10 Shopify Alternatives – Find Your Perfect E-Commerce Solution

Did you know, E-commerce isn’t just for megacorporations or even startups anymore. Small businesses that started with a real-world presence are discovering new markets online, and individual sellers are gaining new footholds as well.

Selling through eBay and Amazon doesn’t provide a lot of freedom. You can’t design your page, build relationships with your customers, or own your own platform in any meaningful way. E-commerce website builders like Shopify offer alternatives that’ll grant you way more control — but there’s a daunting number of options to consider.

Shopify is a leader in the field for a good reason. Its library of plugins grants theoretically unlimited options that even e-commerce beginners can leverage to great effect. Yet there are many reasons Shopify might not be the right choice for you: it starts at a high price point, and includes a lot more features than a small seller needs when they’re just transitioning off Amazon.

Below, we’ve run through 10 alternatives to Shopify that’ll let you start taking control of your brand.

1. BigCommerce

BigCommerce’s platform is loaded with beginner-friendly templates, well-designed premium themes, and expert tech support. The service distinguishes itself from the competition with its tested mobile responsiveness targeted branding — for example, if you sell fashion, their themes and on-call designers will help you organize your aesthetic toward a fashion site.

BigCommerce is also a solid choice as far as value for money, since its basic plan includes far more functionality than Shopify’s “lite” option. However, it has been noted that they falls short by only offering a fraction of Shopify’s available apps.

It’s worth keeping an eye on BigCommerce, though, as they’ve proven very receptive to user opinion, and have been hard at work updating their library of apps and themes.

Who is it for?

Any online business or brick-and-mortar business that wants to set up an online store on a budget. Owners with more to spend should consider getting expert design help from BigCommerce: it makes a major difference.

Pros
  • More tools out of the box than other e-commerce hosts
  • Easy integration with social media platforms
  • Robust basic pricing plan
  • 24/7 tech support
Cons
  • Few free templates
  • Smaller selection of apps than Shopify
  • Domain name costs extra ($12/year)

Pricing Plans and Costs

  • Standard ($29/month): Sell unlimited products and gift cards, get shipping quotes, data reports
    • Credit card rate: 2.9%+30 cents
    • Yearly sales threshold: $50,000
  • Plus ($79/month): Adds abandoned cart recovery
    • Credit card rate: 2.5%+30 cents
    • Yearly sales threshold: $150,000
  • Pro ($249/month): Product filtering for customers
    • Credit card rate: 2.2%+30 cents
    • Yearly sales threshold: $1,000,000

Free trial offered? 15 days on any plan

2. Volusion

Founded in 1999 as a shopping cart plugin, Volusion has since relaunched as Volusion V2. This new version includes a full lineup of e-commerce features, including shipping management, a mobile app, discounts, upselling, and a customer-facing search.

Its pricing plans are also noteworthy, with unlimited scaling offered in the most basic $25-per-month option — competitive, though not as much value as some.

The catch is that V2’s focus on simplicity can frustrate for more advanced designers. It’s part of a long tradition of from-scratch web builders not being exactly robust, but Volusion’s problems can go a bit farther than that: their menus are so user-friendly that things we might need on the surface have been shoved away in the back.

Their pricing plan, which associates each level with an annual sales threshold, can also lead to some unpleasant surprises.

Who is it for?

Internet newbies who want to set up an online store, and start generating funds without customizing a million tiny options.

Pros
  • Unlimited storage and products starts at the basic plan
  • Easy to get started quickly
  • Simple to find your way around all available features
  • Recently removed all transaction fees
Cons
  • Sales limits can unexpectedly bump you up to the next plan
  • Small number of templates and apps available
  • Simplicity makes it a poor choice for advanced designers

Pricing Plans and Costs

  •     Personal ($29/month): Unlimited products and storage, up to $50,000 in sales per year
  •     Professional ($79/month): Checkout and abandoned cart on domain, phone tech support, $100,000 sales limit
  •     Startup ($179/month): Adds third-party payment processors, $250,000 sales limit
  •     Business ($299/month): Multiple administrators, executive consultations, $500,000 sales limit

Free trial offered? 14 days

3. 3Dcart

3Dcart is a cloud-based e-commerce platform that focuses on being as easy as possible to customize. It’s picked up a great deal of positive reception in its stories 19 years of existence, mostly by adding a content manager and list of integrations that stack up very well to Shopify’s.

