The quest to discover the best eCommerce platform out has intensified as modern technology advances at a rapid pace. When it comes to setting up an online store, Shopify is one of the biggest names there when it comes to balancing the convenience of setting up online store and have control over it.
However, in the world of eCommerce, the one size fit all approach is not really valid. Depending on your unique business requirements, an alternative platform may work better. If you are in the initial research phase and haven’t tried out Shopify yet, it is recommended to give it a test drive.
If you think it is not a good fit for you, here are 10 Shopify alternatives you can try to build and grow your eCommerce store.
WooCommerce is actually a WordPress plugin that converts your WordPress site or blog into an eCommerce store without having a separate online store. This Shopify alternative is a self-hosted platform that offers fabulous site extensions, thousands of impressive themes, and plugins.
Price: Free. You have to pay for customizations, premium extensions, web hosting, and payment gateways, etc.
How easy it is to use
Considering the ease to use, WooCommerce is very simple and user-friendly. The knowledge of coding is not required to use WooCommerce. With powerful themes and extensions available in WooCommerce, you can set up your eCommerce store in just a matter of a few hours. The setup wizard will take you through the initial steps to get your online store running.
Whether you sell a single product or hundreds of products, WooCommerce offers you complete control over the products you sell. You can choose from product types and product variations like simple products, external products, variable products, downloadable products, etc.
WooCommerce also makes the shipping easy with its built-in options like shipping calculator to offer international shipping, flat rate, local pickup, and local delivery. WooCommerce also simplifies tax management by offering tax rate calculations. Product reviews, SEO benefits, easy mobile eCommerce, and customer management are some powerful features of WooCommerce.
Pros- The major plus points of WooCommerce is its both free and open-source. It is a much cheaper alternative when compared to Shopify. Its direct link with WordPress is beneficial for content creation.
Cons-It offers fewer extensions than Shopify. While it is free, the cost of add-ons can increase the cost as your business grows.
Magento is one of the most powerful Shopify alternate, and it is a great option for expert developers. The platform allows you to customize code to improve your eCommerce design beyond what Shopify allows. While it is available as a PAAS solution, the common form is a self-hosted and open-source shopping cart solution. Magento is a premium solution suitable for large enterprises with a knowledgeable programming team and sufficient funds.
Price: Free, but you have to pay for Magento extensions, hiring Magento developers, etc.
How easy it is to use
Apart from technical difficulties during the initial setup, Magento is actually user-friendly to work with. The dashboard is simple to understand and comes with properly arranged sections. The inventory is easy to get around and adding products is also pretty easy.
Magento doesn’t offer any custom designs for an eCommerce store. You have to build a Magento theme yourself from the ground up. The major benefit of Magento is that it is a perfectly scalable eCommerce platform. You can easily switch up your eCommerce game from ten products to thousands of products. Feature-wise is very intensive and you can use Magento to build your eCommerce store in the way you want.
Magento works in either of the following ways-
Available as a free download- You can download it directly from the official site and install it on your server.
Available as a hosted service- You don’t have to install anything on your own. The price tag associated with this is very high.
As an open-source platform, Magento is flexible and has several features that other platforms lack. For example, with Magento, you can vary the pricing of specific products depending on the group of customers.
Pros- As an open-source platform, Magento is flexible and has several unique features that other platforms lack. For example, with Magento, you can vary the pricing of specific products depending on the group of customers. It has a large community of users as it is one of the most used eCommerce platforms in the world.
Cons- Magento is expensive considering the development, maintenance, and tech support costs. Hosting Magento store adds on expenses. The process of modifying your store can take much longer than other Shopify competitors.
Probably the most popular alternative to Shopify to create eCommerce stores is BigCommerce. Trusted by millions of users, it is a smart choice for small to large-scale businesses. With more built-in features and extreme scalability than any other eCommerce platform, it gives you the power to grow your eCommerce store from day one.
