You’ve heard Shopify’s name thrown around a million times and you’re not sure if it’s the best platform for your business. Shopify is an ecommerce solution that gives you everything from hosting to payment processing, but there are other options out there. In this blog post, we will cover 12 Shopify alternatives to see how they compare.
We’ll talk about what Shopify does well, and then we’ll discuss each Shopify alternative and point out their strengths and weaknesses.
So, what spurs Shopify users to look for an alternative?
Shopify is known for its high monthly fees (starting at $29/month), inflexibility, and lack of Shopify Plus. Shopify’s biggest strength is ease of use.
The ecommerce platform can be fully managed by Shopify themselves which means their support team will always be up to date with the latest platform changes – even if you pay an additional fee.
Shopify is also not great for e-commerce websites that sell physical products and need to integrate with inventory management software or POS solutions like Square, ShopKeep, or Clover – Shopify’s integration list is small compared to other platforms.
What Shopify Does Well
Shopify has a nice interface that makes it easy to manage inventory and create product pages – Shopify’s theme store also offers many free themes as well as paid themes that can be customized through the Shopify Theme Editor.
This is Shopify’s biggest strength, but Shopify also offers many free apps which make it easy to market products and accept payments.
It’s a great option for beginners because of the ease of use – if you’re willing to pay for convenience Shopify might be worth looking into further.
Shopify is also great for those who are looking to use Shopify Payment gateways or Shopify Shipping.
The platform lets you easily accept credit cards with no merchant account required, and they offer competitive rates on their Shopify payments processing solution. It has no transactional fees depending on your country.
Shopify theme collection
They offer a decent theme collection in their Shopify Theme Store. They also offer many free themes with minimal customization options, but don’t expect to be able to fully customize your site design like you can on platforms like Magento or Wix – Shopify’s Theme Store is more for beginners than advanced users.
Shopify App store
Shopify also has a nice app store with free apps like ShipStation which allow Shopify users to quickly integrate shipping from popular carriers and market products on Facebook. Shopify’s integration list is the biggest downside, but Shopify does offer many payment, shipping, inventory management and other e-commerce related third party integrations through their App Store
24/7 Customer support
Shopify also provides 24/hour customer support which is great for beginners, but Shopify’s help page doesn’t offer a lot of information about customizing your site design or integrating third-party tools. Shopify does have webinars and tutorials like this one to make it easier for users to understand how to work with Shopify, but you can also learn more here.
Shopify’s Biggest Drawbacks
Shopify is a good choice for beginners, but it’s not very customizable.
Liquid is Shopify’s custom markup language. It is not the easiest to use.
Best customization Shopify alternatives: Wix
Advanced marketing features – are only available in higher-tier plans. To get these, your monthly bill may go up. Make sure you have the right plan for what you need!
SEO- The majority of the SEO tools I’ve seen include a lot of technical jargon. They don’t always perform well. For example, utilizing iFrames in a WordPress plugin and stringent URL structures might not always yield the best possible ranking results. Also, it’s tough to create big websites with these technologies because you can’t customize your checkout page.
12 Best Shopify Alternatives; Ecommerce Platforms
Wix – Drag-and-Drop Editor. Lots of tutorials for self-learners.
BigCommerce – Strong Shopify competitor best for growing start-ups
Sellfy – Great for selling digital products.
Shift4Shop – Great Security
WooCommerce – Best for WordPress-based shops
Volusion – Easy to use.
Square Online – Great onboarding process. Fast store setup process.
BigCartel – Not as feature-rich as Shopify, but less expensive. Great for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Magento – Open source platform, very customizable for mid-sized to large businesses with coders.
Squarespace – Robust website builder with a broad selection of free themes and templates.
Prestashop – For entrepreneurs on a tight budget
Check out these Shopify competitors in more detail below.
Wix is a popular Shopify alternative with an easy-to-use interface. They have affordable plans with a wide range of templates and apps to choose from.
They have customizable design options, as well as an easy-to-use editor, which makes it a great choice for both beginners and experts.
A $5/month plan gives you 1GB of bandwidth and 500MB of storage.
