7 Best Shopify Alternatives in 2022 & Why You Need One
If you are looking to establish your online business, you’ve probably heard “Shopify” a hundred times over. Shopify is significantly growing its popularity in the eCommerce industry.
However, it doesn’t mean that it’s the only choice out there. No worry! This article has come to the rescue. Based on our analysis and experience with various platforms, we have compiled this blog suggesting top 8 Shopify alternatives.
Specifically, LitExtension — the world #1 shopping cart migration expert will be clarifying what you need to know about Shopify’s drawbacks and how other eCommerce solutions could be appropriate choices to perfectly replace Shopify.
What Is Shopify？
It operates as an eCommerce platform for store owners to start their own, scalable online business with a number of top-notch features and apps. The platform enables merchants to sell products directly not only on websites but also across various marketplaces and social media.
Because Shopify is a hosted solution, you can quickly build a merchandise store without worrying about coding. Users can also take advantage of critical sales tools and features like multi-channel integration, product management, inventory management, abandoned cart recovery, dropshipping, reporting & analytics or Shopify sales tax…
- It’s simple to use.
- Shopify themes are stylish and mobile-friendly.
- Shopify allows you to sell in multiple currencies and languages.
- A free email marketing tool allows you to host a list of up to 2,500 subscribers.
- The POS functions are comprehensive.
- A large number of third-party apps.
- The SEO features are excellent.
- Additional transaction fees for alternative payment methods
- Monthly costs add up with apps
- Limited SEO optimization
- Limited product options and variants
Shopify Alternatives: What Are The Best Choices?
When it comes to Shopify alternatives, the best options that you should consider are other hosted eCommerce solutions. Since Shopify is a hosted solution itself, its users might have been getting used to the intuitive interface, super-fast build time, and many integrated features that one can avail of right from the dashboard.
Therefore, it is much more convenient and less time-consuming when re-platforming from Shopify to another hosted platform. Besides, self-hosted Shopify alternatives are also promising.
Here is a brief comparison of best hosted and self-hosted Shopify alternatives:
Now, we’ll provide you with the best of the best options that could make potential Shopify alternatives. Without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling!
What Is BigCommerce?
BigCommerce is a top specialized eCommerce builder. With tons of built-in features, data tools, many support methods, and more, this hosted platform is best suited for large or fast-growing businesses. BigCommerce can be considered the most Shopify competitor.
An Alternative to shopify for medium businesses
I like that it can also be used as a CRM as well as a platform users can utilize to create their own orders. This flexibility will make getting quotes to customers easier and more seamless.
BigCommerce Pros — What BigCommerce does better than Shopify?
As a hosted solution, it is easy to start selling with BigCommerce and build eCommerce platforms like Shopify. Therefore, BigCommerce is the first Shopify alternative that we focus on.
BigCommerce Payment Process
BigCommerce doesn’t charge you with transaction fees via third-party payment processors regardless of the version you use. With Shopify, real-time shipping rates and reporting are only in the $79 plan. BigCommerce, on the other hand, includes them in all of their plans.
Moreover, single-page checkout — a crucial function to minimize cart abandonment included in all of the plans of BigCommerce. Shopify, however, requires a third-party paid app for this.
BigCommerce SEO gives an allowance to make full editing of URLs, unlike Shopify. Robots.txt hinders Google’s access to some URLs. You should use it for dynamic pages like search results and the shopping cart page. Google recommends it, but Shopify doesn’t give permission to edit the file. Meanwhile, BigCommerce allows modifying it from your dashboard.
Accelerated load time is also another significant field in SEO. Shopify doesn’t have it built-in and you’ll need a third-party paid app. BigCommerce, on the other hand, enables AMP automatically on every free template and a few premium ones, and you can pick what kind of content that AMP should be enabled for.
Product Options and Variants
Shopify is limited to product options and variants (as we mentioned earlier). However, BigCommerce’s “product options” and “product rules” enable you to create multitudes of product options, which can be up to 250.
