ShopWired vs Shopify (2022) – Which One is Best for UK Businesses?

ShopWired and Shopify are two very popular options for creating an ecommerce store in the UK, but which one is the best ecommerce platform for UK Businesses?

ShopWired vs Shopify: What is the Difference?

Both ShopWired and Shopify are dedicated platforms for building ecommerce websites. The main difference is that ShopWired is primarily focused on the UK market and offer tools for B2C and B2C website. Shopify is a global platform, with users all around the world and its main focus is to provide a platform to build B2C ecommerce websites.

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Pricing

ShopWired Logo
  • Pro: £29.95/m
  • Advanced: £69.95/m
  • Premium: £119.95/m
  • Enterprise: From £199.95/m
Shopify Logo
  • Basic: £19/m
  • Standard: £49/m
  • Advanced: £249/m
  • Plus: From $2000/m

So both ShopWired and Shopify offer a good selection of packages that are suitable for businesses of all sizes but ShopWired’s larger plans do work out cheaper on a monthly basis.

But there is more to consider than just the monthly subscription costs as ShopWired use a turnover based pricing system and this means that once you hit the annual turnover limit, you are automatically moved on to the next package and these limits are:

  • ShopWired Pro: £75k/yr
  • ShopWired Advanced: £200k/yr
  • ShopWired Premium: £500k/yr
  • ShopWired Enterprise: £500k/yr+

ShopWired do also offer a discount of 20% if you pay for plan annually and 30% if you pay for two years in advance.

Shopify doesn’t have turnover limits but does have a transaction fee for all payments received using third-party payment gateways and it depends on the plan you are on as to the fee you pay:

  • Shopify Basic: 2%
  • Shopify Standard: 1%
  • Shopify Advanced: 0.5%

This fee doesn’t apply if you use Shopify’s own payment gateway, Shopify Payments or accept offline payments. You also get a 10% discount if you pay for your plan annually.

But which one works out cheaper?

For an example, we will look at a business selling £100,000 a year with sales split 50/50 between credit cards and PayPal and the subscription fee paid for monthly:

ShopWired would costs £839.40 as you would be on the Advanced Package.

There are two possible outcomes for Shopify, both packages paid for monthly:

  1. Shopify Basic – £228 subscription fee and £1,000 in transaction fees totalling £1,228
  2. Shopify Standard – £588 subscription fee and £500 in transaction fees totalling £1,088

Now this is a very basic example and their are other variables such as apps, themes etc but for this straightforward comparison, ShopWired is cheaper by over £200 across the year.

Free Trial

Both platforms let you try their respective platforms out free:

ShopWired offers a 14 Day Free Trial, with no credit required.

Shopify also offer a 14 Day Free Trial and also don’t require a credit card.

Features

So both platforms are pretty even when it comes to pricing but what about features?

For this I am going to give an overview of the main features that are available on both platforms in four main categories.

ShopWired

Out of the box, ShopWired is a very capable ecommerce platform and comes with a great selection of features to help you build an ecommerce website.

Ecommerce Tools

  • Multi-buy Offers
  • Product Extras
  • Multi-Currency
  • Product Reviews
  • Ebay Integration
  • Digital Downloads
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Reward Points

Marketing & SEO

  • Google Feed
  • MailChimp Integration
  • Discount Codes
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Create Sales
  • Social Share
  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s

Reporting

  • Gross Profit Report
  • Sales by Product
  • Sales by Category
  • Payment Methods
  • Sales by Month
  • Failed Searches
  • Visitors

Payment Gateways

  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • Stripe
  • Amazon Pay
  • Klarna
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay
  • Barclaycard EPDQ
  • Nochex

Some of the features that ShopWired offers comes pre-installed with your store but they also offer a range of 60+ apps that add additional features, functionality and integrations to your store and you can pick and choose which ones you want on your site.

A large number of these apps are free to use and the paid options range from £1/m to £10/m but all of these apps are included on the Premium Plan.

Many of these apps are one click installs but some do require you to add code to your site and you can do this yourself by following the help guides or you can contact the ShopWired team and they will do it for you for a small fee.

ShopWired Apps

Shopify

In its standard form, the Shopify platform offers you all the features you need in order to get your online store set up.

Ecommerce Tools

  • Dropshipping Integration
  • Flexible Shipping Rates
  • Multi-Language
  • Product Reviews
  • Digital Products
  • Gift Vouchers
  • Shopify Management App

Marketing & SEO

  • Google Adwords Credit
  • Sell on Facebook
  • Discount Codes
  • Abandoned Cart Recovery
  • Auto Generated Sitemap
  • Social Share
  • Blog
  • Custom Meta Data
  • SEO Friendly URL’s

Reporting

  • Product Reports
  • Traffic Sources
  • Google Analytics
  • Day, Week and Monthly Reports

Payment Gateways

  • Shopify Payments
  • PayPal Express Checkout
  • Amazon Pay
  • Klarna
  • Worldpay
  • Sagepay

While the standard features are very good, it is the amount of third-party apps that are available within the Shopify App store that is really impressive. With over 3000 to choose from, covering everything from ecommerce features, marketing and SEO to order and inventory management.

