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 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.
We’ve included a few different types of Shopify alternatives, from all-in-one hosted solutions to open-source software and website builders. 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.
Best for: Businesses that want to use their own payment processor with no added transaction fees, that have a large product inventory, or need unlimited staff accounts.
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.
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 owner 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.
Best for: Businesses that need more flexibility when it comes to payment processing and are comfortable editing with HTML/CSS code.
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.
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 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.
Best for: Smaller ecommerce businesses that are looking for low transaction fees.
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.
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.
Best for: Businesses that already use Square point of sale and want to expand their sales channels, or those looking for a simple, free ecommerce solution.
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.
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 that 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.
Best for: Businesses looking to try an open-source platform with personalized customization, international capabilities, and impressive out-of-the-box features.
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.
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.
Best for: Large or quickly growing ecommerce businesses that need greater customization options and sell internationally.
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 open-source software—and this aspect makes their platform particularly unique—we’ll be discussing it as such.
If you’re interested in a Shopify alternative with greater customization options and immense scalability, 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.
Best for: Business websites built on WordPress.
Despite the worldwide popularity of Shopify, 30% of all online stores 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.
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.
Best for: Small businesses that want to dip their toes into ecommerce without committing to a more costly platform.
As a website builder whose ecommerce function 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.
Therefore, Weebly is a great option for small businesses that 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.
Best for: Businesses that have just begun selling online, but are looking for high-quality design and customization options.
Like Weebly, Wix is a website builder with business-specific offerings, including ecommerce functionality. Although Wix and Weebly are pretty similar, Wix offers more options and advanced website features.
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 that don’t need all of the ecommerce-specific capabilities of Shopify.
Best for: Small businesses that, first and foremost, need a beautifully designed website to showcase visually focused products or services.
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.
Therefore, like Wix and Weebly, Squarespace is probably one of the Shopify alternatives best-suited for smaller businesses that 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.
Now that we’ve run through 10 of the top Shopify alternatives, you may need a refresher on the Shopify platform itself. Here, we’ll discuss the main pros and cons of selling on Shopify, as well as costs, so you can get a better sense of how those other solutions stack up against Shopify.
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:
As you can see, there are many reasons why you might choose Shopify as your ecommerce solution. However, there are also equally 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 solution:
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% + $0.30 for the Basic Shopify plan and can go as low as 2.4% + $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% to 2% on top of the credit card processing fees charged by your provider.
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 if 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.
Randa Kriss is a senior staff writer at Fundera.
At Fundera, Randa specializes in reviewing small business products, software, and services. Randa has written hundreds of reviews across a wide swath of business topics including ecommerce, merchant services, accounting, credit cards, bank accounts, loan products, and payroll and human resources solutions.