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The title gives it away, but I really believe Shopify is the best online store platform in most cases. Still, it may not be for everyone. Yes, it’s growing in popularity and yes, it’s now home to around 3,000,000 ecommerce stores. But maybe it shouldn’t be yours. Time to look for good Shopify alternatives.
But before we do, let’s go over the platform’s pros and cons. If you want a more thorough report, don’t forget to check out our complete review of Shopify here.
- Ease of use: Shopify is a fairly easy tool to create ecommerce sites – despite the crazy amount of features.
- Apps & Community: Can’t find exactly what you need? There’s an app for it. The Shopify App store is packed full of free and paid solutions so can expand features with live chat, digital products and much more.
- Template selection: they offer a range of more than 170 professionally designed templates (see the best free Shopify themes). You can even design your own one using the Liquid programming language.
- Support: 24-hour support team, which is a huge difference compared to Shopify competitors WooCommerce or Adobe Commerce.
- Scaling: Shopify is a powerful platform that scales really well thanks to features like Shop Pay (allowing your customers to use the same login for all Shopify stores) and Shopify Markets, which equips you with everything to sell internationally.
- Transaction fees: Technically, you don’t have to pay extra if you use Shopify Payments (more information). But it’s not available worldwide yet.
- Creating regular content: Great for product pages, not so much for blog pages. There are options, but Shopify takes a store-first approach that experienced webmasters can find frustrating.
- Shopify SEO: Even though it’s nothing too serious, Shopify comes with a couple of SEO limitations (e.g. rigid URL structures) that other ecommerce platforms don’t have – BigCommerce for example.
And now that we’ve recapped these points. Let’s check out what other sites like Shopify there are for smaller and medium-sized stores:
The Best Shopify Alternatives (Small and Medium Sized Shops)
Wix – Best Ecommerce Website Builder for Small Stores
Wix regularly tops the list of our favorite website builders, but is it strong enough in the ecommerce department? Well, yes and no. On the plus side, you get the same ease of use as with the web builder, good design options and access to their fantastic App Market.
But you can also see that the ecommerce section of Wix came later. According to our research, many of their features are not quite as developed as Shopify’s (e.g. multilingual stores), which could make it hard to be a strong competitor for Shopify if you are building a larger store.
- Business Basic: $27
With all the ecommerce features, storage limited to 20 GB – this is a lot
- Business Unlimited: $32
With up to 35 GB storage and up to 10 hours of video upload. Subscriptions and recurring payments included.
- Business VIP: $59
With up to 50 GB storage and priority support. Includes custom reports.
- Good value: depending on what you need, you can run your store significantly cheaper than with Shopify.
- User-friendly: like with the website builder, it’s simple, fast and a joy to use. Creating a blog and nice-looking landing pages is far easier than with Shopify
- No extra transaction fees: with any of their online store plans.
- Lots of pro ecommerce features available: subscriptions + recurring payments, label printing, dropshipping, product reviews, automated sales tax, etc.
- Great choice of free themes: unlike Shopify, all of Wix’s templates are free.
- Multilingual stores: although there is a feature to offer your store in multiple languages, it’s not very SEO-friendly, unfortunately.
- US-only features: the real-time shipping option isn’t available anywhere else in the world.
- Not as many ecommerce apps: while there are hundreds of apps in the Wix App Market, most are not ecommerce-focussed (unlike Shopify’s)
Why choose Wix over Shopify?
Already have a Wix website? Then you’re probably used to the interface and design philosophy, so creating your store with them should be a no-brainer. If you’re looking for the balance of features/value, then Wix is also a great option. Read more about how they compare in our Wix vs Shopify article.
> Find more information in the Wix ecommerce review
Squarespace – Best for Creatives and Bloggers
Squarespace makes cool, sleek, beautiful websites. But is it enough of a reason to choose them for an ecommerce store? After all, they didn’t exactly set out to become a leading ecommerce platform, as it took them nearly 10 years to inally add an online store to their feature set.
But still, based on our findings, there could be a few advantages in selling your products with Squarespace, as we’ll see in the video below.
