Looking for a complete list of the best, and coolest, Shopify competitors you won’t regret trying out?
You’re in for a treat.
Because today, in this post, I am going to give you 7 (+bonus) best alternatives to Shopify that are currently killing it. The list will evaluate each alternative according to the following standards:
- Getting Started: How quick can you get started?
- Building the Store: Ease of Use, Customization & Support
- Marketing & Selling: Functionality &
- Store Management:
Come along with me. (or rather see short and sweet summary)
7+ Best Shopify Alternatives/Competitors
1. BigCommerce: Best overall Shopify competitor
By far, the biggest & best Shopify competitor. ( Starts at $29.95/month. 15-Day trial available)
Best for: Large and fast-growing businesses. Private label B2C, Large Inventory businesses and better scalability.
BigCommerce and Shopify are the biggest competitors in the SaaS eCommerce space and that isn’t gonna stop anytime soon, if ever. They offer many similar futures but have some fundamental differences as well. BigCommerce is known for its robust built-in features and powerful analytics while Shopify prides itself on its modishly clean and minimal templates and their vast collection of 3rd-party apps to extend your site’s functionality.
Without any further due, lets now look at the getting started part, which platform makes it uber easy to hit the ground running?
Pricing puts everything else in perspective. So, lets start with pricing. Shall we?
As you can see, both Shopify and Big Commerce offer almost the same pricing structure. Their most basic plan includes unlimited products, storage, and bandwidth.
But there are two key differences with their pricing. First, to BigCommerce’s credit, their basic plan includes unlimited staff accounts and they don’t charge any transactional fees on all plans.
However, to their discredit, their basic plan doesn’t include some very basic features such as customer segmentation and google customer reviews.
Pretty darn good pricing if you ask me. So who’s the winner? I think it’s a tie.
Both BigCommerce and Shopify don’t offer a free domain name with their premium plans. So that means you’ll have to buy a new domain name (if you don’t already own one). But if you already own one, you can point it to their serves in a few simple steps.
Creating a Logo
Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce does not have a built-in logo maker but you can still use a DIY photo editing tool like Picmonkey or similar tools to create a stunning logo for free.
From the moment you sign up to the moment you’re ready to create a store, BigCommerce makes it really simple to hit the ground running.
The only setback with getting started is the fact that they don’t have a built-in logo maker but that you can easily create with Canva, and if you’re not tech-savvy, or don’t like to get your hands dirty, you can get it from one of the cheaper Fiverr freelancers for only $5.
Building a Store: Customization & User friendliness
Getting started and doing all that jazz it’s important but only a means to an end; we wanna build a store and get it up and running as quickly as we can.
In this section, we’ll take a look at themes, dashboard & editor, 3rd-party apps and finally support & help.
Let’s start with themes.
Like Shopify, BigCommerce has a fairly large collection of both free (12 themes) and premium themes that are clean, minimal and modern.
Here is one thing I love about BigCommerce’s themes: You can switch between them while building a store without having to repopulate them each time – it’s automatically all done for you.
Pretty cool considering you don’t get that with Shopify.
Shopify has a total of 9 fresh and minimal themes, as opposed to BigCommerce having 12 themes. Truth be told though, many of BigCommerce’s 12 themes are a slight variation of the same thing with a couple of twists here and there. So in reality, they have about 6 themes that are unique.
So, who is the winner in this battle of themes?
Here is the truth: both platforms offer enough variety to get you started. Both offer clean and modern themes that are optimized for mobile and performance. I have to say though, I like Bigcommerce’s themes allowing you to switch mid-design and still not have to worry about repopulating your theme – a big plus for me. So I will give this one to BigCommerce.
Control Panel: Store Manager
BigCommerce’s dashboard is super modern and highly intuitive. It’s packed with easy to find information while at the same time it’s not cluttered and overwhelming. On its home page, they have tons of valuable step-by-step onboarding guides to get help you.
Same things can honestly be said with Shopify. It’s minimalist approach to it’s dashboard works wonders when you’re new and can easily experience information overload.
Do we have a winner? Both dashboards are exceptionally well done and easy to navigate to find different things. They both make it easy for newbies with guided onboarding to help you get started effortlessly. It’s a tier.
This is where the actual customizing of the storefront come in. I have tested both and I gotta say they look so similar and almost convinced me that one copied the other.
BigCommerce has taken its theme customization to a whole new level. There is a lot more customization you can do with their themes compared to Shopify, without ever having to rely on 3rd-party apps to add a pinch of your personality.
This is one of the biggest differences between BigCommerce & Shopify. Shopify features 2500+ apps while BigCommerce only has 1000+ available.
Whether more or less choice it’s good it all depends on your needs. With Shopify’s app catalog you can basically create your store however way you like but the cost can quickly add up. While with BigCommerce you can still get a lot of customization with their built-in features.
So, I will leave that for you to decide. Also, be sure to tell me what you think in the comment section. I would love to hear from you.