Unrestricted Staff Accounts
While Shopify only offers 15 staff accounts even with the Advanced Shopify plan, every BigCommerce plan provides unlimited staff accounts.
Online Educational Resources
If you are a newbie to eCommerce and want an easy first-time approach to online business, then BigCommerce is really ideal. This platform offers users a bunch of self-help and how-to advice with BigCommerce University.
You can get access to a great amount of information about how to build and run a successful online store, ranging from videos, guidelines, and a setup wizard instruction.
BigCommerce Multi-Currency Features
Multi-currency features are huge pros of BigCommerce. They allow you to customize your pricing at a higher SKU level with pricing lists, which you’re not able to find in Shopify. The multi-currency features also enable merchants to reinforce and enhance their cross-border operations.
If merchants sell in multiple countries, they can freely pick any currency that is convenient for the payment process. At the same time, international customers will have a localized shopping experience well-tailored to their native currency and language by currency conversion based on IP address.
BigCommerce Built-in Marketing Features
Integrated marketing features are praised as another huge pro of BigCommerce. The platform has a wide range of amazing built-in marketing toolsets accessible within just a click.
- Can’t switch to another template in version 7.1
- No phone support
- BigCommerce Standard Plan: $29,95/month
- BigCommerce Plus Plan: $79,95/month
- BigCommerce Pro Plan: $299,95/month
- BigCommerce Enterprise Plan depends on your business size, often starting from $1000 and can range up to $15,000 per month.
All this said, for any business owner considering Shopify alternatives, BigCommerce is a worthy one. If you want to have a decent experience in selling across nations and great access to built-in advanced features even on the very basic plan, BigCommerce could prove to be a very cost-effective solution.
#2 Magento 2
What Is Magento 2?
One of the most popular Shopify alternatives that we cannot miss is Magento. As an open-source eCommerce platform since 2008, Magento satisfies over 180,000 website users with its customization ability and a wide range of apps and extensions.
Magento Pros — What Magento does better than Shopify?
Magento Payment Process
Also, some features that Shopify either requires third-party apps or advanced levels have been initially built in Magento. For example, single-page checkout, multi-languages capability, reporting.
Magento SEO allows you to configure URL rewrites, so you’ll have full control over URL editings. Moreover, you’ll have unlimited product options and variants. This is a huge plus if you want your products to appear in all shapes and sizes.
As an open-source eCommerce solution, Magento allows wide scope for site improvements, so retailers can unhesitatingly scale up their business to any size. If your business flourishes, Magento 2 can easily satisfy all your needs.
Magento Built-in Features
Magento optimizes itself to switch up to thousands of products, tons of traffics, and a big number of sales. To be able to do it, Magento has the most extensive feature lists you could ever find. There are approximately 350 of them by default in the case of Magento.
The list is truly infinite when it comes to quantity, but here come the most important built-in features:
- A steep learning curve, high-tech skills needed
- Extensions can be costly
- Not really geared for small businesses
- Magento Open Source: $6,000 — $15,000/month
- Magento Commerce: $22,000 — $125,000/year
- Magento Commerce Cloud: $40,000 — $190,000/year
Among many strong Shopify alternatives in the market, If you’re interested in the one with greater customization options, more well-developed built-in features, and immense scalability, Magento is a very good option to consider.
What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce was brought into life in 2011 by WooThemes developers and works as an open-source plugin for WordPress. It is a perfect solution for businesses at all levels, from small-scale retailers to large enterprises.
In 2020, WooCommerce released its WooCommerce 4.0 version with loads of new features and updates, which definitely makes it one of the best Shopify alternatives. See a full detailed comparison of WooCommerce vs Shopify.
In case you a struggling setting up a new WooCommerce store, check out this video for a detailed WooCommerce tutorial:
WooCommerce Pros — What WooCommerce does better than Shopify?
WooCommerce Payment Process
WooCommerce also doesn’t charge you with transaction fees via third-party payment apps. However, you have to ponder over the additional costs associated with making an online store. That includes hosting, a domain name, any additional extensions, and an SSL certificate.