- Business: $23
For small stores and a 3% fee per transaction
- Online Store Basic: $27
No transaction fees
- Online Store Advanced: $49
With advanced ecommerce features like real-time carrier shipping
- Excellent blog: you’ll benefit from their strong blog feature and the ecommerce integration is seamless.
- Express checkout: to sell fast and often.
- Sell services and subscriptions: more than just physical or digital products.
- Very good SEO: learn more in our in-depth Squarespace SEO analysis.
- Designs: great templates that are all prepared for ecommerce
- Not the easiest to use: especially when compared to Wix or Weebly
- Limited app store. Although Squarespace has its Extensions library, Shopify is just way stronger in this department with its App Store.
- Not as many shipping integrations: Shopify integrates with more shipping providers, especially non US-ones.
Why choose Squarespace over Shopify?
If you want a good-looking site with a solid blog. It’s a bit cheaper than Shopify, especially if you need a real-time shipping rate calculator. Really, it’s also about whether Squarespace’s clean, minimalist aesthetic appeals to you in the first place.
> Find more information in the Squarespace ecommerce review
> Detailed Squarespace vs Shopify comparison
Sellfy – Best Free Plan
Sellfy includes a simple ecommerce website builder, basic email marketing with abandoned cart recovery, decent analytics and SEO options. What’s more, you can get started for free. But does it offer the functionality to be a strong Shopify alternative? Let’s find out!
- Free: $0
Up to 10 products (only physical products or print-on-demand)
- Starter: $29/month
Up to $10k sales per year. Unlimited products (including digital ones), custom domain name, 2,000 email credits
- Business: $79/month
Up to $50k sales per year. All in the Starter plan plus 10,000 email credits and product upselling
- Premium: $159/month
Up to $200k sales per year. All in the Business plan plus priority customer support and free migration
- Really easy-to-use: partly due to fewer features, Sellfy is better than Shopify in this respect.
- Free plan: We listed Sellfy as our number one free ecommerce website builder due to its generous plan.
- Sell both physical and digital products: You can add Buy Now Buttons and widgets to any existing website or blog.
- 24/7 email support
- Comprehensive analytics
- Basic email marketing included with abandoned cart automations
- You can add a ‘pay what you want’ option
- No transaction fees (though charges will be applied by PayPal or Stripe)
- Limited themes: Sellfy just offers 5 themes. Shopify is much better for this with 170 professionally designed templates
- No CRM
- No blogging tool: Your ability to attract SEO traffic is very limited
- Slightly annoying that you have to put in your credit card details to sign up to the free plan
- Limited integrations: only 5 are available
Why choose Sellfy over Shopify?
Sellfy is a good option for those looking for a free ecommerce website builder, or a simple solution with a shallow learning curve. We highly recommend it for selling digital downloads and appreciate that it doesn’t charge you a transaction fee.
That said, if you’re looking for a design-conscious ecommerce builder with a good variety of templates to choose from, you’d be better off with Shopify. Especially if you are dependent on Google traffic via SEO.
>Try Sellfy out for free and see if it’s for you! Use this link to get 10% off
Zyro – The Affordable Newcomer
This Lithuanian website builder may not be the most popular alternative to Shopify, but I was positively surprised after having a look at its functionality. There aren’t many (ecommerce-focused) templates available, but the ones you can use look gorgeous. Its backend has a clean design, which makes using Zyro very pleasant too.
- Business: $4.99 a month
With unlimited storage, bandwidth and 100 products.
- Advanced Store: $18.90 a month
Unleash advanced ecommerce features like selling on Amazon, Instagram and Facebook and multilingual stores.
- Ease to use: Zyro is an intuitive tool that looks very similar to Wix but less complex
- Advanced features: like abandoned cart recovery or Facebook, Instagram and Amazon integration
- No transaction fees: won’t charge fees for each product you sell
- Multilingual: It’s possible to create ecommerce stores in more than one language
- Email accounts: Not only your domain name can be managed via Zyro, they also offer affordable email accounts.
