Shopify was built because the two founders couldn’t find an e-commerce platform that is easy to use. Built in 2006, the Shopify platform has gone a long way. Now, it is the most popular e-commerce platform in the world.
But if you do not want to use it, what are your alternatives?
Today, you will learn the top 9 Shopify alternatives, and why you need to consider them. But before that, let us take a look at the different criteria you need to check before choosing one.
Things to look for in a Shopify alternative
Shopify is the best platform for e-commerce. If you are going to use an alternative, the features must at least be similar to what Shopify has to offer.
Some web stores are huge. For example, you may be building the next Amazon. In that case, not all Shopify alternatives are great choices because some of these are built for small stores.
The Basic Plan in Shopify costs $29. At this rate, you get a complete package that allows you to build a store, process payments, have a blog, collect emails, and do SEO. When looking for an alternative, you have to check the price point of that platform and make sure that you get the same services.
Ease of Use
Not all platforms are easy to use. If possible, choose one that has a drag-and-drop feature, or a platform where all you have to do is to choose a theme template and upload your product photos.
Shopify hosts hundreds of payment processors. Integration is easy, as all you need to do is to select that payment processor from your dashboard and then input a code. Choose an alternative that has a number of payment processors so you can give your customers more options.
Apps and Plug-ins
A website that you get from any kind of platform is basic. It is functional, but you may want to add more features like a carousel, email subscription, discount and coupon generators, and so much more. Shopify has thousands of apps, so make sure than an alternative platform to Shopify can match this.
Now, let’s jump into the 9 top Shopify competitors you could consider using.
WooCommerce was first built to support the WordPress platform. Over the years, it has become the go-to platform for building e-commerce websites. It is free, but you have to pay for your hosting plan. The WooCommerce software is open-source, which means a huge community of people can improve it.
Basically, WooCommerce is a plug-in. You need to install it on your website platform, and then you can now download more plug-ins to make it work.
- Free plug-in
- It is updated consistently
- Compatible with WordPress
- You have to download other plug-ins to make it work
- It is not intuitive; you need to explore it to make it work
WooCommerce is best if you already have a WordPress website and you want to convert it into a store. After all, you do not want to lose the traffic coming for your blogs.
With WooCommerce, you have access to dozens of free themes, but the great ones are paid. They range between $50 and $100+ per theme. Also, you cannot use WooCommerce without paying for web hosting services. With Shopify, you are already paying for the web hosting services in any package you get.
Like Shopify, 3Dcart is a one-stop-shop where you can build an online store and make it work the way it should. It has no free plan, but the most basic is $10 less than Shopify.
The four plans are:
- Start-up – $19
- Basic – $29
- Plus – $79
- Pro– $229
All of these are paid via a monthly subscription. With 3Dcart, your store would have a payment processor, SEO support, a seller dashboard, and order management tools.
- Affordable—base price is only $19 per month
- Has 14-day free trial
- Offers a lot of themes that you can use for free
- Highly secure
- Only a few sales channels can be integrated
- Your site is affected if there is a maintenance
With 3Dcart, you can integrate your store with Facebook. The best part is that you can enjoy using the platform without transaction fees. The only fees you pay are the fees charged by the payment processor, like PayPal.
You also do not have to worry about limits. There are some store platforms where the maximum number of products you can sell is 50, and then you have to upgrade after that. All themes in 3Dcart are mobile-friendly, so you can expect your shop to be highly accessible on mobile devices.
Ecwid stands for e-commerce widget. Its primary purpose is it allows you to create a widget that you can integrate with various social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. This widget acts as your payment processor.
On top of that, it now has a different plan that can rival Shopify. Ecwid can be integrated with WordPress like WooCommerce, and you can also create a website from the Ecwid platform itself.
Ecwid offers a free account, but this one allows you to create a widget. This free widget also gives you one landing page and nothing more on top of that. To get the full benefits of Ecwid, you have to pay for a plan.
- Compatible with several platforms
- Has a POS
- Accepts several payment processors
- The free version is too limited
- Has a limited number of products
On Ecwid, the most affordable plan is called Venture. It costs $15 only. With this, you can build a store, charge customers, and integrate the platform with other sites. On this plan, you can only upload up to 100 products. You can also sell digital files up to 25GB per file.
If you need more space, you have to upgrade, the most expensive plan is Unlimited, which costs $99 per month.
Wix is also a popular option, and it is a tough competitor of Shopify. Lots of Wix ads are shown on YouTube nowadays.
On Wix, you can choose from three plans that can range between $17 and $35 per month.
Do not be confused with Wix. It offers two types of services. The first one is for websites, and the other is for e-commerce.
The website bundles do not allow you to sell, but only to build websites.
The Business Basic Plan costs $17 per month, and this allows you to build a store with 20GB storage. You can install Google Analytics on your store, and you also get a free domain for a year.
- Easy to use
- No lock-up on your subscription
- More affordable than Shopify
- Limited options for payment processors
- Few options for plug-ins or apps
Here are the features of the Wix website platform:
- Custom domain name
- Wix chat features
- Website analytics
- Free hosting
- SSL Certificate
- Member log in features
The most expensive plan is the Business VIP where you get unlimited video uploads, 50 GB of storage, and priority support, VIP support, and all other features available on the Business Basic and Business Unlimited Plans.
Weebly is primarily a website builder, but it has now branched out its services to e-commerce. Weebly not only allows you to create a website, but it also allows you to create online courses that your students can watch online.
The thing with Weebly is that it is owned by a payment processing company called Square. Because of that, you are locked in with Square as your payment processor.
