Shopify Alternatives: 7 of the Best
Published on February 9, 2023 by Simon Wright
Shopify is a well-respected e-commerce platform for creating and managing online stores quickly and easily. However, did you know some great Shopify alternatives are available that may suit you better?
This article will look closely at seven of the most popular alternatives to Shopify. Then, we will compare them using factors like ease of use, features, cost, integration capabilities, etc. Finally, we will give an overview of the factors to consider when choosing Shopify alternatives so that you can select the most suitable one for your business.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is a cloud-based e-commerce platform providing businesses and individuals with everything they need to sell products online. Its features include a user-friendly interface, pre-made store templates, design tools, and integrations with popular payment gateways and shipping providers.
Shopify has a reputation for ease of use and scalability. Moreover, a range of pricing plans and options make it a good choice for businesses of all sizes.
Why Do You Need Shopify Alternatives?
While Shopify has become one of the ‘go-to’ solutions for e-commerce businesses, some entrepreneurs might need a different platform:
- to repurpose an existing website as an e-commerce store,
- for more advanced features to allow their business to operate as efficiently and reliably as possible,
- for more customization options to tailor the look of the web store to their precise needs, or
- to reduce fees and transaction costs, thereby maximizing profits.
Comparison of Shopify Alternatives
Let’s now look at seven of the best Shopify alternatives currently available.
WooCommerce is an open-source plugin for WordPress that allows businesses to either create a fully-featured e-commerce store from scratch or add web store functionality to an existing WordPress site. It is known for being easy to use and versatile. Moreover, an impressive range of customization options, payment gateway, and shipping provider integrations make it ideal for all business types.
- Affordable: Being a free plugin to the (also free) WordPress CMS (content management system) platform makes WooCommerce a very cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.
- Customizable: Being built on the WordPress platform means WooCommerce is already highly customizable. Moreover, an ever-growing range of plugins, extensions, and add-ons (free and premium) for both gives almost limitless customization possibilities.
- Open Source: Like WordPress, WooCommerce has accessible code and developer features. That permits deep modifications for creating a store that perfectly matches your needs.
- Large community: Both WooCommerce and WordPress have large and active communities. As such, finding support, resources, and ideas is easy.
- Integrations: WooCommerce integrates with various software and payment gateways, including PayPal, Stripe, and more. This makes it easy to manage your online store from one place.
- Easy to use: WooCommerce has a simple, user-friendly interface integrated into the WordPress admin panel, making setting up and managing an online store simple.
- Technical skills required: WooCommerce requires some technical know-how to set up and manage. While learning it is relatively easy, some businesses may prefer the faster set-up time of a more turnkey solution.
- Needs a WordPress Website: Being a WordPress plugin, to use WooCommerce, you either need an existing WordPress website or create a new one. This makes setting up a web store a more involved process than with all-in-one e-commerce solutions such as Shopify. On the flip side, however, it does allow you to create a store from an existing website.
- Self-Hosted: As already mentioned, WooCommerce bolts onto WordPress. While both are free, you will need to arrange (and probably pay for) web hosting. WP Bolt specializes in fast, reliable, secure WordPress hosting – more on that later.
Overall, WooCommerce is one of the best options for businesses looking for an affordable and highly customizable e-commerce solution. While it may not have as many advanced features as platforms like Adobe Commerce, it is a good choice for those needing a well-supported, cost-effective solution for selling their products online.
If you’d like to know more about WooCommerce, please check out these three articles:
- WooCommerce vs. Shopify – Which is Best for eCommerce Stores?
- Shoptimizer WooCommerce Theme Review: Turbocharge Your eCommerce Store
- WooCommerce and CBD: A Highly Potent Combination
Weebly is a Shopify alternative that provides businesses and individuals with everything necessary to start selling products online. It has a simple drag-and-drop editor and integral templates to help you get your web store online as quickly as possible.
- User-friendly interface: Creating a professional-looking online store with Weebly is easy thanks to a drag-and-drop editor, design tools, and pre-made templates
- Affordable pricing: Weebly has several competitively priced plans to suit all budgets, including a free one that can be used to create an online store. However, you need a paid plan to accept online payments or connect a custom domain.
- Built-in SEO tools: To enhance the visibility of your web store, Weebly includes integral SEO tools to help optimize everything for search engines.
- Advanced e-commerce and marketing tools: Even the free Weebly plan includes advanced features such as coupons, tax calculators, inventory management, lead capture, etc., which will help drive your web store forward.
- Limited customization options: While Weebly comes with templates and design tools, its customization options are somewhat limited compared to other e-commerce platforms.
- Limited payment gateway integrations: Weebly only integrates with the PayPal, Stripe, and Square payment gateways, which some businesses may find too restrictive.
- Limited scalability: While Weebly is a good choice for small businesses and individuals, it may not be suitable for those needing a more scalable solution as they grow.