Support and Help
Both Platforms offer robust help & support resources. In fact, right from within their dashboard they have a search bar to look up anything, from articles, videos, apps, and blogs.
If you don’t find help there, BigCommerce has a visible floating help bar at the bottom left corner to quickly open a ticket. While Shopify also has it, it’s not in open sight, you’ll have to click on your profile located top right first to access further it.
Selling and Marketing
Building a store, as cool as it, it’s only a means to an end; and that end, it’s getting your product out there (marketing) and start generating sales (selling).
This is one section that separates men from the boys in the world of eCommerce. In this section, we’ll take a look at Sales channels, SEO & Blog, Checkouts, Email marketing, Social media ads, and CRM (customer relationship management) system.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Sales channels are about extending your reach and selling to as many customers as you possible. And that goes well beyond your online store; it includes selling on Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, eBay, Walmart Marketplace, and 20+ more.
Let me come out right and say Shopify owns this space. There is no other platform better at doing this than Shopify, and that includes BigCommerce.
Although BigCommerce sales channel features are fairly new, it still allows you to sell on many channels such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Instagram, Google shopping and can also embed buy buttons on your blogs.
Unlike Shopify, however, you cannot sell on the Walmart marketplace with BigCommerce and few other channels.
The checkout page is one of the most important pages on your site. You screw it up, your cart abandonment will shoot through the roof.
BigCommerce’s built-in features allow maximum checkout page customization but I found it a little hard to use at first.
But once you get the hang of it, you’re in for some fun.
Pro tip: To begin with the customization you have to add a product to your cart, and you can do that by pre-viewing and then adding one of the products to your cart.
SEO & Blog
BigCommerce offers decent blogging features if you’re interested in building a blog, which I think you should.
It also offers SEO features such as meta titles, descriptions, and 401 redirects, and all that juicy stuff to help your products be found on google.
Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer robust email marketing features such as order & shipping confirmation, cart abondement, etc.
Social Media Ads
BigCommerce, like Shopify, both allow you to run, track and manage your social media ads right from your dashboard. Your customers can also checkout on Facebook or Instagram via Facebook pay, only for US residents though.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
our customers are different, and they need different marketing tactics through segmentation and grouping.
Although BigCommerce allows you to do that, it’s only available starting with their Pro plan. However, you can go around that by manually adding customers and segmenting them into groups.
Now that our marketing efforts are successful and sales are starting to come in, let’s talk about how we’re gonna handle all those orders & shipping, payments and understanding our sales & marketing data.
These sections can mean the difference between scalability and crippling limitations. In this section, we take a look at orders & fulfillments, orders, payments and reports.
Orders & Fulfillment
As a small & medium business, BigCommerce offers all the tools you’ll ever need for order management & fulfillment.
This includes the ability to manage & track, right from your dashboard, orders that are awaiting payments, shipping, fulfillment, refund, etc. And that also includes managing orders from other sales channels such as Amazon, eBay, etc.
So BigCommerce does really well.
Nothing kills more trust, and sales, than not being able to let customers pay their way, fast and securely.
Luckily BigCommerce has got you covered. Your customers can checkout in 65+ ways available in 140+ currencies, serving people in 230 countries.
In short, you’ll be hard-pressed to not find an ideal payment provider for your customers.
Shipping & Taxes
Both BigCommerce & Shopify offer advanced shipping rates. For example, you can select from among free shipping, fixed-price shipping, tiered pricing, weight-based, location-based shipping to meet your changing needs.
What’s more? They have partnered with some of the best carriers (FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL) to make the process even smoother and faster.
Reports & Analytics
Both Shopify and BigCommerce offer ‘’top of the line’’ reports on their starter plans but if you need advanced reporting you’ll have to upgrade to a bigger plan in case of Shopify or pay an additional fee for “ecommerce insights’’ BigCommerce reports.
I have to say when you’re just starting out, the reporting and analytics you get, such as orders, sales, visitor traffic, etc., are plenty enough to help you understand your marketing and sales efforts.
BigCommerce has an app to help you manage and track orders, access store perfomance and connect with your customers.
With Shopify’s app, you can do a lot more: You can add, edit and manage products & collections, create discounts, run marketing campaigns and manage your other sales channel – right from the app.
Summary: How Does BigCommerce Compare with Shopify?
BigCommerce is by far the best, and closest, competitor to Shopify in terms of features and pricing. Their strength lies in their built-in features and analytics.
As your business grows, you’ll inevitably require more features to add some core functions, and BigCommerce allows you to do that without breaking the pocket with third-party apps (like with Shopify).
So if you’re a fast-growing, high-volume business that requires added functionality such as more options & variants, checkout page features, and better SEO features – then BigCommerce may be your best bet.
The cheapest alternative to Shopify. (starts at $19/month. 15-Day trial available)
3rdCart has been around the block since 1997, so it’s one of the earliest pioneers of SaaS eCommerce. To keep up with the times, they have upgraded and updated their software many times for the past 23 years.
