Top 6 Shopify Alternatives & Competitors – Other eCommerce Options

Last updated on November 28, 2018

shopify alternatives ecommerceIf you are looking for alternatives to Shopify – good news, there are definitely a few competitors to Shopify that you should consider.

Even though Shopify is one of the best ecommerce website builders available in the market today if you want to build an online store, that doesn’t always mean that they are the best platform for you.

If you are in the initial research phase and haven’t actually tried out Shopify yet, we’d highly recommend you give them a test drive as they do offer you a 14-day free trial. (You can see our detailed review on Shopify here).

However, if you have already given Shopify a test drive, and you’re not sure or you know they are not a good fit for you, we’ll go over a few alternatives in this discussion article.

Some Shopify alternatives will have roughly similar or equivalent tools for you to build and grow your business, and some will have less (if you are looking for a simpler, less advanced / complex platform).

We’ll cover a bit more about the differences in our list of Shopify competitors below.

Here is a summary of our recommended alternatives:

Shopify Alternatives

  • BigCommerce – a hosted platform (less effort for you) for larger businesses, plans from $29.95/m
  • Volusion – a hosted platform with great analytics features and payment gateways, plans starting from $29/m
  • WooCommerce – a self-hosted platform (more challenging) for larger businesses, free plans available (plus hosting costs)
  • Wix – a hosted drag and drop website builder for smaller businesses, plans from $20/m
  • Squarespace – a hosted drag and drop website builder with stunning designs and powerful ecommerce features, plans from $18/m
  • Weebly – a hosted and very easy to use website builder for smaller businesses, plans from $8/m

Now that you know who they are, let’s keep moving so we can explain the differences between them, what that means to you, and which one you should test out.

Further Information

eCommerce Builder Comparison Chart – you can also see our comparison chart of online store builders here.

1

Shopify Competitors

If you need an ecommerce platform that is a bit more advanced, have a lot of tools and flexibility (just like Shopify), here are a few alternatives for you to consider.

These are ideal for you if you want to build larger stores (very roughly speaking, more than 10 products), if you have a high sales volume business, or if you need the ability and flexibility to customize your ecommerce store.

If you want a Shopify alternative that is simpler, easier to use, then skip ahead to the next section.

#1. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a very reputable ecommerce platform that you can help you build your online store without you having to be tech savvy or know how to code (although it definitely helps if you have some coding skills, but not a necessary skill).

Shopify alternatives competitors - bigcommerce
BigCommerce is the best ecommerce builder for large and fast growing businesses.

They are a hosted ecommerce builder, meaning that it’s a “one shop stop” for you to build your online store.

You don’t have to get your own hosting services, so you don’t have to worry about security upgrades and configurations. Just like Shopify, BigCommerce takes care of all the back-end technical aspect of operating an ecommerce store for you.

This allows you to get your store up and running, and start selling very quickly. Insert your content / products, connect to a payment processor and you’re off to the races.

Sure there is an initial set up time, but after you’re done that, you can focus on growing your business (sales & marketing, fulfillment of products, optimizing your store), and not have to spend too much time (or if at all) worrying about troubleshooting tech issues.

Not to mention, BigCommerce has a 24/7 dedicated support team (phone, live chat, email support) so you always have someone to reach out to if you need any help.

Further Information

#2. Volusion

Volusion is a hosted ecommerce platform which is designed to help get your store up and running. It’s not as easy to use or powerful as BigCommerce, but it has a lot to offer for the right business!

volusion ecommerce builder
Volusion is a popular platform offering an all-in-one solution for your online store. It has great analytics and data tools to help you track and grow your business.

Like BigCommerce and Shopify, Volusion is a specialized ecommerce platform. It’s hosted for you and has the tools to make your start in online selling as easy and successful as possible. In our research it came just after BigCommerce for its sales features. So you can trust it’s got the toolkit to build a sturdy business.

These features include abandoned cart recovery and the ability to personalize invoices, packing slips and POS receipts. This is a great example of how Volusion want its customers to succeed and stand out from the crowd.

Volusion’s biggest strength is in its impressive analytics and data reporting tools. You can analyze customer behaviours, monitor stock levels, record revenue and total orders, and track conversions.

It’s easy to keep track and analyze all your data because Volusion pulls all your sales into one location. This is especially useful if you’re selling across multiple channels like Facebook. Basically, Volusion’s big data tools allow you to easily analyze and organize your business.

With four price plans to choose from offering a range of features and support options, Volusion’s got something for everyone. But, be warned: Volusion has extra costs such as purchasing an SSL certificate. This is normally included in price plans, so can come as a surprise.