Some features that Shopify fails to provide on a basic plan, such as reporting or single page check-out, WooCommerce has initially had them integrated. Besides, although AMP isn’t built-in, you can still get the feature by installing free plugins. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the additional costs.
If your concentration also revolves around blogging yet Shopify proves to fall short, WooCommerce could be a very promising solution as the platform has been known as a professional blogging solution.
Specifically, the blogging system enables you to save an archive of changes to existing posts and utilize categories and tags in blog posts. WooCommerce also allows post creation with clean URLs. In WooCommerce, you have more than 1000 variants.
- Check out our WooCommerce SEO vs Shopify SEO right here.
WooCommerce ensures that everyone can use and customize their stores. Any programmer or coder may use WooCommerce to build their own themes or create plugins.
Now there are more than 55.000 plugins with more than 1.2 million download times, giving you an indication of how large the WooCommerce developer community is.
Finding the best plugins could be challenging, luckily we have gathered and chosen the best WooCommerce plugins for you right here.
WooCommerce SEO Features
Among a lot of plugins floating out there, there’s one exceptional plugin of which WooCommerce is deeply proud: Yoast. It is the #1 SEO plugin of WooCommerce which assembles more than five million site users.
Yoast supports excellent SEO functions, such as:
- Metadata Editing — Modifying text displayed on sites for search results.
- Suggestions for internal linking — Tips for creating a new web page on the best sites to connect to.
- Redirects — send a new URL while updating the slug on an existing page automatically.
As WooCommerce is a PHP-based plugin integrated with WordPress, you have direct access to the code via browser and FTP. In general, you can freely access the platform’s plan or code. Techies (or those who are willing to hire seasoned professionals) can fully control their eCommerce websites. There are custom extension developers who will create whatever extension for WooCommerce that you want.
Besides, with the utilization of REST API, you could include an extra layer of functionality. That will give you the ability to customize data types and grow outwards to incorporate new software. Therefore, you can increase your website’s capacity to provide more value to users.
In short, you can customize and modify everything with WooCommerce according to your business needs.
- No phone-based customer support
- High risks of technical issues
- Mandatory cost: Hosting & domain, themes, shipping & payments, security
- Optional cost: Customer experience, marketing functions, developers hiring
Being a free plug-in with a lot of built-in features, WooCommerce can work as an effective online store builder. In addition, if you own technical skills or have a development resource, you can further customize your eCommerce site to make it particularly unique.
What Is Wix?
Wix is a cloud-based eCommerce platform founded in 2006. It offers an excellent drag-and-drop site builder to create small websites. Wix has been empowering 3,800,881 websites all over the globe, making it one of the best Shopify alternatives. This solution is one of the most popular free alternatives to Shopify.
Wix Pros — What Wix does better than Shopify?
Wix Design Customization
Wix allows you to choose not only various templates to build your store but also your building method. You can take advantage of Wix Editor or Wix ADI to customize your website appearance.
With Wix Editor, specifically, you can customize everything from web applications to page scrolling by simply hitting “Code” and then “Developer Tools” in the Wix Editor. Having done this, you’ll completely take control of your Wix website’s appearance.
You can also utilize Wix ADI, which designs a unique website for you based on your answers to some simple questions. With these ways to build up your website, alongside diverse themes, features, and add-ons, Wix is confident to provide you with high-level functionality and customization.
Wix Payment Process
Unlike Shopify, Wix doesn’t charge you with transaction fees for using third-party payment gateways. Some features that Shopify either requires store owners to use third-party apps or to upgrade to more advanced plans are already integrated into Wix, such as single page checkout or reporting.
When it comes to SEO functionality, there is an aspect of Wix that outdoes Shopify called ‘cleaner’ URLs. Wix gives you the ability to make full URL edits. Switching to AMP, though Wix doesn’t have it built-in, you can still activate AMP by setting up AMP plugins for free.
In the area of product options, Wix has the edge over Shopify by permitting store owners to create up to 6 product options (e.g. size, color) and 300 variants (e.g. combination of size and color).
