Top 10 Best Shopify Alternatives for Your eCommerce Websites
Shopify is a convenient but not an ultimate solution and if for some reasons you are searching Shopify alternative platforms then you landed on the absolutely right place.
It is one of the most popular website builder softwares for eCommerce websites that not only provides the easiest way and combination of powerful tools but also requires a very minimal amount of technical skills. Shopify support tons of payment gateways and extensions for usability enhancement. But it not means that it best fits everyone needs.
Moreover, if you are not confident about Shopify, then you may give them a try by signing up a free 14-days trial.
Due to the different variety of products the needs fluctuate from person to person. So there are chances that you will not get a feature from Shopify you truly want.
So here we present the best alternative to Shopify including a comprehensive review on each.
Some of the substitutes are hosted options just like Shopify where most of the technical aspects handle by the company itself but they may differ in features from Shopify.
While few are self-hosted where most of the control and technical work remains in your hands such as buy a hosting, installing software, implementing SSL, and carrying updates etc. If Shopify price turning you off then a self-hosted solution seems more potential.
Best Shopify Alternative for eCommerce Websites 2018
BigCommerce is well-reputed e-commerce platform that occupies a substantial market share. You don’t need to be a tech savvy or to hire a developer. It’s a Hosted platform which means BigCommerce technical team take care of the web hosting, SSL, security patches and other updates. In addition, you can point your domain bought from other domain registrar or just buy at BigCommerce to get rid of the technical work.
Starting by 2-persons now they have hundreds of employees. And so far they facilitated more than $8 billion merchant sales. Like Shopify, BigCommerce also has easy to use administrative board. If you ever use WordPress dashboard, then I believe you won’t encounter any trouble dealing with themes and other settings. Frankly, it is super easy whether you have any previous experience or not.
Bigcommerce got more features in its bucket than Shopify. They provide a 15 days trial period for a test drive. There is a plenty of free and paid themes with numerous customizable options. Keeping aside the basic features related to products, payments gateways, themes, and apps etc. you can reach to the advanced settings like checkout, Gift Wrapping, affiliate tracking, inventory and order notification etc. too.
Guess what Shopify charge 2% fee on every transaction. The only way to escape this is to use their in-house payment method. On the other side, BigCommerce support offline, online and digital payment methods and you are free to use any payment gateway.
You can approach more apps for free like MailChimp while Shopify does offer loads of apps but most of them are tagged with some extra cost.
From the price perspective, both companies almost charge the similar fees. Shopify charges $29 for the basic plan while allowing only 2 staff account. On the other hand BigCommerce support unlimited staff account, integration with Amazon & eBay, unlimited products, free dedicated SSL for $29.95/month. Both offers 24/7 live chat support for quick assistance. Plus, community forum, guides, and documentation proves very helpful for learning and troubleshooting.
If pricing is the primary concern that is turning you off from Shopify, then LemonStand is a good Shopify competitor. Founded back in 2010, Lemonstand offers a robust e-commerce solution for a small, medium and big businesses. If you already have Shopify, Magento or BigCommerce store, you can migrate on LemonStand servers seamlessly.
The huge advantage that comes with Lemonstand is the customizability. You can make significant changes to the storefront on your own (needs coding skills) or able to afford the developer and designer. For a demo, they hand over the 14-days trial account just like Shopify. They entirely provide a peace of mind environment by offering a technical mess free self-hosted hosted platform.
After signing up, you will discover a well-designed WYSIWYG editor with a very obvious list of features.
They do not offer as many integrations as Shopify but they assuredly provide the useful ones along with 95+ payments gateways.
So far they offer 15 themes in their inventory. All themes are open-source and free to use. Of course, an advanced level of customization requires developing skills but you can alter the colors, logo, and favicon, etc. effortlessly.
LemonStand packages start from $19/month. All plans include the core features such as unlimited products, staff account, storage, and bandwidth. Plus there is no transaction fee for using the payment gateway. The features regarding SEO, Global CDN, HTTPS, customizable checkout and much more included regardless of the plan.
The sole thing you care about is the number of orders as the starter (basic) plan allow you to process 75 orders per month. So pick a plan any anticipating your future growth.
Help is given to the customer by live chat and emails. The support services are friendly and their response is surprisingly fast even on the emails. Additionally, they uphold a pertinent documentation where you can find your answers. Although, the most basic plan is quite affordable with limited orders, but the next plan cost you significantly. All in all, a lot of features comes out of the box when buying LemonStand which is why it’s a worthy investment.
WooCommerce + WordPress.org [Self-Hosted]
WooCommerce is a leading e-commerce platform that powers more than 30% stores (i.e. covers most of the market share than any other). Actually, it is a plugin that installed on WordPress CMS and provides you better control and flexibility. Moreover, it is an open source so that you can turn it into your needs by asking your developer.
It can be called a free Shopify alternative as they charge you nothing for their software or any transaction fee. All you have to purchase a domain name and a reliable WooCommerce hosting. You can get both of them from a single provider to narrow down your technical work. We strongly suggest you try SiteGround for a stable, secure and user-friendly experience.
A question may crop up that as it is a self-hosted solution so it may require lots of technical knowledge and can confuse beginners. Personally, we are not tech-savvy guys and in our experience, it is incredibly a simple to use. Decide the domain, sign up your plan at SiteGround and give some time to get ready your account. After that use 1-click installer from their given cPanel for installing WordPress. Now install WooCommerce plugin, and that’s all. Moreover, with just a click you can activate the Let’s Encrypt SSL provided free by SiteGround.
WooCommerce is very rich in add-ons for adding more features. Hundreds of extensions are available related to shipping methods, marketing, payments methods, and accounting, etc.
The plugin comes with a free highly responsive theme named as “Storefront”. There are also few free child themes. All you can manage from the WooCommerce tab shown in the WordPress dashboard.
The overall cost of obtaining a domain and hosting package is particularly much lower even from the Shopify basic plan. Moreover, you can sell as many products and allow you to use the offline, online and digital payment methods. The Facebook integration make your Facebook page a good storefront for effectively increasing the conversion rate. They do not provide live chat support. You can email them, watch their step-by-step video guides and read through their tutorials. So if you are seeking an economical but a complete solution WooCommerce is an eye-catching consideration.
Volusion is an experienced participant in eCommerce industry that is working since 1999 and one of the top Shopify competitor. They are crossing over 180K customers. Volusion offers a range of plans to meet every type of customers. It’s a hosted platform which means you will receive all the things from them to take your store in front of the public. You can start a free tour with 14 days trial period.
They offer impressive free designs for a storefront. You can make many changes by editing even if you don’t have technical skills. Everything is visible in their WYSIWYG editor and we are sure you will never be lost. For boosting your sales figure, they allow you to integrate with eBay, Amazon, and Facebook, etc. Furthermore, they present various useful analytics on the dashboard.
Although there is not so many payment gateways like Shopify but all supported payment systems on Volusion are free whereas Shopify charges 2% transaction fee that will lower your profits. You don’t have to install the add-ons as it decked out with everything you may need. You want to track the ROI, improve the SEO, create discounts, or want to set up a CRM? All are pre-built. There is a list of features included with every plan
The range of plans makes Volusion an affordable and smart choice. But you have to be much careful while picking the plan as they cap the number of products like on the “Mini” plan you can sell up to 100 products. Plus the plan includes 1GB bandwidth and secure checkout. While you move on to bigger plans, you are allowed to sell more products and facility of phone support. Each plan got some unique features.
“Trial” to “Mini” package users can get help by sending an email or open the chat. But other users can contact them on the phone too. Moreover, they are committed to providing the priority level support services to “pro” and “premium” plan holders. Thoroughly you can get help 24/7 no matters what type of users you are. Volusion’s various plans availability enables you to pick the plan of your needs. Moreover, numerous commerce themes, easy usability, and flexible customization make worth of your every spending.
Wix is a profound and steadily growing platform to create a professional web presence. Founded in 2006 now they are managing over 110 million users. The numerous nifty templates, a sizeable number of apps and highly customizable theme options make it one of the very close alternatives to Shopify. So get acquainted with their services either by using free or affordable paid plans.
