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Last Updated | September 14, 2020

Introduction

There are countless ecommerce platforms available today, that allow you to create and manage your online store. One such well-known ecommerce platform is called Shopify. Just like any other platform, there are pros and cons of using Shopify. One user might be fully satisfied with Shopify, but on the other hand, one user might be looking for alternatives. In this big market of ecommerce platforms, there are many Shopify competitors, that can serve as better alternatives to Shopify. There are tons of Shopify alternatives; each of them being different in their way. In this blog post, the best Shopify alternatives have been discussed, that can help you to find something better than Shopify.

What is Shopify?

Shopify is a Canadian ecommerce platform, headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario. It was started in 2006 when Tobi, the founder of Shopify, wanted to sell snowboards with his former company, Snowdevil. Once when he realized how difficult it is to sell snowboards online, he decided to create an easy to use ecommerce platform, naming it Shopify. Today, Shopify is one of the leading ecommerce platforms, designed for businesses of all sizes.

It is a complete cloud-based and hosted ecommerce platform that lets you create, grow and manage your business, allowing you to sell in multiple places. These include the web, mobile, social media, online marketplaces, brick and mortar locations, and pop-up shops. Since Shopify is a hosted platform, this means that you do not have to worry about upgrading your, maintaining the software or web servers. This gives you the flexibility of accessing and running your business from any location, as long as you have access to an internet connection.

If you do not have products of your own to sell, then you can start with the option of dropshipping on Shopify. All you have to do is sign up and set your store on Shopify, and start selling. If you are still not sure about how Shopify works, you can avail of the 14-day free trial for Shopify, that does not require a credit card. Once the trial period is over, you can choose a price plan that fits the bill, and suits the size of your business.

Shopify allows you to sell various products. These products can be broadly classified into:

  1. Physical Products

These include products such as furniture, jewelry, clothes, bags, etc.

  1. Digital Products

 These include ebooks, e-courses, audio downloads, etc.

  1. Memberships

You can create member-only access to your content on your web store. This would be a useful option for you if you want to sell subscription boxes or online workout sessions.

  1. Services and Consultations

Even if you are a dentist, interior designer, life coach, or a lawyer, you can use Shopify to book online or in-person consultations and services.

  1. Ticketed Experiences

You can use Shopify to sell tickets for workshops, concerts, wine tasting trips, or any travel experiences.

  1. Classes and Lessons

An online store is not just confined to business; it can be used for educational purposes too. Buyers can purchase, rent, or book lessons through your web store on Shopify.

  1. Rentals

You can rent out products, such as props or dresses on the Shopify platform.   

Although Shopify allows you to sell numerous products, certain products cannot be sold on their platform. Your living location also determines what you are allowed to sell on Shopify.

Are There Any Free Alternatives to Shopify?

Most of the ecommerce platforms charge a monthly subscription fee from their users. However, there are some Shopify ecommerce alternatives, that are free to download. This sounds too good to be true, and therefore, it must be mentioned, that these “free” alternatives to Shopify, require you to spend on other features, or put restrictions on your business.

The best free Shopify alternatives are:

  1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source, free plugin designed to function with WordPress. However, it is free to install, but it requires you to spend on your hosting services, domain, premium themes, and extra plugins, for the diverse functionality of your ecommerce store.

  1. Magento

Another Shopify competitor is Magento. It is a free, open-source Magento ecommerce development platform, that requires you to pay for hosting services, themes, and plugins.

  1. PrestaShop

A PHP-based open-source platform, that is free to download. It requires you to pay for the hosting services, themes, and plugins.

  1. BigCartel

BigCartel offers its users various price plans, out of which the Gold Price Plan is free to use. However, there is a restriction on the number of products you can sell in a month. It only allows you to sell a maximum of five products in a month.

  1. Jimdo

Primarily known as a website builder, Jimdo offers good ecommerce solutions for beginners. Out of the three price plans offered, one of them is a free price plan, that allows you to sell a maximum of five products in a month.

  1. Ecwid

Ecwid is not an ecommerce platform, but it is a plugin that you can add to any website, to create an online store. It offers four price plans, out of which one of them is free, but comes with a limitation of selling only ten items per month.

