Internet growth had made sure that almost everything is done through the internet. Business transactions have not been left behind. This has led to the development of several eCommerce website tools that can help one set up an online store within a couple of minutes. One of the best tools we have today is Shopify. If you have minimal technical skills and limited resources that do not allow you to hire a web developer, Shopify is one of the eCommerce tools you can use to get yourself started with an online store.
What if you wanted something else but not Shopify? There are a number of other alternatives to Shopify that does a similar job, albeit in a different way. All these tools will easily get you started with your eCommerce store. In this article, we are going to talk about the best alternatives to Shopify that we have today.
BigCommerce is a paid-for eCommerce solution that was established in 2009. It is a SaaS (Software as a Service) meaning that you do not own the software but pay a monthly or annual fee to keep using it.
BigCommerce comes with various templates that are customizable to give you a chance to design the type of an online store that meets your requirements. It can be used for selling digital and/or physical products. You also get a number of tools that you can use to market your eCommerce store.
This tool is very easy to use – it is aimed to be used by anyone even those that do not have web development skills. However, it gives those that have the skills a chance to tweak the CSS and HTML codes of their stores to make sure that the store meets all their requirements.
- Transaction Fees: There are no transaction fees even when using a third party payment gateway.
- Reporting tools: All plans come with a set of reporting tools which is not the same with other competing tools.
- SEO features: BigCommerce comes with a set of amazing SEO features that allow you to create short URLs, automatic image optimization and AMP template format on all templates.
- Staff accounts: All plans come with an unlimited number of staff accounts.
- Blog: It comes with an in-built blog that makes it possible to use inbound marketing techniques easily without using other applications.
- Ease of use: It is very easy to use and create custom fields to match your requirements.
- Custom code: Allows one to create custom CSS and HTML code.
- Trial period: Free 14-day trial period.
- Limits on sales: BigCommerce has limited to the number of sales allowed in a year. If you exceed your limit, you will be forced to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
- Templates: Although it comes with amazing templates, they all look similar to each other.
- Mobile apps: Does not come with a mobile app to help one manage their store on the go.
- RSS feeds: Built-in bog does not offer RSS feeds.
- Abandoned Cart functionality is a little bit more expensive compared to some of its competitors.
|Cost (Per Month)||$ 29.95||$ 79.95||$ 249.95||Custom|
|Sales per year||$ 50,000||$ 150,000||$ 400,000||Custom|
3DCart is one of the oldest eCommerce tools that has evolved over the years to match changing requirements for eCommerce websites. It was founded in 1997. It comes with a lot of built-in features albeit with little creative control.
3DCart eCommerce comes with over two hundred built-in features that enable you to easily customize your online store to match your requirements. You also get over ninety free templates with all plans as well as over 160 payment gateways – this is where it beats most of its close competitors. The payment gateways are integrated into the store to make sure that you do not write any line of code when setting them up.
This tool is good but not very easy to use. However, it has a clean and straight forward admin panel and an introductory video that is meant to help you get started. 3DCart partnered with Zapier – an automated tool for connecting applications – making it possible to easily choose from over one thousand apps to connect with your online store.
- Feature set: 3DCart comes with over 200 in-built features to make customization easy.
- Templates: It comes with more than ninety free templates to choose from.
- Payment Gateways: This eCommerce tool comes with over 160 payment gateways – the most in all eCommerce tools.
- Customer Support: It comes with responsive customer support on all plans as well as detailed documentation to help you set up your store.
- Transaction fees: All plans do not have any transaction fees.
- Sales limits: There is no sales limit on all the plans.
- Ease of use: Compared to its competitors, 3DCart is not easy to use especially to a beginner. One will need a considerable amount of time to learn how it works.
- Customization: 3DCart does not allow one to have full control over the customization of its features.
- Hidden Costs: Even though 3DCart comes with a lot of in-built features, you will be forced to pay extra to get some of these features.
- Upgrades: Users have complained of store errors when there are upgrades with 3DCart.
- Themes: Even though you get a good number of themes, most of them look outdated and might force a beginner to pay extra to get them customized and modernized.
|Cost Per Month||$ 9.50 ($ 17.10 after promo)||$ 14.50 ($ 26.10 after promo)||$ 39.50 ($ 71.10 after promo)||$ 114.50 ($ 206.10 after promo)|
Founded in 2005, BigCartel is an eCommerce tool that is designed to help people in the creative industry such as clothing designers, bands, jewelry makers, crafters, and other artists build an online store.