Volusion isn’t the easiest builder to use, so if you’re looking for something more simple to set up you’re better off with Weebly, Wix, Squarespace or BigCommerce. But if you’re ready to roll your sleeves up and are excited about tracking the success of your store, Volusion is a top choice.

Further Information

#3. WooCommerce with WordPress.org

Traditionally, WordPress has been known to be a blogger’s platform. That’s simply not true anymore as WordPress is advanced enough to power some of the biggest websites in the world, including some pretty advanced ecommerce stores.

Leading the charge with providing WordPress sites with ecommerce capability is WooCommerce by WooThemes. This means that your ecommerce website has to be built on the WordPress platform, and use the tools offered by WooCommerce to create your online store.

Shopify Alternatives - WooCommerce
Sell through WordPress using WooCommerce for a powerful ecommerce alternative to Shopify.

What’s interesting is that WooThemes was acquired by Automattic, which operates WordPress.com and contributes to WordPress.org. So WooCommerce is definitely highly regarded by WordPress.

WooCommerce indicated on their website that they are currently powering over 29% of all online stores, an impressive feat to say the least.

WordPress.org is an open source platform. This means that if you want to use WooCommerce to power your ecommerce store, you will have to have some technical skills, or have the capacity to hire a good developer to help you build and maintain the technical aspects of the website (such as getting your own hosting services set up).

The basic WooCommerce framework is free for you to download, and they also offer you a lot of free extensions / tools. But if you want more advanced features, you can also purchase premium extensions.

If you don’t have the technical appetite to do a lot of system admin work yourself, or someone to help you build or maintain your store, then WordPress / WooCommerce may not be the right choice for you.

At the end of the day, you can build a very advanced and capable ecommerce store with WooCommerce, but you’ll need to commit to the technical aspects of operating your store.

WooCommerce / WordPress is not as easy to use as Shopify, and unlike Shopify, you will be responsible for all the backend technical work.

By the way, if you are looking for a premium WordPress hosting service, we also recommend WP Engine. They’re a bit pricier than some other traditional hosting services, but they are a dedicated WordPress hosting service, and their services / support are quite good.

Further Information

2

Shopify Alternatives

For smaller stores that require easier to use ecommerce tools.

If you don’t need a very advanced or flexible platform like Shopify, and prefer to use something simpler, more user-friendly, cheaper and offers 24/7 support, then here are a few recommendations.

#1. Wix eCommerce

Wix is a pure drag and drop website builder, meaning that you can literally place any content anywhere on your website. It’s also becoming one of our favourite ecommerce platforms too.

Wix eCommerce is very easy to use (no coding or technical skills required whatsoever), has an excellent dedicated support team (phone or email), and has a team of developers to manage all the technical details for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything but building and running your ecommerce store.

New features like Wix Code and SEO Wiz can even help you grow your online store quickly through dynamic page creation (think individual pages for every product you sell all created with just a few clicks) and help potential customers find it through search engines.

Shopify Alternatives competitors - Wix
Wix is a website builder which gives you the tools to easily create a professional online store.

The thing that Wix does great as an ecommerce platform is that it simplifies everything. You’ll save a lot of time and effort using Wix as the easy-to-use editor makes it painless to tweak existing, professionally designed ecommerce templates into a beautiful, fully functioning online store for your business.

Wix’s selection of ecommerce features are not quite as advanced or comprehensive as pure ecommerce website builders we discussed above (including Shopify), they’re easy to use and coverall the basics you need to build a functional store to sell products.

As the number of ecommerce stores on Wix grows, the company is turning its focus more and more towards these user and regularly adding more features. Wix has a great reputation for innovation and so a greater focus on the ecommerce side of things can only be good news!

If you are a small business owner and want to build an online store, without messing around with techie stuff, then Wix is an excellent option for you to try out.

Further Information

#2. Squarespace

Squarespace is a website builder which supports strong ecommerce features. You don’t need to know coding or have a degree in web design to build a stunning store with Squarespace.

It has the best quality designs on the market, and comes with a great inventory system.

squarespace shopify alternative
Squarespace provides stunning designer templates to show off your products. Top quality website features and a strong inventory system support the success of your online store.

This is a sleek and streamlined builder. You don’t need to find your own hosting or worry about running your own updates. This is all handled for you, making it quick and easy to start selling.

You can add custom code if you want to, but with the top quality of Squarespace’s templates it’s not needed. It’s no surprise Squarespace came top for design flexibility in our research – you can switch templates anytime and even work on multiple designs at once.

