A lot of people in the Middle East are looking to create their own e-commerce sites. They are doing so after identifying certain niches that are helpful to their areas of expertise.
Whether the entrepreneurs are:
- Sitting at the mouth of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains.
- Sitting in villages near Iraq’s borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
- Desiring to generate more employment in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
- Looking to strengthen Oman’s business, generating employment and business in Zarqa, Irbid and Aqaba.
- Promoting Lebanese goods and produce across Lebanon and MENA.
- Helping raise employment and business in Cairo, Suez, Hurghada and Alexandria.
- Revitalizing Libya in Tripoli, Misrata and Benghazi.
- Making Tunisia appear on the map.
- Generating more business in Sudan and promoting e Commerce there.
- Improving business in Djibouti and Eritrea.
- Creating an e-commerce firm in either Doha, Manama or Dubai to improve the scenario following the Expo and to promote these cities in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Setting up one in Doha to facilitate not just Qataris but tourists for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
These aspirations of entrepreneurs are valid, and legitimate, and worth the investment. However, they often wonder which platform to use and which one to avoid. Among the numerous options present, two are well known, namely: Shopify and Wix.
Shopify is based in Canada while Wix is an Israeli company. Both are workable in the Middle East and all across the world. Yet, we will talk about each of these platforms in detail exploring both the benefits and the cons.
A bit about Shopify
Before we enter the discussion about Wix and Shopify let us explore them both first.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform allowing users to set up a store online with relevant ease. It is complete with a lot of features, ranging from product listings to a secure checkout. The platform also offers a point of sale (POS) app. Moreover, a lot of things on the platform are based on the cloud.
A bit about Wix
Wix is an Israeli company, a website building platform like Weebly and WordPress. It is basically a drag and drop tool, which allows users to choose from a wide array of pre-existing templates to choose from. They can also begin from scratch if they wish, in terms of creating a site.
Wix offers a free version, however it is limited and features Wix advertising too. The platform is different from Shopify because the latter is strictly for e-commerce purposes. Wix can be used to make anything ranging from a business website to a shop, a blog, a manufacturing site and vice versa.
Thankfully, a lot of options are part of the Wix Umbrella, especially e-commerce; because the platform has options for setting up an e-commerce store nicely.
The battle of Wix vs Shopify – who wins?
Now that we have understood the basics of Wix and Shopify, it is time to compare them both with the help of expert opinions from professionals working at a well known web design agency in Dubai. Key elements of both Wix and Shopify will be examined to see which one is the better choice:
The price of each platform is one of the most important factors to consider when signing up for one. A lot of factors contribute towards pricing, especially which plan to choose and how many extra expenses are present.
Shopify starts at USD$29. Its costliest plan starts at around USD$ 299 per month which is quite expensive. It tends to come with more additional charges for other features. They come in the form of a transaction fee each time a user orders from a store running on Shopify.
Wix, on the other hand, has a starting price similar to that of Shopify at around USD$ 28 per month. Its most expensive plan is however less expensive, at around USD$56 a month.
The winner here is Wix.
Both Shopify and Wix are enriched with a wide variety of options to choose from in the arena of templates.
Shopify is a commerce oriented platform. Most of its templates are in line with those of online stores. This makes it easier to find a template fitting the exact needs of aspiring e-commerce entrepreneurs. While its options are quite precise they are also limited.
In comparison to Shopify, Wix offers a wide range of template options. It has around 114 of them dedicated to just e-commerce while 700 are not even specific to it but can work in it quite well.
The winner? It’s a tie in this aspect.
User friendliness (how easy it is to use either)
Ease of use is another factor that should be taken into consideration. Shopify however lacks in this area due to a hard-to use editor. It requires some back-end editing along with the front end too, and this can be confusing. However, the end result is user-friendly and navigable because it is made specifically for e-commerce.
A lot of companies in web design and development work on Shopify.
Wix, in comparison, uses a What You See Is What You Get model (WYSIWYG) layout. This means that all users have to do is drag and drop the elements where they need to be placed. This indicates that Wix website making is effortless and intuitive.
The Winner? None other than Wix.
Integrations and other additional plugins
Whenever an online store is being built, integration with other platforms and plugins is needed. Inventory management platforms are one example to keep up with the product’s stock and marketing platforms to check marketing analytics.
Shopify is well known for allowing a broad range of integrations on its website. Moreover, it also allows for a lot of add-ons too.
Wix, however, does not let users integrate external platforms and plugins. It instead focuses more on add-ons but only a few.
Hence, the winner in this arena is Shopify.
Mobile friendly factor
With the world going mobile, it is crucial to consider the mobile friendliness of a web platform. Almost 50 percent of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Google uses a mobile-first index to rank websites on the basis of their mobile format.
Shopify takes the lead here, as it is fully responsive. Meaning, its pages easily restructure themselves as per the mobile device’s screen dimensions. Hence a shopify page looks different on computers instead of phones.
Wix, however, does not offer responsive design. Instead, the site has to be optimized for mobile first through manual restructure of pages to make sure they look good on all devices.
The obvious winner is Shopify.
In line with the above analysis, we come to the conclusion that those who want a platform focusing chiefly on mobile friendliness and e-commerce should go for Shopify. Else those who wish to have an affordable platform for more creative freedom can go with Wix.