Shopify is one of the best products out there for building an ecommerce store, but it has its limitations too. Some people find Shopify too expensive, or simply don’t like the back-end interface. Others prefer the idea of having more customization options with a free solution like Square Online or an open source solution like WooCommerce.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to selling online, so why not experiment with the idea of which ecommerce service is best for you?
The Best Shopify Alternatives
- Square Online
- Big Cartel
If you’re searching for the ultimate ecommerce solution to help you build your online store, you’ve probably considered the benefits of Shopify before. After all, as ecommerce solutions go, Shopify is one of the best-known tools on the market. Offering everything you need to get started, from web hosting to unlimited bandwidth, Shopify can form a crucial part of your business plan.
However, as the digital world has continued to grow, companies of all shapes and sizes have found themselves searching for a wider selection of web design tools. After all, while Shopify offers a lot of benefits, like the option to choose your own domain name, and select integrations from a comprehensive app store, it’s not the best tool for everyone. Some people will want to do more with their storefront and backend design than Shopify canotther. Certain business leaders will want more flexibility with their web design, or access to unique ecommerce software.
Btw, here's a video review of Shopify created by my colleague Joe. 🙂
Shopify Alternatives: Wix
Last, but not least on our list of Shopify alternatives, is Wix. This state-of-the-art website building service offers an experience that’s very similar to Shopify, provided through a hosted service. You don’t need to worry about things like back-end management and security when you’re using a hosted service.
Wix isn’t the most advanced option in the world, and it comes with limited access to various WordPress plugins and support. However, as Shopify competitors go, this is one of the cheaper options on the market – making it ideal for small businesses and people on a budget. Additionally, Wix has a handy drag-and-drop builder included too.
There are transaction fees to consider with Wix, although you do get your hands on a free SSL certificate, which could help you to save some much-needed cash.
Wix is one of the more affordable alternatives to Shopify with a pricing plan that starts with a free option if you just want basic features. To access ecommerce solutions, you will need to upgrade to the Business Basic plan starting at $23 per month. The more functionality you want, the more you’ll need to pay. There’s also a Business VIP suite with full functionality for those who can’t afford to compromise on site performance
- Lots of themes to customize your website
- Various secure payment options for customers
- Lots of plugins and apps to choose from
- Starts with a free plan
- Lots of ways to create loyal customers, like discounts
- Minimal ecommerce features
- Difficult to export data
Who is it Best For? ✅
Choose Wix as your Shopify alternative if you’re looking for an easy and straightforward way to start building a store with minimal technical knowledge and support. There’s tons of themes to help you get started, and you get various features that will help you to strengthen your brand’s position online, although the ecommerce functionality on Wix is a little limited compared to options like Shopify that focus heavily on sales. Wix is great if you want basic features, with no complicated tools to discover.
Shopify Alternatives: BigCommerce
An industry leader with a comprehensive set of standard ecommerce platform features and some extras on top. The Standard plan is quite affordable at $29.95 per month, and the rich feature-list makes it a Shopify alternative worthy of your consideration.
BigCommerce stands out among the SaaS market as one of the leading tools for helping companies to build their own custom website. The product comes packaged with a wide selection of custom templates to help you get started. All you need to do is pay an affordable monthly subscription, and you get a sensational Shopify competitor and website builder perfect for larger companies.
The BigCommerce builder comes with support for unlimited bandwidth, search engine optimization, a range of checkout options and more. It’s great for building a user-friendly ecommerce store. On the downside, there’s no support for RSS feeds, and it can be difficult to manage your store on the go, as there aren’t any mobile apps at this stage.
BigCommerce comes with a range of pricing options to choose from, starting at around $29.95 per month for the cheapest package. Although this might seem a little expensive at first, it’s surprisingly good when you consider all the features you get. Some of the higher-end packages are a little pricey, starting at around $79.95 per month, and ranging up to $299.95 per month. If you want a custom solution, check out the Enterprise service available via quote.