BigCartel is one of the online stores that allow you to set up an online store and sell for free. Most of the other eCommerce tools will charge you for this. It comes with basic features compared to its competitors and is ideal for small businesses and individuals that would like to sell individual pieces.
It comes with a number of must-have features for an eCommerce store due to its simplicity, making it one of the easiest tools to use. You will get order management, ability to sell digital and physical products, ability to sell in person and on social media, inventory tracking, SEO optimization, discount codes, and Google Analytics integration among other features. It comes with a free plan that has limited features and is limited to only five products.
- Free Plan: You get a free plan that allows you to sell up to five products.
- Ease of use: BigCartel is very easy to set up and use. It also has user friendly prompts and easy navigation.
- Pricing: The paid plans are quite affordable compared to its competitors.
- Templates: It comes with good looking and modern templates, all for free.
- Transaction fees: There are no transaction fees on all plans.
- Custom Code: It gives one the ability to tweak the store’s code.
- Customization: Although you can customize it, it does not allow in-depth customization required for big eCommerce stores.
- Payment options: It has limited payment options.
- Integrations: BigCartel allows for limited app integrations.
- It does not have a search function.
|Cost Per Month||Free||$ 9.99||$ 19.99||$ 29.99|
|Sales Limitations||5 Products||25 Products||100 Products||300 Products|
Squarespace Commerce is one of the best eCommerce tools for making a small to a mid-sized online store. There are currently over 100,000 websites that use the Squarespace eCommerce tool, making it one of the most used paid for eCommerce tools.
Squarespace is known for its sleek design and modern templates that will give you a beautifully designed online store. The designs are flexible, but not very easy to use especially for beginners. One will need a considerable amount of time to learn the interface before they get to understand their workaround. The eCommerce templates are fully customizable.
It comes with a number of features that will make your online store stand out. You will get flexible product variants, inventory management, sales tax configurations, ability to sell physical and digital products as well as services, unlimited products and automatic emailing. These are some of the features that make Squarespace Commerce stand out from its competitors.
- Hosting: Squarespace Commerce is fully hosted making sure that you do not have to worry about server issues.
- Templates: It comes with modern and beautifully designed templates that are fully customizable.
- Transaction Fees: There are no transaction fees on sales.
- Squarespace offers an amazing inventory system and analytics tools.
- Multi-channel selling: Squarespace does not offer multi-channel selling. This means that you can not integrate with other applications such as Facebook, Amazon, or Google Shopping.
- Integrations: Integrations are only limited to payment processors, shipping services, and financial data.
- Marketing Tools: Although Squarespace offers multiple marketing tools, they are not straightforward and one would have to go steps deeper to get to Google Analytics.
|Plan||Basic Commerce||Advanced Commerce|
|Price Per Month||$ 26||$ 40|
|Abandoned Cart Recovery||No||Yes|
WooCommerce is the most popular open-source plugin designed for WordPress for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. It was launched in 2011 and quickly became popular due to its easy installation and set up and well as usability.
WordPress is the most powerful content management system today. You can easily get amazing websites for your business with WordPress using beautifully designed themes. Now, WooCommerce plugin rides on that as well. Imagine a situation where you have an amazing website and the ability to turn that website into a beautiful online store. That is WooCommerce work for you.
WooCommerce comes with amazing features to help you set up an easy to use store. You get all product features, shipping, inventory, ability to set variant products and tax calculations among others. You can also sell digital, physical and services with WooCommerce. To add to these amazing features, you do not have to pay even a dime to use WooCommerce.
It also comes with a host of payment gateways and extensions to add to those that are available. Among the supported payment gateways and extensions, it comes with PayPal, Stripe, Square, Amazon Pay, Authorize.Net, Sofort Uberweisung, 2Checkout, and Alipay. You can also set up payment by bank transfers and check payments.
- Customizability: WooCommerce is an open-source plugin making it highly customizable.
- Integrations: There are multiple applications that easily integrate with WooCommerce making your online store extensive.
