Despite Shopify reigning supreme among all webstore development platforms, it still has some things that it needs to improve. For example, Shopify took more than ten years to allow its users to change themes without re-uploading all the product images and descriptions on the new theme.
Also, there are those that offer a completely free platform, while Shopify charges at least $9 a month for someone to be able to use its services. That cost does not yet include a website. You need to pay at least $29 a month to have a functional online store with Shopify.
Having said this, we will take a look at 11 best alternatives to Shopify.
Magento offers a flexible e-commerce platform. What this means is that as a user, you have the option to choose from different platforms to build your online store. It is also easy to customize your online shop, so it does not look like a cookie-cutter replica of other web stores that use the same theme as you do.
In here, you also have the choice to work with Magento Partners. These are technology companies that offer solutions that you may not find in the Magento platform itself, but they will work with you to design and develop your online store to your liking, like website configuration, software creation, custom web development, plus integration and deployment.
Magento has three plans called CE, EE Enterprise, and EE Cloud. The prices are as follows:
- Community – Free
- Enterprise – $2,000 annually
- Enterprise – $22,000 annually
Apart from these annual costs, you need to pay your partner for their services so you can launch your site. They must also be Magento certified to ensure that they can run your online store on the Magento platform. On top of this, you have to pay for your hosting services, domain names, POS, shopping cart, and a whole lot more.
If you are looking at a low-cost store, you can use the Community Edition. With this, you will be using an open-source software platform, which means you must know how to code your own website to be able to make changes.
- Flexible platform
- Multiple store management
- Large user community to give you help and support
- Easily scalable to expand the capability of your store
- Huge cost
- Few app developers compared to Shopify
- Slow load times
- Needs a dedicated hosting server to run the website smoothly
Magento is great for start-up businesses, but it will perform better for large companies that can spend at least $2,000 per year.
3Dcart offers its customers a one-stop-shop to build an online store and make it work. If you build your online store here, you will have a shopping cart, a payment processor, order management tools, inventory tools, marketing and SEO support, secure hosting, and so much more.
It is not free, and it comes at four price points. These are:
- Start-up Store – $19 per month
- Basic Store – $29 per month
- Plus Store – $79 per month
- PRO Store – $229 per month
All plans, even the smallest one, will allow you to create an online store, and get the following features:
- No transaction fees
- Secure web hosting
- Unlimited orders
- Shopping cart functionality
- Access to mobile-friendly themes
- Unlimited bandwidth on hosting
- Access to more than 100 payment processors
- Integration to Facebook store
3Dcart is offered at a 14-day free trial, after which you need to choose a plan that best fits your budget and your website needs.
The differences between the plans mainly have something to do with the following:
- Number of staff accounts
- Number of emails
- Returns software if customer returns your products
- Feedback feature
- Customer Groups where you can create groups for your consumers
- Product comparison feature so customers can see products side by side
- Product Q&A feature
- Pre-orders and automation
- Lots of web application that you can use to create a fully functional store
- Low capital required
- Can be tried for free for 14 days
- The most affordable package allows you to create a functional store
- Lots of themes to choose from
- Does not offer a lot of channels where you can integrate your store
- Low-quality themes that look outdated
- Your site will be performing poorly if 3Dcart is doing some site maintenance or upgrades in their system
3Dcart is a great alternative. You will get a lot of features for your money, and you do not need a huge investment to get started.
Wix is a web builder where you can fully customize how the site looks like. It has a drag-and-drop site builder feature, so you do not depend on how themes were re-built. For starters, you can choose from more than 500 pre-designed templates, and you can edit these templates to match your brand identity.
If you want a design that is not found in the templates, you can use what is called Wix ADI. Here, you just need to fill out a form, and a design will be custom-made for you.
If you subscribe to Wix, you can get a professional website with the following features:
- Custom domain name
- Free hosting
- Website analytics
- SSL Certificate
- Member log in features
- Wix chat features
As far as price goes, you must first know what kind of website you want to build. With Wix, you can build a website or an online store.
For websites, there are four plans.
- Connect Domain – $4.50 per month
- Combo – $8.50 per month
- Unlimited – $12.50 per month
- VIP – $24.50 per month
The main differences among these plans have something to do with the bandwidth and storage.
For e-commerce, there are only three plans.
- Business Basic – $17 per month
- Business Unlimited – $25 per month
- Business VIP – $35 per month
All these plans allow you to create an online store and use payment processors. Wix does not charge any commission or transaction fee. The main differences between them are the number of video hours you can upload on your website, storage capacity, and the availability of social media icons on your site.