A Wix eCommerce plan that costs $16.50/month has 10GB of bandwidth and 20GB storage, as well as a free domain name and some extras. The VIP plan only costs $24.50/month and offers unlimited traffic
Where Wix beats Shopify:
Shopify’s price is more expensive than Wix. It can also be too technical for some users, while Wix has an easy-to-use interface and tools that are intuitive even to people with little tech experience.
Wix offers more options for users who want to build something from the ground up and have complete customization control of their website design, marketing features, and functionality.
Where Shopify beats Wix:
The Shopify platform has more apps and integrations that are directly related to the eCommerce platform, while Wix’s selection of add-ons isn’t as robust.
So with Shopify you get tons of resources and tutorials on its website – which helps new Shopify users get up and running quickly.
In addition, Shopify also has a larger customer support team that can help Shopify users resolve problems faster.
They have better SEO capabilities for websites than Wix. Ultimately, Shopify’s ecommerce templates are better coded with SEO best practices in mind.
Another breathing about Shopify is its free trial while Wix does not have a trial period for its services.
In my opinion, Shopify is more secure and reliable than Wix, which may be an important factor to some users when their business’s survival hangs in the balance.
It’s more established than Wix. Shopify has been around for over a decade while Wix was founded in 2006. They also raised $15 million in funding back in 2011 which helped it grow its infrastructure – there’s no telling how much Shopify has grown since then.
– You can try Wix for free! Shopify only offers a 14 day trial period.
– Wix is cheaper than Shopify – their basic plan costs $0/month, while Shopify’s cheapest plan starts at $29/month . If you’re just starting out and want a Shopify alternative, Wix is cheaper.
Beginners who want something quick and easy. Entrepreneurs on a budget, or for Users that need an extra hand with some aspects of their website design (Wix has better DIY options than Shopify).
BigCommerce is Shopify’s biggest competitor and one we recommend for those who want more features than Wix but don’t need all of Shopify’s bells and whistles.
With BigCommerce, you can sell physical items as well as digital downloads like eBooks or membership access – there are no limits to what you can list. Shopify only has a few digital products available.
Aside from Shopify, BigCommerce is one of the most popular website builders among ecommerce entrepreneurs and experts.
BigCommerce also offers its own app store which includes over 400 apps that can help you grow your business – there’s everything from advanced SEO features to marketing tools like email automation integrations. You can also integrate Shopify’s app store with BigCommerce if you want to use Shopify apps on your site (but using Shopify isn’t necessary).
Where BigCommerce beats Shopify:
BigCommerce offers more features for Shopify users who want to build out their online presence, including the option to create a blog on your site. Shopify’s blogging capabilities are not ideal if you are thinking of blogging.
One of the biggest benefits that BigCommerce offers over Shopify is more control and customization options, especially from an SEO perspective.
BigCommerce Advanced has built-in tools to help you optimize your website for search engines. Shopify’s Advanced plan offers some basic SEO features, but if you want to have full control over your website design and how it performs in organic searches, BigCommerce is the way to go.
It has everything Shopify does plus more for advanced ecommerce users that need complete customization options.
Where Shopify beats BigCommerce:
On browsers, BigCommerce loads somewhat slower than Shopify, yet it performs equally well on mobile devices. Shopify’s UX is less user friendly on mobile at the same time (although the difference is minor).
People who need complete control over their website’s design and SEO functionality Retailers with a lot of products and heavy traffic (BigCommerce handles large volumes better than Shopify).
It is a good choice for people who want to start an ecommerce business or have a brick and mortar store and wish to expand their operations to include online orders. It offers more marketing features out of the box than Shopify like:
- Professional analytics reporting
- Carrier shipping quotes in real-time (using third-party carriers)
- Ratings and reviews
- Currency conversion (based on the user’s location)
- Built-in page builder
Sellfy is a Shopify alternative that’s best for digital downloads and creative entrepreneurs who want to sell files like eBooks, videos or music.
The e-commerce platform doesn’t have physical product options at all – it’s more designed for online courses, software sales and other downloadable items.