- In-built visual tools to help build your store
- No transaction fees to worry about
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth and product options
- Large selection of free apps to choose from
- Product review and rating options
- Excellent for cross-selling purposes
- Pricing is a little complicated
- Not the best selection of themes
- Not easy to set up
Who is it Best For? ✅
BigCommerce is a great choice if you’re in the process of expanding your business and seeking new opportunities. There are tons of features already built into the experience, so you don’t have to worry about using an app market like you would with something like Shopify. If you want everything in one place, BigCommerce will suit you.
- Click here to try BigCommerce
- Read my full BigCommerce review
- Check out my list of the top 10 BigCommerce alternatives
- Take a look at our BigCommerce pricing guide
Shopify Alternatives: Square Online
If you’re a huge fan of the Square range of ecommerce and selling products, then you’ll love this fantastic alternative to Shopify selling. Square Online is the free online store building service that comes with your Square POS. You can use this solution to build an immersive website for free, although you will need to pay for your own hosting.
Square Online is best suited to people who already feel comfortable and familiar with the Square experience. If you have a brick and mortar store, and you use your Square system to take payments in person, then Square will help you to transform your digital landscape too.
Although Square is free to access, you will have fees to pay – such as 2.5% for every transaction.
Square online store also comes with access to a variety of plugins to simplify your online experience. However, it won’t be the easiest option to use if you’ve never experimented with Square before.
If you use Square to accept payments from offline customers, then it makes sense to use the same service for your online store too. The Square Online Store is a free-to-use service which comes with everything you need to start selling online. All you have to pay for is a small transaction fee whenever someone purchases something from you. The cost of Square can go up if you decide to add extra functionality and features into the mix, like integrations with advanced tools.
- Convenient choice if you’re familiar with Square already
- Free to use until you want to upgrade your features
- Easy to use for beginners in search of functionality
- Fantastic range of inventory management tools
- Combines offline and online selling
- Fantastic for AI functionality
- Not many options for customization
- You have to use Square for payment processing
Who is it Best For? ✅
Square Online makes the most sense as a Shopify alternative if you’re already using the Square ecosystem to take payments in the offline world. If you’re comfortable with Square payment processing and you feel like you want to take your store online too, then Square has you covered. There’s also a robust range of features to connect online and offline selling. We’d definitely recommend this solution if you’re selling offline from time to time. You can even sync your inventory and marketing features on the back end.
Shopify Alternatives: Squarespace
Not limiting itself as a generic ecommerce platform for traditional businesses, Squarespace also provides specific features for various types of professionals such as artists, musicians, bloggers etc. too, at a price range that starts at $26/mo, making it one of the top Shopify alternatives.
Squarespace is one of the better known website builders on the market today, particularly well suited to small businesses thanks to its ease of use. If you’re looking for an ecommerce solution that will help you to sell unlimited products online, then Squarespace could be just the tool for you. Great for use with a range of plugins and social media site, Squarespace offers access to a wide selection of helpful capabilities.
You can access a cover-page builder, G-Suite integration, and Getty image installation. There’s also a better blogging tool with Squarespace than you have with most of the best Shopify alternatives. If your plan is to build a reliable presence online with incredible content, then this could be the tool for you.
Pricing for Squarespace is simple enough to follow. You only pay for what you need and nothing else. Plus, customer support 24/7 comes as part of the package. There’s a plan that starts at $18 per month if you’re looking for basic functionality, but prices can increase depending on the features you need. You’ll need at least the Commerce plan if you want to start selling online. Remember that if you want to save money with Squarespace, you can pay annually and save up to 30%. There’s also a free custom domain included.
- Excellent integrations with social media tools
- Templates to choose from for any industry
- Plans to suit your budget
- Great for 24/7 support
- Free domain if you get an annual plan
- Some hefty transaction fees
- No app market for extensions
- Limited range of options for payments
Who is it Best For? ✅
Squarespace is best for companies that want plenty of freedom to make creative changes to their site, and ensure they stand out from the crowd. This incredible tool has a similar builder to Wix, and is very easy to use, but it’s also limited in some functionalities when compared to options like Shopify. You won’t get the same access to ecommerce functions with Squarespace.
