Ecommerce Platform Review: Wix Stores
Modern ecommerce platforms make it easy to create a professional-looking online store in just a few steps. Unfortunately, choosing from among the 600 different solutions available on the market is not so simple. However, among the most well-known of these 600 is Wix Stores, which we'll be looking at closer in this review.
What is Wix Stores?
Wix is a cloud-based platform for creating websites that has more than 154 million users, and as such, is one of the most popular site-building solutions on the market. We've already shown in our site builder review that the company's popularity is fully deserved, thanks not least to its intuitive ease of use, wide selection of features, and excellent app market, all of which propelled the Israeli provider to first place.
The company also offers an ecommerce platform, Wix Stores. In this review, we'll let you know if it's as good as the company's site builder, or not.
Pros and Cons
Relatively free hand in terms of design
Intuitive to use
Supports dropshipping, multi-channel, and POS sales
Templates can't be changed
Storage limits in all subscriptions
Certain features in the marketing platform cost extra
Configuration & Usage
To get started building your store, you'll need to create a Wix account, but don't worry, this only takes a few seconds. After clicking on "Create an Online Store" you'll be able to get started. Once you've set your password, you'll be logged in and can start choosing a design.
Registration requires an email and password. Alternatively, you can login using social media (Facebook, Google, etc.).
Don't be surprised if you lose track of time in the template gallery browsing through its more than 500 layouts, thematically sorted into groups like Fashion & Clothing, Home & Decor, or Electronics., but more on that below. Once you've selected a template, your online store will be created, and you'll be taken directly to the store/site builder.
Here, Wix Stores takes a noticeably different approach than its competitors. In most of these, you manage your store through an administrative dashboard, one component of which is the actual store builder. In Wix Stores, this builder is placed much more prominently, allowing for the provider to show off what it can do, and for you to do almost everything in a more familiar environment. This pays dividends, as it makes designing your site less abstract than in other providers.
Wix Stores' site builder is surrounded by three different menus. To the left, the buttons denote the tools that you'll use to build your site. These include those relating to the creation of menus, image editing, page backgrounds, and adding new elements. In the tool menu to the right, which you can move around at will, you'll be able to edit elements that you select.
Wix Stores' powerful builder is the ecommerce platform's engine.
Finally, we come to the upper menu bar, which is divided into two columns. In the lower of the two, you can quickly navigate between different pages of your store and how these are viewed, whereas in the upper, you'll find a help section, developer mode, as well as general settings for your store and site. This last menu is primarily for managing your store's website.
The administrative dashboard includes a sidebar menu with typical ecommerce features: Store Products, Store Orders, Marketing & SEO, and Analytics & Reports. By clicking on Settings, you can enter your business information, and adjust tax and shipping.
You can manage your products, orders, and store directly in the dashboard.
Wix Stores is both easier to use and more detailed than other ecommerce platforms that we looked at. In terms of the latter, beginners will need some time to get used to how the menus are laid out, and information is presented on the screen. The tool is definitely more powerful than a lot of other solutions as well. It's easier to use, because the structure of both areas is unbelievably intuitive, and the elevation of the site builder means that the distinction between the dashboard and the store is clear, helping to create an overall improved user experienced.
Score: 4.7 / 5
In Wix Stores, there are two ways to manage your products: You can do so in the dashboard, or directly in the store builder. In the latter, you only need to click on the product field and the "Manage Products" button, which will open a pop-up window. Here, you'll find all of your items, and be able to sort them by collection, quantity available, type, and visibility. If you've already created a product list, you can import it into Wix Stores used a pre-made CSV template.
In the product management area, you can specify what you'll offer to your customers.
Should you want to add a new product, you'll first have to choose whether it's a physical or digital item. In the following window, you'll be asked to name the product and describe it, as well as assign it a price and upload pictures or a video of it. You can also add individual information sections which should be displayed on the product's page.
In addition, it's possible to input information about the quantity available and shipping. If you're a drop shipper and don't store and ship your goods yourself, you'll need to enter your vendor's information here.
One unique feature in Wix Stores is that you can also offer your customers product subscriptions. This is particularly useful if you deal in foodstuffs or household items since it allows you to sell on a regular schedule.
Upload images of your product, and describe them so that customers will be able to find and buy them easier.
To help your customers when browsing, you can also groups your products into collections directly in the product window.
It's also possible to offer variations of your products. To do this, click on Product Options and enter a name (i.e. "Colors" or "Sizes") and then list the different options within the rubric you've created (black, white, green; or "S", "M", "L"). Once you've input these, you can add different pictures, so that clients who select a shirt or blouse in black will see that item, and not its green variation. Some providers, such as Ecwid, offer a bit more creative freedom here, allowing for the simultaneous selection of multiple variations of a single item.