Shopify offers Shopify Lite which gives you the option to sell digital files, but it’s limited compared with Sellfy.
Shopify Lite doesn’t offer hosting for your downloadable items – you have to use an outside service like Gumroad or Payloadz if you want that option.
Sellfy also offers a pro plan which gives you access to custom branding options and priority customer support.
Where Sellfy beats Shopify:
Sellfy has a Shopify-like layout that’s easy to use, so if you’ve used Shopify before it won’t be hard to switch.
It also offers more advanced customization options.
It also has a number of built-in capabilities. Some of these include unlimited email templates and subscribers, scarcity timers, digital subscription functionality, a “pay what you want” option, and more.
Where Shopify beats Sellfy:
Shopify is easier to set up than Sellfy – it takes just a few minutes to get started on Shopify, while you’ll need more time to create your Sellfy store.
Shopify also offers more Shopify apps than Sellfy does, plus it’s backed by a company with over 20 years of experience in the ecommerce industry (Shopify has been around since 2006).
They only support the sale of digital items and work with just two payment processors, PayPal and Stripe. They provide limited design choices; you can only alter your colors and logo plus its pricy for what they offer.
Creative entrepreneurs who want to sell digital files or Shopify Lite users that need hosting for their downloadable items.
Magento is a powerful eCommerce platform that’s completely free, open-source, feature-rich, and downloadable.
The ecommerce platform is perfect for mid-sized to large companies with in-house coders and the capacity to tailor it to their needs. Customizations are possible as long as you know how to code.
It’s not for beginners with no technical knowledge who want a simple eCommerce business website. However, if you have the resources to develop it yourself, Magento is really outstanding when it comes to flexibility, optimization, scalability, and capacity to handle huge volumes of traffic and sales.
Where Magento beats Shopify:
Magento has a lot more options for customizing your online store compared with Shopify, especially from an SEO perspective (it even offers technical support services).
It also can handle large volumes better than Shopify so if you have a lot of Shopify store traffic, Magento is a better choice.
You can use this website for all of your needs. There are no monthly service charges, and there is a selection of payment gateways. It also has SEO tools, inventory management and web services. You can customize it with lots of extensions and they have great store designs that are responsive to any size screen.
Where Shopify beats Magento :
Unlike Shopify, Magento needs technical and IT security knowledge. They also do not host your site for you, so you’ll need to acquire it from a third party. It’s also not for novices.
Advanced ecommerce users that need complete control over their website design and functionality or Shopify Plus users with high levels of traffic (Magento works better with large volumes).
Shift4Shop is a cloud-hosted ecommerce platform with plenty of useful features and competitive pricing. The system has a limitless product storage capacity, making it highly scalable for growing organizations. Security is also top-notch.
The most basic plan, which starts at $19 per month and goes up to $229 a month, gives you basic SEO tools, abandoned cart emails, discounts, subscriptions, customizations, drop shipping, tracking, Facebook sync, and a slew of other bells and whistles. Make sure to bear in mind that there is no product search functionality.
Where Shift4Shop beats Shopify:
Shift4Shop is not as easy to use, especially if you’re a beginner. It’s better for users with some knowledge of HTML and basic coding.
The platform offers unlimited product storage capacity and they give you the option to choose from over 70 payment gateways (which Shopify doesn’t).
In addition, they have the quickest loading time and a great mobile store speed. There is no extra transaction fees with them and offer in-house web design services.
Where Shopify beats Shift4Shop:
Shopify is a better ecommerce platform for beginners and those who want an easy-to-use website builder.
It has a more intuitive interface, which makes it easier to handle even if you’re new to running an online business.
The Shopify ecommerce platform has better service, whereas Shift4shop offers old templates, difficulties upgrading, and more negative feedback for assistance. Dropshipping is also better with Shopify.
3dcart is a good choice for business owners who want to have an all-in-one solution.
There are many features you can explore, including inventory management tools to help you keep track of your products.
You can also access customization options so that your store doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s online.
WooCommerce is a free ecommerce plugin for WordPress. It’s easy to set up and comes with plenty of features, including SEO tools, product comparison widgets, newsletters subscriptions management etc.