Due to the vast amount of Apps on offer, it really isn’t possible for me to even begin listing them here.

Shopify App Store

Unfortunately though, not all of the apps are free and while many offer free plans or trails, you will need to pay to access all of the features. The apps range from a couple of dollars a month to around the $100 a month range. Always be vigilant when installing apps as you could soon find yourself with a hefty monthly bill!

Theme Selection & Customisation

ShopWired

In the summer of 2022, ShopWired rolled their Version 5 Framework, which included a big update to theme customisation (which has always been an issue for ShopWired).

In terms of theme selection, ShopWired offer a total of 21 free to use, mobile responsive themes but if none of the standard theme selection does it for you, you can have the ShopWired team design build a custom one for you by choosing their Pro Package at £4495 + vat or the Advanced Package at £4995+vat.

When it comes to theme customisation, the Version 5 Framework includes a full site customiser, which allows users to customise pretty much every page template on the site, from the homepage to product and account pages.

This gives users much control over the look and feel of their site as they can choose from individual page settings to being able to add custom sections to a page and there is a good selection of 19 different sections that can be added.

ShopWired Version 5 Customiser

There are also general theme settings that include options for fonts and colours along with options for the header and footer sections of the site, including being able to create custom navigation menus using the ShopWired link list system.

For developers, there is also access to the theme code, which allows for even more potential customisation options.

Shopify

In November 2021, Shopify rolled out their OS 2.0 upgrade for their themes and customisation, which is a significant upgrade over the previous system (which wasn’t exactly bad!).

With the new OS 2.0 comes a selection of 9 free themes and over 70 paid, which are available directly from Shopify but you can also buy themes directly from Shopify developers or marketplaces such as Themeforest, which has over 1,000 to choose from.

The biggest change with OS 2.0 is theme customisation, as it is now a full site editor, meaning you can customise pretty much any page on your Shopify store, you can also create custom templates for pages, which allows for more design control.

The Shopify customiser offers a selection of 16 sections to build custom pages and most have their own section specific options, there are also a good selection of general themes settings including fonts and colours. If any apps have design options, they will also be accessible in the customiser.

As with ShopWired, you can also edit the themes code but knowledge of Liquid and JSON is required.

Shopify OS 2.0 Customizer

Support

Support is one of the reasons why you would choose a hosted ecommerce platform as you have someone you can contact if you can’t figure out how to do something or something has gone wrong.

ShopWired

ShopWired offer a variety of different support options such as over the phone, via live chat and email support tickets, ShopWired have also made it very easy to contact their support team as they have included a live chat icon in the admin dashboard and other contact information can be easily found in their help centre.

ShopWired don’t offer 24/7 support but do cover UK business hours by offering support between the hours of 9am – 10pm Monday to Friday. The ShopWired support team are also quick to respond to queries submitted outside of their support hours and are usually very helpful.

Shopify

Shopify offers all of its users 24/7 support and it is available via multiple mediums including phone, live chat, email and via twitter.

This all sounds great but actually accessing Shopify support is a bit of a challenge as you have to know how to navigate the help area to find the options listed above. If you don’t know how to do this, then you will just be pointed to a help article based on your query.

One other thing with Shopify is that the quality of support that you get can range from very helpful to not helpful depending on the support agent you get, which unfortunately is par for the course with big companies.

Hosting & Performance

On paper, there is little to choose between the two platforms when it comes to their hosting as both offer:

  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Unlimited Storage
  • PCI Compliant Servers
  • Global Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • 99.9% Uptime

On this there should be little to no difference in the performance of a website using either of these platforms right? Well I decided to put both of these companies to the test by taking 5 of their customer example sites and running them through Uptrends performance tool which measures load time and Goolge PageSpeed scores and ran a test once a day for three days. So how did they do?

ShopWired Logo

Uptrends Desktop: 1.45 Seconds
Google Desktop: 80/100
Uptrends Mobile: 1.29 Seconds
Google Mobile: 46/100

Average Load Time

Uptrends Desktop: 2.88 Seconds
Google Desktop:
77/100
Uptrends Mobile:
3.31 Seconds
Google Mobile:
35/100

A pretty clear win for ShopWired when it comes to performance, beating Shopify in every single test and being considerably faster on load times. PageSpeed scores were closer but ShopWired still edged it.

To see how both platforms compare to other ecommerce platforms, check out our Fastest Ecommerce Platform testing results.

ShopWired vs Shopify Video

Ease of Use

Facts and features are one thing but how easy are these platforms to use? In the second part of my comparison, I look at some of the main things that you will do on these platforms and see how the two compare.