The Shopify alternatives that have been mentioned above, are free to download, but come with serious limitations. If you are new to the ecommerce world and are skeptical about spending too much on other platforms, you can avail of these free alternatives. It will give you a better insight into the ecommerce world before you splurge on a monthly price plan.

Top Reasons Why You are Looking for Shopify Alternatives

Although Shopify is considered to be one of the leading ecommerce platforms, certain features are missing that may force you to look for alternatives to Shopify.

Generally, most of the Shopify users have complained about the following issues, that forced them to look for Shopify alternatives:

—Limited Advanced Features

Shopify offers three different price plans that offer different functionality for your web store. These Shopify price plans are:

  1. Basic Shopify Account: $29 per month
  2. Standard Shopify Account: $79 per month
  3. Advanced Shopify Account: $299 per month

Shopify offers advanced features on its higher price plans. Some of these features include gift cards, shipping rates, etc. So if you are looking for advanced functionality, you would be forced to switch to the higher tier price plans. Furthermore, you can increase the functionality of your web store by downloading various apps. These apps are not free; some apps require you to purchase the app, and some might charge you a monthly recurring fee.

—Costly to design and maintain the web store

Shopify has a complicated template language known as Liquid, which may require you to hire a Shopify expert. This just adds up to the cost of running and maintaining the web store.

—Additional Transaction Fee

Shopify has its payment processor option known as Shopify Payments. If you choose this option as your payment processor, you technically do not have to pay any extra transaction charges. However, if you decide to choose another payment gateway option, you would have to pay an extra transaction fee for online transactions. This ranges between 2.4% to 2.9%, in addition to $0.30 per transaction. For in-person transactions, the transaction fee varies between 2.4% to 2.7%.

—Limitations of the SEO tools

Shopify has certain limitations concerning SEO tools, which could be annoying for most of the users. One of the issues faced by the users is the rigid URL structures, and another one is not being able to customize your checkout page.

—Selling certain products

Shopify does not allow you to sell certain products, such as vaporizers and CBD oil. Earlier in 2020, Shopify banned the selling of face masks and sanitizers, to help prevent profiteering during the global pandemic of COVID-19.

—Blogs

Shopify does provide the option of blogs for its users, but they are not as great as other platforms, such as WordPress. Shopify is a good platform for creating product pages, but not for blog pages.

—Creating a multilingual store

Creating a multilingual store on the platform of Shopify is neither cheap nor easy. You would have to integrate your Shopify web store with an app created to have a multilingual store.

The above-mentioned limitations can be seriously frustrating for quite a few users. Hence, the only best solution to combat these issues would be to look for Shopify alternatives.

Top 10 Alternatives to Shopify

Now since we have discussed the reasons as to why users are frustrated with Shopify and are looking for alternatives, let us discuss the top ten options available.

The top ten Shopify alternatives are:

  1. BigCommerce
  2. WooCommerce
  3. OpenCart
  4. Magento
  5. SalesForce
  6. Amazon FBA
  7. ECWID
  8. Etsy
  9. Volusion
  10. WordPress

To explain how these alternatives are better than Shopify, these platforms have been discussed below in detail.

Shopify vs. BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a big name in the ecommerce industry, that provides its users with comprehensive features to set up their web store. This SaaS platform offers features that make BigCommerce a good Shopify alternative, making BigCommerce the biggest competitor of Shopify. BigCommerce has been compared to Shopify below to give you a better idea of their functionalities.

BigCommerce Price Plans

BigCommerce offers its users with four price plans. These are:

—Standard: $29.95 per month

—Plus: $71.95 per month

—Pro: $269.96 per month

—Enterprise: custom

These price plans offer different features, such as selling unlimited products, abandoned cart saver, etc.