- Highly flexible in design
- Affordable start-up cost
- Easy to use
- No lock-up on long-term plans
- Few payment processor options
- Few app support
- Shows an ad on your website if you do not upgrade to higher plans
Overall, Wix is a great option for people who want both a website ad a store. The only thing here is that you have limited payment processing options.
4. Big Commerce
BigCommerce is one of the biggest competitors of Shopify. With this platform, you can build an online store that comes with a blog, a payment processing system, and a shopping cart. Not only can you sell physical goods here, but you can also sell digital goods that your customers can download instantly.
Like Shopify, BigCommerce is friendly to dropshippers. You will find apps here that will allow you to source products, and then there is an automated system where the supplier will be notified if an order is placed, and then he will ship the item to your customer.
Support is available 24/7, and you can integrate your store with other channels, too. Examples of these are eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and Google Shopping.
BigCommerce has several price points and packages. These are:
- Standard – costs $29.95 per month. At this plan, you will have unlimited bandwidth and storage. You will also get free SSL, an online store, real-time shipping quotes from shipping couriers, analytics, and product rating system.
- Plus – costs $79.95 a month. You will get all the things from the Standard package plus other features like customer segmentation, abandoned cart saver, persistent cart, and credit card storage.
- PRO – this will cost you $249.95 a month, but you will enjoy a huge discount on shipping rates for up to 68%. You will also have access to Google customer reviews.
- Affordable rates
- Functional store with the Standard package
- Lots of features
- No transaction fees
- Abandoned cart is only available on higher plans
- The blog has no RSS feeds
- No mobile apps to help you manage your store
- There are limits on annual online sales
BigCommerce is a great option if you are looking for low shipping costs, and if you also want to sell digital goods apart from physical products.
Ecwid is another platform that not only allows you to create a store, but also a widget that you can integrate to your already existing website. For example, you may already have a WordPress website, and you want to sell. You can use Ecwid to create a widget and add it to your WordPress website so people can make a purchase.
However, Ecwid can only give you one web page for a free account. Pretty much, what you are doing here is a landing page. If a customer clicks on that, he will be able to buy your product, or he can get routed to another website that you already have.
- Easy to use and set-up
- Compatible with many platforms like Foursquare, WordPress, and Facebook
- POS can accept online payment
- Can use PayPal as a processor
- Only one landing page can be created
- Limited design options
- For the pricing, Ecwid offers the Free plan and the Venture plan. The Venture plan will give you more features, but you have to pay $15 per month.
Ecwid will allow you to add more products if you want, but this comes at a cost.
6. Woo Commerce
WooCommerce is a highly customizable web design platform. Here, you can build a store, and this is most especially useful if you are using WordPress. The software is open-source, so there is no limit to what you can do with your online store.
WooCommerce has an app that allows you to manage your store while on the go. With this app, you can process orders, view your store analytics, and get notified if there is an order.
WooCommerce itself is free. However, you must pay for other important aspects of building a store, such as a web host, a domain name, and others. These are things you can get from WordPress, and you must integrate WooCommerce so you can start accepting payments on your website.
You also need to buy a theme or get a free one, so you can build your online store.
- Free to use
- Open-source software
- Has a mobile app that you can use anywhere you are
- Not an all-in-one tool
- Will eventually cost more than Shopify to build a functional store
- Use WooCommerce if you are a coder, or if you already have a WordPress account.
Volusion offers a 14-day free trial, so you can build a web store. After that, you need to choose a plan and pay at least $29 per month. With Volusion, you can create a store, upload products, and have a payment processor so your customers can check out from their shopping cart.
Here are the different plans of Volusion:
- Personal – costs $29 per month. This is the basic plan where you build a store, but your sales are limited to $50,000 per year. You can only have one staff account and up to 100 products.
- Professional – this one costs $79 per month. You can upload up to 5,000 products and have up to five staff accounts.
- Business – at $299 per month, your annual sales limit is half a million dollars per year, and then you can add up to 15 staff accounts. The number of products you can upload is unlimited, and you will get priority customer support.
- Prime – this plan is the most expensive one, and the price depends on what you want to do with your website. Everything is unlimited here.
All Volusion plans come with no transaction fees, so you get to keep all your earnings from your sales.
- Lots of features at the lowest plan
- No transaction fees
- Can be integrated with Amazon and eBay
- Annual sales are limited, so it will force you to upgrade
- Customer support is limited depending on your plan
- Use Volusion if you want all the features in Shopify, but you do not want to Shopify. It is one of the best alternatives out there.