- Click here to try Squarespace
- Read my full Squarespace review
- Here are the top Squarespace alternatives
- Take a look at our Squarespace pricing guide
Shopify Alternatives: Sellfy
Sellfy is a versatile online store builder that caters to merchants selling digital, physical, and subscription products. With its easy to use interface and numerous integrations, Sellfy is one of the best Shopify alternatives for selling digital products and offers an affordable pricing scheme.
After a 14-day trial, Sellfy’s plans start at $19 a month. This enables you to sell an unlimited number of products with 0% transaction fees. However, you can only generate $10k in sales a year. If you want to sell more than that, you'll have to upgrade your subscription, but for small to medium-sized sellers, this is an affordable option.
Pricing for Sellfy starts at around $19 per month, which allows you to manage up to $10k per year in online sales with absolutely no transaction fees required. You can also access discount codes and connect your own domain. To upgrade to business, you’ll need to spend around $29 per month, where as the premium option is available for $89 per month. The more you spend, the more you can sell each year with no limitations.
- Support for selling physical and digital goods
- Simple and convenient user interface
- Lots of buy now button embedding options
- Mobile app for on-the-go management
- Unlimited product options
- Hassle-free checkout
- No free plan
- Limited checkout and customization tools
Who is it Best For? ✅
We’d recommend Sellfy if you’re looking to sell a wide range of products online, including physical items, digital products and subscriptions. Every pricing package comes with access to unlimited products, and you get an embeddable buy now button too. There’s a shopping cart for quick checkout, and you can access mobile tools too.
Shopify Alternatives: WooCommerce
If you're using (or can use) the WordPress CMS as the basic platform for hosting your store, the wooCommerce plugin can be a good Shopify alternative for you. This plugin not only provides the regular ecommerce features, but also comes free.
WooCommerce is easily one of the best solutions on the market for lovers of WordPress that want to build their own online store from scratch. One of the most reliable WordPress plugins there is, WooCommerce makes it easy to build on your site with ecommerce functionality. WooCommerce is also open-source, which sets it apart from other online store builders that work with WordPress, like BigCommerce and Shopify.
WooCommerce makes it easy to customize every aspect of your WordPress online store, from beginning to end, additionally, it’s flexibility means that you can build extra features into your WooCommerce experience with CSS, HTML, and plugins. You can even use WooCommerce to track things like abandoned carts.
Because WooCommerce is open source, you don’t actually have to spend anything to get the software, you can download and use the service for free. However, you will need to pay for other things to get your website up and running. For instance, you need to find your own hosting plan for your online business. An open-source platform also comes with the need to implement various payment options and other premium tools.
- Unlimited creativity options to suit your needs
- All the extra features you could find with open source access
- Tons of affordable hosting options
- No limit on your products or services
- Builds on WordPress for freedom and creativity
- Demands technical knowledge
- Lots of extra expenses to consider
Who is it Best For? ✅
WooCommerce is a state-of-the-art tool for people who have the creativity and professional skills to build various aspects of their own online store from scratch. If you love WordPress and you feel comfortable handling your entire business backend on your own, then WooCommerce could be the perfect choice. There are so many different ways to customize and improve your store with this solution. However, you will need to get some extra help, and use more technical knowledge than you would with a hosted solution.
- Click here to try WooCommerce
- Read my full WooCommerce review
- Here are our 12 favorite WooCommerce alternatives.
Shopify Alternatives: 3dCart
Loaded with all the standard features of an online shopping cart service with some extras like affiliate marketing program creation, dropshipping support etc. and priced just about at par with the average industry rates ($19/mo. To $129/mo.), 3dCart is another worthy substitute for Shopify.