Comparison between Shopify and BigCommerce

The major features of both the platforms have been compared below:

  1. BigCommerce lets you sell up to 600 product variants, whereas Shopify only allows you t sell 100 variants.
  2. No additional transaction fee was charged, unlike Shopify. The additional transaction fee charged by Shopify is one of the major challenges faced by Shopify users.
  3. BigCommerce offers better SEO tools than Shopify.
  4. BigCommerce has a built-in one-page checkout, unlike Shopify.
  5. Get unlimited staff accounts with all BigCommerce price plans. You get only fifteen staff accounts with the Advanced Shopify Plan.
  6. BigCommerce offers gift cards and professional reports in all price plans, whereas Shopify offers these features in the Standard price plan and above.
  7. BigCommerce price plans offer a yearly sales threshold. If your yearly sales reach a certain amount, you would be moved to a higher price plan. This does not happen in Shopify.
  8. BigCommerce is not great for regular content.
  9. To create a multilingual store on both these platforms, you would have to code it yourself, which is expensive.
  10. The abandoned cart recovery option is available on the BigCommerce Plus price plan, whereas in Shopify, it is available with all price plans.
  11. BigCommerce does not have many apps on its app store, as compared to the Shopify store apps.

Why choose BigCommerce over Shopify?

Since BigCommerce offers better product management, no extra transaction fee, and better product listings, it is a good Shopify alternative. If you would want to run a large ecommerce store, with good SEO tools, BigCommerce would be a better choice. Both platforms have their pros and cons, but it is safe to say that BigCommerce would be a more cost-effective solution in the long run. 

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plugin installed for converting an already existing WordPress website into an ecommerce store. Being an open-source platform, you would have to pay for hosting yourself, and also for the domain, and extra plugins you install for a better functionality.

WooCommerce Price Plans

WooCommerce is a plugin that is free to install for your WordPress website. It does not have any monthly price plans that you have to pay for, but instead, you have to pay for the plugins you choose to install to increase your store’s functionality. However, you do have to pay for your hosting and domain. To give you a rough idea, the costing for running a WooCommerce store has been discussed below.

—Hosting: $5 to $25 per month. It depends upon your hosting service provider

—Domain: a minimum of $10 per year. Varies with the domain provider

—Themes: around $59; a one time cost

—Extra plugins: $40 to $80 per plugin per year

Comparison between Shopify and WooCommerce

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. WooCommerce does not charge an additional transaction fee, unlike Shopify.
  2. Easily convert your existing WordPress website into an online store with just one plugin. WooCommerce is exclusive to WordPress.
  3. Sell an unlimited number of products on WooCommerce.
  4. WooCommerce is an open-source solution for your ecommerce needs, providing you with better customization and flexibility options for your web store. This is possible due to the bigger selection of plugins available than Shopify, causing your store to be scalable.
  5. WooCommerce is a plugin that is free to install.
  6. WooCommerce offers its users with a better variety of themes than Shopify.
  7. WooCommerce can be a little technical for beginners and may require you to hire professional help.
  8. WooCommerce lacks in the area of good as compare to prompt technical Shopify support.

Why choose WooCommerce over Shopify?

If you already have a WordPress website running, and would like to explore the ecommerce world, WooCommerce would be the best alternative for you. Initially starting with very basic features, you can get an idea of running a web store, without having to splurge on a price plan. Once when you are confident enough, you can purchase as many plugins as you want to help increase the functionality of your web store.

Shopify vs. OpenCart

OpenCart is an open-source solution that provides its users with endless flexibility, and a wide range of compatible extensions.

OpenCart Price Plans

Being an open-source solution, you do not have to pay a single penny to download and install OpenCart. However, you do have to pay for web hosting services, premium themes, and other plugins to increase your store’s functionality.

Comparison between Shopify and OpenCart

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. OpenCart does not charge any additional transaction fee, unlike Shopify.
  2. OpenCart has a straightforward interface.
  3. OpenCart is more customizable than Shopify.
  4. The marketing tools of OpenCart are better than Shopify.
  5. OpenCart is cheaper than Shopify.

Why choose OpenCart over Shopify?

If you are not willing to spend too much on your web store, but are still looking for options that provide dynamic marketing and SEO tools, then you should consider OpenCart as a Shopify alternative.

Shopify vs. Magento

Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform that is used by many users around the globe. They also offer a cloud-based platform for their users. It is a good option for medium-sized to large businesses that provide advanced customizations as long as you know your coding. 

Magento Price Plans

Magento is a bit similar to WooCommerce in terms of pricing. The software is free, but you would have to pay for hosting, plugins, and themes. The Magento Community version is free of charge, but the Enterprise edition can cost you a whopping amount of $15,000-$50,000 a year.

