Magento Alternatives 2020: Which Is Your Best Option?

Are you on the hunt for the best Magento alternatives?

If you’re just starting out with your own ecommerce website, you may have stumbled across Magento. Magento is one of the industry’s most popular store building platforms, with over 260,000 merchants, an expansive suite of features, and complete customizability.

But as open-source software, its true potential is unlocked by users boasting coding know-how. If that sounds like it might pose a challenge, don’t despair.

There are plenty of alternatives to Magento that could be the right fit for you. So, we've looked at the best Magento alternatives on the market, to save you having to wade through all the options.

Let's jump in!

Top 7  Magento Alternatives

About Magento

Founded back in 2007, Magento soon caught the eye of some of eCommerce's most prominent players and was purchased by eBay/X.comemrce in 2011. Adobe finally bought it in 2018.

Magento is available in two forms:

  1. Magento Open Source: This was formerly named the Magento Community Edition, and is free to download and install.
  2. Magento Commerce: Formerly known as the Magento Enterprise Edition. Initially, this was intended for enterprise-level businesses with developers on hand and came with a high price tag.

Nowadays, Magento encourages smaller businesses to sign up for its SaaS platform. However, plenty of small businesses utilize the open-source version (especially business owners with the programming smarts to make the most out of it).

magento homepage

Pricing

Magento‘s open-source option, although free to download and use, isn't free to implement. You'll need to budget for web hosting, domain names, add-ons, and SSL certificates – that's as well as any payment processing fees. You'll need to research all this yourself, while many Magento alternatives factor these costs into their packages to provide a more streamlined service.

Best for Mid-Sized to Large Businesses

It takes quite a bit of time, money, and energy to install and manage your site – especially with all the heavy lifting required on the development side. As such, Magento is (usually) better suited to mid-sized and larger businesses with web developers on their team to handle these tasks.

In short, if you're just starting out, this solution probably isn't the best choice for you.

Technical Requirements

Depending on the version of Magento you’re using, you'll need to meet several hardware and software requirements. So, check for these in the installation guide for the Magento version you're using.

Here are just some of the requirements involved:

  • Operating System: Linux Distributions
  • Memory: You'll need (at least) the specified amount of RAM on your machine
  • Web Server: Apache or Nginx
  • Database: MySQL
  • Scripting Language: PHP
  • Composer: You need a package manager for PHP, for developing Magento extensions and contributing to the existing code
  • SSL Certificate: To enable secure HTTPs protocols, you'll need to purchase a valid, non-self-signed certificate

You also have to use an up-to-date web browser – Chrome, Edge, or Safari are all viable options. It’s also worth noting, Magento will cease all software support and security patches as of June 2020. Again, this may be just another reason to look at Magento alternatives.

Features

Magento has an impressive list of features – even with the open-source version, including:

  • An integrated checkout, payment, and shipping
  • Mobile optimized shopping
  • Global selling
  • Catalog management tools
  • An extensive app marketplace
  • Instant purchase options for your customers
  • Site search

More features are available with the Magento Commerce subscription, including:

  • B2B functionality
  • Advanced marketing tools
  • Visual merchandising
  • Customer loyalty tools
  • Content staging and previews
  • Business intelligence dashboards
  • Technical support
  • Cloud availability
  • Performance monitoring tools

The Takeaway on Magento:

Assuming you're not employing a web developer, Magento might present a challenge to you in terms of unlocking its full customizability and potential. Plus, the open-source version is limited in features, so there's a good chance you want to compare Magento against other SaaS models regardless.

So, now we know what we're comparing to, let’s dive into our more beginner-friendly Magento alternatives…

Best Magento Alternatives

Shopify

best magento alternatives - shopify

Shopify is perhaps the best-known eCommerce solution on the market, and as such, it naturally made it onto our list of top Magento alternatives. Shopify powers over 1,000,000 businesses worldwide, and is jam-packed full of features for running and managing online stores.

This platform makes designing an ecommerce website from scratch and managing sales and product inventories a breeze! With over 70 customizable themes, Shopify ensures that branding your digital storefront is easy. It comes with a full blogging platform and access to your site's HTML and CSS – so if you know how to code, you can tweak your store as much as you like!

Shopify‘s also well-renown for being incredibly scalable, so any size of business can benefit from this solution. Also, if you still don't have your own web domain yet, you can purchase one through Shopify.

Not to mention, Shopify has an active network of merchants and developers, so there are tons of resources to help newcomers get started.

