Shopify has revolutionized ecommerce for everyday sellers. Before Shopify there was no ecommerce software platform that made it quick and easy for beginners to build beautiful and fully functional online stores. Shopify is one of the best ecommerce software out there, do doubt, but there are good Shopify alternatives ⇣ too.
Shopify was founded in 2004 is today a complete ecommerce platform that enables everyone to start an online business, grow and manage it.
- Best overall: Wix ecommerce capabilities are a bit limited but its drag and drop functionality is made with beginners in mind. Cheaper pricing also gives Wix an edge over Shopify.
- Runner-up, Best overall: Bigcommerce is the second biggest name on the ecommerce market and comes with the most built-in features of any ecommerce platform out there, including Shopify.
- Best WordPress alternative to Shopify: WooCommerce is an ecommerce platform for sites powered by WordPress. It’s free, open-source but can be extended with a range of premium add-ons.
Shopify has become one of the most popular platforms on the Internet when it comes to building online stores. Although it is one of the most popular ecommerce software platforms, it is not perfect for all use cases.
What is Shopify
Shopify allows you to build an ecommerce site without writing a single line of code. They help manage everything for you including payment processing, generating invoices, managing your catalog and everything else you need to run a successful online store.
Shopify's plans range from $29 per month (Basic plan) to $299 per month (advanced plan).
Benefits of Shopify
Shopify is one of the easiest ways to build an online store for your business. Whether you sell just a few niche products like stuffed toys or a catalog of everything fashion, Shopify can handle it all.
Their platform allows easy management of your online store and even allows you to extend the functionality of your site with the extensions Shopify's partners have to offer.
Here is a rundown of the main Shopify features:
- 100+ professional themes (both free and paid themes).
- You can sell on Facebook and Instagram.
- Accept payments anywhere with Shopify POS.
- Auto-calculate shipping prices.
- Abandoned cart checkout recovery.
- 70 payment gateways.
- Can be translated into 50+ languages.
- Easily integrate with dropshippers or fulfillment centers.
- Speed and search engine optimized (SEO).
- Add product reviews, discount codes and create gift cards.
- Mobile commerce ready.
- Social media integration.
- Unlimited products, and unlimited bandwidth.
- Use your own custom domain name.
- Secure shopping cart – 256-bit SSL certificate.
- Track everything with Shopify analytics and reporting.
- Huge ecommerce app marketplace.
- Built-in fraud analysis.
Best Shopify alternatives you should consider
Shopify is fantastic ecommerce software platform for online stores. But there are competitors and Shopify alternatives out there worth taking a good look at.
- Official website: www.bigcommerce.com
- Ecommerce platform for serious business owners.
- Used and trusted by big brands like Skullcandy.
- Is the best and most popular alternative to Shopify.
Why Use Bigcommerce Instead of Shopify
Bigcommerce is much more scalable than Shopify. Their main offering is Enterprise-level tools that allow you to compete with the big players in your market. Bigcommerce is the best Shopify Plus alternative out there.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Bigcommerce
If you have never sold anything online, Shopify is a great starting point. Once you start scaling, you may want to switch to Bigcommerce.
- Official website: www.wix.com
- Easy to learn and use drag and drop website builder.
- Build a beautiful website all on your own.
- No coding skills whatsoever needed.
Why Use Wix Instead of Shopify
Wix is a drag and drop website builder that is made with beginners in mind. If you have never built a website before, you will love the drag and drop interface.
It allows you to make a fully-featured website easily within minutes.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Wix
Although Wix allows you to build an eCommerce site, the functionality is a bit limited. Unlike Wix, Shopify is a platform that is designed to run online stores.
- Official website: www.woocommerce.com
- Runs on WordPress making it doubly easy for you to manage your whole website and just the store.
- Have full control over your online store and run it on your own servers.
Why Use WooCommerce Instead of Shopify
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to build a full-blown online store on your WordPress site. The best part of running your online store on WooCommerce is that it puts you in complete control of your website.
Unlike platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify, with WooCommerce, you can edit anything you like and add as much custom functionality as you need.
Why Use Shopify Instead of WooCommerce
Shopify is a fully managed platform. It makes it super easy for you to run your online store. If you use WooCommerce or a similar ecommerce software, you need to manage your web server and everything else.
And if something breaks, you will need to hire a WooCommerce / WordPress developer. With Shopify, your online store will run on their servers and will be fully managed by their team.
- Official website: www.volusion.com
- Comes with tools for managing everything from payment processing to website design.
- Integrates with a lot of popular tools like MailChimp, Slack, and PayPal.
Why Use Volusion Instead of Shopify
Volusion is an all-in-one platform for building, managing, and scaling and ecommerce site. They offer tools to help you with everything including managing customers (with their own CRM), sending newsletters, and optimizing for SEO.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Volusion
If you don't need a CRM for managing customers or if you simply want to test the waters, Shopify is a much better option as their platform is built for beginners.
- Official website: www.magento.com
- A free, open source ecommerce software you can install and run on your own servers.
- You have complete control over your website and can edit anything and everything you like.
Why Use Magento Instead of Shopify
If you want complete control over your website, then go with Magento. Magento is open-source software that you install on your own servers.
It allows you to build an ecommerce site as complex or as simple as you like. Whether you wish to compete with Amazon or just want to sell a few handcrafted goods, Magento can handle it.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Magento
Magento is very difficult to understand for beginners. It offers so much functionality that once you dive down the rabbit hole, you will end up wasting dozens of hours. If you are just starting out, stick with Shopify.
- Official website: www.3dcart.com
- 3dCart's pricing starts at only $19, which is one of the lowest for an ecommerce platform.
- The platform is built for creating online stores that give you an edge in terms of SEO.
Why Use 3dCart Instead of Shopify
If you want to pay based on staff members and not based on how many products you sell, then go with 3dCart. All their plans allow unlimited products and unlimited orders. Their pricing grows with your team.
Why Use Shopify Instead of 3dCart
Shopify's platform is much more suitable for beginners than 3dCart.
- Official website: www.squarespace.com
- Build your ecommerce site with a drag and drop interface.
- Easily customize the design of your ecommerce store without writing a single line of code.
Why Use Squarespace Instead of Shopify
Squarespace allows you to build and customize your site using a drag and drop interface, which makes it super easy for beginners.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Squarespace
Although Squarespace allows you to build online stores, their platform isn't built for handling larger online stores. If you want to be able to easily scale your store and need more functionality, go with Shopify.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pros of Shopify?
Shopify is the undisputed leader in the ecommerce space. It's fully hosted ecommerce software is easy to use and comes packed with features making it simple to start selling online. You get abandoned cart recovery, multi-channel retailing and POS integration, intuitive inventory system, great looking themes and a huge range of add-ons and integrations.
What are the cons of Shopify?
There is no free plan available (only a 14-day free trial). External payment gateways have additional transaction fees.
What are the best Shopify alternatives?
Bigcommerce is the best like-for-like fully hosted ecommerce software alternative to Shopify. If you are on a budget, then both Wix and Squarespace offer ecommerce functionality and features at much cheaper prices.
Best Shopify Alternatives: Summary
So who are the best and most serious Shopify competitors out there?
BigCommerce is another leading ecommerce platform (#2 after Shopify), providing all the must-have features and extreme scalability for online stores. It's also the best Shopify Plus alternative.
If you simply want more control over your website, then go with a self-hosted online store solution such as WooCommerce or Magento. Both run on your servers but the former is much easier to learn than latter.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to customize the design of your website without knowing how to code, then go with Wix or Squarespace.
Both offer a drag and drop interface to help beginners build a professional-looking website within minutes.