Wix provides free and premium business-specific features in addition to their general site-building tools. The platform provides solutions made for different types of business, including photography, video, service-based businesses.
For example, if you’re working in the creative industry, Wix is definitely a decent choice thanks to its content-driven templates made for specific business purposes. In particular, you can find many impressive visual effects with images and text which graciously fade in and out as users scroll across a site.
- Can’t switch templates once you’ve built a site.
- Wix does not support true multi-currency selling.
- Connect Domain: $4.50/month
- Combo: $8.50/month
- Unlimited: $12.50/month
- VIP: $24.50/month
Business & eCommerce plans
- Business Basic: $17/month
- Business Unlimited: $25/month
- Business VIP: $35/month
Wix vs Shopify can be considered the most compared solutions, and Wix is a good Shopify alternative that can be well-suited for businesses that are focusing on digital presence and highly customizable appearance, as well as looking to build a business content-driven website.
Check out this video for a comprehensive Wix vs Shopify comparison:
What Is Shift4Shop?
Shift4Shop is an eCommerce website builder, founded in 1997. It is an all-inclusive platform that offers merchants around the world a simple and powerful solution to build and manage their online store. This platform is also one of the best Shopify alternatives.
Shift4Shop Pros — What Shift4Shop does better than Shopify?
Shift4Shop Payment Method
Shift4Shop enables connection with over 160 different payment processors and doesn’t charge you any additional transaction or integration fees like Shopify. The platform also has over 200 built-in features, that can hand you an incredible amount of functionalities to excel in your eCommerce store.
Besides, all Shift4Shop plans include single-page check-out, professional reports, and dashboards, domain registration, customer and product reviews, vouchers, discounts, saved carts, built-in AMP, and more. Only advanced Shopify’s plan offers users those features.
Shopify users cannot edit the Robots.txt section, which means they cannot control how search engines index your site. However, Shift4Shop makes it possible for you to edit your site’s robots.txt file. Besides, Shift4Shop can support up to 200 advanced options per product, which leaves Shopify miles behind with just only 100 product options.
Flexible Template Design
Shift4Shop has a large range of themes with over 100 professionally designed and conversion-optimized ones. All of the themes appear elegantly on mobile or tablet devices thanks to the mobile-optimized display feature. One huge bonus is that a majority of themes are free (up to 68), so you don’t have to pay for any of them.
In addition, one aspect you will find in Shopify is that a majority of their free themes are very identical with just a few changes in colors or products. This does not happen with Shift4Shop, because every design has its own unique appeal.
Startup Store Option
Shift4Shop provides a Startup Store plan ($19/month), which is cheaper than Shopify’s basic plan ($29). This plan is really ideal for beginners who don’t want to pay a lot, but still want to have access to an immense amount of features, such as advanced tools like social wish lists, gift wrapping, up-sell and cross-sell, and unlimited product variants.
Payment Gateway Flexibility
What if the business expands and has multinational customers? Will your platform be able to process order payments from Russia, India, or another country?
That explains why Shift4Shop offering over 100 payment gateways grabs our attention. For online retailers with products to trade across nations, Shift4Shop can ensure that your business will smoothly process orders from almost any corner of the world.
We have researched and acknowledged that Shift4Shop possesses the highest number of supported payment gateways in the market today. That’s something worth pondering over when choosing an eCommerce platform.
- Limited free templates
- Installing apps is a must
- Basic Store: $29/month
- Plus Store: $79/month
- Pro Store: $229/month
Shift4Shop could be a really ideal Shopify alternative as it could solve almost every issue that Shopify struggles with. Besides, if you opt for more flexibility in the payment process and a wide range of free themes available to cater to any business-specific purposes, Shift4Shop can perfectly seize on it. Moreover, the Basic Store plan starts at $29. This will be the most affordable monthly cost you’ll find, with a lot of advanced built-in features.
What Is Squarespace?
Squarespace is now positioned on the market as a content management system (CMS) for creating and managing blogs, portfolio sites, and online storefronts. Squarespace now hosts nearly 3 million live websites, making it the internet’s second most popular hosted option. There are now 200,000 active Squarespace stores.