Squarespace isn’t just a pretty face either. Considering it’s a website builder first and foremost, with ecommerce functionality included, it’s got some high quality ecommerce features.

SSL security is included, making your site safe for visitors to trust. Abandoned cart recovery and customer accounts make for a speedy and easy shopping experience on your store.

Squarespace also has a really strong inventory system. It totally outshines its competitors Wix and Weebly. In fact, Squarespace’s inventory system is more on Shopify’s level. For example you can upload products one at a time or in bulk, and track your stock levels through email alerts.

Squarespace’s ecommerce plans range from $18 – $40 a month (billed annually). Although it’s easier to use than BigCommerce, it’s not the most beginner friendly builder out there. So if you want something super simple, check out Wix and Weebly instead.

Further Information

#3.Weebly eCommerce

Weebly is currently one of the best drag and drop website builders for small businesses and portfolio sites on the market.

Compared to Wix, Weebly has fewer tools but as mentioned they are very user-friendly.

shopify alternatives competitors - Weebly
Weebly is a website builder which offers ecomerce on all its paid plans so you can easily sell online.

Their ecommerce features are fairly comprehensive and simple to use (but nowhere as comprehensive as Shopify), allowing you to build an online store very quickly without having any technical skills, or worrying about any technical aspects of website building.

Although Weebly’s ecommerce tools are not as comprehensive as pure online store builders such as Shopify and BigCommerce, they do have enough features for you to build a successful online store.

Again, they are a very user-friendly and intuitive website builder, so the learning curve is very low. It’s a great ecommerce software for beginners.

Weebly is free to create a website with, and you have options to upgrade to their premium plans if you want to sell online and unlock more features.

Further Information

Conclusion - Shopify Alternatives & Competitors

If you have tested Shopify and didn’t find that they are a good fit for you, or if you are still in the initial research stage, there are a few other Shopify alternatives for you to consider.

If you want an ecommerce platform that is more advanced (just like Shopify), then consider taking a look at:

The advantage of BigCommerce and Volusion is that they are fully hosted platforms for you, so you get both flexibility and technical support if you are building a larger ecommerce store.

With WooCommerce, you will need to be a bit more hands-on with managing and maintaining the technical aspects of your website. Or, you can hire a developer to help you out with those tasks. This ecommerce platform is very flexible and can be heavily customized (but as mentioned, will take a lot of heavy technical work).

If you are looking for a Shopify alternative that is easier to use, require almost no technical skills, but you are fine with less advanced tools and flexibility, then take a look at:

These are drag and drop website builders and enables you to build a good website without having to write a line of code. It’s ideal for simpler stores and is something you can completely manage and build on your own without having any technical skills.

So at the end of the day, there is no absolute right or wrong choice for you, and you will have to do a bit of testing to find out which platform is best for your needs.

The good thing about BigCommerce, Volusion, Wix, Squarespace and Weebly is that you can take their platforms on a free test drive without committing too much time to determining if they are a good fit for you. You can actually build a basic store really quickly to get a good sense of how they work (since you don’t need any technical skills to build a store with them).

With WordPress, even though it is free, you’ll have to commit more time and resources to build a basic store to know if it’s a good fit for you. If you are deathly afraid of all things technical, then WordPress is probably a non-starter for you.

So there are definitely alternatives to Shopify available for you. Give the ones above a try and see which one you like!

FAQs

What is the easiest to use Shopify alternative?

We recommend Weebly to anyone who is looking to create an online store simply and quickly. Their editor is extremely easy to use so your online store can be up and running in a matter of hours.

Read more about Weebly in our detailed Weebly Ecommerce Review to find out if it’s your perfect match.

This being said, it’s a good idea to test out a couple of website builders before settling with your final choice. Everyone finds different things easy, so your answer might not be the same as ours!

What is the cheapest Shopify alternative?

Technically, WooCommerce are the cheapest Shopify alternatives as it’s free to use. But, what you have to bear in mind is that this is a self-hosted ecommerce platform, which means you have to pay for hosting yourself. This could be from $5-$15 a month. You will also need to connect your own domain name, which is around $10 a year.

If you’re not technically savvy, or run into difficulty building your store, you might also have to hire a developer to help you. This can become quite expensive.

Weebly is a hosted, drag and drop website builder that offers plans from $8 a month. This makes it a great choice if you’re a non-technical person looking for a very reasonably priced option.

Which Shopify alternative has the best templates?

