Thinking of setting up store in the world wide web? Sure why not, pretty much everyone’s doing it these days.
Not so fast though. Integrating an e-commerce solution is a big thing, as it can be costly, time consuming to mount and it would be beneficial if it stood out from the thousands of others online stores, which in turn might require customization via plug-in (also potentially costly stuff).
However, there’s a good chance your company isn’t a vast, nearly endlessly resourced megabrand, in which case building up an costly e-commerce from scratch won’t necessarily pose any problems. Should this be true, a well balanced combination of quick, cheap and efficient will what you’re after.
Russia-based Ecwid (short for “e-commerce widgets” in case you were wondering) is one of the many, many e-commerce solutions the markets are filled with. However, the company differentiates itself from other popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magento by having its product hosted natively on a client’s website, as opposed to being displayed on a remote window. That is, the store can be set up by typing a few lines of HTML code, just like that.
In addition to their massive user numbers outside of social media, according to the company, their Ecwid Facebook app is the leading Facebook shopping cart application with more than 50,000 merchants operating Facebook stores using Ecwid.
As for those other mentioned users, Ecwid says they have more than 500,000 registered merchants as customers, spread across 175 countries.
So how did they attain those numbers?
The Ecwid e-commerce might be considered a bit simplified for for demanding high class online stores, but for any smaller businesses it’s the ease of integration that eventually cracks the deal. Integration, especially to major Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, is a matter of a few lines of code and a couple of dedicated minutes of concentration. Add to that the fact that access to the full solution is free of charge for up to 10 items, half a million registered vendors starts making more sense, since it raises the question of how many of those 500,000 are actually paying customers.
Ecwid is a spin-off of X-cart, which back in 2000 began its journey as the world’s very first PHP source shopping cart, F-cart. Today X-cart, Ecwid as well as LiteCommerce all operate under the supervision of their umbrella company Qualiteam.
Last May Ecwid closed a significant funding round of $5 million last May, led by iTech Capital as the primary backer and participated by their series A backer Runa Capital. The company announced then that part of their funding would be spent to form strategical partnerships, which Ecwid has now done with web hosting company Endurance, a company whose brands include Bluehost, HostGator and Domain.com among others. The Massachusetts based Endurance will begin offering Ecwid as their de-facto storefront technology to their 3.6 million subscribers around the world.
“We are excited to partner with Endurance to help small businesses set up their online stores quickly and easily, so they can start selling their products anywhere at any time, offline or online and from any device,” says Jim O’Hara, president of Ecwid. ”Endurance is a highly-regarded, global leader in providing innovative products and services that help small businesses succeed online. We look forward to offering Endurance’s customers our world-class e-commerce platform that makes it easier for businesses to sell successfully anywhere.”
“Endurance is committed to helping small businesses build a web presence that will help them stand out and succeed in the online marketplace,” said Joel Rosen, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Product at Endurance. “Ecwid will enable our customers, regardless of the tools they used to build their website, to monetize their presence with an online store quickly and easily. Ecwid also supports 45 languages, so it aligns well with our global footprint.”
Edwic prices start at zero for 10 items, after which the service cost a monthly subscription fee of $15, $35 and $99 for 100, 2500 and unlimited amount of items respectively.