When it comes to Shopify alternatives, another name we shouldn’t miss is Squarespace. Unlike other open-source platforms such as WooCommerce or Magento, which generate lines of code to build a website, Squarespace’s drag-and-drop interface allows businesses of all sizes to create professional Squarespace websites.
Squarespace Pros — What Squarespace does better than Shopify?
You have four monthly pricing options as a Squarespace user: Personal, Business, Basic Commerce, and Advanced Commerce. The price ranges from $16 to $54, with the more the price rising, the more features your store will have.
You may also take advantage of a 14-day free trial to see if Squarespace meets your needs before choosing whether it is right for you.
Modern & Sleek Templates
Shopify and Squarespace both have a large number of appealing template options. For individuals looking to create a content-driven website, Squarespace is a better fit.
Every Squarespace template is sleek, attractive, and modern. Above all, they’ve all been professionally designed to satisfy the highest standards of outstanding design, usability, performance, and mobile responsiveness.
Squarespace is, in fact, a blog-hosting service by nature. Many Squarespace templates are tailored to individuals who wish to blog or show off their art, photography, or music portfolio.
Squarespace is easier for e-merchants to design their Squarespace stores in an aesthetic style, even if it isn’t always perfectly geared for eCommerce like Shopify.
- The dashboard is a bit tricky for beginners
- Can’t switch to another template in version 7.1
- Personal plan: $16/month
- Business plan: $26/month
- Basic eCommerce plan: $35/month
- Advanced eCommerce plan: $54/month
Squarespace is an excellent choice for those who want to display their talent by creating a website with gorgeous pictures and photos. It is also a good choice if you want to create a content-focused website or blog while also selling a few things on your site. Squarespace is way more affordable than Shopify.
What Is OpenCart?
OpenCart is an open-source eCommerce platform based on the PHP programming language and geared specifically for online enterprises. This platform offers users website design customization as well as a modern, user-friendly dashboard interface, and a wide range of themes.
Multi-store creation is a popular OpenCart feature that allows you to access and manage many stores from a single interface. This platform also includes eCommerce capabilities including promotion/discount services, product category management, loyalty point accumulation, and more.
OpenCart Pros — What OpenCart does better than Shopify?
OpenCart is an open-source eCommerce platform based on the PHP programming language and built specifically for online enterprises.
OpenCart users have unrestricted access to and modification of the source code. As a result, you’ll have complete control over your website’s backend, as well as limitless customization options for your store’s appearance and operation.
Furthermore, the OpenCart download and install are completely free.
A bunch of extensions
With over 14,000 extensions (product feeds, reports, shipping methods, and payment gateways…) accessible on the OpenCart Extension Store, OpenCart is a great option for apps and add-ons. Furthermore, the OpenCart developer community has made it simple to personalize your store at a reasonable cost.
The majority of OpenCart extensions are designed for eCommerce, which is an advantage over Shopify. If you choose OpenCart for your e-store, you’ll get a lot of benefits because all of these apps are directly related to your work. You can also utilize your coding skills to develop custom fields that work in conjunction with the extensions. This provides you with limitless customization options for creating a powerful website.
A variety of payment methods
From bank transfers to online payment gateways, the OpenCart package offers a wide range of payment options. It supports 36 different payment options, including 2Checkout, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Shop Pay, and others. Additionally, the OpenCart Marketplace makes it simple to integrate new payment options.
The range of payment options, as well as charge-free payment, helped OpenCart outshines Shopify. You’ll have to pay transaction fees for each sale you make using Shopify.
- Complicated installation
- Slow loading speed
OpenCart is free to download and install. But to be able to create an OpenCart store, you might need to pay for some extras:
- Hosting plan: around $10/month.
- A domain name for your store: Around $10/year or so.
- An SSL certificate: Depending on the needs of the store owner, the price will vary.
- An eye-catching theme/template & additional modules/extensions: $100 on average.