Price: $29.5-$249.95 per month
How easy is BigCommerce to use?
By signing up, you gain access to the dashboard, which gives you the control to set up your web store. While similarly priced, unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t take transaction fees. It comes with a 15-day trial as well.
BigCommerce has recently released a great feature to make store designing easier than ever. It has a new visual merchandising tool called store designs that allows you to see the effects of your edit. These new exciting features make the platform much more customizable. It allows you to sell a variety of product types like digital, service-based, and physical products without having to use an app as the sales types are pre-built into the website.
It also allows you to choose your own payment gateway providers without imposing any extra transaction fee. Other features include various shipping options, options for abandoned cart recovery, multi-channel selling, few free themes, and over 100 paid themes.
BigCommerce store is protected by multiple layers of security and offers a level 1 PCI compliance. Security and hands-on monitoring features allow BigCommerce to achieve great uptime average even in times of heavy traffic.
Pros- The main selling point of big commerce is that is a powerful all-in-one solution that comes with hosting, themes, apps, access to payment gateways, blogging capabilities, etc.
Cons- With great power comes great complexity. BigCommerce might not be ideal for people who aren’t tech-savvy. However, store design features make it easy to visualize the store.
Open cart is another self-hosted open-source eCommerce platform that is popular among startups. Unlike Magento, Open cart is more easy to use and inexpensive Shopify competitors. It is a complete eCommerce solution that allows you to create an online store, add and manage products, integrate shopping cart, and then process the order. In short, it delivers all the standard features and functionalities an eCommerce store might need.
Price: Free to download but you have to pay extra for add-ons, hosting, customization, third-party integrations etc.
How easy it is to use
OpenCart is quite easy to learn but it suits businesses with some technical experience. The interface of the platform is user-friendly if you are familiar with basic website set up and development tasks.
OpenCart comes with all essential features you need for an eCommerce store like product management, Google Analytics integrations, CMS, customer management, Google analytic integration, payment management, and more. To extend the functionalities, you can use premium OpenCart add-ons. The customer service offered by Open Cart is the same as that offered by WooCommerce and Magento.
Pros- Being an open-source solution, it is available for free and you can modify the platform according to your requirements. You also get lifetime free support and software updates.
Cons- OpenCart probably is not the perfect platform to scale and customizing things is not easy.
Wix platform has the edge over Shopify with the strength of its visual design options. Started out as a website builder, the eCommerce angle was added on later. It is an all-in-one solution that comes with everything an eCommerce site needs to build and manage their own online store.
Price: Wix offers both free and premium subscriptions from $5-$30.
How easy it is to use
Wix websites are incredibly easy to set up. They not only provide professionally designed templates, but it can also be customized as well with the built-in editor. It is a great platform for first time online store owners as all maintenance and security measures are already taken care of. There are a lot of apps you can install to bring in and expand the functionalities.
Wix allows you to connect with your domain and you simply need to drag-and-drop content to get started. Though the eCommerce tools offered by Wix are basic ones, you can enjoy a streamlined package of services to track order and inventory. Multiple payment options, promotion coupons, shipping, and tax management are some of the other features of Wix stores. Wix offers Google analytics and premium support, too.
Pros- Wix is the best choice for DIY site owners operating small-scale businesses due to its intuitive setup. It also offers deep image inventory and a broad range of content options.
Cons- Wix has a lot of technical limitations, which makes it a bad choice if you want to develop custom code.
PrestaShop is one of the top Shopify alternatives that are a self-hosted and open-source shopping cart solution. As an open-source solution, it is totally free to download and easy to use. However, you have to pay for web hosting and for several modules to integrate different software programs with your online store. PrestaShop also has a SaaS or hostel option called a PrestaShop Ready version.
Price: Free, but you have to spend for add-ons.
How easy it is to use
PrestaShop online store can take some time to setup as its backend is very technical. However, the platform offers a demo to take you through the complete setup process. Once the setup is complete, you need to choose the modules needed for your eCommerce store. If your tech expertise is limited, seek the help of a developer to do the integrations. Once the setup is done, daily operations like creating and adding products, managing orders and inventory are simple.