Comparison between Shopify and Magento

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. Magento does not have monthly service charges, unlike Shopify.
  2. Magento requires coding and IT security skills, giving you the total ownership of your web store.
  3. Magento does not charge an additional transaction fee, unlike Shopify.
  4. Having complete access to Magento’s source code gives the web designers the total freedom to create and customize Magento web designs.

Why choose Magento over Shopify?

Magento could be a better Shopify alternative if you are looking for better customization options and scalability. This allows your store to stand out from the other web stores. However, if you are running a small business, Magento might be too expensive for you. 

Shopify vs. SalesForce Commerce Cloud

SalesForce Commerce Cloud is an ecommerce platform that provides its users with various functions, such as an online store, mobile-first POS, order management, and predictive intelligence. It lets you manage all your products, promotions, pricing, and customer engagement. This platform is an amalgamation of experience, operations, and intelligence.

SalesForce Commerce Cloud Price Plans

SalesForce Commerce Cloud offers two editions:

—SalesForce B2B Commerce

—SalesForce B2C Commerce

As compare to Shopify Pricing is quote-based; it means that you would have to contact the vendor and get a quote from them according to your requirements.

Comparison between Shopify and SalesForce Commerce Cloud

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. SalesForce Commerce Cloud offers multi-language support, whereas Shopify only supports English.
  2. SalesForce is available on more devices than Shopify. It is available on Windows, Linux, Android, iPhone/iPad, Mac, and web-based devices.
  3. SalesForce offers better customer support than Shopify. It offers support via email, phone, live support, training, and tickets.
  4. SalesForce offers more functions than Shopify. This is because it has two editions, that can fulfill all your business needs, reducing the chances of you spending money on app integrations.
  5. SalesForce offers better SEO tools than Shopify.

Why choose SalesForce over Shopify?

Since SalesForce offers more features than Shopify, it could be a better Shopify alternative.

Shopify vs. Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

Amazon FBA is a fulfillment program of Amazon that is used to ship products to a dedicated Amazon warehouse, after which Amazon ships the products to the customer. Amazon is a leading marketplace in the ecommerce world, trusted by numerous people around the world.

Amazon FBA Price Plans

The prices for Amazon FBA are higher than the Amazon platform. An Amazon Pro account costs around ₤25 plus VAT per month, with an addition of a 15% selling fee for every item sold. The rates for FBA would typically be closer to 35%.

Comparison between Shopify and Amazon FBA

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. You get instant access to a global market with Amazon FBA.
  2. Get a 30-day free trial with an Amazon Pro account.
  3. Get a ready-made reputation for your store on Amazon.
  4. Easy refunds and returns service; Amazon takes care of it.

Why choose Amazon FBA over Shopify?

Since Amazon is accessible globally and is one of the oldest ecommerce marketplaces, it is a better Shopify alternative.

Shopify vs. ECWID

Ecwid is a plugin that you can integrate with any website to convert it into any online store.  It is similar to WooCommerce, but you do not need to integrate as compare to Shopify integration the plugin with a specific site. It can work with any website.

ECWID Price Plans

Ecwid offers four price plans:

—Free: sell up to 10 products

—Venture: $12.50 per month, sell 100 products, both physical or digital

—Business: $29.17 per month, sell up to 2500 products, along with phone support

—Unlimited: $82.50 per month, sell unlimited products, along with your iOS and Android shopping app

Comparison between Shopify and ECWID

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. ECWID can help convert any website into an online store, whereas at Shopify, you can only create a store on its platform.
  2. ECWID even offers a free price plan that allows you to sell products, unlike Shopify.

Why choose ECWID over Shopify?

If you already have a website and would not like to migrate to any ecommerce platform, then ECWID is the best Shopify alternative for you. It is also a good Shopify alternative if you have just started with ecommerce, and are still struggling to figure out how it works. In this case, the free price plan would be the best option for you. However, the competitive edge is  shopify migration over ECWID.

Shopify vs. Etsy

Etsy is a well-known marketplace that allows you to list products alongside other online sellers, to run your business.

Etsy Price Plans

There is no monthly fee charged by Etsy. Instead, it charges a listing fee of $0.20 per product, that has been active for four months, or until the time it has been sold. Once an item is sold, Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee, an additional 3%, and a $0.25 payment processing fee.