Features:

  • A full blogging platform
  • You can edit the source HTML and CSS
  • Themes are mobile-optimized for eCommerce
  • There are over 70 themes to choose from
  • You get a free SSL certificate
  • An abandoned checkout recovery tools
  • 100 payment gateways
  • You can offer free shipping
  • Shopify supports multiple languages
  • You can set flexible shipping rates
  • Automatic tax calculation
  • Customer groups, profiles, and accounts
  • Email templates for email marketing
  • Dropshipping integrations
  • Facebook selling
  • Gift card and discounting tools
  • Adwords credit
  • SEO optimization tools
  • Inventory management
  • You can list and sell unlimited wares, including digital products and multiple product variations
  • Shopify's a fully hosted platform
  • An analytics dashboard where you can create and export product reports
  • 24/7 support by email, live chat, and phone

Pricing

Shopify offers three different pricing tiers. While there's no free plan, it has one of the most generous trial periods amidst all the Magento alternatives listed here- 90 days. Plus, no credit card's required. So if you’re unsure, this trial's definitely worth checking out!

  • Basic Shopify: $29 a month – this provides all the basics you need for starting a new business
  • Shopify: $79 a month – here you get all the tools you need to grow your business. It unlocks features like professional reports and being able to create and accept gift cards.
  • Advanced Shopify: $299 a month – this grants you access to advanced features for scaling your business. For instance, third-party calculated shipping rates and an advanced report builder

Shopify Payments take a transaction fee with online and in-person credit cards, but these charges reduce with Shopify's higher-priced plans. However, they start at 2.9% + 30 cents for every sale you make. There's also an additional charge for all other payment providers (other than Shopify Payments) at 2%.

Pros:

  • 24/7 support
  • A generous trial period
  • Access to thousands of apps to expand your site's features
  • Built-in SEO and analytics
  • It's easy to use
  • Shopify's easily scalable as your business grows
  • An expansive set of features

Cons

  • No free plan
  • You're charged transaction fees on top of your subscription costs
  • Some of the add-ons and plugins come with a price tag
  • Some of Shopify's themes are more straightforward than others to customize

Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus is an ecommerce platform explicitly designed for high-volume enterprise brands. This advanced version of the SaaS, provides unlimited bandwidth, can support up to 8,000 orders a minute, management of up to 10 stores, features for wholesale channel and automatic task management, and advanced security. You'll get a dedicated success manager!

However, to make full use out of Shopify Plus, knowledge of Shopify's language, Liquid, is beneficial.

Monthly licensing costs start at $2,000 for merchants whose sales don’t exceed $800,000 a month.

Chances are if you're looking for an easy-to-use and beginner-friendly Magento alternative, Shopify Plus won’t be relevant for you for a while.

Further reading:

BigCommerce

bigcommerce homepage

BigCommerce is another extraordinarily scalable online store builder – and like Shopify, it's pretty well known. BigCommerce has more built-in sales tools than any of its competitors and combines these features with advanced SEO and multichannel integrations. This solution is best for users looking to boost large and growing businesses into the next league.

The company focuses on enabling growth. Founded in 2009, they've since facilitated over $25 billion merchant sales, over 120 countries.

Just like Shopify, this Magento alternative provides a selection of eCommerce templates. Again, this makes customizing the look of your store easy. Plus, the company offers easy re-platforming from other eCommerce sites, by providing bulk import and export features. Their in-house catalog transfer team has helped over 20,000 stores migrate their content over to BigCommerce from other platforms.

Features:

  • Access to customizable and responsive eCommerce templates
  • Secure and fast web hosting
  • You get a shared SSL certificate included with your subscription
  • Access to Google Shopping and email marketing integrations
  • A streamlined online checkout, including PayPal's One Touch
  • Abandoned cart recovery tools
  • Coupons and discounting tools
  • Customers can leave product reviews
  • You can offer free shipping
  • You can print and save shipping labels
  • Access to detailed reports and eCommerce analytics
  • Multichannel selling, including social media and in-person

Pricing

BigCommerce boasts three different pricing tiers.  In addition to that, there's also an enterprise option for larger organizations. However, you'll have to contact BigCommerce directly to receive a customized quote.

The platform also offers a 15-day free trial, and all plans include unlimited products, file storage, bandwidth, and staff accounts. You're not charged any transaction fees, and you can receive customer support via their live web chat, 24/7.

