Shopify is probably the most well-known e-commerce brand of today. It is also a powerful platform that handles over one million businesses in nearly 175 countries.
Yet, just being famous doesn’t mean it is the best solution. You will understand that better now since you are the one who is looking for alternatives to Shopify?
Whether you are a Shopify customer or just wanting to know about different e-commerce platforms, we are here to help you out.
We will review the most suitable alternatives to Shopify and mention the pros and cons of each. You can also learn why some of the business owners have moved away from Shopify to BigCommerce.
What Is Shopify?
Shopify is an e-commerce software that lets you run your own online store. Using this platform, you may build websites, manage the products, calculate the shipping rates, sell your product on multiple channels, etc.
Moreover, Shopify is a cloud-based and hosted solution, so you do not have to maintain the software. Shopify serves small businesses as well as huge enterprises through the Shopify and Shopify Plus e-commerce plans.
- Shopify: This plan is targeted at small businesses. It has three pricing tiers. i.e., Basic, Shopify and Advanced. You can get different features dependent on the plan you opt for.
- Shopify Plus: This is mainly for enterprise businesses. The plan works on custom pricing (percentage of revenue with $2000 minimum investment per month). Shopify Plus gives its customers better and advanced features aimed at stores with higher volume.
Though there is no free plan, Shopify comes with Shopify Lite, where you can include a buy button on the existing website you have.
4 Reasons Why You’re Probably Looking For Shopify Competitors
Hopefully, we have clarified all your doubts. Now, we will tell you why you would want a slightly different platform to operate your e-commerce business.
1. Don’t Want To Use Shopify Payments
One reason why you would want to do so is that it offers you the ability to select a payment gateway without having to pay an additional cost. If you use Shopify and do not use their payment gateway, i.e., Shopify payments, you will have to pay an extra transaction fee of 2% per sale.
Plus, if you do not use Shopify payments, you will be giving up access to certain features. This includes the benefit of transacting in many currencies. Apart from that, if you are selling a high-risk product like vaporizers, you are not allowed to use Shopify payments.
2. Want More Control Over Site SEO
SEO or search engine optimization is a part of all the marketing features that come with an e-commerce solution. Though Shopify does perfectly handle any of the basic SEO tasks, you may want to get better control over the website. This is particularly true if you are focused majorly on organic search.
For example, Shopify will not allow the users the right to access and edit any robot.txt files. Basically, this is the file you have to use to inform Google how it should index your site so only the web pages that are wanted will show in the search engine results.
Initially, this may not be a huge problem. But as your site grows, you would want more input in how Google crawls and indexes the website.
3. Have An Extensive, Complex Catalog
Here, let us suppose that you have a clothing store and are pretty inclusive. So you are offering:
- A variety of sizes starting from S to 6XL
- Many color options in each product
- Various designs like tank tops, floral style, etc.
- Different options for men, women, children, and babies
Very soon, your product catalog will get challenging to manage. At that point, Shopify may not be able to match up as they are capped at 100 SKU’s for every product and gives only three options per product.
4. You’re Frustrated In Some Form Or Fashion
It might be that there is some other reason why you are frustrated, and that is making you try out other e-commerce platforms too. Perhaps you did not like the design of Shopify Help center, or you are irritated with its customer support. It is possible that you heard of someone else’s experience and want to stay away. Whatever reason you have, we have enough options for you.
Features You Should Consider On Your Next Ecommerce Platform
You must be facing some problems with Shopify? That is why you are planning to shift to a new platform. When you look for a platform you must choose one that solves all these issues. Though the requirements of every online business are different, here are some features that you must consider before selecting.
1. Multiple Payment Options
Each customer refers to one preferred method to make the payments. One person would choose Visa, while another would select PayPal as that allows you to purchase without having the enter the card number.
So when you start looking for new platforms, see that they have multiple payment providers. For example, the platform BigCommerce has nearly 55 payment getaways. Moreover, once you start expanding, you will get better rates, and that would reduce the costs.
Maybe you are not selling cross border now but do not stop yourself from exploring the idea later on. Choose a platform that has payment getaways that will help you to transact in different currencies.
2. Customization Opportunities
Your business is exclusive, and that is what you should inform your customers. Moreover, how you manage the company is different than if someone else is handling it. That is why customizing your web design is so important.
When you decide to pick an e-commerce platform, ensure that you can alter it so as to modify your business model and customers. In case you are a coder and want to create a unique feature, make that a priority.
If you are not an accomplished website designer, think of ease of use. How much time it will take you to make all the changes?