- Not many apps: It only has about 15 apps to integrate
- Payment gateways: limited to Stripe and PayPal
- Template variety: There could be more ecommerce-focused templates
- Great value: Zyro is much more affordable than Shopify
Why choose Zyro over Shopify?
Zyro’s Business plan can’t compete with Shopify, as many (advanced) features are missing. However, it could be good for users wanting to start a smaller store that doesn’t need all the bells and whistles.
If you purchase the Advanced Store plan, however, you’ll be glad to see that it comes with more interesting features like abandoned cart recovery, product filters, a multilingual setup and the possibility to integrate with Amazon, Facebook and Instagram Shops. This is thanks to its use of the Ecwid plugin.
> Try Zyro for free (get 10% off via this link)
Ecwid – Ecommerce Add-On for Existing Websites
Not to be mistaken with an ecommerce platform, Ecwid is actually a clever plugin you can add to any website to add a shopping cart. Like WooCommerce there is a free option (not open source), but the main advantage is that you don’t need a WordPress site. Anything will work.
Best of all, Ecwid is surprisingly easy to use. I like the fact that Ecwid can turn any website into a fully-functioning online store and the price is certainly competitive. Downsides include the lack of design options and flexibility. Still, the rest of the features is pretty strong, as you’ll see in the video below.
- Free: $0
Sell up to 10 items
- Venture: $15
Sell 100 products both physical or digital
- Business: $35
Sell up to 2500 items and comes with phone support
- Unlimited: $99
Unlimited products and get your own iOS and Android shopping app
Find our detailed Ecwid pricing guide here.
Why choose Ecwid over Shopify?
If you already have a website and don’t want to migrate, it’s a good approach as it could be integrated in a day or so. We also have a detailed comparison of Ecwid vs Shopify.
> Find more information in the Ecwid review
Weebly (Square Online) – The User-Friendly Choice
As we wrote in our complete review of the website builder Weebly, using the platform is like “stepping into someone else’s kitchen and immediately finding everything you need to cook.” The drag and drop editor is that intuitive.
This ease of use carries over to the ecommerce section. It’s super simple to add products and edit them, but there’s a good reason we’d only recommend Weebly in the “small” ecommerce stores section. Their features can be quite lacking compared to dedicated ecommerce platforms, as you’ll see in the video or pros and cons below.
We’ve been following Weebly’s development for more than a decade now and frankly, we are not exactly sure where this product is heading. Ever since they got acquired by payment provider Square, Weebly’s journey has been a difficult one. While the core website builder hasn’t received many updates, their focus has been much more on the ecommerce store.
- Pro: $12
Sell 25 items (3% transaction fee)
- Business: $25
Sell unlimited products, no fee and and tax and shipping options.
- Business Plus: $26
All business features and advanced ecommerce features (e.g. automated shipping cost)
- Ease of use: once again, hard to find better than Weebly for complete beginners. Weebly means user friendly drag and drop at its best.
- SSL certificate out of the box: Some platforms try to charge extra for good security, not Weebly.
- Can’t scale: Weebly’s lack of advanced store features can become a problem if you grow in the future.
Why choose Weebly over Shopify?
When simplicity is your main requirement, Weebly is close to perfection. They also have a great blog and page editor, so if you are planning to create non-ecommerce content and want a bonus online store, it’s a fantastic option.
> Find more information in the Weebly ecommerce review
The Best Shopify Alternatives for Big Online Stores
- Pinnacle Cart
- Adobe Commerce (Magento)
- Big Cartel
BigCommerce – Shopify’s Rival for Large Ecommerce Sites
They say things are bigger in Texas (where BigCommerce is from) and this is certainly the case when it comes to the amount of features. Many more possible product variants than Shopify, abandoned carts, tons of payment options… There isn’t much missing for creating massive online stores, or so it seems.
But could it be overkill for your needs? Or is it too complicated to get started? Find out in the video below, or skip to the pros and cons of BigCommerce below.
- Standard: $29.95/month
Sell unlimited products.
- Plus: $71.95/month
Comes with abandoned cart saver.
