Shopify is a great option for businesses, looking to sell online. However, it is not perfect for everyone - and chances are, you're looking for something that's at least a little bit different.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives, that you can choose from. They different than Shopify - offering varying features, pricing schemes, or website building solutions. And in this post, I'll be talking about the 5 most interesting ones out there.
Here are the Shopify alternatives you should be considering:
- Volusion (nearly as powerful as definitely less expensive!)
- Squarespace (beautiful templates)
- 3dCart (loads of features, no transaction fees)
- BigCartel (perfect for artists)
- WooCommerce (free, open-source, made for WordPress)
With zero transaction fees, and over a 1,000 native and third-party applications to choose from, Volusion offers features very similar to the ones in Shopify.
The real difference, though? Its price. Whereas Shopify plans start from $29/month, Volusion's start only from $15/month. And in all the plans, there is a pretty solid lineup of features to pick from:
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.
- Plenty of eCommerce features
- Pretty low monthly price
- No transaction fees
- No blogging feature
- The interface is a bit buggy, tricky to use
If you're thinking of using your website not only to sell online, but also as a portfolio, and blogging platform - Squarespace is one of the best options to choose.
Despite beginning as a non-commerce oriented platform, it's successfully managed to sneak into the world of online commerce. The eCommerce-capable plans, starting at $26 a month, include features such as:
- No restrictions on how many items you can sell
- No transaction fees
- The ability to sell both physical and digital wares
- Customer tracking facilitated using a post-checkout marketing pixel
- Easy integration of customer-drawing techniques such as coupons and sales codes
One glaring limitation of this other-wise ideal platform is the fact that they only accept payment processing through Paypal or Stripe. However, if that's enough for you - and you're looking for something easy to use and manage, Squarespace is a legitimately great option.
- Beautiful templates
- Blogging features included
- Very easy to use
- Limited payment processing options
- Not fully centered on eCommerce
3dcart is a veteran of the eCommerce business - for more than 20 years, it's been a platform of choice for thousands of online stores. But it doesn't mean that 3dcart hasn't been keeping up with the times.
Allowing Apple Pay, Google Pay, and even Bitcoin for payment options in all plans, as well as a blogging platform and full SEO optimization, this platform is well armed to be a good Shopify alternative.
However, as good as 3dcart is, it also has some drawbacks. For instance, features like pre-orders, and back-in-stock alerts are only available at the most expensive $229/month plan. And all of the plans are capped depending on how many sales you do.
For example, the cheapest plan will only be available if you sell for less than $50k/year. So if you'll reach financial success - so will 3dcart.
- Plenty of payment gateways
- All of the main tools for a modern website
- Solutions for affiliate, or subscription sales
- Plans limit the amount of money you can make
- Website templates a bit outdated
Despite the punchy name, BigCartel is far from a massive platform, and its target demographic is not megalithic corporate powerhouses. Actually, BigCartel aims to be a Shopify alternative for artists and entrepreneurs looking to sell their art to the worldwide audience.
The two main features are very simple - and that's great ease-of-use and very low prices. As a matter of fact, there's actually even a free plan: so you can start selling online with no initial investment. Of course, you can only sell up to 5 items a month. 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.
And yet still, BigCartel is a great option if you're an artist looking to monetize a hobby. Definitely worth a look!
- Very easy to use
- Free plan available
- Very few advanced eCommerce features
- Difficult to navigate through the products
And finally, let's have a look at WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a WordPress-powered Shopify alternative, offering massive customizability for more experienced users.
The pricing is really hard to beat, too: that's because WooCommerce is free.
All you need to do is to find some good WooCommerce hosting, set up a WordPress website, install WooCommerce, and you're good to go. From there, you'll be able to adjust your website just the way you want to. It's a much more difficult experience than using a regular website builder. But if you're serious about website development, this is a Shopify alternative worth considering.
- Completely free
- Loads of customization options
- No caps on sales or users
- Difficult to set up
- Requires a hosting account
Which Of The Shopify Alternatives Is Right For You?
Though Shopify is an excellent platform with many happy users, it's not perfect for everyone. It simply can't be a perfect fit for all kinds of needs and all types of websites. So - which of these Shopify alternatives are right for who?
- Volusion is a sideways upgrade. It is very similar to Shopify in terms of what it offers - but does so for a much lower price margin. 3dcart is very similar in that regard, too - but its plans also limit the amount of money you can make.
- Squarespace, however, is a great Shopify alternative if you're looking for a simple website builder, fit for blogging, but also wish to do some sales on top. eCommerce isn't its primary goal - if it isn't yours as well, it's a match made in heaven.
- BigCartel is a perfect fit for artists and beginner entrepreneurs. It's very cheap (or even free) to start with, and requires barely any initial investment.
- And finally, there's WooCommerce. If you're serious about building your online store from the ground up, you should do it with WooCommerce. While you may need to put some work in, it's important to remember that this platform is free.
So there you have it - these are the top 5 Shopify alternatives in the market right now. Did I miss anything? Or there's something you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.