All the hype is about Shopify. But wait a sec right there; is it the right platform for your store?
There are over 1.7 M merchants selling using Shopify. And while it's probably one of the best-hosted e-commerce solutions available today, there are numerous reasons why you should think about moving or switching to another platform or starting out your store on another.
For instance, if you don't want to deal with sales commissions or have a relatively small budget, you might find a Shopify alternative that is more suitable for your business.
However, when it comes to e-commerce platforms, there are many options out there with varying degrees of functionality. No worries, we got you. This article will compare the best Shopify alternatives and explain their strengths and weaknesses.
The top 8 alternatives to Shopify are:
Feel free to jump around the article from the table of contents below.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 (+3881)
If you don't use the Shopify Payment system, the platform charges additional fees of 1%, 2% 0.5% for external payment gateways. This fee might be too much on your budget, especially if you own a small business.
You need more control over SEO.
Although Shopify has some built-in SEO features and there are third-party apps for search engine optimization, the platform doesn't provide much control. For example, its URL structure isn't ideal for SEO. It uses subdirectories such as /blog/news. Moreover, it doesn't allow users to access or edit Shopify store's robot.txt file.
You might also like Shopify SEO Checklist.
Too much dependence on third-party apps
There are tons of third-party add-ons on the Shopify App Store. However, loading your website with add-ons eventually causes more harm than good. They might cause a slow-down on your site speed or increase your risks of a security breach.
You might think, "Then, I would use it without installing apps," but rest assured, you'll need apps. For example, you'll need a third-party tool to add popups to your Shopify store or dropship products, upsell/cross-sell, or even to make your site multilingual.
Shopify is a hosted platform and doesn't provide access to its source code. So, what does that mean? First, it means that you won't be able to modify the code side of your store and its design to your needs.
In other words, it's proprietary that only the original authors have legal control over the software. Moreover, the fact that it's a hosted platform indicates that you'll have to trust their servers. In short, you can't examine its code or change it.
Wix is one of the most popular Shopify alternatives and an all-in-one website builder. It's a web development company that provides customers with the tools to create their own website, blog, or online store.
It has an online store mobile app that allows you to edit and manage your store on the go. Also, it comes with Wix Email Marketing, so you can run your marketing emails and insert the product info directly into emails.
However, the biggest downside with this Shopify alternative is that it's not suitable for large stores. It's because the site navigation might feel limited as your site grows.
These aside, Wix e-commerce is great for small to medium businesses thanks to its reasonable price and basic capabilities.
More than 900 designer-made & customizble templates to choose from.
Easy to use yet robust drag-and-drop editor ideal for beginners.
It's free, but you can also purchase premium features if you want them.
Access to advanced SEO tools like Customizable meta tags & SEO patterns.
You can sell on-the-go with Wix Mobile POS and sync all your inventory and orders.
You can send personalized email campaigns tailored to your member segments.
Tanslate your store into 180+ languages with Wix Multilingual
Provides custom shipping rules for both domestic and international shoppers.
Built-in backups & DDoS protection.
Dedicated 24/7 support via phone, email and chat.
Wix is not great for advanced users looking for more customization options.
There are some limitations when it comes to SEO optimization and mobile-friendliness of the site created using Wix.
The problem with using Wix for e-commerce is that the platform wasn't specifically made for it, so it's not as flexible.
Dropshipping is available through apps, but it requires Business Unlimited or a higher plan.
Wix's regular plans are cheaper, but you'll need to consider its e-commerce plans. Its e-commerce pricing starts at $23/mo with a monthly plan. However, the starting plan doesn't cover features like dropshipping, product reviews, label printing, advanced shipping apps, showing different currencies, and subscriptions.
The bright side is it doesn't charge any sales fees, and the bandwidth is unlimited.
G2 Rating: 4.2/5 (+1,400)
ikas is one of the less-known but rising online store builders in the market. This Shopify alternative is a headless e-commerce platform that allows building multi-currency online stores and integrating with other marketplaces in a matter of minutes.
Additionally, in terms of multi-currency, ikas automatically redirects visitors to regional stores and currency.