One of the things that really makes 3dCart so compelling is how accessible the company makes its website design experience. You have complete control over your storefront. What’s more, you’ll have access to SSL certificates and advanced security, just like you get with Shopify. Despite supporting more than 100 different payment gateways, 3Dcart doesn’t charge any transaction fees. However, you’ll still have fees to pay, such as the transaction costs of your payment gateways, and shipping rates.
On the plus side, for small businesses in search of a Shopify competitor, 3dcart will ensure that you can take credit card payments with ease, thanks to comprehensive payment processing that go beyond Shopify Payments. There’s also a range of knowledge base solutions to choose from when you need help learning how to use this service.
Prices for 3dcart are extremely reasonable, which is part of why many people consider this product to be an excellent choice for online selling. You can launch a startup store for as little as $9.50 per month, although that price does go up to $19 per month after the promotional price is over. Prices range all the way from the $19 per month option to the $229 per month Pro store option which comes with multiple accounts for your staff.
- Excellent solution with tons of different ways to customize your store
- Lots of features to explore on the lower plans too
- Affordable for beginners and larger companies
- Support for selling offline and offline
- Free trial so you can test the tech first
- Unlimited bandwidth and products
- Difficult for beginners to set up
- Not the best themes to choose from
- Not many apps to help update your store
Who is it Best For? ✅
3dcart is a good choice for business owners who want an all-in-one solution or selling. This sensational product comes with a wide range of features to explore, including inventory management tools to help you keep track of your products. You can also access a selection of customization options too, so you don’t have to worry about your store looking the same as countless competitors online.
Shopify Alternatives: Big Cartel
Big Cartel offers not only the usual ecommerce platform features at slightly less-than industry average prices ($9.99/mo. to $29.99/mo.), they even offer a free plan if you sell less than 5 products. If you do not sell – or plan to sell – over 300 products (the max limit at Big Cartel), this can be a good Shopify alternative for you.
Big Cartel is a state-of-the-art tool for ecommerce businesses, WordPress websites, and blogging. Like Shopify, it offers access to SEO tools, payment processing, and your own domain name, as well as SSL certificates. Also like Shopify, Big Cartel is a fully-hosted service, which means that you don’t have to worry about the learning curve that comes with hosting your own online store.
As Shopify alternatives go, Big Cartel is probably one of the easiest to use. Created for simplicity and ease-of-use, there are no transaction fees, and you’ll have no trouble managing things like unlimited products, order processing, and more. Inventory management is as smooth and simple as it gets, and there are plenty of plugins for things like SEO tools.
Although Shopify has a very simple experience to offer today’s business owners, Big Cartel is arguably a lot simpler to use, particularly for creative people who want to design very unique websites without worrying about the advanced features of other ecommerce website builders.
For smaller companies just getting started with online sales, Big Cartel is an excellent choice. You can sell up to five products for free without needing to enter any credit card details. 50 products will cost you $9.99 per month, and 250 products costs $19.99 per month. For $29.99 per month, you can sell up to 500 products, with no listing fees.
- Free plan to help get you started
- Lots of custom domain options for branding
- Great for making your website look unique
- Easy to use with a convenient back end
- No transaction fees required
- Easy inventory management
- Does demand some coding knowledge
- Limited range of options for payments
- No advanced support
Who is it Best For? ✅
We’d recommend Big Cartel as the go-to- choice for smaller companies that are just getting started in online sales. You can potentially run your store for free if you have a limited number of products to sell. Plus, Big Cartel makes scaling easy once you get the hang of the available features, so you can build your store however you choose.
Shopify Alternatives: PrestaShop
Another feature-rich and free platform that even gives you a choice to use their hosted service or go the self-hosted way. While their add-ons will cost you money, the basic platform usage is free. Certainly a viable alternative to Shopify.
Similar to WooCommerce, PrestaShop is another open-source solution that works well with plugins for Google analytics, eBay, Amazon, and many others. Unlike WooCommerce, however, you don’t have to be running a WordPress website to use PrestaShop, this tool works well with a range of other solutions too, such as Wix, and Magneto.