If desired, it's also possible to add unique prices, available quantities, weights, and SKUs to each variation.
In the Product Options area of the dashboard, you can add different variations of your goods.
These variations can be displayed either in a drop-down menu, or a color chart. We would have liked to see an embedded product preview tool here so that it'd be possible to immediately view how each product's page looks to customers. To do this, you'll need to jump over to the store builder and click on the product.
How customers see your product.
If you plan on offering digital products, you'll need to upload the file(s) in the product window. Images, audio files, documents, and zip archives are supported. Once a customer purchases a digital product from you, they'll receive a direct download link - in other words, the entire sale is automated.
Wix Stores also allows for digital products to be sold.
Wix Stores covers pretty much all of the bases as far as product management is concerned and even sneaks in a few nice surprises, like product subscriptions. Of course, other providers have a better variation game, and the need to switch over to the store builder to preview a product's page is a bit tedious, but we can't complain too much.
Score: 4.7 / 5
Personalizing Your Store
Most ecommerce platforms strive to achieve a balance between freedom and simplicity, ultimately failing to do so. Because these services want to appeal to as large an audience as possible, simplicity often carries the day, unbalancing the relationship between the two key concepts. This isn't the case with Wix Stores: Reflecting upon the service's site builder, that platform plays to its strengths, only slightly limiting its users' creativity.
Wix Stores' store builder has genuine drag and drop functionality, meaning that you can move nearly all elements at will. New content can be added by clicking on the "+" button, and you're able to choose from nearly countless ready-made page elements.
In addition to text fields and images, you can also add entire content blocks like lists, useful for testimonials or about us pages. Shop elements too, ranging from product galleries to the shopping cart button, can also be moved and arranged to your heart's content.
Wix Stores' store builder affords users a significant amount of freedom in terms of design.
You can manage store navigation by clicking on the Menus & Pages button. Here, you can create new pages and configure settings for every subpage. For example, it's possible to password protect specific pages, or limit access to them to logged-in users. You're also able to adjust some aspects of SEO here, such as slugs, descriptions, and meta-tags.
To make navigating to the different pags of your store even easier, you can use the drop-down menu in the upper menu bar. This allows you to fine-tune all areas of your online store seen by your customers, from the start page to the shopping cart, making it easy for you to edit the texts and designs on each.
In Wix Stores, it's easy to customize each of your store's pages to your liking.
The level of difficulty depends largely on how much you want to do, and how satisfied you are with the template's default settings. In Wix Stores, the selection of a template should be made carefully, since you aren't able to change it once you start designing, without losing all progress and having to start from scratch.
If you're looking for specific design elements or features, you can also check Wix's App Market. There, you can find additional features and tools for the provider's site builder, some of which allow you to create different kinds of content for your store as well. There are also marketing tools, as well as media elements like image or video galleries, search bars, and much more.
If you can't find the feature or element that you need, check out Wix's well-stocked App Market.
Creating multiple language localizations for your store is not a problem in Wix Stores. Simply click on Settings > Multilingual to set (or change) your primary language or add additional languages. After this, a language menu will appear on your store's page, which your customers can use to view the store in a different localization. Alternatively, you can set your store's language to automatically match that of the customer.
Content that you've already added to your store can be translated directly in the multilingual menu. For new content, you can alternate between different localizations of your store in the site builder and manually make or add changes.
Wix Stores offers impressive support for multilingual stores.
The large amount of design freedom that Wix Stores affords its users will certainly appeal to some, however, it also means that a lot can go wrong for those who are less experienced. A button might not be aligned with the rest, or a menu item could lead to nothing. This is the trade-off though, in comparison to other ecommerce platforms that limit the creativity of their users but help pretty much anyone to create a professional-looking store.
With that said, Wix Stores does a good job of balancing freedom against results. For beginners, it's advised to stick close to the templates and not make too many changes to their settings or menu arrangements. Even with such a 'safe' approach, Wix Stores offers a less complicated and more appealing option. On the other hand, for those who want to express their creativity, Wix Stores also facilitates this, again, to a larger degree than other ecommerce platforms.
In addition, it's worth noting that in Developer Mode you can add individual code and APIs, meaning that those few barriers which the service does erect can be easily bypassed.
Score: 5 / 5
Once you've added products and built up a storefront, you can finally start thinking about selling your wares! First, you'll need to make a few payment methods available to your customers. This can be done in the management dashboard by clicking on Settings > Payment Methods. Along with PayPal, numerous credit and debit cards through gateways like Stripe, Lyra Collect, Braintree, and SumUp are accepted, as well as more country-specific payment methods like AliPay or iDeal.
In the US, the UK, the Euro Zone, Switzerland, and Brazil, it's possible to use Wix Payments. For the US, this charges 2.9% of the order total + $0.30. The fees for other countries/currencies vary, ranging from 1.9% of the transaction fee to 2.3%.