Shopify users will be particularly interested in it because Shopify has integrations that allow you to sync your products from Shopify into WooCommerce easily.
This is great if you want to move over from Shopify to WooCommerce
Where WooCommerce beats Shopify:
WooCommerce provides premium add-ons for a one-time payment or in yearly subscriptions, whereas Shopify is based on monthly payments.
WooCommerce’s flexibility is one of its greatest qualities. When it comes to customizing your store, WooCommerce offers you complete creative control. Because WooCommerce is an open-source software, new plug-ins are continually added to the marketplace.
However, their major problem is the installation and learning curve that may be encountered by someone who isn’t familiar with WordPress.
Where Shopify beats WooCommerce:
If your store encounters a problem, WooCommerce will point the finger at your hosting or a plugin, while your hosting provider and plugin developer is more likely to target the theme. This doesn’t happen with Shopify; they simply resolve the matter for you without confusion.
Business owners who are already familiar with WordPress sites and have some technical knowledge and existing website.
WooCommerce is a good choice Shopify alternative for users looking to go independent.
It has more powerful tools than Shopify does if you know how to use them. You can even create your ecommerce store on Shopify and then switch to WooCommerce if you want.
There are two types of platforms for building your online store. One is a web-hosted ecommerce platform that lets you build an entire website.
The other is a self hosted ecommerce platform solution, which gives you more freedom in designing your own existing website but can require some knowledge of coding to do it correctly.
Ecwid is something in-between. You can use it to transform regular websites into online shops.
Some people have a hard time when they want to move their ecommerce storefront from one website to another.
Ecwid is a good way to solve this problem.
Ecwid has a free plan and three paid plans with more advanced features.
Where Ecwid beats Shopify:
Ecwid is a program that may help small businesses create and manage their own online store while also connecting them with social media sites and integrating their current website.
Ecwid can automatically identify and translate into over 50 languages, making integration straightforward on your current website.
There are no transaction costs when using the platform, which has a comprehensive support team.
Where Shopify beats Ecwid:
Ecwid’s visual editor has limited settings compared to Shopify. It also allows only 10 products to sell with the free plan.
The free plan does not include any SEO editing. Also, you cannot modify your product URLs for SEO purposes.
Lastly, you need to download the Ecwid app to add a shopping cart to your website.
In conclusion, Ecwid differs significantly from its rivals such as Shopify and is designed for small business owners searching for a simple and effective solution to add online selling capabilities to their website.
Volusion is a reliable alternative to Shopify for serving over 200,000 businesses. It’s a cloud-based shopping cart that’s popular among small businesses and solopreneurs with basic technical expertise.
You won’t have to worry about a web hosting account or integrating essential programs with Volusion.
Where Volusion beats Shopify:
Volusion plans are based on the number of add-ons and plugins that may be linked to your online store. Because it doesn’t charge any additional transaction fees, it beats Shopify in this area.
A one-page checkout and an embedded eBay integration as a premium add-on are among the features.
Volusion is better for Shopify users with smaller budgets because it’s cheaper than Shopify, especially if you’re using a lot of add-ons and plugins.
Some technical knowledge is required to build the back-end for your online store using Volusion.
Novice shop owners may need to hire someone else to complete the task. It also has the slowest loading time of all of these platforms.
Where Shopify beats Volusion:
Shopify has more flexibility when it comes to designing your store and adding advanced features.
Its user interface is also easy enough for non-technical people that you don’t need an in-house web designer or developer, unlike Volusion where this kind of expertise is needed.
Shopify also has a larger range of applications and integrations than Volusion, so you can expand your business quickly. Shopify also has a superior customer service staff that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whereas Volusion’s assistance to issues is slower.
Volusion is an ideal Shopify alternative for users who want fewer add-ons but don’t mind investing in a developer or learning some basic coding skills to build their online store. Shopify users with a limited budget will appreciate the one-time payment and no additional transaction fees.
Square Online is an online website builder from Square. Originally, it was a payment processor, but they bought Weebly a few years ago. If you’re already using Square to process payments, Square online store offers a quick and easy way for business owners to add ecommerce features to their website.
