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If you’re looking to start an ecommerce business, you’ve probably heard of Shopify. With 800,000 active stores around the world, Shopify has become a household name in the ecommerce industry. But just because Shopify is a popular platform for building and launching an online store doesn’t mean it’s the only one out there. In fact, there are hundreds of different types of ecommerce solutions, each with their own specific feature set, pricing, and unique appeal. Therefore, whether you currently use Shopify or are exploring all of your options before starting your online store, it’s worth looking into Shopify alternatives.
With the variety of Shopify alternatives that are available for small business owners, you might be unsure of where to start your search. This guide is here to help. Based on our research and knowledge of various ecommerce platforms, we’ve compiled this list of the top 10 Shopify alternatives. From very similar competitors like BigCommerce to those with greater differences, like Magento, we’ll explain what you need to know about each of these platforms and why they may be an appropriate choice for your business.
Despite the popularity and ease-of-use of an ecommerce software like Shopify, it can’t be said that Shopify—or any platform for that matter—is the right solution for all small businesses. Although there are certainly benefits to using Shopify, there are also drawbacks—and these might be some of the reasons why you would be searching for Shopify alternatives.
This being said, before we dive deeper into our list of the top Shopify alternatives, let’s discuss the main pros and cons of selling on Shopify, as well as costs, so you’ll have a better sense of what other solutions are stacking up against.
Once again, every business will have different qualifications when evaluating which ecommerce solution is best for them. However, on the whole, these are some of the pros of using Shopify:
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As you can see, there are many reasons why you might choose Shopify as your ecommerce solution. However, there are also just as valid reasons why you might be searching for Shopify alternatives. Here are some of the main points that lead business owners to look for a different software:
In terms of cost, Shopify has three main plan offerings, as well as Lite and Enterprise solutions. The three main plans start at $29 per month and continue at $79 per month and $299 per month. If you use Shopify Payments for payment processing, your transaction rate will start at 2.9% plus $0.30 for the Basic Shopify plan and can go as low as 2.4% plus $0.30 with the Advanced Shopify plan. However, if you use a third-party payment processor, you’ll pay an extra transaction fee of 1%-2% on top of the credit card processing fees charged by your provider.
Now that we’ve broken down the main pros, cons, and costs of using Shopify, let’s explore our list of top 10 Shopify alternatives. Since there can be a number of reasons why you might be searching for Shopify alternatives—for example, you might find that Shopify’s SEO tools are lacking, or you’d like to be able to display your store in multiple languages, or perhaps you find that Shopify is simply too expensive—we’ve included a few different types of ecommerce solutions and organized them as such. Depending on your specific needs, any one of these Shopify alternatives might be right for your business.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that all of the 10 Shopify alternatives on our list are going to provide you with the basic functionality of any ecommerce software—meaning that they will give you the ability to start and manage your online store. However, each of these alternatives will have unique specifications and built-in capabilities, as well as pricing.
First, we’ll discuss the four of our Shopify alternatives that are most similar to the Shopify platform itself. All of these ecommerce solutions can be considered all-in-one platforms, or SaaS (software as a service). Additionally, each of these Shopify alternatives provides web hosting and is priced on a subscription basis—with multiple plan offerings that increase in cost as their functionality grows. As Shopify meets all of these qualifications as well, these four platforms will offer the most straightforward comparisons.
BigCommerce is perhaps one of Shopify’s greatest and most direct competitors. Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers you the ability to create and customize your store, sell on a variety of channels, and control the whole of your ecommerce operations from one place. When compared to Shopify, some of the biggest benefits of BigCommerce are:
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Although BigCommerce is one of the most competitive of the Shopify alternatives, it’s also worth looking at some places where Shopify has an advantage:
Taking all of this into consideration, let’s discuss how the cost of BigCommerce compares to Shopify. Like Shopify, BigCommerce offers three standard plans. In fact, these plans are priced very similarly to Shopify’s—with the Standard plan priced at $29.95, the Plus plan at $79.95, and the Pro plan at $249.95. As we mentioned earlier, the cost of payment processing depends on the payment gateway you choose, however, regardless of your provider, you will not face any additional transaction fees from BigCommerce themselves.
All of this being said, BigCommerce is a worthy alternative for any business owners considering Shopify. Since these two platforms are quite similar, determining if either is better for your business will depend on your individual needs. However, BigCommerce might be a more cost-effective solution if you want to be able to choose your payment processor, as well as if features like gift cards, reporting, and single-page checkout are of particular value to your business.