BigCommerce pricing plans are as follows:

  • Standard: Billed annually, $29.95 a month
  • Plus: Billed annually, $79.95 a month – this is best for growing your business as it unlocks more marketing tools
  • Pro: Billed annually, $299.95 a month – BigCommerce's most extensive plan is best suited for scaling your business

Pros:

  • BigCommerce is a very scalable eCommerce platform
  • Access to an expansive set of built-in features
  • Multichannel selling
  • Fast and secure hosting
  • SEO and marketing tools
  • There's a free trial available
  • No transaction fees
  • 24/7 support

Cons:

  • BigCommerce's advanced features (sometimes) compromises its ease of use
  • The free trial is shorter than some of its competitors
  • There's no free plan available
  • There are limits on annual sales, so when you hit the threshold, you're forced to upgrade your subscription (for the standard package, this is $50,000)

BigCommerce Enterprise

This BigCommerce Enterprise package is geared towards larger businesses and corporations, and as we've already said, it's custom priced. This is intended for users that require very high bandwidth and have more complex selling requirements.

The plan comes with advanced product filtering, price lists, unlimited API calls, BigCommerce consulting and account management, and priority support. The cost of the package reflects the complexity of the business’ needs, but despite that, BigCommerce claims to be cheaper than Shopify Plus.

Further reading:

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce tool for WordPress users. Interestingly, WooCommerce powers over 30% of online stores on the web!

Due to the fact it's open-source, WooCommerce is one of the more similar alternatives to Magento’s free plan.

WooCommerce provides a comprehensive set of tools that enable you to build an online store. You can sell anything, and there are no limits on products, variations, orders, or anything else.

WooCommerce also doesn’t charge transaction fees, and as is typical with open-source solutions, it's free to download and use. However, you should still expect to pay for hosting and your own domain name, as well as any pro themes or add-ons you want to use.

Features:

  • Access to WordPress's expansive content marketing features
  • You can sell physical and digital products as well as subscriptions
  • Access to more than 400 extensions
  • You can embed products and checkouts on any page
  • Unrestricted customization
  • There's a wide choice of themes
  • Product sorting and filtering tools
  • Unlimited images, galleries, and products
  • Built-in payment processing
  • There are lots of shipping options, and you can set flexible shipping rates, including free shipping
  • Customer can opt to create an account or check out as a guest
  • Inventory management tools
  • Email templates
  • You can add shop managers
  • SEO optimization tools
  • Analytics and reporting

Pricing

As we've just said, WooCommerce is a free, open-source ecommerce platform. But, you may wish to pay for WooCommerce extensions that range from $0 to $299.

Pros

  • Its open-source nature facilitates full customizability
  • It's free to use
  • It's built on WordPress's trusted platform
  • Access to extensive blogging and content management features
  • There are no transaction fees
  • The functionality of your store can be extended with add-ons
  • It's a scalable solution
  • There are many free plugins available

Cons

  • There's limited customer support
  • For newbies, WooCommerce presents a steep learning curve
  • It's only available for WordPress users
  • Some technical knowledge is required to make the most out of it

Further reading:

Volusion

Volusion was founded earlier than some of the before-mentioned Magento alternatives. Created as a shopping cart software for online selling back in the late 1990s, Volusion now fuels over 180,000 merchants with its all-in-one solution.

Just like Magento’s alternatives Shopify and BigCommerce, Volusion includes website building, hosting and marketing, SEO, and selling tools.

Features:

  • Responsive, customizable themes
  • Product category pages
  • A site search functionality
  • A custom domain
  • A content editor (no back-end coding knowledge required)
  • Access to a CSS editor
  • Customer order management
  • A secure site and online checkout, complete with SSL certificate
  • A barcode generator
  • Inventory and stock management tools
  • Customer accounts
  • A tax rate calculator
  • Customers can leave reviews
  • SEO tools
  • Social and multichannel selling with eBay and Amazon
  • Reports, analytics, and ROI tracking
  • Giftcards, deal of the day, newsletter, and discount tools

Pricing

Volusion offers three different pricing plans that can be purchased cheaper on an annual basis, as well as a Prime plan at custom pricing. There's also a 14-day free trial.

Like BigCommerce, Volusion's plans limit how many products you can sell and how much you can make in a year before you need to upgrade.

Each package comes with unlimited bandwidth and no transaction fees.

  • Personal: $26.10 per month, one staff account, you can list a max of 100 products on your site, and generate up to $50k in annual revenue
  • Professional: $71.10 per month, five staff accounts, you can list a max 5,000 products on your site, and generate up to $100k in annual revenue
  • Business: $269.10 per month, 15 staff accounts, you can list unlimited products and generate up to $500k in annual revenue

Pros:

  • 24/7 support via phone, email, chat, and support tickets.
  • There's a free trial available
  • There are no transaction fees
  • It's easy to use; newbies receive helpful prompts when they first start using the platform
  • Access to dedicated account managers to help you set up your store
  • Volusion is a fast and secure solution

Cons

  • The pricing plans limit the number of products you can list on your site, which makes Volusion's base plan more restrictive in comparison to other Magento alternatives
  • Phone support is only available to customers on the Professional program, upwards
  • There are minimal content management options
  • Compared to its competitors, Volusion doesn't offer a great variety of templates

Further reading:

PrestaShop

Launched in 2007, PrestaShop is another international shopping cart solution and hence another Magento alternative worth considering. The company supports over 300,000 stores worldwide and calls itself Europe’s leading eCommerce software.

