Excellent Ecommerce Solutions for Your Website
WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce solutions on WordPress… but it’s not for everyone. But before making your decision, why not check out what the best WooCommerce alternatives are?
Don’t worry if you don’t have a WordPress site – we’ll cover a mixture of WordPress plugins and ecommerce website builders.
The latter are online tools which allow you to build your own website (without code!) and are ready-made for selling online.
Which route you go down depends on your needs. WordPress websites can be technical to build, so if you’re not already on the platform, we’d generally recommend using an ecommerce website builder instead.
For a side-by-side comparison of the top platforms, head over to our ecommerce website builder comparison chart. In this article, we’ll cover the top three on the market.
First though, for those that are on WordPress, let’s have a first look at your WooCommerce alternatives:
- Ecwid – A shopping cart plugin for WordPress
- WP eCommerce – WordPress’ own ecommerce plugin
For anyone yet to create their website, this next list is for you. Below, you can see the best ecommerce website builders for making your very own online store:
- Shopify – Best all-around ecommerce website builder
- Wix eCommerce – Best ‘normal’ website builder with ecommerce functionality
- BigCommerce – Best built-in ecommerce features
It’s cool if you’re a little lost – it can all get confusing pretty quickly – but relax, we’re going to really clearly and simply discuss all five of these WooCommerce alternatives in detail below.
Ready? Let’s dig in.
WooCommerce may be WordPress’ most popular ecommerce plugin, but that doesn’t automatically make it the best.
A plugin is kind of like an ‘app’ that you install on WordPress to add a cool feature to your site. In this case, that’s the ability to sell online.
So, if you don’t fancy WooCommerce, what are you other options?
- You can use Ecwid for free
- Easy to use
- 4.5 star rating from WordPress users
- Limited sales tools
- Not suitable for enterprise-level businesses
Ecwid was founded in 2009 with the simple goal of helping small businesses sell online. It works alongside your existing site, enabling a shopping cart feature which comes with great tools.
Ecwid works seamlessly with WordPress websites and is available to download as a plugin from the inventory section. It’s used by over one million people and has, at the time of writing, generated its merchants just shy of $3.5 million in revenue.
- Multi-Channel Integration – Sell your products across marketplaces, like eBay and Amazon, and on social media networks, like Facebook and Instagram.
- Automated Shipping, Payment, and Taxes – Choose from 45+ different payment options, use Ecwid’s integrated shipping carriers, and have your taxes automatically calculated.
- Mobile Optimized – Supports all themes and will reformat to fit mobile and tablet screen sizes. There’s also a mobile app which you can manage your store from.
- Website Security – Free backups and restores are standard plus a PCI DSS Level 1 security certificate.
- WooCommerce Export – If you’re already selling through WooCommerce, it’s easy to automatically export all your products and move them to Ecwid.
Ecwid currently offers four pricing plans, with each designed for a different need. None enforce a transaction fee, but there are clear differences in terms of the features you get – as you can see below:
- Free ($0/month) – Sell up to 10 products completely free of charge! Of course, there are many features you won’t get access to (like abandoned cart recovery, advanced SEO tools, and discount coupons), but it’s a solid starting base.
- Venture ($15/month) – Allows you to sell up to 100 products and start selling across social media. You also get automated tax calculations, inventory management, discount coupons, and advanced SEO tools.
- Business ($35/month) – Sell up to 2,500 products and sell across marketplaces as well as social media. Abandoned cart recovery emails are also included, as are product filters and wholesale pricing groups.
- Unlimited ($99/month) – Sell unlimited products and gain full access to all of Ecwid’s features. Unique perks exclusive to the Unlimited plan include Square POS integration, your own branded iOS and Android shopping app, and priority help and support.
Ecwid Help and Support
There are plenty of ways to get help on with Ecwid and we’ve generally found the support to be pretty responsive. It’s worth knowing, though, that support is only available in English.
- Help Center – An online resource packed full of advice and ‘how to’ guides. Available to anyone.
- Live Chat – Talk to one of Ecwid’s staff online. Available to anyone, 24/5 (Monday-Friday).
- Phone – Request a call-back from an advisor. Available on Business and Unlimited plans, 2pm-10pm PDT (5pm-1am EDT)
- Priority Support – Those on Ecwid’s Unlimited plan will have their queries and issues prioritized and receive faster responses.
WP eCommerce Pros
- Designed specifically for WordPress
- Advanced customization available
- 3.5 star rating from WordPress users
WP eCommerce Cons
- Average customer reviews
- Poor help and support
WP eCommerce can be thought of as WordPress’ little sidekick. WordPress steals the show, helping millions of users build and design their own website. But when it comes to online stores, WP eCommerce is there waiting and ready to help.
It was first added to WordPress in 2006 and has been available as a plugin ever since. The major draw of WP eCommerce is the level of customization you get. Just like WordPress, you can directly edit CSS and HTML code to really put your own stamp on your online store.
WP eCommerce Features
- Inventory Management Tools – Control stock levels, orders, and product categories all in one place.
- Integrated Shipping and Payments – Choose from dozens of payment gateways and shipping couriers.