- Pro: $269.96/month
With Google reviews integration and product filtering.
- Enterprise: Custom quote
A BigCommerce marketer will help you with your store.
One important note: BigCommerce plans come with a yearly sales threshold. You’ll be moved to a higher plan if your yearly sales reach a certain number. More information in our pricing guide.
- Up to 600 product variants: this dwarfs Shopify’s 100 variants. Sure, you can use one of Shopify’s apps, but that’s not a very sexy solution to be honest.
- No transaction fees: what you sell is what you get!
- Excellent SEO: probably one of the best options for increasing your search engine ranking (see our BigCommerce SEO guide here).
- Sales threshold: Make sure you stay within your appropriate sales bracket or BigCommerce moves you up a pricing tier. Shopify won’t do that.
- Not great for regular content: even creating an About Us page isn’t as easy as it should.
- No multilingual store: unless you want to code it yourself.
- Dropshipping: BigCommerce is the first choice for droppshippers due to their lack of decent apps.
Why choose BigCommerce over Shopify?
As you’ve seen, there are a couple of similar cons to both. But the main reason to choose BigCommerce over Shopify, in my opinion, would be the way it handles product management, especially for very large stores (one reason why it’s popular with mid-to-enterprise businesses). Also no extra transaction fees. Worth giving it a try to get a feel for the way they do variants and product listings.
> Find more information in the BigCommerce review
> Detailed comparision: BigCommerce vs Shopify
WooCommerce – Top Choice for WordPress fans
Compared to Shopify, WooCommerce is a self-hosted ecommerce platform. So it’s not exactly an all-in-one platform because you’ll need to install on your own web hosting (and know quite a bit about) WordPress. This comes with various pros and cons.
One pro being that WooCommerce, as a simple WordPress plugin, packs a surprising amount of features.
And craziest of all, you could be using it as a serious ecommerce solution without forking out a huge amount per month. Although it’s a bit more complicated than that, as you’ll see in the video and list of pros and cons below.
The WooCommerce plugin is basically free. But because it’s not a platform, you’ll still need a budget to host your store (see WooCommerce pricing). On average, it would look something like this:
- Web Hosting Account: between $10 – 50 / month
- Domain: around $14 a year
- Premium theme: one off fee of $59+
- Extra plugins: $40 – 100 / year per plugin
And most costly of all: a lot of time to get it all to work smoothly.
- Customizable and scalable: yes, you can add plugins to your plugin and turn it into a super powerful solution.
- Great segmentation options: for customer logins, and for administrator accounts.
- Choice of templates: not only can you find tons of free and premium designs online, you can also customize them as needed (usually through code).
- Plugins for everything: whether you need a multilingual store or more payment options – there’s always a plugin for it.
- Not exactly plug and play: WooCommerce is pretty hard to set up for beginners. You need to find a decent WordPress web host and get everything set up and running yourself.
- No official customer support: like with WordPress, you’re left on your own to find solutions to your technical issues. Although there are thousands of skilled developers available that you can hire as WordPress is such a popular platform. Your web host or theme company may also help you out.
Why choose WooCommerce over Shopify?
If you already know, understand and love WordPress, then WooCommerce is a forceful contender and might be much better for you than Shopify. The price point could also be attractive if you want something simple and have the time to work on your site, but not the budget.
Another Texan company, Volusion is close to 20 years old, and the number of sales they claim to have processed would put them ahead of the competition – a whopping $28 Billion.
You’d think this impressive number comes from the platform’s ease of use. But as you’ll see in the pros and cons below (or the embedded video) it’s not exactly a strong suit of Volusion. Still, let’ see what they get better than the rest.
- Personal: $29
Up to 50k in sales (and up to 100 products)
- Professional: $79
Up to 100k in sales (and up to 5,000 products)
- Business: $299
Up to 500k in sales
All features and VIP support
- Features: tons of them out of the box, for marketing, upselling or listing.
- Good promo options: I especially like the Deal of the Day that can direct users towards an exclusive landing page.
- No transaction fees: Unlike Shopify Volusion doesn’t charge transaction fees with any payment method.