Wix Stores allows your customers to pay using the most common methods.
Shipping options can be added directly in the settings menu under the payment methods. Here, it's possible to create shipping regions and to specify conditions for each. You can offer a flat-rate fee, link shipping to the weight or price of the order, or even offer free shipping from a certain amount.
Should you use an external fulfillment service for storing and shipping your products, you can also add it here and identify which of your products it is responsible for.
Wix Stores makes a lot of shipping options available as well.
Tax information can be input under settings, either manually (for each country/region) or automatically with Avalara. Real-time calculations are reserved for Premium subscribers.
You can also specify whether VAT should be included in your prices, or automatically added at the time of purchase. Shipping can also be taxed.
It's possible to show before tax or after tax prices.
Orders can be viewed in the similarly named dashboard menu. These can be searched manually, or filtered on the basis of their status, date received, products, subscription status, or sales channel. You're able to add tracking numbers to the order overview, change the status of an order, cancel it, or authorize a refund.
Dropshipping is possible in Wix Stores, albeit only through apps available in the App Market. As of the time of writing, Spocket, Modalyst, Printify, and Printful could be integrated.
In addition, you're also able to manage multi-channel sales using Wix Stores. Facebook and Instagram can be added by clicking on Marketing Tools > Sales Channels. If you want to add even more online marketplaces, you can do so using the Multiorders app; Google Shopping can be integrated through AdScape. With the Wix mobile app, it's possible to configure points of sale (POS), to sell your products on the go.
Wix Stores can be easily integrated into your multi-channel sales strategy.
Unfortunately, it isn't possible to sell in multiple currencies. As a small consolation prize, you can add a currency converter from the App Market that shows customers prices in their preferred currency. At the end of the day though, other providers are better here, helping their customers to sell in multiple currencies.
Apart from that little issue though, there isn't much to take Wix Stores to task for as far as sales are concerned.
Score: 4.7 / 5
Marketing & Analytics
Ascend, Wix's own marketing solution, can be found in the dashboard by clicking on Business Tools by Ascend. It entails four main areas, namely, Customer Management, Marketing Tools, Statistics, and Financial Tools.
Under Customer Management, you can contact those who have ordered products from you. The Inbox contains all messages from your customers, which can be answered either directly in the chat or via email.
The Contact List contains contact information for all of your store's visitors. To start an email campaign simply mark one (or all) of these, and message those you've selected automatically. With Automations it's possible to create automated messages, greeting new customers, or reminding existing customers about items left in their shopping cart.
Ascend makes it possible to conduct email marketing, albeit at cost.
Ascend is nominally free, however, to get the most out of its features, you'll need to have a paid subscription. For example, in the free version, you're limited to three email campaigns per month, the creation of five forms, and two automations.
In the Marketing Tools area, you can create coupons, giving your customers discounts and enticing them to purchase your goods. In total, there are five different types of coupons: Fixed amount, Percentual, Free shipping, Sales Price, and Buy X get Y free. Each type can be limited to specific items or collections, or to a minimum order total.
Motivate your customers by making special offers.
It's worth returning to Ascend, since it offers a few more features we'd like to note. With the Video Maker feature, you can create professional videos for your online store and share them on social networks like Facebook or Instagram, or on YouTube. By clicking on Social > Entries you're also given the ability to create social media posts that are useful for bringing new visitors to your store.
Here again, there are some limits: With a free Ascend account, you're limited to four advertising videos and three social media posts.
If you like advertising on social networks Wix Stores offers a few nice features through its Ascend add-on.
As far as SEO is concerned, Wix Stores also keeps its foot on the gas. As mentioned above, all of the standard SEO settings are available, but Wix Stores offers a lot more than just these. By clicking on Marketing Tools > SEO, you'll be taken to the SEO Wiz which guides you step-by-step through configuring SEO for your store, creating a user-defined plan in the process. Of course, this isn't a substitute for professional SEO assistance, but a nice feature nevertheless.
You can also adjust the SEO Wiz's settings in the SEO tools area, or hire an SEO expert in the marketplace.
SEO helps ensure that your store is found by those who are looking for it.
Wix Stores makes extensive statistics available in the dashboard. These relate to traffic, earnings, and user/customer behavior. Beyond that, you're also supplied with detailed reports on specific topics, such as sales per region, daily traffic, or your most profitable customers.
Alongside internal analytics, you can also add third-party tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook Catalog, or Yandex Metrica by clicking on Marketing Integrations. As such, Wix Stores is well-positioned and able to keep you informed about the ins and outs of your online store.
Wix Stores includes internal analytic features, and makes integrating external tools easy.
