It’s hard to get your head around the sheer enormity of Shopify’s success, with 820,000 sellers are busy running over 500,000 active stores.
But what if it’s not right for you and your business? eCommerce isn’t one-size-fits-all, so what Shopify alternatives are there?
We’ve listed our picks for the best of the rest to give you the options you need.
Why should I be looking at alternatives to Shopify?
Don’t get us wrong, Shopify has a lot of positives aspects. It’s easy to use, comes with an entire universe of apps and templates, as well as giving you 24-hour support. But there are some cons of Shopify which work against it:
- You could end up paying transaction fees unless you use Shopify Payments, which isn’t yet available in some countries
- It’s tricky to create in-platform content like blogs to support your products, at a time when many businesses live or die by content marketing
- Translation options are limited. If you sell in different countries, you might need third-party help to present products in every language you need
- SEO issues sometimes rear their heads. Inflexible URL structures make life hard to compete in more competitive eCommerce niches
For some, these are minor annoyances. But for others, they can be deal-breakers that call for workable Shopify alternatives. Let’s take a look at the best ones.
Features: A simple drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to set up your shop. You get seven free themes, as well as content marketing features and multichannel selling support. Beware of slightly longer than average loading times, though.
Flexibility: BigCommerce has one of the steeper learning curves out of the Shopify alternatives on this list. But once you know what you’re doing, there’s not much you can’t accomplish here.
Price: Starting at $29.95 per month, BigCommerce packages can run to as much as $249.95 per month. Depending on how much you sell and your revenue, you’re likely to land somewhere in the middle. New customers get a 15-day free trial.
WooCommerce ranks as one of those Shopify alternatives which some say could be better than Shopify itself.
Features: Here, you’ll find everything you could ask for in an eCommerce platform, from seamless WordPress integration to post-purchase one-click upsell functionality. You will, however, need the tech skills to put this open-source behemoth together yourself.
Flexibility: As an open-source platform, versatility is WooCommerce’s strong suit. If you’ve got the savvy to build it, you can include it.
Price: WooCommerce itself is completely free. You will need to pay for hosting and a domain name, though. It also offers paid themes, extensions, and web development services.
Magento is a CMS platform which provides an open-source ecosystem to build the exact store you want to see.
Features: From its page builder to web app integration via powerful product recommendation capability, Magento is another fantastic end-to-end eCommerce platform, definitely one of the top Shopify alternatives. It’s also highly mobile friendly.
Flexibility: As with WooCommerce, the versatility to create whatever store you want is a blessing and a curse. If you have the skills, you’re in luck. But product support is limited if you run into issues.
Price: Like WooCommerce, Magento’s core CMS capability is free. You’ll only need to pay for hosting and a domain name, as well as any extras like themes and templates you want.
Prestashop is one of the best Shopify alternatives for those with less budget but a broad international customer base.
Features: You’ll find a more limited selection of themes and templates here than with Shopify, but they’re far more user-friendly to implement. Even better, Prestashop has no transaction fees, support for 25 languages, and the ability to work in multiple currencies.
Flexibility: It’s likely you’ll need to hire a developer to navigate the sheer scope of Prestashop, so great is its open-source versatility. Once again, you can do whatever you want but you’re on your own in doing so.
Price: Prestashop is free, and has partnerships with Azure, WebHostingHub, and 1&1 to facilitate cost-effective hosting.
3DCart gives you an enormous range of features and themes, along with powerful SEO capability, making for a versatile Shopify alternative.
Features: Speed is the key selling point here. Store speeds and load times are impressive. There’s also support for over 70 payment gateways and a wealth of visual features. Some of those themes look a little dated though, and Shopify definitely has a better mobile UX.
Flexibility: No problems here, not only is this one of the more flexible Shopify alternatives, you can also take advantage of in-house web design to get a store you can be proud of.
Price: 3DCart also gives new customers their 15-day trial, with paid packages ranging from $19 per month basic to $229 per month for all the bells and whistles.
Volusion is already powering over 200,000 businesses, particularly smaller businesses and dynamic startups.
Features: This is remarkably easy to use, offering customers one-click checkout. It looks and runs great on mobile, with plenty of eye-catching free themes and no transaction fees to worry about.
Flexibility: We’d be lying if we said Volusion didn’t have issues with versatility. Metered bandwidth punishes you for growing, and you will need some coding skills to put the finishing touches to your store.
Price: Volusion gives you a comparatively thrifty 14-day free trial. Bandwidth is metered for the paid service; you’ll usually spend between $15 and $35 per month. If you go over your limit, however, you could get charged around $7 per GB.
Squarespace is ideal for smaller or newer businesses looking for a fast, simple way to establish an impactful online presence.
Features: This is primarily a website building tool rather than something competing to be among the best Shopify alternatives. But that gives you a range of beautiful templates with no need for coding knowledge. Squarespace is a content marketer’s dream.
Flexibility: The focus and simplicity of Squarespace comes with a price. Limited multichannel features, fewer add-ons, and payment only via PayPal or Stripe make for a more restrictive eCommerce experience.
Price: Squarespace’s basic business package starts at around $20 per month, ranging up to $40 per month for the advanced eCommerce package.
Big Cartel puts itself across as the eCommerce platform for artists and makers. One of the best Shopify alternatives for creative businesses.
Features: The platform is easy to set up and manage, and gives you plenty of space to show off your creative products at their best.
Flexibility: You’ll get everything you need for a niche creative business with Big Cartel, but you’re in trouble as soon as you stray from that niche. Introducing other products is made nearly impossible by the platform’s charming-but-basic functionality.
Price: Big Cartel offer a free (if misleadingly named) Gold package. You can go all the way up to their Titanium package and support up to 300 products for $29.99 per month.
Wix gives you a highly user-friendly website and eCommerce store creator in the style of Squarespace.
Features: First and foremost, Wix features a great, intuitive UI. It also has an enormous app market which expands your options for design and functionality.
Flexibility: Wix’s eCommerce capability was added late, so it’s still missing some features which might make it a contender among the top Shopify alternatives. There’s no import or export features, for example. You don’t get much control over emails, and some features are currently US-only.
Price: The basic business package starts at around $17 per month, and gives you a huge 20 GB of storage. This can go up to 50 GB (with priority support) for about $29 per month.
Weebly is another highly intuitive website builder with newer eCommerce features that are perfect for newer businesses or those with a focused product offer.
Features: As far as Shopify alternatives go, Weebly gives you everything you need to create a basic site. Free SSL security, SEO tools, lead capture, and community forums provide the tools to get you up and running fast.
Flexibility: Once you get beyond the basics, Weebly starts to stumble. No advanced features like customer logins make it difficult to scale your eCommerce store along with your business.
Price: Weebly has a free version with 500 MB of storage and a Weebly-branded domain. Paid packages start from around $5.50 per month and go all the way up to around $24 per month for the full Business package.
Picking the right Shopify alternatives can, ironically, take some shopping around. But it’s vital to put your business first and pick the platform that lets you provide the features your customers want.
Once you’re powered by the right software, you can focus on what matters: developing a distinctive brand to attract shoppers, and keeping them with a great offer.