Their cheapest plans actually start at $10/month, but that’s specifically designed for dropshippers.
Now it’s time to put 3rdCart to the test, shall we?
Pricing puts everything else in perspective, so let’s start with it. Shall we?
3dCart, starting at $19/month is cheaper compared to Shopify. Can be even cheaper if you’re a dropshipper, starting at only $10/month. Best part? Unlike Shopify, 3dCart charges no transaction fees.
3dCart’s pricing is spread out too wide. What I mean is that there are too many plans (5 in total), making the cheaper plans lack some futures that are very common in other eCommerce platforms. Also, more choice can mean struggling to find a plan to fit exactly what you need without spending too much.
For example, their entry plan at $19/month doesn’t include basic things such as Facebook pixel integration, email marketing for newsletter & abandoned cart, rewards & loyalty program, etc.
So in short, I didn’t like their pricing structure. Shopify and BigCommerce offer a lot more features at the same pricing.
Yes I didn’t like their pricing but here one thing I like:
Their premium plans include a free domain name for a year – bingo! They offer free hosting and SSL security for credit card protection, and you can point as many subdomains as you like to their store.
Creating a Logo
Unlike Shopify, 3dCart doesn’t have an in-house logo maker, which means if you need a logo for your store you may need to use Canva or its alternatives.
If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, I always recommend grabbing a cheap, but high-quality logo from Fiverr starting at only $5.
Building a Store: Customization & User-friendliness
How long it takes one to build a store can mean a difference between a YAY and a MEH, right? Let’s see how 3dCart is in this department.
3rdCart offers a collection of 59+ free themes to choose from, a whole lot more than a mere 9 themes Shopify has in it’s collection.
But, wait, more doesn’t always mean better right? Yes and No. In this case, after checking out 3dCart’s themes, I think it’s leaning more towards a yes though you’ll need to know HTML to customize it further.
Control Panel: Store Manager
3dCart, like Shopify and BigCommerce, uses a popular and modern control panel with the navigation menu on the sidebar. First, it makes it easy to find and navigate your way through the dashboard but it also saves but a lot of space.
3dCart website editor is a little hard to get a good grip of initially, but once you do it becomes fairly easy to navigate and customize it as you like.
Something else they could do better is “unhiding” their website editor under “content” on the control panel. For its significance, it deserves to have its own section.
Generally, 3dCart’s editor is not the most user-friendly but it’s not impossible. I guess it’s because I am used to Shopify’s simple drag and drop editor.
3dCart features 250+ third-party apps to add more functionalities to your store. It’s worth noting that this about 1/10th of the number of apps accessible with Shopify.
Support & Help
Truth be told, most eCommerce platform offer high level of support and help via chat, email and phone. In addition they have huge knowledge base where you can find answers to your most pressing questions. If that isn’t enough, most also provide 24/7 phone support.
3dCart is no different.
Marketing and Selling
As I said before, this sets the men apart from the boys in the world of eCommerce. Let’s find out how 3dCart measures up.
3dCart allows you to sell on many channels such as marketplaces (Amazon & eBay), social media channels such as Facebook and also supports google shopping feed.
The only pain point is not being able to connect Facebook pixel with their start-up and basic plan, I think that should come as a basic feature included in all plans.
And here is why: If you’re a small business (on a tight budget) and are using Facebook ads to drive traffic to your site, then you’ll need to add the pixel in order to run retargeting ads, and you shouldn’t have to upgrade to a bigger plan to access that.
Both 3dCart and Shopify allow you to customize your checkout page to quite a large degree. Fast and friction-free checkout is a must for modern eCommerce. Luckily 3dCart offers 160+ payment gateways to make that process easier and hassle-free.
SEO & Blog
3dCart claims to be the best eCommerce platform for SEO. Simply put, that’s not true. BigCommerce offers better features. But they do offer OK SEO features.
The platforms allow you to customize URLs, meta titles & description, image alt text, and HTML headings. They also have a built-in blogging platform that’s a lot more customizable than Shopify’s.
3dCart has an email marketing equivalent called the Newsletter module. Unlike Shopify, they also offer hosted email accounts without any extra charge.
Orders & Fulfillment
3dCart allows you to manage and track orders right from the control panel. Their system also allows you to create phone orders, something I haven’t seen before with other platforms. Pretty cool.
With 3dCart, you get paid and allow your customers to pay you in 160+ payment getaways, more than any eCommerce platform in the world. So you can be assured you’ll find something that works for you.
Shipping & Taxes
3dCart allows you to integrate your store with the following carriers: USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL and Canada Post. Best part? Real-time shipping calculation is available with their cheapest plan. Their shipping methods include free shipping, flat rate, weight-based, country-based and even customer-based depending on customer segmentation.
Reports & Analytics
There is plenty of tracking and analysis available within 3dCart’s control panel and this includes being able to see reports for your customers, shipping, inventory, sales, products, etc. There is sure plenty of things to pour your mind over.