Like BigCommerce, 3dcart’s ecommerce functionality, plan options, and pricing are incredibly similar to Shopify’s. However, there are a few significant ways in which 3dcart stands out as one of our top Shopify alternatives:
Continuing off this last point, there are also a number of general drawbacks to consider when it comes to 3dcart as an ecommerce solution as well.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, 3dcart’s pricing is extremely similar to Shopify’s—in fact, it only differs very slightly. To explain, 3dcart offers the Startup Store for $19, whereas Shopify’s initial plan offering starts at $29. However, the next two levels of 3dcart plans, Basic and Plus, cost $29 and $79 respectively, the same as the Basic and Shopify plans. The final core plan that 3dcart offers costs $229 per month, making it $70 cheaper than the Advanced Shopify plan.
Additionally, 3dcart offers a 10% discount on all of their plans if you pay for a yearly subscription upfront. Moreover, as previously discussed, just like BigCommerce, online credit card processing will depend on your provider, but 3dcart will not charge additional transaction fees regardless of the processor you choose.
Therefore, 3dcart might be the Shopify alternative for you if, once again, you want more flexibility when it comes to payment processing. Furthermore, if you don’t have any issues with editing your template using HTML/CSS, 3dcart is going to provide you with immense functionality, even at their most basic plan level. With the Startup Store plan priced at $19, this is going to be one of the most affordable monthly costs you’ll find, with the most features.
Volusion is another top Shopify alternative, and for good reason. Like the other two platforms we’ve discussed thus far, Volusion offers business owners similar functionality at a similar cost to that of Shopify. Interestingly enough, however, Volusion is among the first of this kind of ecommerce software, having started in 1999. With years of ecommerce experience behind them, here are some of the most notable features of Volusion:
Although Volusion may certainly win out when it comes to payment processing, the platform suffers in terms of overall price and scalability when comparing Volusion vs. Shopify.
As we mentioned, Volusion’s three plan offerings, at $29 per month, $79 per month, and $299 per month, are priced exactly the same as Shopify’s core plans. However, unlike Shopify, Volusion has yearly online sales limits for each of these plans—$50,000, $100,000, and $500,000 respectively.
Keeping all of this in mind, business owners who are particularly concerned with accepting payments online may want to consider Volusion as an alternative to Shopify. Although there are not many consequential differences between the two platforms, the most significant is certainly the lower processing rate for using Volusion Payments.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive ecommerce solution, but aren’t quite sure you need everything Shopify has to offer, you might consider Square Online Store. Although perhaps more well-known for their point of sale systems, Square’s recent update to their ecommerce offering puts their platform on our list of top Shopify alternatives.
Here are some of the benefits of using Square Online Store:
However, there are also a number of reasons why Square Online Store might not be the best Shopify alternative.
Nevertheless, with the four Square Online Store plans starting at $0 per month and ending at $79 per month ($72 if you choose to bill annually), they’re some of the most affordable that we’ve discussed thus far.
Therefore, Square Online Store is a worthy Shopify alternative for businesses who already use Square point of sale and want to expand their sales channels, or for businesses who simply want to try starting an ecommerce website for the first time. Using Square Online Store could certainly be an approachable and affordable way—especially compared to some of the other platforms on this list—to test out an ecommerce business without putting significant, time, money, or effort on the line.
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Unlike the ecommerce platforms we’ve explored so far, the next three solutions on our list have more fundamental differences from Shopify. All three of these ecommerce services are open source, meaning they’re free to download and must be installed and hosted for you to then modify and launch your ecommerce site. Therefore, although you might be tempted to label these as free Shopify alternatives, they’re not 100% free.
Even though each of these options is free to download and has no specific monthly subscription fee, you’ll incur other costs, as we’ll discuss, for web hosting, development, security, and more.
This being said, however, if you’re looking for the most flexibility and greatest customization capabilities you’ll find in ecommerce—these Shopify alternatives will be able to fulfill those needs.
Although as an open source platform, PrestaShop is inherently different from Shopify, there are a number of reasons that, nevertheless, make it a Shopify alternative worth considering for small business owners:
However, despite these benefits of PrestaShop, there are some drawbacks to think about as well—especially in comparison to Shopify.
All of this being said, however, if you’re looking to try out an open source ecommerce solution, and you’re aware of the possible costs of hosting, development, security, maintenance, etc. PrestaShop can be a great Shopify alternative—especially if you want personalized customization, international capabilities, and impressive out-of-the-box features.