Because the open-source software comes with access to the internal coding for developers, you’ll be able to really transform every detail of your store. However, you will be required to set up your own solutions for things like hosting, security, and compliance. You will also need to remember that although the code is free to access, you’ll have to pay for your own web hosting, professional support and SSL for this website.
On the plus side, PrestaShop could be a great option for those with a little coding knowledge.
PrestaShop is one of the most attractive alternatives to Shopify available on the market today, because it’s totally free too use. There aren’t any pricing plans to worry about. Instead, you get powerful ecommerce features for free. However, you still need to pay for things like hosting and security on your own. As an open source product, PrestaShop doesn’t handle any of the back-end functionality for you.
- Free-to-use open source solution
- Access to tons of creative options
- Easy to install and use for beginners
- Minimal technological knowledge required
- Support for multiple currencies and languages
- Choose your own hosting
- No back-end support or hosting
- Limited scalability
- No customer support
Who is it Best For? ✅
We’d recommend PrestaShop for smaller business owners that want a lot of freedom. The add-ons cost you a bit with this product, but you can launch your store for free, and start editing whenever you want. There’s also a lot of access to internal coding so you can adjust how everything works without having to deal with paid plans.
- Click here to try PrestaShop
- Read our full PrestaShop review
- Check out our comprehensive Prestashop vs Shopify comparison
Shopify Alternatives: Weebly
If you are looking for another easy to use platform then Weebly is a great alternative to the other platforms. You don't get close to the amount of features as Shopify, but their highest plan is a bit cheaper than the Shopify Basic Plan, so if you're short on money, Weebly is a solid choice.
Weebly is a fantastic option for anyone in search of simplicity straight out of the box. Weebly is a user-friendly experience for website designers, with ease access to everything from social media plugins, to Google analytics, and payment processing tools.
One of the cheaper options on the market today, Weebly is an immersive ecommerce platform excellent for any business that needs help getting started online. If you’re looking for a simple service that will help you to get started quickly, then Weebly could be just the thing. There’s even a free trial to help you test out your Shopify alternative before you invest.
Pricing for Weebly is very reasonable, starting at around $9 per month, although there is a free tier if you just want very basic features. The personal plan allows you to add a custom domain, while the professional plan for $16 per month comes with extra business features. If you want to run an online store, then you’re better off choosing the $29 per month plan instead. The more you spend, the more features you get.
- Excellent for beginners and one of the simplest tools on the market
- Lots of responsive theme options to choose from
- Wide selection of apps to explore
- Team collaboration and membership areas
- Affordable pricing with a free tier
- Not the best checkout options
- Not suited to international stores
- Limited customizations in some areas
Who is it Best For? ✅
Weebly is an excellent choice for beginners that don’t have a lot of cash to spend on their store, you can build a decent website without having to spend a fortune, and there’s even a free tier available to get you started. The environment is very easy to use, and the lack of a learning curve means that you can jump into action very quickly.
Shopify Alternatives: Volusion
With plans and prices just about at par with Shopify (ranging from $15/mo. to $135/mo.) and lots of features to match including hundreds of modern, responsive themes etc., Volusion is certainly one of the top Shopify alternatives.
Volusion is one of the market leaders in the world of Shopify competitors for a number of reasons. Perhaps one of the most impressive features of this tool is how many payment gateway and checkout options it has to offer. With Volusion, you can accept payments virtually any way that you choose, including through Stripe, Paypal and more. This makes Volusion particularly useful for people who want an all-in-one ecommerce site.
Designed for business owners that want the perfect blend of unlimited bandwidth, real-time support, and sensational payment gateways, the Volusion service has plenty to offer today’s growing companies.
Prices for Volusion are pretty great, ranging from around $29 month if you choose the personal package. There’s a lot of different options that match Shopify in many ways, so you can have absolute control over everything you pay for. There’s a free trial to get you started, and you can also choose a Prime package if you’re interested in getting Enterprise quality support. You do need to earn a certain amount of cash per year to get this, however. Your pricing for Volusion will increase as your business grows.