Weebly is a great option for new entrepreneurs setting up their first online store or for smaller businesses looking for something relatively cheap and easy to use.
Wix is a well-known website builder that offers e-commerce functionality, allowing businesses to sell their products online. It requires no technical know-how and being cloud-based, you do not need to arrange hosting for your e-commerce store.
- Easy to use: Wix has a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows businesses to quickly set up and manage their online store.
- Affordable: A range of pricing options, including a free plan, make Wix a good choice for businesses of all sizes.
- Customizable: Wix offers a range of customization options, allowing you to create unique, customized online stores.
- Mobile-friendly: As all websites created on Wix are optimized for mobile devices, your customers can easily access your online store from their phones or tablets.
- Integrations: Wix integrates with popular platforms, including PayPal and Stripe. This makes it easy to manage your online store from one place.
- Limited features: Wix does not have the advanced e-commerce features of some other platforms. This may be a drawback for businesses that need advanced features and functionality.
- Limited control over your website: Like Shopify, Wix is a hosted platform. That means it comes with web hosting included. While that is great if you have zero technical ability, it does mean you have minimal control over your website and hosting, which can affect things like security, downtime, support, etc.
- Transaction fees: Wix charges fees for each online sale. This quickly nibbles away at your profits, particularly if you make lots of sales.
Overall, Wix is a good option for businesses looking for an affordable and easy-to-use e-commerce platform. While it doesn’t have as many advanced features as other platforms, it’s great for businesses needing a simple, cost-effective solution for selling online.
4. Adobe Commerce
Formerly known as Magento, Adobe Commerce is an e-commerce platform that leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced data-sharing capabilities to create exceptional online experiences for B2B and B2C businesses and their customers.
- Customizable: Being open-source, Adobe Commerce gives you complete control over your website and offers almost unlimited customization possibilities.
- Advanced features: Advanced features like product management, order management, etc., make Adobe Commerce a good choice for businesses that need a comprehensive solution for selling their products online.
- Scalable: Adobe Commerce can grow and expand your online store as sales increase.
- Large community: Adobe Commerce is supported by a large and active community, providing support and resources businesses can use to enhance their online store.
- Steep learning curve: Adobe Commerce can take time to set up and master. This can be an issue for businesses needing a more straightforward solution.
- Cost: Adobe Commerce can be expensive, as it requires a separate hosting plan and may require additional expenses for customizing and maintaining your online store.
- Technical skills required: A modicum of technical knowledge is needed to set up and manage Adobe Commerce. This may make Adobe Commerce less attractive to businesses that don’t have access to the necessary resources or expertise to handle these tasks.
Despite being more complex and expensive than some rivals, Adobe Commerce is a good option for businesses looking for a robust e-commerce platform with good customization options.
BigCommerce is a customizable cloud-based e-commerce platform that integrates easily with popular payment gateways and shipping providers. Moreover, integral SEO and marketing tools make it ideal for businesses looking for a comprehensive, scalable e-commerce solution.
- User-friendly: BigCommerce is designed to be user-friendly. It has a simple, intuitive interface that makes it easy for businesses to set up and manage their online store.
- Advanced features: Product and order management are just some of the advanced features available with BigCommerce.
- Scalable: BigCommerce is highly scalable, making it a good choice for businesses looking to grow and expand their online store.
- Hosted solution: As BigCommerce is cloud-hosted, businesses do not need to worry about hosting or maintaining their website.
- Cost: BigCommerce can work out more expensive than other Shopify alternatives, as it charges transaction fees and has a more expensive pricing model.
- Technical skills required: While BigCommerce is designed to be user-friendly, it still requires some technical skills to set up and manage. This may be a problem for businesses that don’t have the expertise or resources to complete these tasks.
BigCommerce is ideal for businesses needing an all-in-one e-commerce solution. Despite being more expensive and having less support than WooCommerce, it has excellent functionality and can grow easily with your business.
Ecwid (which stands for e-commerce widget) is a popular SaaS (software as a service) e-commerce solution that allows businesses to add e-commerce capabilities to a range of sales channels, such as social media and marketplaces.
- Easy to use: Ecwid has a simple and user-friendly interface that makes setting up and managing online stores a breeze.
- Affordable: Thanks to a range of pricing options, Ecwid offers an affordable solution for businesses of all sizes. Moreover, it is free for up to five products, ideal for single-product stores.
- Multi-channel selling: Ecwid is unique in allowing businesses to sell their products through a website, on all popular social media channels, and through marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. The more channels you can capture, the more successful your business is likely to be.
- Integrations: Ecwid integrates with many popular platforms. These include WordPress, Wix, Shopify, and more, making it easy to manage your online store from one place.
- Mobile-friendly: Ecwid is optimized for mobile devices, so customers can easily access your online store and purchase products from their tablets and phones.
- Limited customization options: Compared to some other e-commerce platforms, Ecwid has limited customization options. Businesses that want to create a unique and customized online store may find this a drawback.
- Requires Existing Channels: Ecwid is not for creating a standalone web store. Instead, it works with existing websites, social media channels, and marketplaces, so you will need to set those up before using it.
Ecwid is a good option for businesses looking for an affordable and easy way to sell their products online across multiple channels. It particularly suits those looking to add e-commerce capabilities to an established online presence.
Squarespace is like Wix in that it is a fully hosted website builder platform with plenty of e-commerce features. Being easy to set up and use, it is ideally suited to businesses looking to get a web store off the ground quickly.
- User-friendly: A simple and intuitive interface makes setting up and managing an online store with Squarespace easy.
- Design options: Squarespace offers a range of design options, including templates and customization options. This makes creating unique and professional-looking online stores quick and easy.
- Hosted solution: As Squarespace is a hosted solution, businesses needn’t worry about hosting or maintaining their website. This helps free up resources that can be put to better use elsewhere.
- Integral features: Squarespace offers a range of built-in e-commerce features, such as product and order management. This makes it a good choice for businesses needing a comprehensive solution to sell their products online and streamline their operations.
- Limited customization: Compared to some other Shopify alternatives, Squarespace has limited customization options. Therefore, it may be more challenging to get the look and functionality you want for your web store
- Cost: Squarespace can be expensive, especially for businesses requiring advanced features and functionality.
Squarespace is a good option for businesses looking for a user-friendly and design-focused e-commerce platform.
Key Factors When Choosing Shopify Alternatives
Each Shopify alternative has its own strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider your specific needs and priorities when choosing a platform. By keeping the following factors in mind, you can select the one that best fits your business needs, budget, and technical expertise:
Ease of Use
When choosing a Shopify alternative, it is important to consider how easy the platform is to use. Some, such as Wix, offer a drag-and-drop interface that makes creating and managing your online store easy. Others, like Adobe Commerce and WooCommerce, may require technical expertise to set up and manage.
Features and Functionality
Consider the features and functionality that are important to your business. For example, platforms like Adobe Commerce offer a wide range of advanced features and customization options. Conversely, others may be more limited in their capabilities.
As with everything in life, cost is a factor when choosing between Shopify alternatives. However, while some are free, they are usually self-hosted, so you must factor in that cost. Moreover, platforms like BigCommerce levy transaction fees and have a more expensive pricing model.
If you use other platforms or tools to run your business, it makes sense that your e-commerce solution should integrate with those. This will help ensure you can manage all aspects of your business from one place while significantly streamlining your operations. Popular integrations include payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, ApplePay, etc.) and email marketing (such as MailChimp.)
Support and Resources
Consider the help and resources available for the platform you are considering. For example, WooCommerce has a massive user community, plus its developer can provide support.
Shopify is an all-in-one eCommerce suite that includes hosting. However, not all its alternatives include hosting. Therefore, you must budget for that should you choose a self-hosted platform such as WooCommerce.
The main advantage of hosted platforms like Shopify and Wix is minimal technical knowledge is needed to create a store. However, this is a trade-off against the flexibility and security offered by self-hosted platforms.
Choosing hosting can be a challenge, particularly for newbies. For an explanation of the various types of hosting available, we suggest you read the following articles:
- Cloud vs. VPS Hosting – How to Choose the Right One for You
- Shared Hosting vs. WordPress Hosting: Which Should You Choose?
WP Bolt is an ideal hosting solution for online stores. This is because, unlike shared hosting, WP Bolt uses virtual private servers (VPS.) That means your websites and e-commerce stores get dedicated server space and resources, so you won’t have to contend with ‘noisy neighbors’ hogging server resources and bandwidth. The result is higher security, faster loading times, and less downtime. Your customers will always be able to quickly and easily browse and purchase products from your store, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
WP Bolt offers a range of competitive pricing options, making it easy to find a robust hosting solution that fits your budget and business needs.
Final Thoughts on Shopify Alternatives
Choosing a Shopify alternative is an important decision for any business looking to establish an online store. Therefore, with so many options available, you must carefully consider the specific needs of your business and match them to the available options.
If we were pressed to recommend one Shopify alternative, it would be WooCommerce. This is because it is highly customizable, well-supported, free, and can turn any existing or new WordPress website into an e-commerce store. However, whatever you decide to do, just keep in mind the key factors we discussed, and you will find the right Shopify alternative for you.
I’m a former construction industry professional who came out of the writer’s closet and am now totally comfortable with my creative side. My pronouns are smart, creative, witty, and dependable. I have written content in a number of niches including WordPress, plus I’m a blogger and affiliate marketer. If you’d like to know more about how I can help you, please head over to my website.