There are over 1500 templates and a wide range of customizable themes in the official marketplace. PrestaShop also offers intuitive product creation areas where you can unlimited products you want to sell. The platform offers Google rich snippets as add-ons to add to your product links to give an immediate boost to your marketing efforts.
PrestaShop also supports a broad range of payment gateway integrations include PayPal, Amazon Pay, Word Pay, Discover global networks, etc. However, PrestaShop read comes with just 4 payment options like bank transfers, Check payments, PayPal, and stripe. Other features included are customer relationship management, ability to send automated emails after a transaction, techniques to reduce abandoned cart rate, ability to comply with laws, etc.
PrestaShop ‘s open-source version is both PCI compliant. Whereas PrestaShop ready comes with a free SSL certificate and the security accounts are already updated.
Pros- Being an open-source eCommerce platform, PrestaShop allows you to customize your store efficiently. Open-source is great if you want your eCommerce site to have a unique feel and build a memorable eCommerce brand. User-friendly interface, minimal system requirement and secure payment, are the major pros.
Cons- Though PrestaShop makes a great fit too small to mid-sized eCommerce businesses, it doesn’t fit large businesses due to limited scalability. Lack of professional designs, and the absence of official support teams, is the major cons.
Volusion is one of the popular Shopify alternate and worth considering for small and mid-range stores with a small budget. Being a modern eCommerce solution, it offers stunning themes to launch your eCommerce store.
Price: $15 to $269 per month
How easy it is to use
It is a simple eCommerce platform and the setup process is very easy. It is just a matter of choosing the template, adding your logo, and products. You can start accessing you store straight away after that.
The platform offers a broad range of responsive themes with many well-designed themes available for free. It comes with a number of different integrations and apps that help you to extend the functionality of your online store. Volusion also facilitates multiple sales channel which means it allows you to sell in multiple locations like Amazon, Facebook, eBay, etc.
The features and integrations it offers for shipping is appreciable. With shipping options like fixed shipping, free and tiered shipping, in-store pick, etc. are included. Volusion has multiple security layers on its servers to offer multilevel protection to users. It offers a Level 1 PCI compliance along with protection from DDoS attacks. Free SSL certifications are not provided but you will get best offers on a 128-bit SSL certificate.
Pros- The customer support is well-known to help users with web designing, brand publicity, and marketing needs. Priority support is not just offered to enterprise customers. All customers choosing a premium plan will be able to enjoy priority support.
Cons- Blogging and content capabilities are not native to Volusion. However, you can integrate a blog into your online store but the process is a lot more tedious. Additionally, when we say the platform is simple to use, you actually need to be technically sound to extend your online store's functionality.
Squarespace started out as a SaaS-based CMS that offers a website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service. Today it is one of the Shopify alternatives that offer cheaper eCommerce solutions to businesses. This easy and relatively minimalistic eCommerce platform suits online stores with very fewer products. Being a CMS by itself, it features plenty of functionalities, widgets, and integrations. You can easily integrate platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more. However, it is not as customizable as WordPress but doesn’t lack important features.
Price: $12-$40 per month
How easy it is to use
It is pretty much straightforward to build online stores with SqaureSpace. It offers a modern dashboard with a menu tab on the left-hand side for you to navigate from page to page. When compared to Shopify, the interface of SqaureSpace is pretty easy to understand. It also comes with an impressive range of website templates.
Squarespace offers all the basic features and functionalities catering to small to medium-sized businesses. Though lightweight, it offers all important features like basic coupons, customizable emails, mail chimp integrations, packing slips, free domains, SSL security, real-time carrier shipping, abandoned cart recovery, etc.