Multi-language store option with the built-in translation system
Ability to integrate with online marketplaces like Facebook and Instagram Shop
Built-in POS screen
Ability to manage marketplaces like Etsy right from ikas
Has the necessary core features to get your store up and running without additional apps
Although it's a good thing that ikas offers the features you would normally acquire through plugins out of the box, however, the fact that it doesn't have an app store makes it hard for users to wait until the platform develops new features such as dropshipping.
No source code: You are limited to the templates and design options as well as the storefront it provides.
Limited theme store compared to other Shopify alternatives like BigCommerce.
In terms of cost-effectiveness, it falls behind competitors. The monthly subscription fees it offers are higher than most alternatives and include fewer features.
ikas has a free plan to get started with. The free plan is, however, doesn't provide much and has ikas branding in your store domain.
Paid plans, on the other hand, start at $39 per month with a monthly plan. Unfortunately, the Starter plan is also narrow in terms of features, design, and capabilities.
For example, you can add only 250 items to your store.
Consequently, to be able to launch a professional online store, you'll need to upgrade your plan to the Grow plan, which is $79 per month with a monthly payment.
WooCommerce is easy to use, easy to install, and very flexible. It's a great open-source platform for building an online store, and it's the most popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress.
Trying to decide if WooCommerce is the best choice for you? Here are some of the pros and cons of using WooCommerce:
It's free. That's right; there's no cost for downloading or installing WooCommerce. It does cost money to host your site on a domain name and hosting service, but that cost will be about the same whether you use WooCommerce or another open-source e-commerce platform.
WooCommerce is open source. That means that you can see the code behind this plugin, making it easier to customize if needed.
You can sell anything. As long as you have inventory to sell, a product feed from your supplier, and a little bit of technical know-how, you can create an online store with WooCommerce. It works on every theme, and it integrates with most extensions that make your site more functional or add features.
Although the WooCommerce plugin is free, you still have to consider domain hosting, SSL certificate, and additional plugin costs.
Since WooCommerce is open-source, you might need the help of a designer and developer to help with CSS and HTML in order to make the best use of it.
Similar to Shopify, adding some features to your store requires more plugins which eventually might cause slow site speed.
Suggested article: WooCommerce SEO Checklist.
Pricing & Costs
Both WooCommerce and WordPress are open-source and free to use. However, when launching your WooCommerce store, there'll still be some costs. Considering that it's a plugin, you'll need a WordPress site in order to use WooCommerce. So, you'll have the hosting cost.
While it provides free standard storefront themes, you may also choose to purchase new themes. Its theme costs are typically between 0 to $100 per year.
There will be store management costs as well. If you'd like advanced shipping options, you pay for them. However, the platform already covers necessary free options.
Payment Gateways: These gateways help you securely accept payments online. You have a bunch of options to choose from, like WooCommerce Payments which has no setup charge and no monthly fees. But, it costs 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction made with the U.S. Besides, for cards used outside the U.S, it charges an additional 1% fee. Another option is PayPal. It has no monthly fee and charges 2.9% + 0.30 cents per sale.
Additional optional costs: If you use extensions for SEO, communication, and security, consider those costs too.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 (+800)
One can't skip Squarespace when thinking of alternatives to Shopify. This platform is especially one of the bests in the market in terms of design and templates.
In fact, Squarespace is most known for being great for artists and photographers to showcase their work using its sleek templates.
However, Squarespace eCommerce solution offers competitive capabilities to let you sell subscriptions, digital, and physical products as well.
It covers the necessary flexibility to deal with payments, taxes, and checkout. Additionally, there are free/paid extensions you can connect to your store.
A good variety of professional templates and customization options
No transaction fees on Commerce plans
Full access to Squarespace Video Studio app
Built-in popups and banners
Excellent inventory system
Fully integrated e-commerce (inventory, order, product catalog management, and payment, taxes, and shipping tools included)
Its extensions are limited compared to other Shopify alternatives.
3% transaction fee on the Business Plan.
Squarespace's Basic Commerce plan costs $26 per month, and Advanced Commerce is $40/mo.