- No integrated blogging: a serious hindrance for content marketing.
- Steep learning curve: definitely not as easy to use as Shopify.
Why choose Volusion over Shopify?
Volusion’s exhaustive list of features is probably a good way to increase sales. You’ll need a little longer to set up your store than with Shopify, but all in all, it’s an OK alternative for those who know exactly what they want to achieve.
> Find more information in the Volusion review
This Arizonan ecommerce solution has been around for over 15 years, and powers over 30,000 online stores. You can host your ecommerce store with them, but you also can purchase a Perpetual License and host it with your favorite hosting service – provided they match their technical requirements.
They come with around 12 free ecommerce templates that you can use. They are responsive so they’ll look good on every device. Using their backend (e.g. adding products) is easy and intuitive, no hiccups there.
Although they have integrations with some external apps (e.g. Avalara, Facebook or Mailchimp), their app center isn’t as varied as Shopify’s – check the available integrations to make sure they support what you need.
The amount of payment gateways they offer is also impressive: PayPal, Stripe, 2Checkout, Skrill, Authorize, etc.
- Start Up: $44.95 a month
1GB of space and 2GB bandwidth.
- Started: $94.95 a month
10GB of space and 20GB bandwidth plus Quickbooks integration.
- Advanced: $199.95 a month
Unlimited storage and bandwidth. You also get priority customer support.
Note: All Pinnacle Plans offer unlimited products and admin accounts. PinnacleCart doesn’t charge transaction fees with any of their plans either.
Why choose PinnacleCart over Shopify?
Shopify is overall a more advanced tool than PinnacleCart – especially when looking at the available integrations. However, if you are looking for an alternative that allows you to have unlimited admin accounts, won’t charge extra transaction fees, or want to host your store externally, PinnacleCart could be the right platform for you.
Founded in 2016 in Bulgaria, Simvoly claims to already have 20,000 active users. This number is no comparison to Shopify, but this is not bad for a young start-up.
Their editor still has some room for improvement, as some features are not yet implemented (e.g. not many integrations). On top of that, some of their ecommerce options are a bit too simple (e.g. shipping and taxes).
However, they have a unique approach, as they are focused on conversion rate optimization. They integrate funnel optimization options and A/B testing:
- Their funnel builder and analytics allows you to set goals and customize your funnel steps (landing pages, pop-ups, checkout & thank you page). Since it has built-in analytics, you can see what step of the funnel is working and which one isn’t.
- Includes A/B testing features for the funnels. So for each step you could test a couple of variations and see which one converts best.
- Personal: $12 a month
20 pages, 5 products, 1 funnel and 1 domain connection.
- Business: $29 a month
Unlimited pages, 100 products, 5 funnels and 1 domain connection.
- Growth+: $59 a month
Unlimited pages, unlimited products and 30 domain connections and funnels.
- Pro: $149 a month
Unlimited pages, products, funnels and domain connections.
Why choose Simvoly over Shopify?
Simvoly offers a bit more control over your design and layouts, but their ecommerce features are a bit more limited (e.g. shipping, taxes, and payment methods).
Their biggest pro, of course, is the funnel optimization options. These are especially useful when creating landing pages.
Adobe Commerce (Magento)
You might have heard the name Magento for a couple of reasons. First, it was purchased by eBay in 2011. Then, it was sold and bought by Adobe mid-2018. All these transfers of ownership might be a bit worrying if you want to keep track of what’s happening with tfhe platform. But as it stands today, they are a CMS platform focused on letting you sell products and designed around an open-source ecosystem.
It’s a bit hard to gauge exactly what to expect from Magento, but it certainly seems to cater to more established stores, as you’ll see below for the pricing, and reasons to choose it over Shopify.
Adobe Commerce Pricing
It’s a bit like WooCommerce. The CMS software is free, but you have to pay for web hosting, plugins and themes, amongst others. But Magento is hungrier when it comes to server requirements. They also offer a Cloud-based platform but are a bit secretive about their pricing.
Why choose Adobe Commerce over Shopify?