- Advanced CSS and HTML customization – Edit the raw code of your online store to create a truly unique feel and layout.
- WordPress Multisite Integration – Roll your store out across multiple websites seamlessly. Perfect if you’re a large business who needs to sell on more than one website.
- SSL Security – SSL certificate that protects your customers when they check out – a vital security measure. SSL certificates cost $X+ when purchased separately, or many WordPress hosting providers also include them.
WP eCommerce Pricing
WP eCommerce – just like WordPress – is completely free to use. What you do pay for, however, is any add-ons you require. WP eCommerce has 16 add-ons which vary from extra payment gateways and gift certificates, to subscription options and digital download importers.
All of these add-ons have three price points: for single sites, 2-5 sites, and unlimited sites. Prices vary but in general they’re around $99-$250 each.
WP eCommerce Help and Support
One of WordPress’ major flaws is the lack of personal help and support available, and the same is true of WP eCommerce. There are general resources, like forums and online guides, but there’s no free support that you can contact.
Premium support can be paid monthly at $49/month, or in one lump sum for $499/year. This lets you view video tutorials and contact the support team.
Alternatively, you can hire an expert who will build your online store for you. These professional developers work on a quote basis, but you will have to be prepared to pay big bucks!
If you’re yet to create your online store, why not use an ecommerce website builder? They’re beginner-friendly, online platforms that help anyone design the online store of their dreams.
Unlike WooCommerce, these aren’t plugins. They are fully-fledged online store builders that keep everything from the design and layout of your site, to your inventory all under the same roof.
Choosing which ecommerce website builder to use, however, can prove tricky. Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork. Here at Website Builder Expert, we’ve rigorously tested the best ecommerce platforms on the market. These are our top three WooCommerce/WordPress alternatives:
- Sell across multiple channels including Facebook, Instagram, Amazon and eBay
- Brilliant inventory system which helps you manage your store efficiently
- Came first in our research for sales features and customer score
- Was the ecommerce platform our users were most likely to recommend after testing’
- You have to create your storefront between the editor and dashboard, which means flicking between the two
- The only platform to enforce its own transaction fee unless you use its own payment gateway, Shopify Payments
- Content doesn’t automatically reformat if you switch to a different theme
Shopify came out as the best overall ecommerce website builder from our research. Below, you can see how Shopify performed in our testing across some key areas:
Shopify is purpose-built for creating online stores. All the themes on show (the template which forms the layout of your website) are designed with products in mind.
Another big plus is the sales features and tools. There are plenty of great features that help you market and sell your products, with plenty more are available to install from its app market.
- Sell Unlimited Products – You can sell an unlimited number of products (physical and digital) on every plan.
- Multi-Channel Integration – Sell across marketplaces and social media, managing all your inventory from one place.
- Discount Codes – Create and advertise discount codes for your users. They could be available to everyone, or just something you use for email marketing.
- Abandoned Cart Recovery – If someone leaves your site with items still in their cart, Shopify will send them automated email reminders to help you recoup otherwise lost sales.
Shopify offers a 14-day free trial, so you can easily take it for a spin risk-free before committing to one of its three main plans:.
- Basic Shopify ($29/month) – Unsurprisingly, this plan equips you with all the basics you need to create an online store. You get all the above features plus printable shipping labels, manual order creation, and Shopify’s POS (Point of Sale) app.
- Shopify ($79/month) – For growing businesses who want to scale. You’ll receive gift cards and professional sales reports on top of everything we’ve discussed.
- Advanced Shopify ($299/month) – For medium-to-large businesses. You get an advanced report builder and automatically calculated shipping rates. Essentially, much of the sales process becomes self-sufficient.
There are two other plans – Shopify Lite and Shopify Plus – but these are for creating a Facebook shop (Lite) or for enterprise-level businesses (Plus).
One thing you will have to be wary of with Shopify is transaction fees. If you don’t use Shopify’s own payment gateway, Shopify will take a small percentage of each transaction fee.
Shopify Help and Support
- Help Center – Shopify’s own online resource with a range of multimedia guides on how to use the platform.
- Live Chat and Phone – Around the clock, 24/7 personal support for all Shopify customers.
- Email – You can also email any queries you have and Shopify’s support staff will respond to you.
- Advanced Support – Those using Shopify Plus will be assigned a personal Merchant Success Manager (MSM) who will help you set up your store and be on hand should you encounter any problems.
Wix eCommerce Pros
- Wix’s editor shows you how your edits are impacting the design of your storefront
- The interface is easy to use, with a drag-and-drop editor and mobile responsive templates
- Strong focus on creating a developed and attractive brand to sell products through
Wix eCommerce Cons
- Wix won’t tell you when levels are running low, making it difficult to scale
- Total creative freedom can get in the way of ecommerce design best practices
Unlike Shopify, Wix isn’t purpose-built for online stores. It is, however, the best regular website builder on the market.
Here you can see how Wix stacks up from a pure ecommerce perspective:
Wix offers you a choice of 510 professionally designed templates and uses a drag-and-drop editor. This means you can move any part of your site anywhere on the page. It’s this limitless control that attracts so many people to Wix.