Its selection of free, responsive themes all make it easy to upload products and quickly build a path from first view to sale.

3Dcart also scores against Shopify by matching its prime feature: the app store. Like we said above, any service claiming to be a true Shopify alternative has to offer another way to access a large and organized library of plugins.

3Dcart gets this absolutely right, allowing users to integrate everything from no-brainers like a Facebook feed to support for advanced practices like dropshipping (buying an item from a larger site to sell on your own).

Who is it for?

Business owners who plan to remain small-scale, but still like a wide variety of options.

Pros
  • Works with about 70 payment gateways
  • No transaction fees ever
  • All free themes are mobile-friendly
  • Built-in marketing, social media, SEO
Cons
  • Pricing structure charges for bandwidth overages
  • Custom web design charges for more for responsive pages

Pricing Plans and Costs

  •     Startup Store ($11.40/month, $17.10/month after first six): 1 staff user, 100 products, access to design features
  •     Basic Store ($17.40/month, $26.10/month after first six): 2 staff users, unlimited products
  •     Plus Store ($47.40/month, $71.10/month after first six): 5 staff users, product comparison, abandoned cart saver, daily deals
  •     Pro Store ($137.40/month, $206.10/month after first six): 15 staff users, pre-orders, gift registry, rewards program, priority tech support

Free trial offered? 15 days

4. Weebly

Weebly is a general sitebuilder with e-commerce powers, which aims to combine the drag-and-drop intuitiveness of Wix with a Squarespace-inspired menu.

It keeps things minimal, providing performance and ease of use rather than a smorgasbord of features. To lure in online sales, they offer an integrated shopping cart and checkout experience.

Other things to recommend Weebly include its free plan, which includes access to all design features except the ability to set up a store. Its ease of use, including a one-click app store, will endear it to beginners, and the mobile editor is nice.

But it should be reiterated that Weebly is not a service for the deep designer. Like Wix, Weebly has an option to access its CSS editor, but if you want to achieve your goals by coding, there are better choices.

Who is it for?

People who want a good-looking website and might not have the budget for a plan from Wix or Squarespace. Given its list of features for managing blog posts, Weebly is a strong choice for sellers who use blogging as a method of community engagement.

Pros
  • User interface is forgiving for beginners but looks polished
  • Free version includes most features
  • Built-in marketing analytics
  • Ability on some plans to password-lock entire site or individual pages
Cons
  • Less depth and more rigid design than its competitors
  • Other than app store, not much to set it apart from Squarespace

Pricing Plans and Costs

All of these plans are charged annually.

  • Free: Access to design features, advertising banner on website
  • Personal ($8/month): Unlimited storage, personal domain name
  • Professional ($12/month): Site search, password protection, HD audio/video
  • Performance ($25/month): Unlimited membership registration

Free trial offered? The free plan

5. Wix

Wix has jumped in popularity among basic-utility WYSIWYG web builders. They’ve made a splash with exciting features is Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI): just feed your social media accounts and info about your business into ADI, and it will generate a website for you, which you’re then free to adapt as you wish.

But how does it perform for e-commerce? Their designs are dynamite for branding, and can be customized with their drag-and-drop editor. But it’s not only about the look — they’ve also got more advanced tools, like 15 payment gateways, SSL encryption, and abandoned cart recovery, plus an app market to rival Shopify. Really the only thing missing is stock management: Wix won’t tell you when you’re running low on products.

Who is it for?

Beginners who want to market a service or post content. Sellers who like apps and templates, or those who plan to do a lot of SEO but aren’t sure how to start, will also find Wix useful. Experienced coders and designers will feel limited, though an advanced app called Wix Code allows more access to the source.