Wix Stores has a powerful marketing component, allowing you to promote your online store through discounts, special offers, email campaigns, and social media posts. However, to tap into the full potential of the service's features, you'll need to unlock Ascend, paying a premium in addition to the regular subscription price for Wix Stores.
Score: 4.3 / 5
Wix's help center is neatly arranged and packed with useful information, all of which can be found thanks to the integrated full-text search feature. The individual articles are well-written and competent, including pictures, Gifs, info-boxes and videos, all of which make solving any issues, or learning about new features, even more convenient.
Wix Stores has a good help center, albeit only limited contact possibilities.
To get in touch with human support, you'll have to go on a bit of a quest. According to the service's site, this is owing to the ongoing global pandemic situation, however, the absence of a "Contact" button in the dashboard creates the impression that Wix wants users to try to fix issues on their own, rather than reach out for help.
Should you want to write to a Wix staffer, you'll need to go to the help center and search for an article about support. Only in that article is a link provided for writing directly to the company's support team. Or so we thought: Next, we had to go back and forth with a chatbot before we were allowed to file a glorified support ticket. The company's callback service has been deactivated owing to COVID-19. On the plus side, even though we were warned to expect longer wait times, our question was answered (somewhat unexpectedly) within less than half an hour.
At the end of the day, Wix's support isn't all that bad, however, the hassle of finding a contact form rubbed us the wrong way.
Score: 4 / 5
Although we've discussed Wix Stores in this review, the company's site-building software is, for all intents and purposes, identical to its ecommerce platform, differentiated only by the subscription plans (Website and Business & eCommerce, respectively). Only as a subscriber to the latter, is it possible to accept online payments.
In comparison to most other solutions available, Wix Stores is very affordable. The service comes in three different packages: Business Basic, Business Unlimited, and Business VIP. Each of these offers unlimited bandwidth, differing only in storage space (20 GB, 35 GB, and 50 GB, respectively). These limits are a bit tight when set alongside those of other ecommerce platforms, however, there aren't any product or sales limits.
Certain features, like subscriptions or marketplace integrations, are only available in the two more expensive packages. The main highlight for Business VIP subscribers is premium support.
Payment fees depend largely on the gateway which you use. As mentioned above, with Wix Payments, for a USD-based store, these entail, per transaction 2.9% of the total +$0.30.
With all of that said, we do want to raise a slight issue, namely, the lack of transparency regarding the features available (or not available) in each subscription. We were also disappointed to see that a free version of Wix Stores isn't available. We say Wix Stores, because you can create a website (or store) for free, however, when you activate payments, you'll be asked to select (and pay for) a subscription to Wix Stores. The best that the Israeli provider can do is a two-week money-back guarantee.
An overview of Wix Stores' prices can be found below:
|Business Basic||Business Unlimited||Business VIP|
|Price per month||$23.01||$34.22||$47.20|
|Transaction Fee||0 %||0 %||0 %|
|Contract period (months)||12||12||12|
|Number of Products||50,000||50,000||50,000|
To unlock the full power of Wix's Ascend marketing platform, you'll need to pay a surcharge in addition to the regular subscription fee. Alongside the limited free version, there are three subscription packages: Basic, Professional, and Unlimited. Each of these provides different numbers of email campaigns per month (5, 20, unlimited), forms (10, 20, unlimited), and automations (7, 20, unlimited).
Wix Stores provides users with a powerful ecommerce platform built on the company's excellent site builder, adding useful sales and marketing features.
The engine of Wix Stores is, without a doubt, Wix's acclaimed website builder, which rightfully impressed owing to its countless design options, content elements, and add-ons. As such, Wix Stores offers users a considerably freer hand in designing and building their online store than most other ecommerce platforms do, all the while taking care not to overwhelm beginners.
Our biggest criticism of Wix Stores is the very tight limits on storage space, across all subscriptions. To compare, other platforms, like Shopify, don't limit storage at all. Additional, minor points of critique, relate to the inability to sell in multiple currencies (without third-party extensions), and the 'use it or lose it' nature of the overall store template, which can only be changed by opening a completely new store.
Despite these issues, however, Wix is definitely one of the best ecommerce platforms we reviewed, performing excellently in nearly every category we examined. At the end of the day, we're confident that its quality will be readily apparent to beginners and more advanced users, leading both to commend it equally.
We only examined Wix Stores over the course of a few days, and so, some strengths and weaknesses, which take time to appear, will become apparent only to those with longer experience with the service. For that reason, we've compiled and summarized user reviews for you, here.
If a free hand in designing your online store is important to you, but Wix Stores' storage limits are off-putting, you might want to consider the ecommerce platform designed by 1&1 IONOS, owing to its excellent site builder. The only downsides of the German service are its poor marketing features.
A complete list of alternatives to Wix Stores can be found here: