8 Best Shopify Alternative that can help You Make It in eCommerce
The explosion of the Internet has allowed businesses to reach their market easier. Not only that, but it has also created countless new businesses just do online business. And this has grown exponentially in mobile connections. Without a doubt, having a suitable website will bring a lot of great opportunities for businesses. To have an optimal website, you need to choose the right platform for yourself.
Shopify was founded in 2004 as a complete e-commerce platform that allows people to start an online business, grow and manage it. Shopify has become one of the most familiar platforms on the Internet when it comes to building online stores, but it’s not perfect for all use cases.
There are so many e-commerce platforms; each has its strengths and weaknesses. Hence, in this post, AVADA recommends 8 Best Shopify Alternatives to Set Up Your Store that is the best for your consideration.
Why You Might Not Want to Use Shopify?
Despite being a top e-commerce platform, Shopify also has drawbacks that users may not want to use. Below I will give you some of the main reasons you may not want to choose Shopify as a platform for selling.
The professional reporting feature is offered only on more costly plans
Professional reports in your Shopify administrator give you useful sales knowledge.
To coordinate your online store based on consumer purchasing patterns, you can use the expert reports from Shopify to look at the sales of different products. You may also monitor product revenues to schedule and prepare for marketing promotions, depending on the time of year. You can especially run reports to see how much sales tax is paid to improve the reliability of the tax filing process.
Furthermore, you can take advantage of customer reports to gather useful information about how your clients use your shop or purchase your goods.
Hence, we can see this is the functionality needed for your shop. Based on what it offers, you can improve sales. However, this function is only available on the $ 79 + plans. This is an expensive price that many people have to consider carefully and look for alternatives.
Shopify’s built-in payment system, Shopify Payments, only lets you sell from certain countries
Shopify Payments is the easiest way to validate online payments. It removes the trouble of building a third party payment processor or merchant account and entering credentials into Shopify. You’re set up automatically with Shopify Payments to approve all major payment methods as soon as you build your Shopify store.
Unfortunately, Shopify Payment only allows you to sell goods in certain countries. This will limit your business scalability. Surely many people will hesitate about this.
However, there is a solution to it. If Shopify Payments doesn’t help the type of company you run, instead search the list of other payment gateways that Shopify provides.
You can work around this Shopify limitation. But it will lead to another drawback below.
If you are using a third-party payment portal, you have to face with transaction fees
Because Shopify Payments is not available in every country, if you do not belong to these countries and still want to sell on Shopify, you will need to use a third-party gateway. When you use it, you will have to charge a transaction fee per order.
An additional fee paid by the gateway of third parties can apply. I suggest that you check out the third-party gateways website for help and find out whether there is one. Shopify offers several third-party gateways.
Surely this is also one of the reasons why you want to look for an alternative platform.
Related Post: 4 Steps to Activate an Alternative Payment Method on Shopify
Phone numbers for Shopify Support only offered for some countries
Running a store on a professional and optimized platform like Shopify can be difficult. Therefore, customer support is always an issue that many people consider necessary. Texting or e-mail communication sometimes doesn’t help, but it makes things more complicated and confuses you.
Hence, many people prefer to talk about their problems over the phone. Shopify also provides a phone number to help users. However, this help is only available to people from the countries they support as the Shopify Support phone number is listed for certain countries only.
Best Shopify Alternatives
Shopify is an ideal e-commerce platform for online stores. But there are some Shopify alternatives out there that are worth considering.
Is your business planning to expand into something much larger than it currently is? Magento was created to turn small companies into larger companies through a platform built on the idea of regular and measurable growth.
With more than 260,000 businesses in use, Magento is one of the most popular store building platforms in the e-commerce industry, and it’s not hard to see why. Magento’s extensive feature set and flexible customization capabilities make it a great platform for resourced merchants.
Until now, e-commerce software Magento still comes in two forms:
Open source Magento: Formerly Magento community edition. Free to download and install.
Magento Commerce: Formerly Magento Enterprise Edition. Initially intended for high-end businesses to have resources as developers. Included with this version is a pretty high cost.
Magento is starting to encourage customers, even small business owners to move to Magento Commerce, a SaaS (software as a service) platform that offers additional features and services at a much higher price. However, many small businesses still only use the open-source version, download and install by themselves (the company bears storage and installation costs.)
Magento is a powerful platform with remarkable capabilities, but it’s not for a beginner, with no technology experience.
Pros of Magento:
- Impressive feature collection
- Highly customizable
- High scalability
- Active, global user community
Cons of Magento
- Required developmental skills (technical)
- No customer support
Why should use Magento instead of Shopify?
If you want a complete control over your website, then go to Magento - an open-source software.
It allows you to build an e-commerce website as complex or as simple as you want. Whether you want to compete with Amazon or just want to sell a few handmade items, Magento can handle it.
BigCommerce is a reputable e-commerce platform that holds a sizable market share. You don’t have to be tech-savvy or hire a developer. It is a hosted platform, which means BigCommerce’s engineering team takes care of web hosting, SSL, security patches, and other updates.
Alternatively, you can point the domain name purchased from another domain registrar or just buy at BigCommerce to get rid of technical work.
Started by two people, they now have hundreds of employees. And so far, they facilitate more than $ 8 billion in revenue. Like Shopify, BigCommerce makes it easy to use the admin panel. If you’ve ever used the WordPress dashboard, then I believe you won’t have any trouble handling themes and other settings. Honestly, it’s easy whether you have any previous experience or not.
BigCommerce has more features in the group than Shopify. They offer a 15 day trial period for a test drive. There are many free and paid themes with lots of customization options.
Skip basic features related to products, payment gateways, themes and apps, and more. You can access advanced settings such as billing, Gift Wrapping, tracking links, inventory, and order notifications.
Guess if Shopify charges a 2% fee per transaction. The only way to get rid of this is to use their internal payment method. On the other hand, BigCommerce supports offline, online, and digital payment methods and you are free to use any payment gateway.
You can access many free apps like MailChimp while Shopify offers a multitude of apps but most of them are tagged with some extra cost.
From a price perspective, both companies charge almost the same fees. Shopify charges $ 29 for the basic plan while allowing only 2 employee accounts.
On the other hand, BigCommerce supports unlimited employee accounts, integrates with Amazon & eBay, unlimited products, free dedicated SSL for $ 29.95 / month.
Both offer 24/7 live chat support for quick assistance. Besides, the community forums, tutorials, and documentation are helpful for learning and troubleshooting.
Pros of BigCommerce:
- Offer more built-in features than any other e-commerce platform, so you don’t need to rely on third-party plugins for your needs. This keeps a single point of contact when something goes wrong and reduces security risks.
- Provide you with some great SEO tools.
- Their abandoned shopping cart feature enables the recovery of dropped sales through gentle email reminders for customers to complete the checkout process.
- Allow you to sell across multiple channels, so you can set up a store on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, among other popular social media platforms.
Cons of BigCommerce
- This is not a beginner-friendly site, because they use a lot of technical jargon unfamiliar to the end-users who aren’t passionate about web development.
- The store’s website doesn’t have a mobile app. This will have a negative impact on sales, as most people browse from mobile now.
- Their interface is not very friendly. If you want to tweak your website, it will take some time to learn your way around their system.
Why use BigCommerce instead of Shopify?
BigCommerce is much more extensible than Shopify. Their main offering is Enterprise tools that allow you to compete with the big players in your market.
It would be best if you don’t want to learn, but go ahead and skip this review if your product is digital. You will need to learn Volusion a lot more than Shopify does, as they try to do more.
They try to reduce the burden of learning the editor by making everything symbolic. Their systems are easy on the eyes, so if you are a visual learner, it may not be too difficult to get used to.
Their analytical tools are excellent. You can analyze based on search terms to find out what your customers are searching for online and tailor your products to show up in their searches. This is extremely helpful.
Design is very important when it comes to e-commerce. If you’ve ever shopped in a messy, disorganized store, you’ll know how stressful it can be. Volusion offers some great templates, but their supply is limited. They have 11 free templates, but less than 50 total samples. Their paid models are also quite expensive compared to other places.
Volusion support is available by phone from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. GMT. They do not provide any email help.
Pros of Volusion:
- They offer tons of different payment gateways, so you can sell to niches and regional markets using their favorite local gateway.
- Their SEO and analytics tools will help you promote and edit your store.
- A mobile app version is available, so you can edit your store from anywhere.
- No transaction fees!
Cons of Volusion:
- No blog integration
- Their templates cost a lot of money and they have fewer options than other e-commerce platforms
Why use Volusion instead of Shopify?
Volusion is an all-in-one platform for building, managing, and replicating e-commerce websites. They provide tools to help you with everything, including customer management (with their own CRM), newsletter submission, and optimization for SEO.
The 3DCart option is great for users who want an affordable Shopify alternative with a powerful back-end editor. It has some occasional technical challenges to overcome, but overall, I like it.
This product tries to make it easy for sellers to not have the technical background to use their features. You can even take advantage of the 15-day free trial to make sure you’ve learned everything you might need to know before committing. They also provide a setup wizard with video tutorials to help you learn how to use their website.
Toolbars are often meant for organizing and editing, but some of their features can be difficult to find. The discounts are hidden under the Promotion manager tab.
Adding a product can also be difficult, as it requires more than one step. You enter product information and description, save the page, then add more advanced content and make shopping adjustments, write SEO details, and more.
3DCart offers tons of tons of free templates. They have almost 100 free templates to choose from, with an additional set of premium templates. The advantage is that your website can be customized very easily, while the downside is that many of their free options can be a bit too basic.
Pros of 3dCart:
- They have some great SEO suggestions. Using their tools will ensure that your website is easily found and ranks well among Google searches.
- 3DCart has integrated transport. You can connect your store with the largest shipping companies and make it easy to instantly estimate your shipping costs and send products to their destination.
- They offer more free templates than any other e-commerce platform, with almost 100 to choose from.
Cons of 3dCart:
This platform can be difficult to use because the products require a two-step process before being added to the warehouse.
The platform does not include a mobile application, so editing can be difficult while on the go.
Why use Volusion instead of Shopify?
If you want to pay based on employees and not on the number of products you sell, then go to 3dCart. All of their plans allow for unlimited products and unlimited orders. Their prices increase with your team.
### 5. PrestaShop
Prestashop is a free platform that allows you to sell an unlimited number of products without charging any transaction costs and a close Shopify alternative.
In general, we can say it’s free but actually, you have to buy a domain name and web hosting to run a store through this like Magento or WooCommerce plugins.
On the other hand, they also have a hosted version using 1 & 1 hosting (cheap WordPress hosting provider).
Since it is self-hosted, setting it up might be problematic for some novice users. But we personally tried it, and there’s nothing to confuse. We recommend that you make your own hosting decisions by subscribing to the plan with a hosting provider worth more than 1 & 1.
We mentioned SiteGround where you can get hosting packages as well as domain names. So, they link the two together to minimize your work. You won’t have any trouble installing and more benefits.
Prestashop is a multi-language platform that supports 25 languages thereby supporting international sales. They put over 600 features in your hands like unlimited products, product attributes, gift wrapping, multiple currencies and abandoned shopping cart details and more. Once installed, you find a helpful demo account to see how the details are in PrestaShop.
The platform only comes with one pre-installed theme. For more topics, visit their marketplace or you can subscribe to a third-party purchase. PrestaShop offers loads of modules to enhance the store. Unfortunately, only a few are free.
Due to its open-source nature, an independent developer can help you make the changes you require. PrestaShop maintains a community forum, tutorials, training, documentation, and video tutorials. They have a phone line for general help. For expert technical help, you need to purchase their support package which will make a big hole in your pocket.
Pros of PrestaShop:
- Easy to install
- Easy to use and maintain
- User-friendly interface
- Customization is quite good
- Demographic support
- Minimum system requirements
- Safe and secure payment system
Cons of PrestaShop:
- Limited scalability
- Less professional design
- Other paid functions
- There is no official support group
Why use PrestaShop instead of Shopify?
Prestashop focuses primarily on reliable online shopping solutions and great user experience, often for low-capital online merchants.
If you want to start an online store without a lot of budgets, Prestashop is the right choice. However, for those who are setting up a complete online sale system with more premium features, Prestashop is probably the most ideal solution.
If you already have an established website, WooCommerce is a much better alternative to Shopify. It is a simple, open-source plugin that you can use to get your website from informational to retail. This also means that WooCommerce is self-hosted. You are responsible for storing files on your server and modifying everything yourself.
Like its website builder, it’s now the most used e-commerce platform, powering nearly 30% of all online stores.
WooCommerce requires some technical skills to be fully utilized, but if you have it this is a great alternative. It’s a lot more customizable than Shopify if you know what you’re doing. The downside is that this isn’t a great platform for beginners.
One of the cool things about WooCommerce is that it has a built-in blog, so you can easily write some product reviews and use the blog to drive sales without having to have someone navigating the door. Just embed products in the blog section and you’re good to go. You can even sell services with WooCommerce.
Pros of WooCommerce:
- A huge collection of free, freemium and premium extensions with the functionality to enhance your hosting functionality, virtually no limits.
- Standard WooCommerce is a completely free plugin that can be customized and extended for content using custom code.
- As an extension, WooCommerce can be installed alongside most major WordPress.com or third-party templates.
- Since WooCommerce is open source software, you can extensively customize your metadata, which is great news for search engine optimization.
- Their open-source international facility means you have access to more payment gateways, including several smaller, and a ton of region-specific gateways. Unlike Shopify, WooCommerce has already won a fee for using them.
Cons of WooCommerce:
- WooCommerce itself is just a plugin that needs to be installed on the WordPress.com website, which means you should be fine using the WordPress.com website builder and signing up for the most expensive service pack.
- Buying all the WooCommerce extensions, you need to run a full e-commerce experience can be very expensive.
- WooCommerce only comes with 14 Storefront themes, of which only two are free.
- The platform does not include an abandoned shopping cart recovery feature.
Why use WooCommerce instead of Shopify?
WooCommerce is a WordPress Plugin that allows you to build a full online store on WordPress Venue. The best part of running your online store on WooCommerce is that it gives you complete control over your website.
Unlike platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify, with WooCommerce you can edit whatever you like and add as many custom functions as you need.
WooCommerce is constantly expanding and new features are being developed. You’ve got a lot of extensions to choose from and it’s just getting better. Additionally, the ability to choose an extension that fits your budget and needs, from a free basis, is a breakthrough from Shopify’s rigid packages.
Squarespace is an all-in-one website builder that features a set of stylish themes with an eCommerce focus. All models feature built-in sales options that allow newbies to come directly to their new and fully featured digital stores in minutes. You’ll appreciate a suite of inventory and product management tools in addition to an intuitive content manager, promotional tools, and more.
When you need to launch a digital store built with Squarespace, you just need to choose a template and edit the content. The selection of blocks and components has everything you need including CTA blocks, acquisition form, product showroom, contact information, and more. No technical skill or manual setup is required.
You can benefit from a great feature which is Content Management - a product management feature implemented through the Custom Content Manager. Tools make it easy to edit each product. In addition to text editing and image upload, users will be able to create separate product categories, change prices, offer some variations, and modify products.
While the software is not dependent on third-party services or items, it does offer a number of built-in tools. For example, there is an alert system that automatically notifies users when a product is out of stock.
You do not need to manually connect payment methods when using Squarespace. They are already set up and ready for use. While the system doesn’t offer very rich options, you can still get the most out of Paypal, Stripe, or Apple Pay available. Get an opportunity to get paid directly through partnering with Stripe. But you must have a valid bank account to use this feature.
Squarespace provides you with a powerful promotion tool to create and customize your ad campaigns.
The four main Squarespace plans include Personal ($ 12 per month), Business ($ 18 per month), Basic ($ 26 per month), and Advanced ($ 40 per month). Free SSL, domain names, templates, SEO, and other features are included in the price. Also, the premium plans provide point-of-sale solutions, gift cards, e-commerce analytics, and other handy tools.
Pros of Squarespace:
- Build your e-commerce website with a drag and drop interface
- Easily customize the design of your e-commerce store without writing a single line of code
- Save 10% on your first subscribers by using code PARTNER10.
- Like Shopify, you get unlimited products.
- The free domain name (with annual plan) - bonus
- SSL included - must-have for e-commerce
- 24/7 support - trust me, you need it
- Mobile responsive
Cons of Squarespace:
- You only get this displayed price on a more expensive annual, monthly plan
- They don’t mention file storage restrictions - usually means there is a number
- Domain name renewal is $ 20 higher than the industry average
- The abandoned shopping cart is not included in the base package (Shopify has the same price)
Why use Squarespace instead of Shopify?
Squarespace allows you to build and customize your website using a drag and drop interface, making it super easy for beginners. Unlike Shopify which is investing in its e-commerce platform, Squarespace is great for the website as a whole.
Wix is currently one of the best players on the market, with over 125 million customers in about 200 different countries around the world.
This is a good tool for beginners. People who have never built a website before can now easily register, choose a template, upload their own content and go online instantly - no professional experience required. Of course that’s great.
When building your website, you can choose from over 500 free templates - more than any other drag and drop website builder has to offer. Not only that, it is clear that the company also has an excellent design team.
A typical Wix template is neat and tidy, with full page images and crisp typography - everything you need for a website will look amazing on today’s widescreen displays. Some models feature more complex layouts, or even very trendy parallax scroll effects.
In terms of features, it is difficult to compete with the extensive functionality that Wix offers. There isn’t really a lot you can’t do with this platform. Some of them might require a bit of a learning curve, for sure, but most of the features are very easy to use.
Wix’s Editor, in particular, is not only easy to use - it’s really fun, doesn’t even feel like working. You can move elements around and place them wherever you want on the page. There are handy guides that pop up as you drag, making it easy to align elements with others. This keeps your design nice and neat.
The platform offers an unlimited free plan, which is good for newcomers who don’t want to pay upfront without understanding how the system works. However, the free subscription is not enough even for a content-based website not to mention a digital store. Fortunately, Wix has a separate suite for merchants and business owners. The Business Basic plan is $ 23 per month with the opportunity to book online and start selling products. As your store grows, you can switch to the VIP Business Unlimited or Business VIP plans that cost $ 27 and $ 49, respectively.
Pros of Wix:
- Wix is easy to use and reasonably priced. And there is a free version available.
- The templates (500+) to choose from are modern, sleek, and there are categories for different industries like gyms, restaurants, portfolios, etc.
- The designs are very flexible and you can control every element that will be placed on the page in the drag and drop website editor.
- Built-in e-commerce, social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities.
- Website backup automatically.
- Huge app market where you can improve your website with more features.
Cons of Wix:
- Wix isn’t the cheapest website builder out there. If you are on a tight budget, you should check out the Wix competitors below.
- You can use a different template for your website after you have created it.
- Ecommerce limit. Wix was not built to create great online stores, and couldn’t sell multiple currencies.
Why use Wix instead of Shopify?
Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder made with beginners. If you’ve never built a website before, you’ll love the drag and drop interface. It allows you to create a full-featured website easily within minutes.
In short, BigCommerce is another top eCommerce platform (ranked 2nd after Shopify), offering all the features required and extreme scalability for online stores. It’s also the best Shopify Plus alternative.
If you simply want more control on your website, then go with a self-hosted online store solution like WooCommerce or Magento. Both run on your server but WooCommerce is easier to learn than Magento.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to customize your website design without knowing how to code, then go with Squarespace or Wix. Both offer a drag and drop interface to help beginners build a professional website within minutes.
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