One of the most well-known open source ecommerce solutions, Magento is used by big brands around the world and in fact, has expanded their offerings to a fully-hosted solution, making them even more competitive as a Shopify alternative. However, since Magento is still considered by most as an open source software—and this aspect makes their platform particularly unique—we’ll be discussing it as such. Here are some of the most notable benefits of Magento Open Source:
Although Magento is often mentioned on lists of top, as well as free Shopify alternatives, you also have to consider the possible downsides of this kind of platform.
If you’re interested in a Shopify alternative with greater customization options and immense scalability, therefore, Magento might be an option to consider. However, you’ll still want to keep in mind the cost and management required for a platform like this—especially for smaller businesses.
Despite the worldwide popularity of Shopify, 30% of all online stores, in fact, use WooCommerce for their ecommerce businesses. Unlike PrestaShop and Magento, WooCommerce is a different type of open source solution. Although WooCommerce does give you the ability to edit the source code to customize your site, it is first and foremost a WordPress plug-in—meaning you have to already have a WordPress website to use it.
This being said, however, WooCommerce can be a useful and worthy Shopify alternative. Here are some of the reasons why:
As with all of the ecommerce solutions we’ve discussed, though, WooCommerce has drawbacks to think about as well.
Taking all of this into consideration, WooCommerce could be a great Shopify alternative for business owners who already have a WordPress site and are looking to get started in ecommerce. As a free plug-in with many included features, WooCommerce can be a quick and easy way for you to turn your website into an online store and begin your selling experience. Plus, if you have some technical skill or a development resource, WooCommerce can be further customized to make your ecommerce site particularly unique.
Whereas the open source options previously discussed will probably be better Shopify alternatives for medium-sized or quickly growing businesses with more resources, these three solutions might best service smaller businesses, especially those just starting out. Although each of these platforms has ecommerce capabilities, they’re first and foremost website builders—allowing you to create and launch a business website. Therefore, if you want to start with a solid website before moving toward selling online, one of these may be the Shopify alternative for you.
As a website builder whose ecommerce is now powered by Square, Weebly is perhaps one of the easiest platforms to use to set up your website and online store. Plus, Weebly offers a website plan completely free—and their ecommerce plans are extremely affordable. Some additional benefits include:
However, this Shopify alternative might not be for everyone. Here is an important Weebly con to consider:
Therefore, Weebly is a great option for small businesses who want to set up their website or online store quickly and easily, without needing to invest significant time and resources. If you want to test your ecommerce idea without committing to a more costly, ecommerce-focused platform like Shopify, Weebly is certainly worth considering.
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Like Weebly, Wix is a website builder with business-specific offerings, including ecommerce. Although Wix and Weebly are pretty similar, Wix offers more options and advanced website features:
Like with Weebly, however, Wix has downsides to consider as well:
All things considered, Wix is a robust web-building platform that is a good option for businesses that are just starting out selling online—especially if they’re looking for high-quality design and customization options. Although not as simple as a platform like Weebly, Wix is a feature-rich, affordable solution for smaller businesses who don’t need all of the ecommerce-specific capabilities of Shopify.
The final platform on our list of Shopify alternatives, Squarespace, is yet another web-builder platform that offers plans for ecommerce businesses. Unlike Weebly and Wix, however, all of Squarespace’s plans, for both websites and online stores, are paid plans. Nevertheless, there are certainly benefits to Squarespace:
On the other hand, you’ll also want to think about the following drawbacks of Squarespace:
Therefore, like Wix and Weebly, Squarespace is probably one of the Shopify alternatives best suited for smaller businesses who are just getting started with their digital presence and are looking to build a business website. Although you can use Squarespace as a solution for beginning an ecommerce operation, the features of the platform will most greatly benefit you for website-specific purposes.
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At the end of the day, there are hundreds of Shopify alternatives on the market—in addition to the ones on our top 10 list. However, if you’re interested in switching from Shopify to another platform, or, you’re simply considering other options as you start your ecommerce business, any of these 10 offerings may be well-suited for your needs.
If you’re looking for a solution that is most closely comparable to Shopify, you might consider one of the all-in-one hosted solutions—like BigCommerce or 3dcart. On the other hand, if you have development resources and want truly unique customization for your online store, one of the open source platforms, like PrestaShop, may be a good option. Finally, if you’re a smaller business looking first and foremost for a website, with the possibility of selling online in the future, a web-builder solution like Weebly might be best for you.
Ultimately, though, you’re the only one who can decide which ecommerce solution is right for your business. If you’re still unsure if any of these Shopify alternatives will meet your needs, we’d recommend signing up for free trials or free plans so that you can test out the software for yourself before making a final decision.