The cost of Weebly is $12 per month. This plan is called Pro.
With this plan, you can build an e-commerce store, get a free SSL certificate, have unlimited storage, and also a payment system.
The other plans cost between $25 and $38 per month.
- Easy to use
- Affordable at only $12 per month
- Lots of features and no need to upgrade if you only need a basic store
- No transaction fees
You must pay annually; there is no monthly payment plan
Weebly is a great choice if you do not mind using Square as your payment processing system.
If you have a physical store, you can order the POS device of Square and process payments for there. Weebly is great for starters, but you would need to upgrade if you need more services.
This company is one of the store platform giants in the world. Like its name, it is best used by large companies. But this does not mean you cannot use it for your business.
Apart from physical items, BigCommerce allows you to sell digital goods.
BigCommerce has apps that can make your store look more professional and also more functional.
It also works great for dropshippers because there are dropshipping apps found here.
The cost of the lowest plan is $29.945 per month. This plan is called Standard.
With this plan, you can have a store, integrate it with Facebook, eBay, or Amazon, and then have unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- Affordable and easy to set up
- Does not charge transaction fees
- Lots of apps to choose from
- Has no abandoned cart recovery for low-tier plans
- Has no mobile app
The other plans cost between $79.95 and $249.95 per month. The great thing about BigCommerce is that it has a partnership with shipping couriers.
If you use BigCommerce, you can get discounts on shipping. It is also a great place to sell digital products where your buyers can instantly download the goods.
Magento is an expensive platform that also serves large businesses. It is a highly flexible platform, and you can easily customize your store, so it does not look the same as everybody else’s.
If you choose to use Magento, you can do the coding of your website yourself or work with Magento Partners.
The members of the Magento Partners offer their services so they can build your website for you.
Magento has a product for small businesses, but like all other plans, you will be partnered with a Magento expert who will build it for you in as a short as ten weeks.
- Multiple store management system
- Made just for you
- Great support from the community
- Too expensive; expect to spend at least $1,000 per month
- No shared hosting plan; you need a dedicated server, which would cost more
- Not a lot of app developers
Magento is a highly-professional web-store platform. There is no pricing table on the site, as each website that they build is priced differently.
8. Big Cartel
Big Cartel was made for artists. Here, the templates and themes were developed for painters, craftsmen, and even musicians.
This is the best place to sell your handiwork like paintings, glasswork, and even t-shirts.
Big Cartel offers three different types of plans. Below are the plans and a summary of what they have to offer:
- Platinum – costs $10 per month. On this plan, you can only sell up to ten different product types. You can build your store, and add Google Analytics on your website. Each product is limited to five images only, so make sure you choose the best ones that represent your item.
- Diamond – this plan costs $19.99. Like the Platinum Plan, you can create discounts and get real statistics about your sales and traffic. However, your limit here is 100 products instead of just ten.
- Titanium – costs $29.99 per month. This plan lets you upload up to 300 products. On top of that, you get all the features of the first two plans with no other differences on services ad features.
- Easy to set up
- Really affordable at $10 per month
- You can sell online or physically
- Not many differences on the features
- You have to upgrade if you want to sell more
- Has no app marketplace that can help you make your site better
Since Big Cartel was made for artists, it is a platform where the centre of attention is your art. That being said, it does not have a lot of fancy apps that you would typically see in Shopify.
9. Pinnacle Cart
Pinnacle Cart is a little more expensive than Shopify. However, it does have a complete set of features that can rival Shopify.
With Pinnacle Cart, you can build an online store, have a secured website through SSL, get hosting services, get free themes, and so much more.
You can also integrate your store to Facebook and Google. And like Shopify, you have a dashboard where you can control your inventory, fulfil orders, and add products.
- Pinnacle Cart is easy to use
- The base plan allows you to sell unlimited products
- Higher plans can give you unlimited bandwidth
- Too costly
The most affordable plan is called Start-Up, which costs $44.95 per month. But with this, your bandwidth is only at 1GB, and your storage space is only at 2GB.
This is a small space for a store because you have to use a lot of photos.
At best, you must get the Standard plan which costs $94.95 per month. This plan gives you 10GB of bandwidth plus a storage limit of 20GB.
If you need to save money, buy hosting services from another provider like Bluehost. But this is only effective if you know how to connect both. If not, you are better off getting this service from Pinnacle.
Shopify versus the top 9 Competitors
Comparing all nine is going to be a nightmare. Their prices are different, and they are targeting different markets.
For example, WooCommerce is great, but it is not as easy to use as Shopify. While WooCommerce is free, you have to pay for hosting services.
Ecwid, on the other hand, is a little more costly than Shopify, but it is focused on giving you the tools for you need for marketing.
If you are a large company, the BigCommerce and Magento are your best bets. But if you are a small or medium-sized business, then the rest are great choices.
Which one should You Choose?
The Shopify competitor that you have to choose is the one that best fits your needs. To be able to answer this question, you have to list down the things that are important to you.
Here is an example:
- Payment processor
- Apps and plug-ins
If you want to free, then you can get Ecwid. If you do not mind paying a little, then WooCommerce is a great option.
At the end of the day, all these Shopify competitors allow you to sell. They have differences in the features, but they all serve the same function—they allow you to build a website to sell your items online.
Because of Shopify’s success, more and more companies are creating their store-builders or platforms.
While many of these companies may charge lower fees, you need to be aware that in the online world, you get what you pay for.
What this means is that because they cost less, they also deliver less. With Shopify, you get an all-in-one package where you can build a fully functional store that can earn you money.