Comparison between Shopify and Etsy

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. Etsy does not require you to pay a monthly fee, unlike Shopify.
  2. Get new followers with the marketing and advertising tools at Etsy.
  3. You do not have to worry about your web store designing, as Etsy provides all its users with a standard store design.

Why choose Etsy over Shopify?

Etsy could be a good Shopify alternative if you do not want to spend a lot of time on designing your store and purchasing premium themes. Also, if you are relatively new to the field of ecommerce, Etsy would be a better option.

Shopify vs. Volusion

Volusion is a cloud-based Texan Shopify alternative, more famous with small-sized businesses and solopreneurs. It has been running for about twenty years now.

Volusion Price Plans

Volusion offers the following three price plans:

—Personal: $29 for up to 50,000 in sales and up to 100 products

—Professional: $79 for up to 100,000 in sales and up to 5,000 products

—Business: $299 for up to 500,000 in sales and up to 5,000 products

—Custom: all features and VIP support 

Comparison between Shopify and Volusion

The major features of both platforms have been discussed below:

  1. Volusion does not charge an additional transaction fee, unlike Shopify.
  2. Volusion offers a one-page checkout service.
  3. Volusion offers an extensive library of templates, including free themes.
  4. The features offered by Volusion for marketing, upselling, or listing are out of the box.

Why choose Volusion over Shopify?

Volusion is a better Shopify alternative to help increase sales, with the help of the numerous features being offered.  

Shopify vs. WordPress

WordPress is a well-known content management webpage. On its own, it cannot be used as an ecommerce platform, but with the help of a plugin called WooCommerce, the WordPress site can be converted into an online store. As discussed before, WooCommerce is a plugin that is free to install and integrate with your WordPress website. By doing so, you get to utilize the WordPress platform for blogging as well.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned above, Shopify has a lot of alternatives and competitors in the ecommerce market. By now, you must have chosen the right ecommerce platform for your web store. It is very important to note that the platform you choose, must fit your budget and also provide you with the features you are looking for. 

What are the exact reasons for you leaving Shopify?

Shopify, just like any other ecommerce platform, has its pros and cons. Just to summarize all the reasons, they have been listed down below.

—Shopify charges an additional transaction fee if you use another payment processor, apart from Shopify Payments.

—Shopify has limited SEO tools.

—Creating a multilingual store on Shopify is neither easy nor cheap.

—Not a good option for creating blog pages.

Shopify Web design: Costly to design and maintain a web store.

—You are not allowed to sell certain products on Shopify.

Is MailChimp an alternative for Shopify?

No, MailChimp is not an alternative for Shopify, instead its an all-in-one marketing platform for businesses. It allows social posting digital ads, marketing CRM, shoppable landing pages, postcards, websites, smart content tools, advanced automation, email marketing tool, etc. 

How much revenue does Shopify generate?

In a month, Shopify generally generates $30,048,333 per month. However, this amount is just an estimate, and it does fluctuate.

What are the Shopify alternatives for dropshipping?

There are numerous Shopify alternatives for dropshipping. A few of them are:

—BigCommerce

—WooCommerce

—Volusion

—ShopBase

—Magento

—3dcart

—Ecwid

—Squarespace

What are the Shopify alternatives in Australia?

A few of the Shopify alternatives used in Australia are:

—BigCommerce

—3dcart

—X-Cart

—CoreCommerce

—AmeriCommerce

—Funnel Wolf

—SalesForce B2C Commerce

—Miva

—Pinnacle Cart

—SalesForce B2B Commerce

—eSeller

—CommerceUp

—Rain Point of Sale

—Zoey

—Liftoff E-Commerce

Is Oberlo an alternative for Shopify?

Oberlo is not an alternative to Shopify. It is a leading dropshipping app on the Shopify app marketplace. The basic function of Oberlo is to help in the import of products from AliExpress onto your Shopify store. The products are shipped directly to your customers, without them finding out that the products have been drop shipped.


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Folio3 is a versatile e-commerce development platform dealing for entrepreneurs and different brands with a special focus on the enhancements of the e-commerce industry. We’re dealing with the top brands from all over the world to maintain our position in high value. Having 15+ experience in this digital environment. We also have expertise in the process of designing and development that help you to digitize your procedures & practices and keep updated with the technology and trends.