shop.

No sales taxes in the free plan

What also puzzled me: Ecwid doesn't even want a share of sales if you've chosen the free plan. You can actually use the system for free without limiting sales and visitors - even for years if you like.

Shopify, for example, would like to take a few percent off sales even with the 39 euros per month plan.

I have made up my mind that I will switch to a paid tariff if I can regularly achieve sales through the shop. Then you are also able to switch from the Ecwid subdomain to your own domain or subdomain, which of course looks a bit more appealing for the customers.

Here you can see the finished shop that I put together with Ecwid. It goes further below, but you can already see: I like simple elegance.

Here you can see the finished shop that I put together with Ecwid. It goes further below, but you can already see: I like simple elegance.

Shop setup in record time

I set up the Ecwid account the day before yesterday at noon and the shop went online on the same evening. This processing time includes the following work that I have done:

  • booking of legal texts for the shop
  • translate and rewrite the product texts
  • Uploading product photos
  • Creation of the three product listings
  • Make the Ecwid setting for legal texts, cookies, shipping costs and shipping options
  • Linking the shop with Stripe (for credit card payments)
  • Design of the header with the Simbrix stones
  • Creating the start page text with the "About Us" section

When you consider that I had no idea about Ecwid and that a lot of the content wasn't finished yet, I find the time from creating the account to the finished shop quite impressive. From this point of view, too, Ecwid is a great way to set up a shop where you don't know whether it will ultimately run or not.

Another advantage with Ecwid is that the settings are really understandable. In some shop systems you first have to have the options translated from specialist Chinese into German so that you can even understand which data is being queried here. This is solved very well with Ecwid and even beginners should be able to understand all menu items and setting options here.

As far as I could see, the prices in the admin area are given net, but then displayed in the shop including VAT.

As far as I could see, the prices in the admin area are given net, but then displayed in the shop including VAT.

Warning-proof legal texts for Ecwid

If you want to start an online shop in Germany, you should immediately get used to the fact that you have to spend a small double-digit amount per month for legal texts for revocation, data protection, imprint and terms and conditions.

I have my texts with the IT-Recht-Kanzlei.de clicked, but there are plenty of other providers out there who can help with Ecwid as well. Here is a small list of providers for you:

I think they are basically all similarly good, but if you know that you want to sell products on eBay and Amazon, then it is advisable to book a package with several platforms at the same time.

Ecwid prices compared

If you have no problem investing a few euros per month, you can unlock a number of features at Ecwid by booking a paid tariff.

So far, the free account has been enough for me, as I only offer three products and these have neither variations nor other special features. For people who want a little more than the basics, however, it might be interesting to take a look Check out the prices and features of the other tariffs.

The different tariffs can be compared on the Ecwid website. The list is much longer than the screenshot here suggests.

The different tariffs can be compared on the Ecwid website. The list is much longer than the screenshot here suggests.

My conclusion on Ecwid

I don't want to deliver a comprehensive review of Ecwid here. I only use the features that are included in the free plan and I am completely satisfied with them. Even so, Ecwid offers so much more when you throw in money. For example, you can collect e-mail addresses for sending newsletters, store your own domain, create gift vouchers and discount coupons, store price groups for wholesalers and much more.

With a paid account, you can also create and send invoices directly via Ecwid.

With a paid account, you can also create and send invoices directly via Ecwid.

It may well be that I book myself a higher tariff if I notice that the shop is being used. At the moment it's all a test balloon for me and I want to keep the monthly costs as low as possible.

If you find Ecwid exciting and are planning a mini-shop yourself, then take a look at the platform. I can certainly help with beginner questions. For more complex things, there is also support at Ecwid, which answers relatively quickly.

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