G2 Rating: 4.4/5 (960)
Square E-Commerce, formerly known as Weebly, is another platform like Shopify. It offers basic e-commerce and SEO features combined with apps to help grow your online store.
Moreover, the fact that it has a drag and drop editor packed with ready-to-use templates makes Weebly a great choice for small businesses as well as portfolio sites.
Weebly has a free plan with basic features.
Great design features and templates for aesthetic storefront
Free SSL security
Straightforward to set up a website in minutes
Sell digital, physical goods, or services
It gives Google Ads credits based on the paid plan you pick
The free plan forces domain with Weebly branding.
No ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence)
Weebly has its own email newsletter tool; however, it starts at $8 per month.
Fewer extension options compared to other Shopify alternative platforms.
Square has a free plan with limited options for websites. For its website pricing, its paid plans start at $5 per month when paid annually. On the other hand, for online stores, Square's pricing starts at $12/mo annually.
G2 Rating: 4.2/5 (434)
Another alternative to Shopify that you might not have heard of is PrestaShop. The plus side is you can download PrestaShop's open-source code.
Furthermore, it has its own marketplace called Prestashop Addon, where you can download modules and themes for your store.
What's more, this open-source Shopify alternative costs zero and has no monthly/commission fees. However, while PrestaShop is free to download, that doesn't mean you won't have any expenses.
For example, you'll need to pay for its hosting partner ($8 to $15) and modules to expand your store.
It can also be considered as an alternative to WordPress/WooCommerce.
Open-source: You own your store.
Fully GDPR compliant checkout solution
Easy to create multiple shops and build sub-sites
Its add-ons are more expensive than other platforms.
You might need premium themes, so bear in mind the expenses.
Adding multiple add-ons to your store may cause glitches, bugs, and slow-down.
You'll need a third-party payment processor for payments or own a Merchant account with the PrestaShop Checkout Plan. If you can't find the payment partner you're looking for, then you can find it from add-ons.
Small commission price per transaction for each payment mode
Fewer templates than WordPress, Shopify, and most platforms
Support through community
PrestaShop is 100% free to download. However, you might need to consider other expenses like hosting, add-ons, themes, support, etc.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 (128)
Next on our list of the best Shopify alternatives is Ecwid. Unlike the other e-commerce store builder platforms in this list, you can use Ecwid's store building plugin with any existing website.
What's more, it doesn't charge any additional transaction fees, which makes it one of the most affordable e-commerce solutions in the market.
Easy to navigate and use
No transaction fee
Excellent option if you already have a website
Syncs with marketplaces like Amazon and allows selling across social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Ability to manage on mobile with Ecwid mobile app
Free up to 10 items
While Ecwid is a fantastic platform if you already have a website, it's not the best solution if you are planning to create a website with it. It's just a basic stand-alone store builder, not more.
Limited design options–not ideal for advanced store design
Lack of third-party tool support
It has an app store, but some tools are quite expensive.
Ecwid offers a free plan of up to 10 items and with limited capabilities. Its price plans start at $15 per month.
G2 Rating: 4.8/5 (264)
If you're planning to launch a creative business and sell artsy items, then Big Cartel is an excellent option for you.
However, unlike Shopify, BigCartel was made for artists, musicians, and designers, so it's best for small businesses selling fewer items.
Also see: Big Cartel vs. Shopify Comparison.
Easy to set up and navigate
One of the most affordable solutions for artsy small businesses
Option to sell online and in-person
Ability to manage your store on mobile
Cheaper than Shopify
Big Cartel isn't the ideal solution to launch large, multifunctional online stores.
The number of products you can upload is very few.
If you're not familiar with HTML, it might be challenging to customize your store in detail.
The number of product images you can upload is very limited, but they've recently announced that it will be increased.
Limited features compared to other alternatives to Shopify.
BigCartel has a free plan for up to 5 products, and the best part is it allows custom domains on the free plan in contrast to most platforms. There are two paid plans starting at $9.9 per month for
G2 Rating: 4.2/5 (23)
Another Shopify alternative is BigCommerce. It is an e-commerce platform used by many small and medium-sized businesses. It offers a variety of features that are needed to run an online store.
BigCommerce has a lot of features in the core that are necessary for running an online store, such as cart abandonment and AMP pages.