Pros
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop WYSIWIG interface with tips
  • Wide range of templates and apps
  • Cheaper than Squarespace with a free plan available
  • ADI function and SEO wizard streamline daunting tasks
Cons
  • Limited storage, especially in cheaper plans
  • More advanced design options may not be available
  • Difficult to access code in basic version

Pricing Plans and Costs

  •     Combo ($13/month): 2 GB bandwidth, 3 GB storage, video support, free domain for one year
  •     Unlimited ($17/month): Unlimited bandwidth, 10 GB storage, free domain for one year, site builder and form booster apps
  •     Pro ($22/month): Unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB storage, events calendar, professional logos
  •     VIP ($39/month): Unlimited bandwidth, 20 GB storage, priority response, support for 10 email campaigns per year

Free trial offered? 14 days on any premium plan

6. Jimdo

Let’s keep moving on through the category of more general website-builders that can be used for e-commerce. Jimdo’s every design choice is aimed toward being fast and easy to use, and its online store is no different: it’s geared toward small business owners who want their websites off the ground quick.

It requires no coding knowledge — templates build an entire page for a product from a photo and a few pieces of information.

Every Jimdo template can be used for e-commerce, with the help of several other important features: they’ve got a full shopping cart solution, payment gateways via PayPal and Stripe, and order management that streamline fulfillment to multiple customers.

There’s some things it unfortunately lacks, though: customers can’t log in with their own accounts, which means no lead capture or list building, and they can’t leave reviews.

Who is it for?

E-commerce beginners selling physical products, who want to build their own store away from eBay and Amazon. Jimdo is best for small business owners who intend to remain fairly small — it’s not ideal for selling more than 100 different items at a time.

Pros
  • All templates can be used for e-commerce
  • Simple onboarding process, and easy-to-use page designer
  • Extremely affordable
  • No transaction fees
Cons
  • Missing important features like customer reviews
  • Only one store design available on the basic plan
  • Not possible to sell digital products without a lot of hacking

Pricing Plans and Costs

The following prices are for Jimdo’s e-commerce plans only. All are billed annually.

  •     Basic ($15/month): Online store builder, no transaction fees, only one store design
  •     Business ($19/month): Access to multiple store layouts, product variants, discounts, strikethrough prices
  •     VIP ($39/month): Unlimited storage, priority customer support, unlimited pages

Free trial offered? Jimdo’s unlimited “free play” plan works for the basic website builder but doesn’t include e-commerce features.

7. Squarespace

squarespace

If you know a bit about the world of website builders, you might be surprised to see Squarespace on the list. After all, it’s a great service for beginners, but not exactly known for its flexibility — you still have to copy-paste code to add plugins, for crying out loud.

And yet Squarespace has leaped onto the e-commerce stage with a new feature, Squarespace Commerce, that’s competitive at the very least.

For a start, they’re able to support an unlimited number of products, putting them in an ideal position for mid-size businesses — especially when you add on the new shipping manager designed to help you expand your markets even farther.

Just like the regular website builder, it’s a bit light on features, but does include a shopping cart, popular payment gateways, and multi-dimensional product variants.

The real draw of Squarespace, though, has always been the template designs. There are currently 16 e-commerce themes available, and all of them look great. Just don’t expect to be freely adding apps and widgets: Squarespace is still held back by its lack of an app store.

Who is it for?

Owners of small-to-medium businesses with expanding inventories who want to integrate strong visual design into their brands, and don’t need a lot of complexity.

Pros
  • Excellently-designed themes
  • Important e-commerce features like carts, customer accounts, and payments
  • 24/7 customer support
Cons
  • Third-party tool needed to add purchaser reviews
  • No app store
  • Plans below Basic Commerce charge transaction fees

Pricing Plans and Costs

Each of these levels includes a discount if you buy an annual plan.

  • Personal ($12/month, $96/year): Free custom domain, unlimited storage, all templates
  • Business ($18/month, $120/year): Unlimited contributors, premium integrations including Gmail
  • Basic Commerce ($26/month, $264/year): Domain-hosted checkout, customer accounts, e-commerce analytics, Instagram product ads
  • Advanced Commerce ($40/month, $408/year): Abandoned cart recovery, gift cards, subscription sales, real-time shipping calculator, more control over discounts

Free trial offered? 14 days.

8. Magento

magento

The next three entries on the list are all part of a specific niche: free, open-source e-commerce platforms. This has become an exciting market lately, so let’s start our tour with what many consider the killer app in the free e-commerce field.

Magento is a self-hosted platform, meaning that you’ll need to acquire your own domain in order to use it — similar to building a WordPress site. It’s feature-rich to the point where the curve gets steep for new users.