Squarespace has the best quality designs of any builder on the market. You can create a truly stunning store with any of these, without knowing a single line of code! All Squarespace templates have ecommerce functionality, so you have over 60 to choose from. There are 12 templates in the online store category if you want  a really specialized design.

If you want a bigger range of choice without sacrificing quality, take a look at Wix. Wix has a huge range of stunning templates that allow your store to look professional and polished with hardly any effort from you at all! And the choice you get with Wix is amazing – they have over 510 templates for you to choose from!

Which Shopify alternative is best for small businesses?

For online stores that are going to be selling under 50 products, we recommend Wix as the best Shopify alternative.

Wix’s ecommerce tools allow you to create a professional and fully-functional online store in no time at all! Read more about it in our full Wix eCommerce Review to see if it’s right for you.  

Which Shopify alternative is best for large businesses?

If you’re a non-technical person and you’re hoping to sell more than 50 products on your online store, BigCommerce is the best Shopify alternative. They are a ‘one stop shop’ ecommerce website builder.

You can read more about its features, sales tools and more in our BigCommerce Review, or see how it compares to Shopify in our BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison.

If you’re looking for a more advanced and technically challenging platform, you could consider either Magento or WooCommerce.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

Lucy Carney

About Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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Lucy Carney

About Lucy Carney

You’re not alone! Building a website can be scary, especially if you’re like me with no previous coding experience. With the help of our experts I’m here as a friendly voice to help guide you into the exciting world of website building. If I can do it, so can you!

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9 Responses to Top 6 Shopify Alternatives & Competitors – Other eCommerce Options

  1. #

    Nice collection. However not sure if including Woocommerce is relevant here (as a competitor of Shopify), because it’s not actually a self-hosted solution and requires to install many add-ons in order to get the same functionality as Shopify or Bigcommerce. For the Shopify alternatives, I’d also include Volusion, Shoplo and Bigcartel.

    • Tom Watts
      #

      Hi Jul,

      Thanks for joining the discussion.

      Both Magento and WooCommerce are self-hosted ecommerce solutions, and both are among the most popular platforms for online entrepreneurs. This is why we chose them as relevant competitors to Shopify.

      They may require a bit more experience and expertise to use and make the most of their potential, especially if compared to Shopify’s hosted solution, but they are both solid alternatives.

      Thanks for your suggestions, we actually look at Volusion in more detail here.

      Thanks for reading,
      – Tom

  2. #

    Great Alternatives.

  3. #

    Thanks for the article, it was good.
    I have a question about transferring my site from for example a Shopify to another host maybe a BigCommerce for example? And once the site is built, maybe using wordpress as the code, who owns the code behind the site that you build?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Part of the challenge of using hosted ecommerce builders such as Shopify and BigCommerce is that you can’t just take the code of your online store and insert it elsewhere. Your store relies on the platform’s framework in order to function and once it is out of the framework, it won’t work.

      This is the same as WordPress – once you extract the codes out of WordPress’ framework, it won’t work elsewhere.

      That’s why it is quite important that you thoroughly test each ecommerce builder before committing. Re-platforming (changing to another platform) is always a pain. What you can do is export your product details in CSV format (similar to Excel) and import those details into the new platform. That should save you a lot of time. But when it comes to the design codes, that’s more challenging.

      Jeremy

  4. #

    Thanks for the comprehensive and concise review of alternatives to Shopify. 🙂 WIll recommend this article to a friend looking to set up a small store.

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hey Riz,

      Thanks so much for sharing our discussions here! I really appreciate it.

      Jeremy

  5. #

    Hi, Great and helpful review, thanks.

    Im looking for an ecommerce web builder that integrates with eBay and amazon. Also want to have my own auctions as i am selling collectable items…….Any suggestions?

    • Jeremy
      #

      Hi Yurra,

      I know that Shopify can integrate with Amazon’s Amazon Payments and Fulfillment by Amazon. But it doesn’t have good integration tools with eBay.

      Bigcommerce can be integrated with eBay (such as pushing products from your Bigcommerce store to eBay listings), but I don’t think they have integration with Amazon.

      So it doesn’t look like there is a single platform here that will integrate seamlessly with both marketplaces!

      But I’m pretty sure if you’re willing to spend a bit of money, you can hire a capable coder to custom integrate all these marketplaces / platforms for you. This is assuming you have a pretty sizable store already.

      If you don’t have a very well established online store, then you might want to consider starting small, and manually listing your products across platforms and see if you can get any momentum. If you can get traction and relatively assured that you can grow your venture into a profitable business, then you can decide at that point whether you want to invest in integrating the platforms.

      Jeremy