Unfortunately, 3dCart does not have a mobile app but you can still access your store manager via mobile by bookmarking your store’s unique URL for easy & hassle-free access.
Summary: How Does 3dCart Compare with Shopify?
Many customers have upvoted their amazing customer service, easy to use cart, and hassle-free set up of core functions like shipping and payments.
On the surface, however, 3dCart may seem like a cheaper option choice but considering the excluded features in their cheapest plan (all of which are included with Shopify’s and BigCommerce’s entry-level plan), you’ll quickly realize that 3dCart’s pricing sucks. Unless you’re a small business with obvious scaling plans in the near future.
3dcart will work great for small businesses that don’t expect to expand too quickly but otherwise, you’d hit a wall too with scalability and additional costs.
3. Wix : Best value-for-money Shopify alternative
Best value for money Shopify alternative (Pricing starts at $17/month. Free Plan available)
Best for solo entrepreneurs selling service (e.g. Coaching, Yoga, etc.) and small local businesses (e.g. restaurants, events & booking, etc.)
Wix is primarily a website builder with some impressive eCommerce capabilities. It’s drag and drop editor makes it uber easy to create and customize a store however you like. The greatest strength and value is their ease of use and creative freedom.
With their plans starting at $17/month, you can’t help but be tempted to move over to Wix. But first, let’s see how it compares to heavy-hitters like Shopify.
Wix eCommerce pricing starts at $17/month, making it one of the cheapest eCommerce platforms, and considering offered features – the best value for money.
Big thing I love about their pricing structure is how compact it is; that is, the difference between their basic and VIP plan is very minimal, and thus getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Wix also offers a free domain for 1 year when you select one of their premium plans, including eCommerce plans. The domain name is renewable at $20 every year.
Every eCommerce comes with unlimited bandwidth and plenty of storage to keep you going.
Best part? You get a $75 Google ad voucher, plus additional Site Booster App & Visitor Analytics App (worth combined $160) for free. Hard to beat if you ask me.
Creating a Logo
Wix, like Shopify, has a built-in logo maker. It’s actually quite popular and one of the few that’s actually worth trying out. Plenty of logo templates to choose from and get you started.
Building a Store
Wix is a pack-leader in the space of drag-and-drop editors and they’ve perfected and made it better over the years. So it should be fairly simple to put up a storefront together, right? Right.
In addition to it’s intuitive editor, Wix is also known for its vast collection of free themes. Best part? All themes in their collection are all free. Yes, you heard that right, all free.
Does that mean that perhaps they’re all of low quality? Nothing could be further from the truth. They’re all superbib!
Something else worth noting is that all Wix themes are ultra customizable. I essentially mean there is no limit to the level of customization you can achieve. Now, that’s design freedom.
Control Panel: Store Manager
Unlike Shopify’s control panel, Wix interface is not totally minimal, but not cluttered either. It’s a good mixture of useful information and keeping it neat and tidy. I love it.
Here is where all great stuff happens on Wix. Their drag-and-drop editor makes building a website sooo easy, and fun too. The editor is free of clutter and also features a popular panel with the menu on the side bar for easy drag and dropping elements wherever you like on the website.
Their editor was built for non-designers, but for an average Joe like you and me. So if you’ve never felt at home with a website builder before, you gotta try out Wix.
As impressive as Wix’s built-in features are, it’s fair to say it still can’t do everything. And that is why they have an impressive 700+ 3rd-party apps to extend your site’s functionality if need be. From dropshipping, print on demand to fulfillment & warehouse and shipping integration apps, there is a plenty to choose from.
You’d be hard-pressed to not find an app to take your site to the new level.
Support & Help
I have been using Wix for 3+ years now and there has never been a question I could never find answers to in their vast help center. Their knowledge base is insane, and better yet, it’s well organized and easy to find whatever you’re looking for.
Marketing & Selling
With Wix you can expand your reach through selling on Facebook, Instagram, Google Shopping, and many more, all from within your dashboard. Unlike 3dCart, Wix allows you to connect Facebook pixel with their entry-level plans.
It’s certainly not at the same level as Shopify but for a small business, it may suffice in most cases.
Wix offers express checkout with PayPal, allowing your customers’ experience to be smooth and friction-free.
You can also edit & customize your checkout page, but not as limitless as other pages. Wix also has transaction fees ranging between 1.9% (Europe) and 2.9% (US).
SEO & Blog
Wix offers robust SEO features. This includes being able to edit meta titles & descriptions, URL slugs, Image alt text and redirect URLs. They’ve got it all.
They also have a decent blogging platform that SEO optimized as well. Basically, when it comes to SEO Wix has got all the features you’ll need.
This is one area where I think Wix could do better. Instead of their email marketing being part of their premium plans, it’s actually a separate plan under the umbrella of Wix Ascend, their version of marketing and customer management suite.