Wix offers 2-ways to set up your website. ADI is the quick way that takes you on a tour after when you answered the series of questions regarding your store you want to set up. Whereas the second method is called Wix editor offers more customization and control, start by choosing from 100s of templates.
Besides the templates, Wix made a vast store that contains 280+ apps related to each category. Embedding the live chat, social media integrations, payment gateways or creating coupons all can be done by merely installing the simple add-ons. Further, you can embed the HTML codes, add light boxes, different button styles, and boxes to tailor the store as per your requirements.
Wix supplies its services on very incredible pricing. And their pricing structure enables them to get an edge over Shopify. The plans start from $4.50/month with very limited features such as 1GB bandwidth and 500MB storage. This plan permits you to connect the custom domain too. So this is just like a very personal or testing plan.
For some serious business, you have to pick a bigger plan. You are only able to set up an online store on “eCommerce” and “VIP” plans. The eCommerce plan just cost $16.50/mo with 10 GB bandwidth and 20GB storage. It also carries some freebies such as free domain name and some paid apps. While their highest “VIP” plan still cost you lower ($24.50/mo) than Shopify and allow unlimited traffic.
Wix is designed in such a way to deliver maximum easy usability even to the newcomers. Moreover, they have step by step tutorials and video guides for better understanding. Presently, they do not offer live chat but for technical support, you can send them an email. So whether you have the preceding knowledge or not Wix will not disappoint you with its plentiful features, unique design, and affordability.
Magento is another leading e-Commerce platform that founded in 2007. With full of useful features on board, the platform is a good choice while looking at the Shopify alternative. You can guess their services excellence as it is being trusted by world famous brands such as King Burger, Tom Dixon, and Ncare, etc.
Magento is available in both free and paid versions. Their paid version appears with cloud-hosted structure and turns your eCommerce selection into really an extravagant choice or may even out of the affordability. While the open source Magento (also community edition) is freely downloadable. But you need a domain and a hosting plan to run the open source version. As we earlier mention SiteGround is a very friendly host for e-commerce solutions. Moreover, they do provide SSD hosting, Magento optimized server, and 24/7 instant customer support. There are several other unique features:
Once you have dealt with technical situations, it is amazingly easy and fun to operate the Magento software. A nice looking panel just requires your little learning curve and there you go. Adding products is as simple as in other ecommerce platforms. You can do a lot of things that make it a powerful tool for creating coupons, sending wishlists, saving cart when a customer left without purchasing, different SEO tools, manage physical and digital products, almost 46 payment gateways and more than you think Shopify can do.
Magento open source is free of cost and also did not charge any transaction fee. But unlike the Shopify, Magento does not show up with free themes but just the default one. You can either purchase one from Magento marketplace or from third-party developers. Although, our recommended host for Magento is “SiteGround” which provides some free templates. And of course, you will find tons of free and premium extension on their marketplace for adding more features. In case you need help visit resources section on their website, user guides, and technical documentation.
Before you decide on Magento, we want to mention that it is a reliable solution only for tech-savvy guys otherwise you will end up with much waste of time. Or you will hire a developer that will eventually increase your expenses. What we want to say that if you are not tech savvy or just going to start, want to set up an online store quickly then you must try another alternative like Bigcommerce.
BigCartel is also a nice solution to look at while searching services similar to Shopify. It becomes a very potential choice when you wish to launch an individual level store because the available highest plan can sell up to 300 products. This fantastic builder started its journey in 2005.
Different add-ons are the great way to add up more features to improve store usability. Similar to Shopify, BigCartel also supports you to do multiple app integrations.
A good and easy to navigate design is the critical part of any online store. BigCartel offers 12+ free themes with plentiful customizable options. With just clicks, you can do major changes in applied theme. Furthermore, a developer can do full code customization on any of the paid plans.
It looks like Shopify is only the ecommerce builder we experienced so far that charges transaction fee for using the third party payments methods. On the other hand, BigCartel currently supports Apple Pay, PayPal, Square, and stripe while none cost any transaction fee.
BigCartel adopts a unique approach and instead of offering the trial period, they provide a lifetime free account alongside the paid plans. But the free plan is only limited to 5 products and offer no inventory tracking either analytics. Moreover, you are not allowed to point the custom domain. The paid plans are mainly categorized by the number of products you can sell. The most basic plan price $9.99/mo where you can publish 25 products. So if you need to do some serious business, then you have to buy a premium plan that will also deliver you tons of other useful features.
