When you choose an eCommerce fulfillment partner, one of the critical elements to set you up for success is fully functional integrations. Whatever eCommerce platform or other software you use to power your online store, you need a direct connection to your 3PL so that your order fulfillment never stalls due to technical glitches. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we provide Ecwid integration and connections to many other eCommerce platforms.
If you’re considering an Ecwid store, here’s what you need to know about Ecwid integration and how to connect your online store to Red Stag Fulfillment’s 3PL services.
What is Ecwid, and which eCommerce companies should open an Ecwid store?
Ecwid gets its name from a mashup of “eCommerce” and “widget.” The SaaS tool creates a widget that allows you to insert your online store onto your website or a social account. It’s one of the lesser-known eCommerce platforms, but with nearly one million sites, it’s well-established software that many online stores use.
Ecwid is unique in offering a service level that is free forever. A free account could be an excellent way to test out the platform. However, if you’re serious about your eCommerce business, you should probably get a Venture, Business, or Unlimited account. The free version only lets you list 10 products, doesn’t include many features, and doesn’t work on Facebook or Instagram.
A paid Ecwid subscription starts at $12.50 per month and tops out at $99 per month. With the paid version, you can sell digital and physical goods, automate sales tax and shipping calculations, offer coupons, and translate your pricing into local currencies.
Ecwid can be a good starter platform. It works well if you want to add a small eCommerce element to an existing website. It also offers an option to create a site from scratch, but has limited functionality. Typically, you’re better off adding Ecwid to WordPress or Wix.
Why integrations matter
Software integration may be the last item on your checklist when looking for a new 3PL services provider. But integration isn’t always as simple as flipping a switch. How you manage your integration — via a plugin, middleware, or API — will determine what information passes between you and your fulfillment company and how often you share data.
In fact, the challenging elements of onboarding with a new logistics company, such as shipping inventory to a new warehouse, are sometimes more straightforward than the integration piece. You can make your integration smoothly by following these three steps:
- Choose a fulfillment partner with an integration process for your platform that works for you and an onboarding process to support integrations.
- Prepare ahead of your transition to a new warehouse. Start by pulling together all the information the 3PL IT team will need for your integration.
- Balance speed vs. complexity. For example, you might start with an Ecwid integration via middleware and transition to an API to add more features later.
Ecwid vs. Shopify: Pros and cons for your online store
Should you choose Ecwid or Shopify for your eCommerce site? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide which platform is right for you.
Embed vs. freestanding online store
Shopify is an excellent tool for creating an eCommerce store from scratch. Nearly four million merchants use Shopify, one of the world’s biggest eCommerce platforms. Shopify offers templates and tools that make it easy for sellers to create online stores that look good and function well.
Ecwid also provides an easy interface for new eCommerce entrepreneurs, but you need an existing website to make it work. The ease of adding Ecwid to your social sites could be an advantage for this software since social provides robust and growing opportunities to convert shoppers to buyers.
Both Ecwid and Shopify offer drop shipping plugins. Shopify has a larger app marketplace than Ecwid, but if Ecwid has the drop shipping plugin you want, that’s all you need.
In many cases, plugins are just as essential to running your business as the platforms they connect. Because Shopify is a top eCommerce platform, developers have created a vast array of plugins that work with it. If your online store has specialized needs, you are more likely to find the plugin you’re looking for with Shopify than Ecwid.
Ecwid is less expensive than Shopify, with a free level and a top cost of $99 per month. Shopify starts with a $5 monthly subscription, and its pricing structure escalates faster than Ecwid’s. Shopify Advanced is $299 per month, and Shopify Plus plans, which allow you to create an online wholesale business, start at $2,000 per month.
Growing with your eCommerce company
If your eCommerce site is a side hustle or a retirement income booster, Ecwid might offer all the features you need. However, if your plan is eCommerce disruption, Shopify has more options to support your transition from startup to world domination.
You can achieve Shopify and Ecwid integration in multiple ways. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we have a Shopify plugin for a quick and easy connection. Our middleware provider offers an Ecwid integration that is almost as plug-and-play as a true plugin. And you can always create an API to build a custom connection.
Shopify also offers a branded fulfillment solution, the Shopify Fulfillment Network. You can get all your eCommerce services in one place, but it comes at the cost of control.
Most 3PLs have experience with Shopify connections. Because the Ecwid platform is less common, check with your fulfillment provider to ensure they can connect to an Ecwid store.
How to connect Ecwid to Red Stag Fulfillment
Red Stag Fulfillment offers two integration options for most eCommerce platforms: middleware or API.
Middleware is software that provides a bridge between your eCommerce platform and a 3PL warehouse management system (WMS). There are no startup costs for middleware, and setup is quick. However, you will pay a monthly fee for the middleware software.
We integrate with a variety of middleware software, but we most commonly use DropStream. DropStream offers an Ecwid integration, so we can easily connect to Ecwid stores.
An API is a custom code to build an integration to your specifications. You’ll pay more up front for an API to cover the cost of coding, but you won’t incur monthly subscription costs. Over time, you’ll only pay for an API Ecwid integration when you need to update the features, so it may cost you less in the long run. Allow a couple of weeks to a couple of months to build a fully functional API.
Excellent fulfillment plus eCommerce platform integrations: The RSF difference
Red Stag Fulfillment is the top choice for growing eCommerce companies that sell high-value or heavy products. Our fulfillment services and robust integrations can help your company grow and scale.
More about integrations:
- How Does Red Stag Fulfillment Support ECommerce Integrations?
- Is Integration for BigCommerce Right for Your Store?
- Is Red Stag a Top 3PL for Demandware (Salesforce) Users?