Pricing for this Wix Ascend starts at only $10/month and offers some impressive automation features to get your marketing supercharged.
Social Media ads
Through Wix’s powerful machine learning, you can create ads once and Wix will take care of the rest by utilizing Facebook’s dynamic ads algorithm to serve your ads to the most relevant audiences through A/B testing, retargeting, and lookalike audiences. Best part? You can control and track all that from right within your dashboard.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Wix Ascend is their version of CRM. Wix Ascend allows you to better manage and keep in touch with your customers. This includes sending out newsletter & coupons, streamlining your workload through automation, request & track payments, task & reminders, to name but a few.
Orders and Fulfillment
Wix allows you to streamline and automate your order fulfillment. You can manage storage and fulfillment, print labels, update your customers all right within your dashboard.
Wix supports Dropshippers but not as best as Shopify does.
With Wix payment solution you can handle and manage your payments smoothly and from the same place. What’s more? You have a choice to choose from 40+ leading payment gateways such as PayPal & Stripe.
In short, you shouldn’t face any problems with allowing your customers to pay their way.
Shipping & Taxes
It’s fairly standard for an eCommerce platform to offer a wide variety of shipping options such as free shipping, flat-rate, weight-based, location-based and even customer-based shipping. Wix is no different, it allows you different kinds of shipping options to meet your changing needs. Wix also offers real-time shipping rates from trusted domestic and international carriers.
Reports & Analytics
Wix has plenty to offer in terms of insights and analytics. It allows you to monitor your store’s performance, traffic reports and how customers interact with your store, top-selling products, and can even create custom reports based on your metrics of interest.
Best part? You can manage and see all these reports right from your mobile app.
Wix mobile app features are among some of the best in the eCommerce space. You can manage payments, inventory & orders, add and edit your products, interact with your customers, and view reports & store performance.
Summary: How Does Wix Compare with Shopify?
Wix offers the best value for money considering all the features you can get for almost half of what you’d pay with the likes of BigCommerce. If you’re a small business or solo entrepreneur and you’d like to manage your store on the go, there is no other eCommerce platform (besides only Shopify) that offers a better Mobile App experience than Wix. Its application is highly-rated, future-rich, and performs as it should.
So who is it best for? Small businesses, Portfolio eCommerce sites (photography, creative arts, freelancers, etc), and anyone that wants a full eCommerce experience at the lowest price.
Best for data-driven business. (Pricing starts at $29/month. 14-Day trial available)
SMB friendly and best for subscription based/membership sites, and advance data analytics & reports.
Like 3dCart, Volusion has been around the block for quite a while but they have kept up with 21st century technology with their software updates.
Volusion’s pricing is exactly similar to Shopify’s. Their cheapest plan starts at $29/month. Their plan also includes basics such as unlimited bandwidth and storage.
However, unlike Shopify, for their entry-level plan, the number of products you can sell is capped at 100 and doesn’t include Amazon & eBay integration and third-party calculated shipping rates.
Volusion doesn’t allow you to purchase a domain name in-house and therefore you have to buy it from a third-party service like Namecheap (offers the best prices). Also, as you can expect, they don’t offer a free 1-year domain name voucher.
Here is a big setback: A free SSL certificate (for secure checkout) is only available for their prime plan. On any other plan, you’ll have to buy it and can cost up to $90. Yikes!
Creating a Logo
Unlike Wix or Shopify, Volusion doesn’t support a built-in logo maker. That means you’ll have to use Picmonkey or similar tools.
Building a Store
Volusion has a collection of 11 free themes to choose from and additional 34 premium themes. If you’re always happy starting with free themes like me, then from the collection of available 11 themes you should find one you like.
Frankly, their themes exceeded my expectations. They’re unique, modern and clearly designed by folks with eCommerce knowledge.
Control Panel & Website Editor
Volusion’s control panel is quite different to other eCommerce platforms. It features a menu on a top bar but also houses a website editor right within the control panel dashboard, something I haven’t seen with other platforms.
Their features are well organized and easy to locate. Editing the storefront is not straightforward, but as with anything, you gotta learn first and once you get the hang of it it’s fairly easy to find your way around.
Volusion supports a decent amount of free and paid apps in their app store. This includes apps from categories such as accounting, email marketing, live chat, dropshipping, etc.
Should you need additional functionalities, Volusion has teamed up with Zapier for access to 1000+ more apps from their catalog.
Support & Help
Volusion offers industry-standard 24/7 email, chat, and phone support. In addition, their help center is filled with useful articles and tips, but not as visible and accessible from the control panel and website editor as I would have liked.
Marketing and Selling
Volusion allows integration with Facebook, Amazon, and eBay, but that is only available with their business plan( $299/month). Considering that competitors like Shopify and BigCommerce offer these features on their entry-level plans, it’s unbecoming that they don’t offer that.
Volusion has 30+ payment gateways, but if you choose to use their in-house payment provider called Volusion Pay you can enjoy the best rates. With that number of choices, including PayPal, Amazon payments, Stripe, you can be sure your customers will be happy.