Weebly is like Wix. It is a website builder, but you can also convert it into a store. The good thing about Weebly is that it is not limited to physical goods. You can create a classroom here and then teach your students online.
If you use Weebly to sell, you must also use its parent company called Square. It is Square that takes care of the payment processing, and you can have what you would get from Shopify like a backend management platform, inventory and order management systems, and website development software
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can also buy physical cash registers or POS from Square.
There are two different pricing system for Weebly. One is for a website, and the other is for an online store. For online stores, here are the prices:
- PRO – pay $12 per month to get a free domain, SSL, unlimited storage, shopping cart, and payment system.
- Business – with this plan, you will pay $25 per month, and you will have more features like badges, tax calculator, inventory management, coupon codes, and so much more.
- Business Plus – the cost of this is $38 per month, and this is best used by power sellers. Here, you can get features like real-time shipping rates and abandoned cart emails, both of which are not available on the first two plans.
- Functional web store for only $12
- Lots of features as you upgrade to new plans
- No transaction fees
- No limits on products and bandwidth
- Price to pay is annual; prices will become higher if you pay on a monthly basis
- Poor content management system
- You are locked into this platform
Weebly is great if you have no plans of moving your store to another platform. And also, it becomes better only if you subscribe to the higher plans.
BigCartel is a web development platform built for artists. You can build a store, showcase your artwork, and sell them online. This includes other physical merchandise like shirts, paintings, crafts, and more.
There are three main price points for BigCartel, and these are:
- Platinum – with this plan, you will pay $10 per month, and you can upload a maximum of 10 products. The limit is five images per product, and you can get other features like creating discounts, get real-time statistics, use Google Analytics, and so much more.
- Diamond – this costs $19.99 a month, and your limit is 100 products. You will get all the features of the Platinum plan.
- Titanium – the monthly fee here is $29.99 a month, and you can list up to 300 products. All the rest of the features are the same with Platinum and Diamond.
- Easy to use
- Built for artists
- You can sell online and offline
- Customizable themes
- The only differences between the products are the product limits
- No apps to add or integrate
- You need to know how to code to change your website appearance
One cool thing about Prestashop is that you can migrate your existing store to it. It supports migration for Magento, Shopify, 3dCart, Volusion, and so much more.
Like Shopify, you can create a store, add products, add a payment solution, and then a shopping cart to it.
It also has an app store where you can choose functions that you want to add to your store like shopping exporters, SEO tools, promotion pop-up, and more.
Prestashop is 100% free. The thing is, you need to buy other web components like hosting and names. And to make your site better, you also need to purchase apps which you will pay on a monthly basis.
- Free to build a site
- Has an inventory and order management system
- No limitation on the product you can sell
- Open-source software
- You will not have an all-in-one store as you need to buy other web components
- Not easy to use; you need to download the software and install it
- You need to learn how to code to make adjustments to your website
- Prestashop is a great option if you know how to code. If you don’t, you are better off selecting drag-and-drop web builders.
11. Pinnacle Cart
This one is a one-stop-shop for you to be able to build a functional online store. It has payment solutions, themes, e-commerce hosting, SSL certificates, domains, and so much more.
One good thing about it is that you can also integrate your store with Facebook and Google. Apart from that, you have a dashboard where you can add products, fulfill orders, or manage your inventory.
Pinnacle Cart does not charge transaction fees, and you can choose from four plans. These are:
- Start-Up – the cost is $44.95 per month, and you can sell unlimited products. You only have 1GB of space and a bandwidth of 2GB.
- Standard – pay $94.95 a month and get 10GB for data storage and 20GB of bandwidth.
- Advanced – pay $199.95 per month and get unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- Enterprise – price varies, and this is for big businesses that need customized services.
For all plans, you will get the same features like real-time shipping quotes, Facebook store, online store, mobile store, payment and checkout, shopping cart, reports, and others.
- Easy to use
- More than 450 features
- No differences in plans except the bandwidth and storage capacity
- High cost at the start-up level
You will be able to save money in Pinnacle Cart if you host your website on your own, or if you pay another web hos services.
Shopify is the e-commerce solution provider out there. There are hundreds of them. Before you make a choice, you must have a good plan, so you know what kind of features you want. Different providers offer different features, so you cannot expect to have everything.
If you know what you are looking for, you should be able to put the different providers side by side, and then choose the best one that offers more value for our money. Also, take advantage of the free trial, so you can test the platform before making a commitment to use it.