In SqaureSpace platform, the inventory management is kept easy with the capability to send shipping notifications, and handle refunds straight from the dashboard. SqaureSpace also has SEO and marketing functions integrated to it. SSL security is included with primary commerce plans and it is PCI compliant as well.
Pros- Affordability is the major benefit of SqaureSpace. It also offers aesthetically pleasing template designs to give your online store the look it deserves.
Cons - It lacks the advantage of extensions and doesn’t have a plugin store or app.
ShopyGen is one of the Shopify alternates which is a self-hosted multi-vendor platform to launch your own eCommerce marketplace. ShopyGen is an impressive eCommerce platform for users of any level of eCommerce experience. It is a feature-rich turnkey marketplace solution to build multi-vendor eCommerce stores. Though trial version is not offered, ShopyGen offers a fully functional live demo. It also provides a free to download lite version where you can check the quality of the code. The updates are free for lifetime for premium users.
Paying for web hosting can add up to the cost. Further, the technology stack is fixed and you cannot change it if you want. However, the next-generation tech stack has got everything you need for your eCommerce store.
How easy it is to use
Creating an eCommerce marketplace of your own cannot get easier than this. ShopyGen offers readymade solutions that is designed to be comprehensive, efficient, and fully customizable. Setting up your storefront is just a matter of minutes.
ShopyGen is a highly scalable and robust eCommerce platform with quality features and functionalities. It features a robust admin panel that is designed to manage everything from the back-end efficiently. It makes user management, content management, account management, etc. effortless with automation. A unique seller dashboard also allows sellers to manage their products and orders. Multiple revenue channels, featured listing of products, banner ads, android, and iOS mobile apps, shipping management, payment integrations, ratings and reviews, dropshipping integration, etc. are some of the best features.
Pros- The best thing about ShopyGen and what makes it a great platform for your eCommerce needs is its cost-effectiveness. If you are looking for a solution that helps you set your store instantly, ShopyGen is for you. Free installation by experts and 1-year free support are yet another major plus.
You just have to make a one-time payment to access the entire solution. Another major advantage of Shopygen is its technology stack. ShopyGgen covers the technology part for you with the most advanced eCommerce tech stack- MEAN.
CS-Cart is yet another self-hosted eCommerce platform with excellent design tools, marketing functionalities, and various other features. It is great for designing online stores in a low budget. Like ShopyGen, CS-Cart also comes with a one-time purchase, but beyond the first year, you have to pay to receive upgrades and updates. CS-Cart is a viable eCommerce solution for startups and smaller businesses.
Price: $110-$385 per year
How easy it is to use
When it comes to ease of use, CS-Cart requires a bit more technical experience than what many small businesses would expect. The easiest way to set up the storefront with CS-Cart is to check the demo. With the demo, you can view your storefront, tour the backend, make changes to your layout, etc. by using the drag-and-drop tool. After purchasing the platform, you can download and install it on your own server. With CS-Cart, daily operations and simple and intuitive.
CS-Cart features several pre-installed themes, a nice drag and drop editor, a clean admin panel, powerful product selling, marketing and conversion prowess, etc. It also offers excellent support over 8 shipping options, and 70 payment solutions. If you are familiar with the WordPress dashboard, working with CS-cart will be easy.
Pros- Intuitive admin panel, Easy addition of new languages, Unlimited categories, Multi-channel commerce, over 200 storefront themes, built-in layouts, built-in content management, SEO support are some of the major pros of CS-Cart.
Cons- The mobile site lacks intuitive features. Customer service is offered in exchange for credits that have to be purchased separately. Initially, 50 credits will be provided to every user. Smart features can slow down the server, which is a major disadvantage.
Shopify is one of the most trusted eCommerce platforms in the market, it often turns out to be the primary choice for all. But, if you value price, custom design, or any other features, it is possible that one of these Shopify alternates does it better. As you prepare to build your eCommerce store, make sure to consider these Shopify alternatives. When you make your choice, don’t just go with the popular platform in the market; choose the one that best aligns with your business requirements and values.