BigCartel’s help center has very helpful tutorials lead you to the way of operating the software. You will find guides on every topic, basic to advance. In addition, they have chat and email option if you want to talk with their technical agent. So if you think your store remains limited to 300 products it is worth to try. Moreover, as there is the availability of small plan, you can start from smaller plan to save on cost.
Squarespace is a hosted website builder software that offers drag and drop facility to build up the online store, blog and websites. They designed exclusive packages for eCommerce users. Like the Shopify, you will get an intuitive backend panel to manage all the prospect of your store.
Although Squarespace does not encompass as many features as the Shopify but they include all the core features to get your business off the ground. With zero coding skill, you can build up an eye-catching store by applying from their variety of free themes. They help you to create a mobile optimized site which becomes mandatory due to extensive use of smartphones.
The plan pricing for e-commerce store starts from $26/month and with an annual subscription, you will get a free domain name. There is no limit on the number of products you can enlist on your site. And most importantly you are free from any transaction fee. Discounts, orders, customers, and inventory, etc. are easily manageable.
Instead of installing add-ons Squarespace comes with built-in features like payments, checkout, customer account, accounting, shipping, and tax etc. Plus, there is also integrated options like activating SSL and improving SEO. Currently, they only support PayPal and Stripe. So with Squarespace, you will not get as much diversity of features as in BigCommerce and LemonStand but get enough tools to operate freely. That’s why we suggest you try their credit card free trial period.
Having trouble dealing with some issue? Squarespace provides a community support and an extensive knowledge base. Still, if you are facing a problem, send an email or open live chat with their technical agent.
So if you want a simple solution where is no need to install add-ons or messing with technical work, Squarespace would be good to go.
Prestashop is a free platform that allows you to sell an unlimited number of products without charging any transaction cost and a close Shopify alternative. Generally, we can say it’s free but genuinely you have to buy a domain and web hosting to operate a store through this just like Magento or WooCommerce plugin. On the other side, they also have a hosted version that uses the 1&1 hosting (cheap WordPress hosting provider).
As it is self-hosted, so setting it up may be problematic for some novice users. But personally we tried it, and there is nothing to be confused at. We suggest you take self-hosting decision by subscribing a plan with more valuable hosting provider than 1&1. We already mention SiteGround where you can get hosting package as well as domain and so they link both of them to minimize your work. You will face zero trouble while installing and lot more benefits.
Prestashop is a multilingual platform that supports 25 languages hence assisting in international selling. They put 600+ features into your hands like unlimited products, product attributes, gift wrapping, multiple currencies and abandoned cart details, etc. After installing you see a demo account that is helpful to look at how the details present at PrestaShop.
The platform comes with one pre-installed theme only. For more themes visit their marketplace or you can apply purchased from the third party. PrestaShop offers a countless number of modules for store enhancement. But unfortunately, only a few ones are free.
Because of the open source nature, an independent developer can help you make changes as per your requirement. PrestaShop sustains a community forum, guides, training, documentation, and video tutorials too. They do have a phone line for general help. For technical expert help, you need to buy their support plan that will create a big hole in your pocket.
Conclusion – What’s the Best Alternative to Shopify of 2018
Shopify is an astonishing solution for online shopping websites but thanks to the “race for excellence” as there are alternatives available in the town with out-of-the-box features and particularly affordable pricing. We hope above mentioned best Shopify alternatives help you find the one that matches your needs.
As there is two type of alternatives Hosted and Self-Hosted. The Hosted platform like BigCommerce is a great choice for novice users while if you have a few technical skills you can easily use a Self-hosted like WooCommerce which offers more control over the resources and very easy to operate.
A slight limitation comes with most of the hosted solution is the absence of custom email creation. Almost all the hosted platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, and Volusion, etc. don’t offer custom email account at all or only in the higher plans. A custom email account ends up with your store name/domain name and looks more professional.
So these are indeed the worthy Shopify alternative with trustable services. Just give them a try as most of them offer trial account and let us know your choice in the comment section below.