They say variety is the spice of life, and yes - one of the key indicators of the vitality of a marketplace is the different options that it offers. Having options keeps companies honest and keeps them developing new and innovative solutions in order to outpace the competition. Consequently, though we love Shopify for the way in which it has managed to turn regular companies into epicenters of online commerce, we want to take a look at some of the alternatives keeping it on its toes. The following roster outlines the 6 best and most innovative Shopify alternatives floating around the web today! Here is the top 6 which we loved the most:
- Volusion (nearly as powerful as definitely less expensive!)
- Squarespace (beautiful templates)
- LemonStand (full features, price determined by your success)
- 3dCart (loads of features, no transaction fees)
- BigCartel (perfect for artists)
- WooCommerce (free, open-source, made for WordPress)
Hailed as the British-bred alternative to Shopify, this top-end eCommerce platform has helped bring to reality Napoleon's famous words about England - “...A nation of shopkeepers.”
Offering similar pricing plans to Shopify that range from $15-$135 each month, Volusion provides online shopkeeps with a host of innovative features.
Those features, different in varying plans, offer the ability to create gift certificates, generate an “Add to Cart” link, manage the store from anywhere using the Volusion App, and set categories to automatically display items in their subcategories.
One of the top contenders vying for Shopify's crown is portfolio and blogging platform, Squarespace. Despite beginning as a non-commerce oriented platform, they've successfully managed to sneak into the world of online commerce, and their online retail platforms allow shopkeepers all of the liberties necessary to run a productive venture, including:
- No restrictions on how many items you can sell
- The ability to sell both physical and digital wares
- Customer tracking facilitated using a post-checkout marketing pixel
- Xero Integration
- Easy integration of customer-drawing techniques such coupons and sales codes
- Automatic taxes and shipping
One glaring limitation of this other-wise ideal platform is the fact that they only accept payment processing through Paypal or Stripe. Nonetheless, they have evolved so much in the last year, it only feels logical that the amount of Squarespace payment processing options will increase together with its customer base. Moreover, their blog-based roots allow for a more human interface with customers that many businesses appreciate.
With their name invoking the spirit of a quintessential icon of rugged entrepreneurship, this young upstart of the cyber commerce world has been creating ripples of excitement stemming from the impressive accomplishments of its users. Leveraging the flexibility for which the platform is known, their customers have managed to win top prizes at trade shows, garner over $4 million in funding, and build start-ups that have raised $400,000 in pre-sales and left tech bloggers swooning.
If your business is an innovative, paradigm-shifting trailblazer, LemonStand is the perfect commerce platform with which to saddle up! Adding to their appeal is the fact that all of their pricing tiers include all of their core features, with the only major variable changing being the number of monthly orders that your tier allows you to process.
3dCart offers all of the features that consumers have come to expect from an online shopping cart service. However, they're far from being mere cyber chameleons that simply match the qualities of the marketplace around them. Instead, 3dCart offers several unique features. They make them worthy of consideration even in the context of established favorites like Shopify. Customers can take advantage of options such as affiliate marketing program creation, drop shipping support, and no transaction fees.
However, prospective users should be aware that, unlike Squarespace and other Shopify competitors, 3dCart does place pricing tier-based restrictions on the number of products you can sell each month, and how many visitors you may receive. So if you receive monetary success - so will your platform.
Despite the bombastic overtones of its name, BigCartel is far from a massive platform, and its target demographic is not megalithic corporate powerhouses. Instead, they're known for providing an easy-to-use, slightly-less-expensive alternative platform primarily for artists. Founded in 2005, it now boasts over 250,000 stores and is renowned for its low prices and ease of use.
While it may not be a viable, long-term solution for large companies (or companies with aspirations of growth) due to its lack of features, for smaller, less corporately-driven artists and craftspeople it is a perfect medium. It can be used to market various wares, allowing for the sale of up 5 items each month for free. Premium plans begin at a wallet-friendly $9.99 and can range to modest peaks as high as $29.99 a month.
One major sacrifice users are forced to give away is a search function for their inventory. While this may not represent a major inconvenience for retailers selling less than 20 items, for those with bigger inventories, this can make tracking down a particular item harder than digging up a specific cat in a cat hoarder's home.
(“Where is Sergeant Cuddle-Paws?!?!”)
If your vehicle into the world of online commerce is through WordPress CMS, then wooCommerce might be an ideal alternative to Shopify for you. This plugin serves as a transformative elixir that makes your existing website spring to life as an online store! There are loads of standard features online shopkeepers have come to expect. Best of all, its pricing plan is hard to beat, as it's free! That's rather delightfully simple.
Why should you try these Shopify alternatives?
Though Shopify is an excellent, accommodating platform with a noteworthy record of user satisfaction, it is not a panacea. So it cannot accommodate the nuanced needs of all online store owners. Artists and craftspeople, for example, may find themselves paying for frills they neither need nor even know how to use. Furthermore, those already paying for WordPress CMS would find paying for a second platform to be a redundant expense. As a consequence, others in the e-commerce ecosystem have arisen to fill the gaps that larger outfits such as Shopify have left unattended. Try out some of these competitors and you might find that, for you, Shopify is merely an alternative to them! If you, however, still think that Shopify is the platform for you, choose it and be happy! We also have a list of all interesting website builders we review - you can check it out as well.