Getting Started

ShopWired

Getting started with ShopWired is a very simple process, all you need is an email address and a password and you are ready to go. No credit card is needed to start the free trial.

Once you have signed up, you go into the ShopWired dashboard and you a greeted by a comprehensive set up guide that takes you through most of the important steps you need to do in order to get started. The only real thing missing here is setting up your Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

ShopWired Setup Tutorial

The ShopWired dashboard is also very easy to use as they have gone for a sidebar navigation menu. All the main section headings are well labelled and it won’t take you long to learn where everything is. If you do get stuck, the ShopWired team have written a really good selection of guides to take you through most of the things you will need to do.

If you do need to contact them about anything, you can easily start a live chat session directly from your dashboard, so no need to go hunting for how to speak to someone.

Shopify

Signing up to Shopify is as easy as it is with ShopWired and an email address, password and store name will get you started.

When you first log in to the Shopify dashboard, you will be greeted by a short set up guide to help you get your store up and running, the only thing missing is a prompt to set up your shipping options.

Shopify Dashboard Setup

The Shopify dashboard is really easy to navigate. The sidebar navigation menu is simply laid out with clearly labelled section titles and it doesn’t take a long time to feel familiar with where everything is.

It isn’t as easy to access the help documentation and support as it is with ShopWired because you actively have to go and find it.

Adding and Managing Products

ShopWired

The complete inventory management process on ShopWired is well laid out and easy to use.

Starting with adding a new product, they have opted for a single page layout, which has a good flow from one section of the page to another. This makes it really easy to add and also edit products on your website.

ShopWired Add New Product Page

To organise your products, ShopWired have used the tried and test category method and this allows you to create parent and sub-categories. Being able to do this, enables you to have a nice hierarchy for your products, which is not only good for SEO but also user experience.

When it comes to managing your inventory, the majority of this has to be done on a product by product basis as there is limited bulk editing but you can update stock levels using the manage stock section.

Shopify

Adding a new product on Shopify is really easy and the single page layout has a really nice workflow, with options to create digital products and product variations both easily accessible.

Shopify Add New Product Page

When it comes to organising your products, Shopify have opted to use what their own system that they have called collections and there two modes for this. In manual mode, it works very similar to a category system. But the automatic mode uses rules that are based on product tags, it does take some getting used to using this and is definitely worth spending some time reading through the documentation.

Creating sub-collections is also not particularly straight forward as this isn’t done when you create a new category, this is instead done by editing your websites navigation menu and while it does work, it is not the most straight forward way of doing things.

To help you manage your inventory, you can use the inventory page that allows you to update stock levels in a couple of clicks. If you want to make changes to the pricing, SKU code or any other field from the product, then you can select the products you want to edit from the product overview screen and then click the edit product button, which allows you to make updates in bulk.

Managing Orders

ShopWired

The order management process with ShopWired makes managing your orders very simple to do, whether you have a large or small number of orders.

From the main order management dashboard you can print off invoices via PDF or export them via CSV file, this can be done for single or multiple orders. You can also update order statuses directly from the order overview page.

All of this can also be on an order by order basis by clicking on the order and then making changes within the order summary page.

Shopify

Order management is one of the few areas where Shopify isn’t very good as standard, this is because some pretty basic features are missing from the order management page. You can print off very basic packing slips but if you want to print off an order invoice, this requires and app and the free one from Shopify isn’t the most reliable.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do in bulk, such as update order statuses, collect payments and export your orders via CSV.

Summary

ShopWired Summary

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

ShopWired Pros

• Excellent Support
• Product Management
• Theme Customisation
• Order Management System
• Very Good Performance

ShopWired Cons

• Support not available 7 days a week
• Having to code in some apps
• Turnover based pricing

4.6

Shopify Summary

Pricing
Features
Theme Selection & Customisation
Support
Hosting & Performance
Ease of Use

Shopify Pros

• Theme Customisation
• 24/7 Support
• Easy to use Admin Area
• The App Store
• Good Bulk Editors

Shopify Cons

• Transaction Fees
• Automatic Collection system is a bit complicated
• No option to bulk print invoices

4.3

Conclusion

ShopWired vs Shopify: Which one is the best ecommerce platform for UK businesses?

While both are great options, ShopWired does in or opinion provide the best platform for UK businesses as it offers a very good selection of features, theme customisation is on a par with Shopify plus it works out cheaper.

And being based in the UK and with a focus on the UK market does also give it an edge as does the UK based support team. There are a couple of drawbacks as there is with any platform but it offers a very good overall package.

Shopify is a very good ecommerce solution but not being a UK focused platform and the transaction fees do mean it just falls short in this comparison.

But best of all, you don’t have to take our word for it! You can try both platforms out for yourself to see which one is the best option for your business by taking out a free trial with either of them by clicking the images below.

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Hi, I'm Paul, the Owner and Founder of EcommerceGold.
I ran my own Ecommerce Business for over 7 years and now help others start their own online retail empires!

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