If you don’t know how to code, that’s okay. Square Online has an easy process for how to set up your online store. You can do it in a few hours and have your store set up quickly.
Square Online may be the best Shopify alternative for those on a budget. For free, you can build and run an online store without all the features of Square.
But if you are not building a complete online store, you still need to pay the processing fees on every transaction, which is enough to get your job done. You can also use the checkout pages only if you don’t want all the features.
Where Square beats Shopify:
If you want to add ecommerce features to your website, there is a free version. You can use the checkout page. If you already use Square for payments, this is a great option.
Where Shopify beats Square:
Some features on the site are only available if you pay. You can’t set your shipping rates. You can’t use a custom domain unless you subscribe to it too. Some people say that the customer service needs improving.
For those on a budget.
Due to its simplicity, flexibility, unlimited bandwidth, inventory management, HTML and CSS customization, and necessary functions, many artists have flocked to BigCartel.
It’s not as feature-rich as Shopify, to be sure, but it’s also less expensive and appropriate for solo entrepreneurs and small businesses. It includes Google Analytics, Facebook, and PayPal integration while setting up your store is simple even if you have no prior coding expertise.
Where BigCartel beats Shopify:
BigCartel has no transaction fees, so Shopify users can save money in this area when they switch from Shopify to BigCartel.
Where Shopify beats BigCartel:
BigCartel does not feature live chat or phone support, so test out the free plan before moving to one of the paid services. The latter prices range from $9.99 per month to $29.99 per month, which is reasonable in today’s market.
BigCartel is a great alternative for small businesses and solopreneurs.
Squarespace is another alternative. While it’s not nearly as flexible or customizable, its simplicity makes it an attractive option for some business owners looking to avoid the technical hassles of more complex ecommerce platforms like Shopify.
For $26 a month, you get the basics. This includes unlimited pages, galleries, blogs, unlimited bandwidth, storage and contributors. You also have a free domain and SSL security. For $40 a month you can get more features including abandoned cart auto recovery and automatic discounts.
Where Squarespace beats Shopify:
There are no transaction fees on any of Squarespace’s plans. Shopify users can save on transaction fees when they switch to Squarespace.
Where Shopify beats Squarespace:
Squarespace only has PayPal and Stripe. These are good, but both of these have transaction fees.
Squarespace loads slower than Shopify, but its load time on mobile devices is the slowest of all the other contenders.
Squarespace is a great Shopify alternative for solopreneurs looking to create an online store without having to deal with technical website development issues.
PrestaShop is a free, open-source ecommerce platform for setting up an online store. It means that you can download and use it without cost. You may customize it as you see fit.
If you want to establish a unique online business, an open-source solution is the most convenient alternative.
In today’s competitive ecommerce environment, having a memorable brand is critical for long-term success.
Where Prestashop beats Shopify
PrestaShop’s source code is available, just like with any open-source solution. This gives PrestaShop’s store setup greater freedom than Shopify’s.
Where Shopify beats Prestashop:
Without your own web hosting, you can’t create an online store with PrestaShop.
Experience with code is a must, and flexibility comes at a cost. If you don’t know how to code, you’ll need assistance from a developer to set it up. You may also want help on the technical side if you’re having difficulties or wish to make any changes.
It’s completely free. PrestaShop does not charge any fees!
For those who want a Shopify alternative that’s less expensive.
Shopify Alternatives Conclusion
Choosing the appropriate ecommerce platform might be a difficult task because there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.
Shopify is a good ecommerce solution, but you might need something else at some point.
BigCommerce is one of the best Shopify competitors for growing start-ups. WooCommerce is best for people who use WordPress websites.
I think all three of these are good. They will all help you start a successful ecommerce store.
I think WooCommerce is a great alternative to Shopify because of its WordPress connection.
I would use BigCommerce if they had post-purchase 1-click upsells.
At the end of the day, you need to choose an ecommerce platform. You need to pick the best one for your needs, skills, and budget.
All of the ecommerce platforms we talked about in this article will help you start a successful online store.