PrestaShop is an open-source program based on the Symfony Framework, offering more than 600 features and over 5,000 website modules and themes.

Features:

  • Thousands of ready-made templates
  • It's easy to expand the functionality of your online store with Prestashop's array of features and modules
  • It's a highly customizable solutions
  • Prestashop's available in 75 languages
  • You can manage products, orders, customer relationships, and your website's analytics all from one centralized place.
  • Robust social sharing and blogging features

Pricing

PrestaShop is free to download. But, like all open-source options, you'll have to pay for web hosting, a domain name, and (potentially) expensive add-ons. Not to mention, if you have limited technical knowledge, you might have to hire an expert or agency, to make the most out of this platform. If you fall into this category, PrestaShop might end up being a more expensive option than some of the other fully hosted Magento Alternatives on this list.

However, PrestaShop does also offer a hosted version of itself for 24.90 euros per month, which might suit you better if you're after a SaaS solution.

Pros

  • It's free to download
  • It's highly customizable
  • There are numerous integrations available
  • Access to a strong user community
  • Comprehensive support materials available

Cons

  • Expensive customer support
  • Developer skills are required
  • Limited integrations with the hosted version

Further reading:

OpenCart

opencart homepage

Another open-source Magento alternative is OpenCart. This is a highly customizable solution with no monthly fees and a robust administrator dashboard. Plus, this platform permits you to manage multiple stores. Not to mention, OpenCart provides a wide choice of modules and themes you can use to make your dream online store a reality.

Features

  • Access to over 13,000 modules and themes
  • There are lots of payment gateways and shipping methods to choose from
  • Community and OpenCart'sdedicated customer support are both available
  • An easy-to-use administrator dashboard
  • User management tools
  • Multi-store support
  • Tools for creating and managing discounts, coupons, reward points, and special offers
  • Website back-ups and restoration
  • Unlimited products and categories
  • Customer can leave reviews

Pricing

OpenCart is free to download and use, but some website modules and themes are sold at a price.

Pros:

  • There are plenty of integrations
  • It's free to download
  • Due to OpenCart's open-source nature, it's highly customizable
  • Access to an active community with over 110,000 registered members

Cons:

  • You're responsible for your own web hosting, development, and maintenance
  • There's a limited choice of built-in marketing features
  • It's not the fastest solution on the market

Wix eCommerce

Not all Magento alternatives are standalone solutions – Wix is a fully hosted website builder that also offers a fabulous package for eCommerce stores. If you're after an intuitive and easy-to-use e-commerce store builder, Wix could be the perfect fit.

Features

  • There are over 500 professional online store templates to choose from
  • All Wix themes boast customizable design you can tweak using their drag and drop editor
  • Access to dropshipping integrations
  • Secure payment solutions
  • Wix supports multichannel selling
  • You can set shipping rules
  • Wix provides shipping and tax estimates

Pricing

Wix’s eCommerce features are unlocked in their Unlimited plan, onwards:

  • Unlimited: $14 a month, 10 GB storage
  • eCommerce: $17 a month, 20 GB storage
  • VIP: $25 per month, 20GB storage

Pros

  • If you’re using a Wix site, it's easy to integrate a digital store and start selling online
  • Its interface is incredibly intuitive
  • Wix's plans are very affordable
  • There are many template and customization options

Cons

  • Limited scalability – Wix doesn’t offer the necessary features for growing your store into a massive online enterprise.
  • The content management features are somewhat limited – for example, Wix's blog is relatively basic.
  • Wix's suite of features is smaller compared to other Magento alternatives like Shopify and BigCommerce.

Have You Found a Magento Alternative That Works for You?

We hope this list of Magento alternatives is a handy resource for kickstarting your own research. To summarize, Magento has plenty of potential if you're a web developer, or if you have a programmer on your team. On that premise, Magneto's an affordable and extremely customizable option.

However, if you’re looking for something more beginner-friendly, without compromising on customization and eCommerce features, Shopify or BigCommerce are probably your best bets. Or, if you're after a slightly cheaper option, Wix Store is also a good starting point for your eCommerce journey.

Have you ever used any of these Magento alternatives? If so, let us know how you got on in the comments box below!

Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist who specializes in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to e-commerce platforms, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, G2, and Judicious Inc. Check out her website Blog with Rosie for more information.