SEO & Blog
Volusion does not support a built-in blogging platform, yikes. So if content marketing is one of your strategies to drive traffic, I doubt Volusion would be a good fit for your plans.
Volusion also offers email marketing capabilities called Volusion Newsletter. It has a fairly decent amount of features. With the exception of their small newsletter limit of only 200 emails/month for a professional plan, I think it’s fairly decent for the most part.
Orders & Payments
From within the store manager, Volusion has plenty of features to manage & update orders.
Shipping and Taxes
Similar to other alternatives, Volusion has plenty of shipping options to assign such as free shipping, flat-rate, weight-based shipping, and a lot more.
Volusion just recently released its first mobile app version. The app is so new that it hasn’t even been downloaded yet (only checked on Google Play).
Summary: Is Volusion a good alternative to Shopify?
Volusion offers great onboarding support and some solid eCommerce features to get you started.
Would I recommend it? If you’re into subscription-based eCommerce or are looking for super advanced inventory management & automation tools then it would probably be worth checking out.
Best for existing WordPress Websites or where everyone else fails.
WordPress is a free open-source solution. Meaning it allows you to build your site on its platform for entirely free. For the most part that’s what makes it so popular (currently powering more than 38% of all websites on the internet) but most importantly it offers total design freedom – possibilities are literally limitless with customizations.
However, to build an online store, one needs a plugin called wooCommerce (A free open-source eCommerce plugin built on WordPress) which, of course, it’s also free to install and use.
WooCommerce is not the easiest platform to learn but once you do, the possibilities are endless. If you’ve already been using WordPress for your website and you wanna add an online store, then installing the WooCommerce plugin should be fairly simple for you.
- Pricing: WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin for both personal and commercial use.
- Domain Name: Since it’s free, everything else it’s not free. You have to buy your own domain name starting at $9 from Namecheap, renewal each year at the same price.
- Creating a Logo: You can use free services like Canva or other similar tools to create your own logo.
Building a Store
- Templates: Finding quality free themes it’s not a problem but the process can take a long time with all the options that are available. wooThemes works great for compatibility reasons. Their free theme called storefront themes is the best to start off with.
- Store Manager: WooCommerce is hosted on WordPress’s modern and uncluttered control panel. Beginners can often be overwhelmed in the beginning, but once you’re you’ll fall in love with it.
- Website Editor: Similar to the control panel, editing a site on WordPress it’s not for the faint-hearted. If you’re new, give yourself some time to learn, or else you may quit in frustrations.
- Third-party apps: WooCommerce is one of 50 000+ other WordPress plugins, some free and some paid. So there is essentially no limit to customization but some add-ons (e.g credit card processors & shipping options) and plugins will costs you money.
- Support & Help: Since it’s free, the service offered is not top-notch, and is one of the biggest complaints about using wooCommerce. In short, you’d be lucky to get a helpful response within a day or two.
Marketing and Selling
- Sales Channel: WooCommerce allows you to sell on Facebook, Amazon, Etsy, and a few other channels. But, you can expect to pay for these extensions.
- Checkouts: To make your customer’s checkout process easier and smooth, WooCommerce features 50+ other add-ons such as currency converters, upsells and cross sells, shipping, etc. Again, some are free but some will cost you money.
- SEO & Blog: WooCommerce is served on WordPress, the world’s best blogging platform. Access to Yoast, a free SEO guide WordPress plugin. It doesn’t get any better.
- Email Marketing: No shortage of plugins and add-ons to take your email marketing campaigns to the next level. A plethora of integrations available as well.
- Social Media Ads: Connect yout product catalogue to Facebook store, access to built-in Facebook pixel and engage with customers on Messenger. Can also be integrated with Intagram and Pinterest.
- Orders & Payments: No limit or shortage of payment gateways you can use, many of them are free like PayPal, Stripe, Amazon pay, etc.
- Shipping & Taxes: Different shipping options available like FedEx, UPS, Canadian post, etc for quotes and printing labels. However, prices begin at $79 billed annually.
- Reports & Analysis: Plenty of metrics to track and analyze such as sales reports, visitor analytics, and can even automate your accounting with extensions like quickbooks and Taxjar.
- Mobile App: WooCommerce mobile app allows you to manage orders and sales and view other metrics.
Summary: Is wooCommerce a worthy Shopify alternative?
WooCommerce is not as beginner-friendly but well endowed with powerful eCommerce features. However, as great as it is, I wouldn’t recommend it to beginners or anyone who’s trying to build an eCommerce store for the first time unless if they’ll be selling subscription-based and service products. Besides the steep learning curve, the cost can quickly skyrocket with considering a domain name, hosting, and adding additional extensions costs (even though the plugin itself is free).
However, if you’ve been using WordPress for a while and would like to add an online store to your website, then adding the WooCommerce plugin may be a viable option.
