- Comprehensive set of design tools
- Easy-to-understand user interface
- Unlimited ‘trial’ period
- Great customization options
- Image editing tools
- Zero transaction fees
- Storage is limited
- Free version doesn’t allow users to sell
Like many startup ideas, Wix was born out of necessity when its founders were struggling to build their own website. Instead, they built a whole platform that would allow anyone to create their own website without the need for coding or design skills. Since 2006, Wix has become a powerful tool for people across the globe to create their online presence and currently counts more than 110 million users with 45,000 new sign-ups a day. As this platform grew more and more features were added, and in 2012 the HTML5 editor and the app market followed in 2016 with the Wix ADI. Alongside building a website, Wix enables users to quickly create an online storefront by adding ecommerce features packed into the Wix Stores platform. The platform itself is free to use, but accepting payments requires a subscription plan that starts at $20 per month. All plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee.
Wix Stores is not just a capable and customizable online store builder but also a fun utility to use. After registering for an account and deciding on the type of site to create, you are presented with two options: create a site by customizing templates or let the artificial design intelligence (ADI) wizard create one for you by getting input through simple questions. It’s surprising just how easy and efficient it is to have a website built from scratch based on answers to a short quiz. It is definitely a very good option for users with no tech and design skills, but the end results will pleasantly impress even experienced users.
The only drawback to this option is that Wix doesn’t allow you to see how the layout looks on a full screen, so you will need to make a decision and if isn’t the right one, then you’ll need to go back and start again until the perfect design is created. The good news is that you have all the time in the world, as Wix Stores is free to use until you decide to move on to using your own domain and accepting payments.
If you keep in mind that Wix was created as a platform for building websites and that ecommerce wasn’t the main goal, then the features included are acceptable, which includes important tools like a good product catalog, SEO tools, and a blog.
The service’s strength is definitely in its ease of use and the drag-and-drop features, which make template editing a breeze. Actually, the site will gently guide users with all levels of knowledge through customization so the whole process will be frustration free, with the result is visible right in front of you. If the ADI’s results are not satisfactory, Wix offers 500 free themes to choose from, all of which are customizable.
Wix Stores, the service’s ecommerce platform, was designed with both physical and digital products in mind. The clean, user-friendly design is definitely a great help here, allowing users to easily add a detailed description of their products and optimize the page for SEO. Though the importance of using your own images should be stressed, it is possible to access a database of free images and videos to add to the store.
All Wix themes come mobile-optimized, but it is still possible to add your personal touch using the theme editor. Unlike the majority of ecommerce platforms, users will need to save the customized theme and add a custom URL to it.
As soon as the online storefront is up and running, it’s time for some good promotions to drive traffic. Wix Stores includes some basic tools to get started in the “Promote” tab on the product’s backend page. The ease of use is a trademark of this platform, and so getting a discount, sale, or promotion live only requires just a few clicks and a well-thought-out strategy. However, if you want more, then the app market is the place head to when extending the store’s capabilities. Marketing tools to drive sales to the whole site are easily accessible from the dashboard.
Sales are key to every online store, so accepting payment is an essential component. Stores built with Wix accept PayPal by default, along with offline payments. Credit and debit card payments, however, require a payment gateway. For this Wix recommends Braintree, but there are other services to choose from.
The articles published in the help center will likely answer your question, but if they don’t, then get in touch with customer service by submitting a ticket. If this is the case, you’ll be presented with a ticket form, so describe the problem in detail and attach a file supporting your statement if necessary. If you’d rather contact Wix over social media, then it is present on basically every major social platform, however over on Twitter the company has a dedicated Wix Help channel for users to pose their questions about the web development suite and get direct responses.
The whole point of Wix is that it is able to help those without any coding or design skills to create a stunning website; it’s like someone giving you advice while designing the look and feel of an online identity or brand. With the addition of Wix Stores’ ecommerce capabilities, the Wix platform is also a very good option for beginners, since new stores don’t have the traffic that more well-known, high-capacity stores have.
Wix’s approach to pricing also stands out from the crowd, since you’ll need to pay at least one month up-front in order to start accepting payments or to use your own domain. In other words, Wix Stores is a great ecommerce platform to start an online store, but as the business grows the caps will become a burden and the bill for storage and bandwidth will rise, something that its competitors that focus sharply on providing the widest palette of ecommerce tools manage much better with.