- Access to tools for Search Engine Optimization
- Plenty of options for which payment processor to use
- Unlimited options for products
- Support for in-depth reporting and analytics
- Calculate shipping and tax easily
- Not the best blogging options
- Bandwidth caps with each ecommerce plan
- Not many free themes
Who is it Best For? ✅
Volusion stands out as one of the market leaders for companies that want an immersive tool with plenty of creative functionality. There’s access to a lot of visually beautiful customization options, and you can access SEO tools, although there aren’t any blogging options available as standard, so you will need to find an alternative for content marketing.
Shopify Alternatives: CoreCommerce
With free responsive themes (a very useful feature today) and a sizeable number of third-party app/service integrations (another useful feature) in addition to the regular ecommerce platform features, CoreCommerce is another one of the serious Shopify alternatives. While not amongst the cheapest ($39.99/mo. to $199.99/mo.), it would be worth checking out especially if you (plan to) sell to international markets, as their multi-lingual support is amongst the highest in the industry.
CoreCommerce stands out as one of the easier to use Shopify competitors on the market, with an intuitive interface that makes it easy to make changes to your store in real-time. Designed to simplify the process of building the perfect online store, this highly intuitive tool makes it easy to learn how to excel online. There’s access to plenty of free themes, and the pricing is great, even for premium plans.
However, compared to Shopify, the customization features are somewhat limited on CoreCommerce. For instance, you can’t organize your customers and potential leads according to where they are in the buying journey. This can be an important feature to have in an ecommerce platform.
Pricing for CoreCommerce starts at $29 per month for the basic plan, or you can upgrade to Pro for $79 per month. There’s a Business option for $229 per month, and you get all the extra features you could want with this solution, including advanced ecommerce with 256-bit encryption for your customer’s peace of mind and your website’s protection
- Secure selling environment with complete encryption
- Back-ups daily for peace of mind
- Lots of tutorials and step-by-step support
- Easy to navigate interface
- No complicated tools
- Generous product packages with no hidden fees
- Some limitations on what you can do on smaller plans
Who is it Best For? ✅
We’d recommend this product for companies that need a very secure and robust back-end environment for online selling. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get great encryption and protection, and there’s tons of online support to help you get started, including tutorials, and help from live chat too. You can join the online forum for extra support, and the packages come with lots of generous features too.
Best Shopify Alternatives: FAQ
What are the best Shopify alternatives for large business?
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the perfect Shopify alternative. The kind of website that you’re building will play a big part in finding the tool that works best for you. If you’re a particularly large company that needs to sell to customers around the world, you’re likely to have a better experience with solutions like BigCommerce and Magneto, than you would with Wix or Weebly.
What are the best open source Shopify alternatives?
Choosing the right Shopify competitor isn’t just about looking for something simple like Ecwid, or finding something that supports Shopify payments. If you’re looking for a Shopify alternative that gives you more freedom to customize, then you might want to opt for an open-source service, rather than something that’s hosted. WooCommerce and Magento, for instance, are both excellent open source tools which give you complete freedom over your website.
What is the best free Shopify Alternative?
There are a couple of free alternatives to Shopify available on the market today. Just keep in mind that although these tools appear to be free at first, they will come with costs for your online store, such as the price of premium wordpress plugins, or transaction fees for shopify payments. Square online store is one of the best free options for people who already take payments in-store and in person with a Square point of sale solution.
What is a cheaper Shopify Alternative?
When searching through tools like Ecwid, BigCommerce, 3DCart, Volusion, and more, you’re probably going to be keeping a close eye on the tools that match your budget. There are a more cheaper Shopify alternatives out there, from Weebly to WooCommerce. However, Big Cartel is one of the cheapest of all.
Best Shopify Alternatives: Conclusion
As you would have noted above, you're not without options or alternatives to Shopify – not by a long shot. I hope my post above helps you find the platform that is most suited to your needs and budget. If it does, I'll graciously accept a pint from you one evening.
Pint or no pint, please do share your views below.
header image courtesy of Glenn Jones