If you can manage not to be daunted by that, you’ll gain access to a utility belt of e-commerce tools, such as responsive store templates, customer list segmentation, and their finest offer: unlimited product attributes right from the start.

The amount of options gives you deep control over your store’s details, but this comes at the price of needing to know what you’re doing.

Who is it for?

Owners of businesses that plan to expand to the enterprise level, and want a high level of control right from the start. Also, sellers who are proficient in web design, or who care about boosting the open source community.

Pros
  • Completely free below the enterprise level
  • Features are robust but organized into understandable categories
  • Gain control over the smallest details of your site
  • Fast performance for small site owners
Cons
  • Enterprise edition is massively expensive, and might require contracting with      a design firm to use correctly
  • High learning curve even for the community edition
  • Customer-facing design is unimpressive
  • Free edition is less secure

Pricing Plans and Costs

  •     Magento Community Edition (free): Better speeds for stores with fewer products, features not designed to scale
  •     Magento Enterprise Edition ($18,000/year): Better performance for large-scale stores, and enterprise features such as enhanced marketing and call center integration

Free trial offered? The free version

9. OpenCart

opencart

OpenCart is another self-hosted, open-source e-commerce platform. It’s got an impressive list of features right out of the gate, including areas like user reviews and unlimited product categories that some other services sleep on.

Though perhaps the most compelling feature is the support you’ll get if you choose this product: not just technical help but an excited community of contributors and developers.

Installation is the least user-friendly part of the package. Once you’ve gotten it onto a server that you’re hosting or renting, the interface is surprisingly easy to use, particularly the analytical dashboard that provides a wealth of information about your shop.

Downsides are that there are no templates beyond the basic store layout (though there are the usual lovely third-party themes). Also, while the base product is free, you will unfortunately find yourself running into hidden fees — you’ll need a domain, and integrating a payment gateway also costs money.

Who is it for?

Business owners operating on less money with some coding experience, who like being part of an enthusiastic community. It’s also better if you aren’t planning to scale indefinitely.

Pros
  • Unlimited products and categories
  • Platform itself is free, though domain is not
  • Information-rich analytics dashboard that’s easy to use
Cons
  • Slower at higher volumes
  • Charges for payment gateways
  • Only templates are third-party

Pricing Plans and Costs

  • OpenCart is free to download. However, hosting plans tend to cost around $5/month, and domains about $10/month. If you want a custom theme, those can run up to $100.

Free trial offered? None, since the whole program is free.

10. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is our third open-source platform, which isn’t actually a platform on its own. It’s a WordPress plugin designed to give e-commerce capabilities to WordPress-powered sites.

They’re a powerful note to end on, given that they power 30 percent of all online stores (according to their own website), and their commitment to total open source gives their user base unprecedented control.

The base version is free. On top of that, if you’re at all experienced with WordPress, you’ve basically already surmounted the learning curve — and their setup wizard will take you the rest of the way.

There are, however, still a few stumbling blocks: WooCommerce Extensions, a collection of plugins for the plugin, is a large enough library to intimidate some new users.

Who is it for?

WordPress fanatics and experienced coders still want to set up an accessible and well-designed site. If you know the code, and can scare up your own hosting service and domain, WooCommerce allows more control than Shopify, but doesn’t risk your site seeming unfriendly or over-engineered.

Pros
  • Open source with no limitations
  • Leverage WordPress themes
  • Massive user community makes problems easier to solve
  • Wide range of WooCommerce Extensions
Cons
  • Less friendly to beginners
  • Have to acquire your own domain

Pricing Plans and Costs

  • Like WordPress.org, WooCommerce costs as much as setting up your own domain.

Free trial offered? The plugin itself is 100% free.

Which Should You Choose For Your Business?

If you’re setting up your very first online store, go with Volusion, Wix, or Jimdo.

If your blog is an important part of your marketing, go with Weebly.

If you run an expanding, mid-level business, try Squarespace or BigCommerce.

If you want an online store but don’t intend to expand your business much, 3Dcart is the choice for you.

If you’re most comfortable with WordPress, pick WooCommerce.

If you’re an experienced developer or passionate about the open-source community, pick Magento or OpenCart.