If 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:
- 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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
#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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See how the top three Shopify competitors compare in all the key areas with our handy table below…
As you can see from our table above, there are some important things to consider when picking a Shopify alternative.
You need to think about:
- Ease of use
- Value for money
- Customer support
- Quality of features
- Template design
Choosing the right Shopify alternative also depends on your tech skill level. If you’re a coding pro, then you should go with an open source platform like WooCommerce which gives you unlimited customization when designing your online store. However, website builders like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and BigCommerce are for tech beginners, offering everything you need for building an ecommerce store all in one place.
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.
Recap of the Best Shopify Alternatives and Competitors:
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!
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.
If you’re looking for a more advanced and technically challenging platform, you could consider either Magento or WooCommerce.
Should I use WooCommerce or Shopify?
It depends on your level of tech skill. WooCommerce is an open source platform which means you’re required to code everything yourself, and organise web hosting and security. On the other hand, Shopify is a website builder which means all the tools you need for creating an online store can be found in one place, making it super easy for anyone to build an ecommerce store.
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