Supposing you are building an about us page, how will you add any elements that are not text. Do you think you can easily arrange the pictures and videos?
If you do not want to spend all the time making the website, you can choose a drag and drop website builder. It has all the functionalities you require to make all the changes without any additional coding tasks.
3. A Catalog That Can Grow As You Grow
We have already shared an example where you may have a varied catalog. But what happens if the catalog is relatively small. Then Shopify is an excellent option for you. However, you must not let your present position decide where you will be in the future.
A business owner must predict growth. Think of all the technology types that you will have to implement. And then, you should see if the e-commerce platform will work in tandem with the technologies.
15 Great Shopify Alternatives
Now that you know which features you want for your e-commerce platform, you should see more about Shopify’s competitors.
BigCommerce was launched in 2009. It is a flexible and open SaaS e-commerce platform that allows multi-sized businesses to set up their online stores. Though Shopify is suitable for making a beginning, if you want to grow and scale the business, you can choose BigCommerce.
- Unique features included with all the plans
- Supports over 55 payment getaways and no additional transaction fees
- You do not need any coding language to use Page Builder, the drag and drop visual editor
- In-app checkout for the social media platform Instagram and Omnichannel selling abilities.
- Full-fledged SEO functionalities like customizable URLs.
- 24*7 support available, and 85% of problems are solved on the first phone call itself.
- Multiple Agency and Technology Partners.
- Though BigCommerce has many paid themes, only five of them are free compared to the nine that Shopify offers.
- In comparison to Shopify, there is a lot of learning to do as many distinct features are offered.
WooCommerce was launched in 2011, and it is an open-source plugin that is aimed to modify WordPress websites and blogs into e-commerce websites. So if you have an idea of WordPress, WooCommerce is a perfect replacement for Shopify.
But, you must not think that WooCommerce can only be used with a Word Press blog. For example, BigCommerce has an extension that you can integrate with an existing WP site.
- Their plugin is free and can be used with any WP site.
- You can easily integrate with an existing WordPress site.
- Since it is open-source, you can customize your store’s code easily.
- You quickly get access to many free and paid extensions
- Though the plugin is free, you have to pay the costs of domain hosting, SSL certificate, finding email provider and other options,
- If you do not know HTML or CSS, you will need a developer or designer to take advantage of the benefits of this platform.
- It requires plugins to add core features to WooCommerce, thus making it more difficult and lowering the site performance.
Magento is an open-source platform and was first released in 2007. It was taken over by Adobe in 2018. Magento has two separate plans.
One is the Magento commerce for enterprises, and the second Magento Open source for small businesses.
So if you like Adobe’s other products and are good at developing them, then you could prefer Magento over Shopify.
- Since it is Open source, you can access the backend and customize all you have in store.
- Magento boasts of having more than 260,000 developers, thus creating an add-on functionality for this platform.
- The Enterprise businesses on Magento commerce get the option to have a cloud-hosted solution. You can also get a self-hosted solution basis what you require.
- There is access to an extensive partner ecosystem for add-ons and third-party apps.
- Since Magento Open source is on-premise, you either have to self-host or use a third-party web hosting provider.
- Even though Magento gives you patches and upgrades, you have to install and manage all the updates.
Whichever version you select or how you host the website, you will need a developer, an agency to manage build and maintenance, and an IT team.
- Magento’s setup is quite expensive, and that leads to very high costs in completing the builds.
PinnacleCart was launched in 2003 and is a shopping cart solution. To caters to small and medium-sized businesses that work hard on marketing. If you want some add-on SEO features and better control over your online store, this is a great choice.
- You can choose to host on PinnacleCart, or you may manage your own hosting.
- It has SEO-friendly features like custom URLs and scheme.org tags.
- Every plan comes with an unlimited choice of products and features
- If you decide to host with PinnacleCart, you should know that there are caps on storage and bandwidth even for their lowest $79.95 plan. If you get more traffic, you will have to pay more or choose a higher plan which will offer unlimited bandwidth.
- PinnacleCart comes with multiple versions, so you will have to take care of upgrades.
- They offer a limited partner network as it can integrate with only 64 apps.
- Shopify offers multiple selections in themes, whereas PinnacleCart has only 12 themes.
Shift4Shop offers ecommerce software that focuses primarily on SEO. Launched in 1997, Shift4Shop is perfect for those who use organic search to track their success parameters.
- It comes with a wide variety of SEO tools like Google AMP for the products and 301 redirects.
- Every plan comes with a built-in blogging platform.