Wix eCommerce Features
- ADI Option – If you don’t want to design a website yourself, Wix’s design-assisted technology can build one for you. Simply answer some questions about the type of site you want, and Wix ADI will take care of the rest.
- Email Marketing – Wix has its own tool, Wix Ascend, which will allow you to take full control over your email marketing and run campaigns.
- Advanced Ecommerce Plugins – You can also connect Ecwid, giving your Wix site all the extra ecommerce power and functionality that Ecwid offers.
- Store Management – Easily track your orders and inventory, and keep in constant contact with your customers with email shoutouts and newsletters.
Wix eCommerce Pricing
Wix offers seven pricing plans in total, but only three of them allow you to sell online:
- Business Basic ($20/month) – This is for those who simply want to sell products. You get 20GB of storage space, 5 hours of video, use of Google Analytics, a one-year free domain, and no Wix branding on your site.
- Business Unlimited ($25/month) – If you want to grow your business, then this plan is for you. 35GB of storage, 10 hours of video, and a professionally designed logo are all standard.
- Business VIP ($35/month) – If you want everything Wix eCommerce has to offer, choose this plan and receive 50GB of storage, unlimited video hours, priority response, and VIP support.
Wix eCommerce Help and Support
- Help Center – Wix’s detailed online resource, full of guides on how to use the platform.
- On-Editor Help – This is a big thing that very few other platforms offer. Get help as you’re editing, without having to leave the editor.
- Phone and Email – Available Monday to Thursday, 5am-5pm EST
- Most scalable ecommerce platform
- More built-in features than any competitor
- Lets you sell across multiple channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest
- Fantastic SEO tools
- Complex terminology is unsuitable for beginners
- Editing interface is difficult to navigate
BigCommerce is much more like Shopify than Wix. It’s designed for online stores and comes jam-packed full of built-in sales tools and features to help your business grow.
Here you can see how BigCommerce performed in our independent research testing:
Where BigCommerce wins out against Shopify is its built-in features. Shopify has a lot of out-of-the-box sales tool, but there are certain things you may have to install and pay separately for as an app. With BigCommerce, nearly everything is included in the monthly cost.
Heads Up: Save With BigCommerce
- Multi-Channel Integration – Sell through your website and across marketplaces and social media.
- Coupons and Discounts – Create over 70 different types of discounts and promotions.
- Advanced SEO Tools – Get more traffic with customizable, SEO-friendly URLS, and out-of-the-box metadata editing.
BiCommerce has three main plans which all have no enforced transaction fees and let you sell unlimited products.
- Standard ($29.95/month) – Sell across multiple channels, accept a variety of payment options, get real time shipping quotes, allow your customers to leave product reviews and more.
- Plus ($79.95/month) – Make the step up and build customer groups, use abandoned cart recovery emails, and store customer credit cards for repeat purchases.
- Pro ($249.95/month) – BigCommerce’s top plan lets you use product filtering, price lists, unlimited API calls, and priority support.
BigCommerce Help and Support
- Live Chat, Email and Phone – Available 24/7 to all BigCommerce customers.
- Advanced Support – If you’re on BigCommerce’s Enterprise plan (you will have to contact BigCommerce directly for a quote) you’ll get dedicated support staff.
So, we’ve made it to the end – congrats! But what have we learned?
Well, by now you should have a pretty reasonable idea of what the best WooCommerce alternatives are, how they work, and which one suits you best. Here’s our final recap of the choices:
5 Best WooCommerce Alternatives
- Ecwid – A WordPress plugin which allows you to add a shopping cart to your site
- WP eCommerce – WordPress’ own ecommerce plugin with advanced design
- Shopify – The best ecommerce website builder on the market today
- Wix eCommerce – An amazing, easy-to-use website builder with great customization
- BigCommerce – An advanced ecommerce website builder with powerful built-in tools
What WooCommerce Alternative do we recommend?
This really boils down to two things: whether you already have a WordPress website, and how many products you want to sell.
- If you already have a WordPress site, we’d see the Ecwid and BigCommerce plugins as the best WooCommerce alternatives.
- If you’re yet to create a website and need to sell in bulk, Shopify is your best bet.
- If you’re yet to create a website and only have a few products to sell, Wix is the smart choice.
Are there any other WooCommerce alternatives?
Yes! We’ve listed the best five alternatives for you in this guide, but if you’re after something different, there are other options. For WordPress, try searching through its plugin directory for ecommerce plugins. See the best ecommerce platforms here.
Is WooCommerce any good?
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress and it’s certainly got some great features. That said, it’s not that beginner-friendly and there’s a real lack of help and support. This means that you’ll probably end up having to pay for a developer’s help to use it.
How do ecommerce website builders work?
Ecommerce website builders are tools that help you build an online store from start to finish. You pick a theme or template to work off, then populate it with your own products and content.
You can manage everything from one central dashboard, with everything like hosting, customization, and security included in one monthly price. To learn more, read our overview of ecommerce website builders.