Free & Cheapest Shopify alternative. (Pricing starts at $15/month. Free plan available.)
Ecwid is an eCommerce Store Plug-in. In other words, it allows you to integrate it with your existing online store. Ecwid, unlike other dedicated eCommerce platforms, offers a free forever plan that features unlimited bandwidth and 10 products to sell. This is great if you want more than 14 days (max trial period for most eCom platforms) to test out an eCommerce plan before committing to selling online.
- Pricing: Starts at $15/month, unlimited bandwidth, no transaction fees, and multiple sales channels available.
- Domain Name: You can either add your domain name or connect your store to an existing website.
- Creating a Logo: Ecwid doesn’t allow you to create a logo or other graphic designs but you can do so using Canva or other similar tools.
Building a Store
- Templates: Ecwid themes are built to help you launch your site in as little as 5 minutes. There’s plenty of “fully-cooked” templates to choose from and customize to fit into your website’s brand colors.
- Control Panel: The cleanest and leaniest dashboard interface by far, yet packet with features for store management, sales channels, and configurations.
- Website editor: Easy to use drag and drop editor that makes adding and customizing products a walk in the park.
- Third-Party Apps: Ecwid allows you to integrate your store with existing websites hosted on Wix, Squarespace, WordPress, Weebly, etc. See the full list here.
- Support & Help: Email and live chat support available to their entry level plan. Phone support only available on more expensive plans. Helpful guides and articles available in the help center.
Marketing and Sales
- Sales Channels: Ecwid is best known for its wide variety of sales channels including Facebook, Google, Instagram, eBay, Amazon, and even supports POS (point of sale) where you can accept payments in the store for orders placed online.
- Checkouts: Ecwid is a dedicated online store plug-in supporting 50+ payment gateways, so chances are you’ll find one that works best for you and your customers.
- SEO & Blog: Ecwid used to have unsavory SEO features but they have since updated them where you’re now able to edit your product URL, product meta title and description.
- Email Marketing: Currently, you can only integrate Ecwid with Mailchimp for your email marketing campaigns and newsletters. Available with Business Plan or higher Plan.
- Social Media Ads: Ecwid allows you to run dynamic ads on Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest and Snapchat. This allows you to set up your ads once and let Ecwid do the rest by retargeting previous visitors to your website and targeting look-alike audiences.
- Orders & Payments: Accept payments in over 50 payment methods and sync your orders and inventory across multiple sales channels with ease.
- Shipping & Taxes: You can choose among many shipping rates such as free shipping, flat price, weight-based, etc. If shipping is not free, you can use a smart shipping calculator to let your customers see real-time shipping costs.
- Reports & Analysis: Ecwid let’s you control everything from a single dashboard, whether that be on desktop or on mobile, it’s all the same. Their dashboard lets you see product sales & inventory reports, traffic insights and much more.
- Mobile App: Ecwid mobile app lets you not only add products, manage orders & inventory, create tracking numbers, run campaigns but also lets you create or customize your store on the go.
Summary: Is Ecwid a worthy Shopify alternative?
Surprisingly, Ecwid offers many of the features that behemoths like Shopify and BigCommerce do, and does so at a fairly competitive price.
If you have an already existing, well-functioning website that you would like to add an online store without having to create a new website for your store, then Ecwid may be a great option for you.
This works well if you have your website hosted on WordPress (to avoid excessive WooCommerce add-ons pricing), or other platforms that don’t support or have limited eCommerce capabilities.
(pricing starts at $26/month, billed annually. 14-Day trial)
Known for its beautiful templates, Square is a thoughtfully designed and feature-rich website builder that allows you to create beautiful websites, design stunning blogs, and eCommerce stores. What’s more? Squarespace allows you to host podcasts and sell subscriptions, something that websites of its class don’t allow you to do.
- Pricing: Pricing starts at $26/month, billed annually. Paying per month will set you back $30/month, the most expensive for an entry-level eCommerce plan.
- Domain Name: For annual plans, Squarespace provides free domains for the first year, and thereafter renewable at $20 every year (can get it cheaper at Namecheap for $10/year).
- Creating a Logo: Unlike Wix or Shopify, Squarespace doesn’t provide a built-in logo maker but you can use services tools similar to Picmonkey but I personally use Canva for my work.
Building a Store
- Templates: Squarespace arguably offers some of the best designed templates of all website builders. They are known for their world-class templates.
- Control Panel: Like it’s website, Squarespace’s control panel is clean and minimal, making it easy to navigate and find your way around.
- Website Editor: Their structured drag-and-drop editor is easy to use and fun too.
- Third-Party Apps: Squarespace does not have an app market but you can extend functionality using Zapier apps integration (it’s not free though). This is one area where Squarespace doesn’t fare as well against competitors like Wix.
- Support & Help: 24/7 email and social media support. Live chat support between Monday and Friday. No phone support.