- If you have a tiny store, you can get your e-commerce platform for less price than Shopify’s basic plan.
- It comes with more than 100 payment solutions which include international processors.
- They allow only a limited number of staff users, which costs users an extra $10 per month per user.
- The learning curve is steep, making it tough to navigate around the store builder and find all the essential tools.
- Their free themes have an almost similar design, which is quite old-fashioned compared to themes offered by Shopify or BigCommerce.
Wix was founded in 2006, and it allows anyone to build a website easily. It also offers business plans suitable for all e-commerce businesses. In case you do not have much experience and are looking for a simple web builder, you should choose Wix.
- It is a drag and drop website builder, thus enabling you to operate your store rather quickly.
- You receive support for 6 options for every product, and you can get a total of 300 SKU’s.
- Wix has a very well maintained Help Centre, and you can easily find it.
- All of their premium plans give a free domain for a year.
- If you are not using an enterprise plan with custom storage space, you will be limited to a maximum limit of 50 GB.
- Wix does not have Apple Pay or Amazon Payments as payment processors.
- They do not have any support on chat; to find answers, you must call or submit a trouble ticket.
- It is difficult to search through the app store because there are many website options that do not deal with e-commerce websites.
3DCart is a hosted platform specifically for e-commerce stores. Their prices range from $19 to $229 per month. At this price, you can get multiple SEO tools, emails for following up if the cart is left abandoned, and personalized products.
Plus, you can get Facebook sync and a superior web design service that gives you SSL certificates at cheap rates. They may even modify the UI and UX as you require them. But their service is a little slow, and they offer less variety in the themes. Their support offerings are also not something worth mentioning about.
- Supports around 70 payment methods
- It has an excellent store speed
- It comes with an in-house web design service
- Loads rather fast
- You get unlimited listings
- It is more advanced than Shopify and does not come with a transaction fee.
- Beginners, as well as big companies, can afford it
- Slow service
- The support is not so good
- Shopify’s mobile UX is much better
- Provides limited themes
- Users face issues when they upgrade
- Shopify has a much better user experience and drop shipping.
- Beginners find it challenging to set up
Prestashop is another popular and successful Shopify alternative for those entrepreneurs who have a budget restriction. Mostly you do not have to pay anything. However, you will have to buy a domain name as well as a hosting package. The company has partnerships with other platforms like Azure, WebHostingHub, and 1&1.
Also, if you compare themes and templates it offers, then Prestashop does not impress. But if we talk of usability, it matches Shopify. It does not charge any additional transaction fees and can support about 25 languages. It offers support for multiple currencies. If you do not wish to overspend, pick Prestashop as any developer with experience of working on it can get you going.
- It is Open source, and no payments are required
- There are no additional transaction fees that you have to pay
- Provides support for multiple languages
- It comes with various features
- It gives the user the option to host the store on any store with any hosting provider.
- There is a limit to the number of themes and templates
- It does not provide many features
- You need to have tech abilities to set up a store here
Volusion is a popular alternative to Shopify. It is cloud-based and caters to more than 200,000 businesses. It is primarily popular with small businesses and companies that want to spread their business. Volusion has a one-click checkout feature which is quite convenient. The platform also provides you access to multiple features and plugins that are easy to integrate within the online store. However, it is perfect for shipping businesses. You have to know how to keep your shipping costs at a minimum.
They provide metered bandwidth, so if you cross that limit, the company may charge around $7 per GB. The prices of the same lie between $15-$35 per month. In this, you receive features like multiple categories and subcategories, and gift certificates.
Most of your work is finished by a GUI. Still, you need basic coding skills to set the store. Moreover, its product function is not up to the mark. Its limiting factor is also the bandwidth limit, due to which you have to pay extra as the store keeps expanding.
- Easy to use
- Allows use of different payment processors
- It has a very efficient mobile app
- Provides free access to SEO and analytics tools.
- It comes with a range of beautiful themes
- You do not have to pay transaction fees
- It comes with multiple product listings
- The shipping and tax rates are easy to calculate
- The other hosting options have more features
- You will require minimal coding skills
- It does not work with PLA and Pinterest
- There is a monthly limit to the bandwidth
- Weak product search function
- Has limited apps in comparison to Shopify
OpenCart is free, and the platform is relatively modern as compared to others. It allows you to create professional websites that are easy to customize. The platform has a vast user base and provides strong documentation. It also enables the use of add-ons and third-party modules.
