We take a look at the best alternative Shopify platforms, in case the popular eCommerce platform isn’t for you.
If you are looking to start an ecommerce business or a side business, you need a website. A website builds credibility and helps you reach a larger audience. To build your website, you need a platform to help you through the process.
Most people turn to Shopify, but it’s not your only option. Let’s explore some of the Shopify alternatives that are just as great, if not better.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce platform that allows you to build an online store to display and sell your products. The e-commerce platform is the preferred choice of many online sellers. Shopify helps you lay the foundation for your business as you envision it and continue to grow it over time and as it grows.
Shopify is user-friendly, and you don’t have to be an expert to start using it. If you’re new to the platform, you can also find courses to help you run a successful Shopify store. Shopify offers a free trial period and then affordable prices after that period.
But Shopify isn’t the only platform helping people through this process. There are plenty of other platforms you can turn to, and below are some of our top picks.
Squarespace is a well-known website builder that does not require any skill or knowledge to use. It comes with awesome templates and designs, and its features allow you to professionally customize your site.
The platform offers affordable plans, each offering various perks with different price tags that you might find useful. But it’s a pretty common occurrence for various YouTubers to get sponsored by Squarespace and offer signup promotions.
A major downside to note is that Squarespace only processes payments with PayPal and Stripe. So while Squarespace itself won’t charge you transaction fees, the other two will. Squarespace’s marketing features are also somewhat limited, so they don’t quite outperform Shopify when it comes to features.
BigCommerce gives you everything you need to build the perfect website for you. It has an abundance of templates and themes for you to choose from. It also offers the Akamai Image Manager at no additional cost, which allows you to optimize images for both browsers and mobile devices.
One missing Shopify feature that you’ll find in BigCommerce is inventory syncing. As the name suggests, the feature lets you sync your inventory and streamline omnichannel sales. The inventory sync feature can help you increase your sales and give BigCommerce an edge over Shopify.
Volusion and Shopify are similar in many ways. Both offer a 14-day free trial, similar pricing, and drop shipping. However, Volusion sets itself apart with its larger catalog of themes, which you can customize to your liking.
The cloud-based shopping cart is great for small businesses, which don’t have excessive technical skills. The platform has a management system that allows you to place orders in order to improve the processing experience. It also gives you access to built-in SEO tools that can help you improve your ads.
Depending on the plan you get, you’ll have to factor in monthly bandwidth limitations, but it’s still a good Shopify alternative.
Magento is a free and open source platform with an abundance of features, themes, and templates. You have access to thousands of extensions and can customize every aspect of your e-commerce store. The platform also provides you with a host of catalog management, SEO, marketing tools and is designed to withstand heavy traffic.
One negative point to note regarding Magento is the price. Although the software is free to download, you incur other costs if you choose to use it. For example, you will have to pay for web hosting, web development, and whatever else you might need to start and maintain your site.
The Magento system is not for novice users, but rather for those more experienced in coding. If you don’t have any knowledge or skills in the area, you better look elsewhere.
BigCartel is perfect for you if you have a small business. It doesn’t have as many features as Shopify, but don’t overlook it. It has all the necessary features, is easy to use, affordable, and offers unlimited bandwidth and HTML and CSS customization, among others.
You don’t need any coding experience to use it, and it’s integrated with PayPal, Google Analytics, and Facebook. BigCartel will not charge you any additional transaction fees, but PayPal will. Another negative point to consider is the lack of phone support or live chat.
BigCartel offers a free trial, you can test it out before committing to any of its plans – it offers four, one of which is free. The free plan limits you to five products and one image per product. But if you are a small business starting out, this could be perfect for you.
Wix offers you a simple interface and many templates with customizable themes. It is easy to use and configure, suitable for novice and experienced users. Wix also offers a free trial, then four affordable plans.
The Wix App Store offers over 280 apps, plugins, and add-ons that you can integrate into your store. It also offers tutorials if you need it, a drag and drop editor, and works with many payment gateways.
Some negatives include the different bandwidth limitations on the plans, so think about that before committing to one. Additionally, SEO doesn’t look as good as Shopify’s and Amazon’s integration lacks in comparison. However, this remains a solid alternative.
Shift4Shop shares many similarities with Shopify. Both ecommerce platforms offer built-in features that help you build, manage, and grow your online store. Shift4Shop also gives you access to various templates and themes, allowing you to customize everything to your liking. And it’s easy to use, requiring no special skills or knowledge.
Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does offer a free, unlimited plan that you can choose from if you use its Shift4 payments for processing your credit card. On top of that, you can use over 160 alternative payment methods on Shift4 Payments.
Like some other platforms, Shift4Shop has built-in tools that include everything you need for your store. You get payment and shipping, marketing, inventory management, and customer relationship software at no additional cost to you. It is a platform to consider.