Marketing & Selling
- Sales Channel: Squarespace integrates with Instagram shopping, and allows you to add Facebook pixel for automated dynamic ads but doesn’t integrate with Facebook shop.
- Checkouts: Checkout page is fairly customizable to make your own. Integrations with PayPal express checkout and Apple Pay ensure a smooth and hassle-free checkout process.
- SEO & Blog: Squarespace has exceptional blogging features and follows SEO best practices such customizable meta title & description, image alt text, url slug, etc.
- Email marketing: Like Wix, Squarespace’s eCommerce Plans does not include email marketing. For that you’ll have to select one of the email campaign plans starting at $7/month for 500 emails per month.
- Social Media Ads: Squarespace allows you to integrate with Facebook dynamic ads to track visitors through your site for more targeted ads.
- Orders & Payments: Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay are some of the payment gateways available for Squarespace users.
- Shipping & Taxes: Supported shipping carriers include USPS, UPS, FedEx and extensions such as Easyship, Shippo and Shipstation for managing taxes, labeling, tracking and automated returns.
- Reports & Analytics: From the store manager’s dashboard you can view metrics such as sales reports, traffic sources, visitor info, cart abandonment and much more.
- Mobile App: Squarespace’s app lets you see metrics such as visitor traffic and orders, manage site settings and blog, it allows you to run marketing campaigns right from your phone.
Summary: Is Squarespace a worthy Shopify alternative?
(Pricing starts at $15/month. Free plan available)
Second only to Wix and Squarespace (in my opinion), Weebly is one of the most popular website builders (not eCommerce platform) out there, currently powering 50M+ websites on the internet. It features a structured drag & drop editor, beautiful templates, and helpful SEO guidelines.
Weebly qualifies as a Shopify alternative but is it there yet, can one run a professionally designed online store with it? Let’s find out.
- Pricing: Weebly’s eCommerce Pro Plan starts at $12/month, billed annually. This plan is way too basic and feature-deprived. Business Plan starts at $25/month, billed annually, and has comparable features to other entry-level plans.
- Domain Name: When you sign up for one of their premium plans, you get a domain name for the first year free, after which it’s renewable at $20 every year.
- Creating a Logo: Wix does not support an in-house logo maker. But you can get one for your business with Canva or similar tools for free.
Building a Store:
- Templates: Great looking templates and are designed to be responsive across all devices such as mobile and tablets.
- Control Panel: Weebly makes it really easy for you to find your way around your store fast and hassle-free. Their store manager is modern and well designed for easy navigation.
- Website Editor: Since Weebly switched it’s editor to Square editor, most of the once-beloved Weebly editor’s features are gone. The current editor is not as feature-rich and limits, to a large extent, design freedom and flexibility.
- 3rd-Party Apps: From their app center you can access third-party apps to extend your site’s functionality. Their app market contains apps from categories such as eCommerce, communication, and marketing.
- Support and Help: Their support center is full of helpful guides for common questions. For human help, Weebly’s plans include email and chat support. Phone support is only available on advanced plans.
Marketing and Selling
- Sales Channel: Weebly’s eCommerce Plan only allows you to sell online, that is, no integration with Facebook or Instagram or other sales channels.
- Checkouts: Weebly’s new editor is still a work in progress and lacks total design flexibility for a checkout page. But Weebly is integrated with PayPal for faster checkout, though only available on advanced plans.
- SEO and Blog: For HTML tags, Weebly only allows headings to H2, potentially limiting for optimising your site. Besides that, Weebly has decent features like meta title & descriptions, Image alt text and URL slugs that you can customize.
- Email Marketing: Weebly promote, their email campaign tool, starts at $8/month and features a decent amount of features to allow you to take your email marketing to the next level.
- Social Media Ads: Currently it’s not possible to sell on Facebook store or Instagram using Weebly’s in-built futures but you can install apps to help with that.
- Orders & Payments: With Weebly eCommerce, you can offer two payment methods, i.e. credit card and PayPal. Weebly does not support POS (point of sale), meaning you cannot sell online and accept payments in your brick-and-mortar store.
- Shipping & Taxes: Weebly does impressively well in this department, offering a lot of shipping options and can be integrated with trusted carriers for real-time shipping cost calculations.
- Reports & Analytics: Tons of metrics and reports available even on the cheapest plans.
- Mobile App: Weebly by Square is their mobile app. The app is actually impressive. It allows you to track and manage orders, add and edit your products, and even build your website right from your phone.
Summary: Is Weebly a worthy Shopify alternative?
Weebly eCommerce is one of the cheapest Shopify alternatives, offering a fair price starting at $12/month. However, their cheapest plan it’s ultra-basic and lacks some really basic features.
Their business plan starts at $25/month, yet provides only two payment options (credit and PayPal) while other competitors at the same pricing provide a dozen more eCommerce features.
Here is where I am getting at: Although Weebly may seem like a cheaper, and perhaps more desirable, alternative to Shopify, you’ll soon be baffled by the limited features it has to offer.