- Suitable for most the e-commerce stores
- Supports many payment gateways and is very flexible
- Fast to set up and quick to launch
- Allows many payment providers
- Not very easy to use
- Difficult for a novice to understand the support and documentation
- Not an easy platform to use
- It does not have as many add-ons as Shopify
In case you want to get your business started and have a small product range, then you can trust Squarespace. This platform has a fantastic website-building tool. Plus, you get a wide variety of templates to select from.
Few modifications and you can quickly build an online store. Its basic package comes at $26 per month. In this, you can get unlimited pages, galleries, blogs, contributors, free domain, storage, etc. The only problem is that Squarespace only takes payments through PayPal and Stripe.
You also get some additional marketing features like MailChimp, AdWords, and tracking for Amazon Affiliates.
- Optimum for smaller stores
- Relatively easy to set up
- You do not need coding knowledge to work with it
- Grand themes
- It gives the users the freedom to use their own product photos and templates. It also comes with a wide choice of beautiful templates so you can create an extraordinary online store.
- Its website builder is easily navigated, and so you can work on the backend without any issues.
- It does not allow any integration with tracking code API to allow you to track the visitors.
- It comes with limited support
- Has limited multi-channel features
- Slow website loading time
- There are not as many add-ons as you get with Shopify
An initiative of Qualiteam, X-Cart is high-speed, easy to use, and streamlined. It is an all-in-one answer to all the e-commerce requirements you have. There are a multitude of features offered that make the use of the platform simple. With an unlimited type of customization and an experienced developer, you can use it to make your store quite proficient.
But, if you face any issue, the company is unable to offer any respite. They usually blame the problem on your servers. Eventually, you will have to try and fix things yourself.
- It has many advanced features to boast of
- Its virtual server is quite excellent
- Very easy to use and set up
- You will find it challenging to find developers of X-cart, and they are expensive too
- The company has a lousy support service and blames everything on your server
13. Big Cartel
Big Cartel is aimed at a niche audience like artists, artisans, and content creators. The website can be considered as an alternative to Etsy. It looks neat and visually aesthetic, and the company says that ever since it was created in 2005, it has helped sell $2.5 billion worth of products and services.
It has four packages which start from the free gold package to the Titanium package. The latter costs around $29.99 per month and will give support for 300 products.
- Caters to a specific niche
- Ease of managing and navigating
- Very quickly you can set up your store
- It has a limited functionality
- It does not have very competitive prices
- The ability to sell goods and services is limited
Weebly is a convenient platform for those who want to move from Shopify. Though you do not get as many features in Weebly as Shopify, their most expensive plan is relatively less priced than Shopify’s basic plan. In case you have a problem with overspending, you can choose Weebly.
If you want to set up your website using a simple builder, then Weebly is perfect. But, Weebly might let you down when you think of Scalability.
- Reasonably priced
- Very quick and easy to start
- You can launch your website in a matter of minutes
- It comes with a vast range of apps and tools
- You can easily collaborate with your team
- Provides free domain name
- You can opt for a free trial
- There is an issue with scalability
- Very simple, so no extra features were given
- It does not suit high volume stores
15. Square Online Store
The square online store is also like a complete package for the e-commerce requirements. Square is known for the POS systems it offers, but nowadays, its e-commerce offerings are also doing great.
You can opt for their free plan in which you have to pay the transaction fee for every payment. In this, you will receive a shopping cart, support for unlimited products, and many other features. On the other hand, the payment method support offered is only Square. If you want to use PayPal, you will have to select their high-end plan. If you are just starting out, this is a perfect Shopify alternative.
Plus, as your store expands, you will have to add more payment options which cannot happen. Due to this, your business may suffer.
- Very easy to set up
- It comes with a free plan
- You can directly integrate with square
- You can use square only for payment. To use PayPal, you have to pay a considerable amount
- Again Scalability is an issue
- Its features change depending on the plan chosen
Even though Shopify is perfect for some people, it does not suit everyone. There is no issue with that, as there are many e-commerce platforms that you can use to build and grow your online business.
Before choosing a platform, notice which e-commerce features will have the highest impact. It could be offering multiple payment processors, limited transaction fees, inventory management, or a user-friendly interface, so choose wisely. Later, take time to check and test the platforms.
Eventually, you know what is going to suit your business. Do not rush into anything because it takes time for any change to be reversed.
Are you looking for e-commerce software for your online store to manage and track orders? Find MCP’s list of the Best eCommerce Software Solutions.
The Team MarkComm Pitch is made up of people from marketing backgrounds, from digital marketing & content marketing backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. Team is passionate about creating unique, accurate, and engaging content.