- Flexibility: WooCommerce is highly flexible making it adapt easily to any kind of an online store.
- Security: The plugin has an active community of developers and experts updating it regularly making sure that it is secure to use. This also ensures that there is enough documentation on how to use the plugin and make maximum use of its capabilities.
- Ease of Use: It is very easy to use especially to people who have used WordPress before. Why so? You might have to learn how to use WordPress before you can get started with WooCommerce.
- Custom Code: You can access the plugin’s code and make edits to meet your requirements.
- Ease of Use: For a beginner, one will have to, first of all, learn how to use WordPress. They will then have to spend a significant amount of time learning the nitty grits of WooCommerce.
- Support: WooCommerce does not have a specific support team that you can call and fix any issues you might be facing. However, there is plenty of online documentation as well as an online community of experts.
- Growth: WooCommerce depends on WordPress for everything it does. This means that things like speed, growth among others are determined by WordPress. You might get to a threshold that might leave you with a broken online store due to these limitations.
Magento, a PHP based open-source eCommerce platform, is one of the most popular tools you can use to set up an online store. It is created using the Zend framework.
Even though Magento is free and open-source, there is a paid version for enterprise users. Magento works in two different ways – you can either download the software from the Magento website and install it on your server or you can use it as a hosted service, meaning that you do not have to install anything yourself. The second option comes with a little bit high price tag.
Magento comes with a host of useful eCommerce features and can be used by small to large businesses. Some large companies using Magento are Samsung and Nespresso. With Magento, you will get features such as inventory management, coupon management, shipping charge handling, multiple payment gateways, over 500 extensions, API for web services, marketing tools, order processing, customer groups and built-in SEO features among others.
- Free: You can use Magento for free. The enterprise edition is not free.
Self Hosting: You can self host your Magento application giving you full control over your online store.
- Flexible: Magento is open source, meaning that you can modify the source code to match your requirements.
- Large Community of Users: It has a large community of users which makes sure that there are regular updates and quick support.
- Mobile Friendly: Magento is mobile friendly and allows one to create a mobile-friendly online store with an amazing mobile viewing experience.
- Cost: Although the community version of Magento is free, its enterprise counterpart is very expensive for small and even some medium-sized businesses.
- Developers: Even though Magento has a large community of users, it is very difficult to find a genuine Magento developer. The application is very large and demanding.
- Time Consuming: Magento is not straightforward especially for a beginner. It requires a considerable amount of time to learn it and be able to make customizations.
Pricing: Free Community edition
Wix is one of the best website builder platforms we have today. It also comes with an eCommerce builder that works perfectly well and competes fairly with other popular platforms.
Wix comes with a powerful eCommerce system that allows you to sell both digital and physical products as well as services. With Wix, you will get amazing eCommerce features such as order management, product management, email marketing, coupon handling and a shipping zone setup. It also comes with modern and beautifully designed themes for you to choose from.
It gives one a number of ways to customize and display the products grid – you can choose from different layouts, set text alignments, set different hover effects and pagination styles among others. There is also support for the popular payment gateways. In total, Wix supports up to seventeen payment gateways. You will also not be charged any transaction fees on all the plans with Wix.
- Wix App Market: Wix comes with an app market that allows you to integrate different apps into your online store to expand on its functionality.
- Pricing: Wix eCommerce offers one of the most affordable and modern tools for making online stores.
- Transaction Fees: There are no transaction fees on the sales made through the online store.
- Themes: Wix is known for its modern and well-designed themes. You will easily get a theme that is responsive and that meets all your requirements.
- Shipping Calculator: In some countries such as the USA and Brazil, Wix offers a real-time calculator using USPS.
- Customization: Even though Wix allows you to customize your store to match your requirements, some elements such as confirmation emails are not fully customizable.
- Back end speeds: As your store grows, you might find yourself in situations where the backend speed started to get significantly slower than it originally was.
|Plan||Business VIP||Business Unlimited||Business Basic|
|Price Per Month||$ 35||$ 25||$ 17|
|Storage||50 GB||35 GB||20 GB|
If you are looking to get into the business world where you will be selling products or services – or you are already in it – then above are some of the best eCommerce tools you can use to set up your online store. Most of them are fairly easy to use and you can set yourself up even if you are not a web developer.