Again, hard to tell at this stage. Adobe doesn’t have the best history when it comes to sticking with products it acquires. Probably worth asking their consultants directly if you’re an established B2B or B2C. Also, if you live and breathe Adobe cloud, it might make sense to choose them.
Founded in France in 2007, you’re probably more likely to have heard of PrestaShop if you’re based in Europe. They are pretty popular in Italy and Spain, where more than 250000 stores rely on its PHP-based open source platform.
One nice thing to note is that unlike other open source services like WooCommerce, PrestaShop does offer personal paid support along with their Community forums and resources (which are pretty good too).
100% free. On paper, at least, because like with WooCommerce or Magento, you’ll need to fork out, at least, for web hosting, themes and plugins.
Why choose PrestaShop over Shopify?
Worth browsing their forum and resources to see how easy it is to find information. Open source platforms can be a bit hard to manage by yourself as you’ll need technical knowledge, so if you enjoy their community, it’s a good bedrock to build upon.
Unlike other Shopify competitors, Big Cartel has got their niche audience: artists, artisans and creators. The websites they create could easily be alternative versions of Etsy, favoring displays that promote a certain DIY, artsy aesthetic.
Does it work? It would seem so. Their website claims to have helped people sell around $2.5 billion worth of work since 2005. And they certainly seem passionate about helping the arts community, as all their staff comes from an artistic background.
Big Cartel Pricing:
- Gold (free): $0 a month
Sell up to 5 products
- Platinum: $9.99 a month
Sell up to 50 products
- Diamond: $19.99 a month
Sell up to 500 products
Why choose Big Cartel over Shopify?
Obviously, worth considering if you sell music, film, photography or art online. But they’re also an independent company with a cool DIY ethos, so maybe that’s what will appeal to you.
Interestingly, Shift4Shop (formerly 3Dcart) was developed for private use before it was released to the public in 2001. During their almost two decades of existence, they haven’t exactly become a household name, but Amazon did give them a nice accolade when they announced it was the preferred ecommerce platform for their fulfillment service.
In terms of features, you get a few nice extras like CRM, product reviews, automations and even the ability to add an affiliate program. Most impressive however is their free plan, which gives you access to all features plus unlimited products and users, if you select Shift4Shop as your payment processor. For now, this free plan is only available in the US.
- End-to-end: $0 a month
All features, unlimited products & bandwidth
- Basic: $29 a month
Lets you connect to other payment processors. Sell unlimited products + 2 staff accounts. Limited marketing and sales channels features.
- Plus: $79 a month
5 staff accounts. Additional marketing and sales channel features.
- Pro: $229 a month
API access. Full range of features.
Why choose Shift4Shop over Shopify?
The price, mainly. Also probably worth checking if you use Amazon fulfillment to deliver your products around the world.
So what’s the best Shopify alternative for you?
As you can imagine, it really depends on your priorities. A few categories come to mind, and the good news is that you’ll have choice aplenty.
- Bigger online stores: BigCommerce is really the main Shopify competitor there.
- Less technical: the ease of use of website builders with ecommerce option is hard to beat. We’re thinking Wix and Squarespace.
- Cheaper options: a plugin is a good compromise, see: WooCommerce, Magento, Wix, or Sellfy and Ecwid also have a free plan.
- Focused on content marketing: bloggers who also sell products, or instance, should probably look at Squarespace and WordPress (WooCommerce).
So what do you think? Ready to try a Shopify competitor, or would you still stick with the established platform to create your online business? Let me know your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
We keep our content up to date
-19 Sep 2022: Smaller updates and corrections
-24 Jun 2022: Prices and profiles updated
-25 May 2022: Added Sellfy, removed Selz
-01 May 2022: Price changes reflected for Wix and Squarespace, other small updates.
-18 Oct 2021: Changed the order, removed Jimdo due to a lack of features.
-02 Jul 2021: Update to multilingual feature
-09 Jun 2021: Updates to Shift4Shop (formerly 3dcart)
-11 Mar 2020: Selz added
-03 Sep 2019: Squarespace improved their SEO features.
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