Provides omnichannel selling such as in-app checkout for Instagram
You can customize URLs.
Fully hosted, so there won't be domain hosting costs.
BigCommerce supports over 55 payment gateways and charges no additional transaction fees.
Customization is not as flexible as Shopify. In order to create a dazzling store, you might need to purchase expensive themes.
It has fewer templates and integrations than Shopify.
Editing the free themes can be time-consuming and challenging.
Since it's not open-source, your options to fully customize your website's design and coding side are limited.
BigCommece offers a 15-day free trial. Its price plans start at $29.95 per month with the monthly plan. Note that the starting plan doesn't include some features like Product Filtering, Custom Product Filtering, Price Lists, and Unlimited API Calls.
G2 Rating: 4.2/5 (406)
OpenCart is a free and PHP-based open-source Shopify alternative. It lets you manage multiple online stores from a single backend.
You'll need a hosting service for it, and there are also extensions available for purchasing.
Loads on every server (shared server or a VPS)
You'll have access to raw files as the server backs up your data.
It's easy to modify your storefront and theme with basic PHP knowledge.
It's free to download.
Numerous integration and extension options
It might be challenging to update at times.
Some OpenCart extensions are too expensive.
Requires basic coding knowledge at minimum
Very few themes
OpenCart is 100% free to download, but consider additional expenses like add-ons, hosting, and more based on your need.
G2 Rating: 4.3/5 (92)
We see a new addition to platforms like Shopify every other day. Sellfy is one of them. It's an online store builder for small businesses that lets you sell physical or digital products.
Free plan with no transaction fee and unlimited sales per year
Discount codes feature available even in the free plan.
Each paid plan comes with email credits.
Built-in ability to sell print-on-demand products while Shopify requires integrations or apps
You can sell subscriptions, digital products, and physical products.
Cart abandonment emails
While the platform's free plan provides unlimited sales per year, the number of products you can sell is 10.
The free plan forces branded domains.
You need to upgrade your plan to the $79-plan to be able to remove the Sellfy branding.
Sellfy offers a free plan with no transaction fee, which is a plus. Its prices start at $29 per month with a monthly payment.
G2 Rating: 4/5 (45)
Volusion is another platform like Shopify. However, it's not as intuitive or advanced.
It provides out-of-the-box e-commerce features without needing an app. Additionally, it supports a wide range of payment methods like PayPal, Stripe, and Amazon Pay.
On a side note, unfortunately, this platform doesn't have much positive feedback from users. Still, you can give it a try with its free trial.
Ability to search by order number
No transaction fees
Related products feature out of the box, unlike Shopify, where you need a Shopify app for upselling
Very few themes
No add-ons or app market
Volusion price plans have a GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume) quota.
Limited customization options
Lack of integrations
Limited features compared to Shopify or other competitors
Not an ideal option for medium to large businesses
Expensive e-commerce website templates
Volusion has a free trial, and its price plans start at $29 per month with a monthly payment. Considering that the starting price is more or less the same as Shopify, the platform should extend its features and capabilities to compete with other alternatives.
G2 Rating: 3.2/5 (61)
Another alternative for Shopify to consider is PinnacleCart. It's an all-in-one online store solution that you can host with your own server or select their hosted option. So the platform allows purchasing the Perpetual license of PinnacleCart.
The biggest drawback is its price. The hosted option starts at $79.95 per month, which is more expensive than Shopify. However, unlike Shopify, it doesn't charge transaction fees.
No transaction fees
Ticket and live chat for your website
Easy-to-use for starters
It is too expensive for small businesses.
The standard plan ($79) covers only two payment methods (PayPal and PruPay.)
Lacking in terms of template options
Limited disk space and bandwidth on the Standard plan
Pinnacle Cart's starting price is $79 per month for the hosted solution, and it has a free trial.
G2 Rating: 3.7/5 (20)
When all the pros and cons are considered, WooCommerce is the best Shopify alternative if you are looking for an open-source solution and are already familiar with WordPress. On the other hand, BigCommerce is the best alternative for Shopify if you need a hosted solution with more built-in features and better customer service.
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