OpenCart is unquestionably superior in terms of extension support. Opencart’s extension is generally less expensive than Shopify’s. It not only gives you more options for your store but also allows you to employ custom code to improve the functionality of your site.
#8 Big Cartel
What Is Big Cartel?
Being a fully-hosted and nifty platform, Big Cartel is one of the most suitable options for start-ups and small businesses. However, it’s not suitable for full-fledged eCommerce operations.
Big Cartel Pros — What Big Cartel does better than Shopify?
- Simple and straightforward to use.
- A free plan (up to 5 products).
- Cheaper than Shopify and other Shopify alternatives (full-featured plans start at $9.99 per month).
- No transaction fee.
- Free themes.
Big Cartel Cons
- Limited integrations.
- Limited apps and marketing functions.
- Lack of deep analytics (although it integrates with Google Analytics)
Big Cartel Pricing
Big Cartel enables users to build a free website with up to 5 products and limited features.
The subscription version, which includes all functions, including inventory tracking and discounts, starts at $9.99 per month for up to 50 products.
Plus, payment processing fees start at 2.9% and $0.3 per transaction for third-party payment processors.
Shopify Alternatives: What To Conclude?
If you are looking for Shopify alternatives, a platform that is most closely comparable to Shopify and could solve most of Shopify’s drawbacks, you might consider one of the all-in-ones hosted solutions — like BigCommerce, Shift4Shop, or Big Cartel.
On the other hand, if you have development resources and want truly unique customization for your online store, open-source platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, or OpenCart may be good Shopify alternatives.
Finally, if you’re a smaller business looking first and foremost for a business content-driven website, a web-builder solution like Wix or Squarespace might be the best for you.
Shopify Alternatives: What Are Common Shopify Issues?
The deeper you dive into Shopify, the more of its flaws is manifested along the way. Below we have pointed out some rational reasons that make e-merchants consider re-platform from Shopify to a new robust one.
#1 Payment Gateways
Probably one of the most common drawbacks of Shopify is its payment options. If you want to sell from countries that are not currently supported by Shopify Payments, you will need to use a third-party payment gateway.
This could be really problematic for international sellers since Shopify Payments is only available in 17 countries. If you use a third-party provider other than Shopify’s Payment, it will cost you additional fees per transaction. Plus, you also have to pay Shopify an additional transaction fee of up to 2% for every purchase.
#2 Features Limitation & Heavy Reliance On Shopify Apps
You may need to spend a lot of money to enrich your store with more features. For example, a few features you would hope to see on entry-level plans, such as real-time shipping rates and reporting — only appear in a more expensive one.
Therefore, the more functionalities you need, the higher your bill will be. Besides, although Shopify may stand out with numerous available apps, it may happen to be a drawback as well in comparison to other solutions that include more default functionalities.
When it comes to SEO, shorter and intelligible URLs are what Google aims for. Therefore, having fully editable URLs for optimization is way better than forcing some strings — which is what Shopify does. Shopify SEO functionality doesn’t permit fully editable URL optimization, only /products/ and /categories/ could be enforced.
Besides, Shopify forces it on all product and category pages, which could be an unnecessarily lengthy process.
Moreover, you need to pay for a third-party app to install Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). If you’re not familiar with AMP, it’s a Google technology that uses different, more minimal HTML pages for a website in order to improve performance for mobile users.
Besides, as blogging is not the main focus of the Shopify platform, Shopify blogging features can only satisfy people with basic needs and requirements. In the categorization of posts, Shopify blog posts only permit you to use tags — no categories are available.
#4 Product Options & Variants
If you plan on products that appear in different formats, then paying particular attention to product options and variants is very essential. Shopify offers users limited product options and variants.
You can only create 100 variants of a product, even though that can involve up to 3 product options. Still, Shopify requires a paid app to extend the limits.
So, if you happen to encounter any of these aforesaid problems with Shopify, I encourage you to read on to discover Shopify alternatives that could solve these issues.
Shopify Alternatives: FAQs
Who is Shopify’s biggest competitor?
Due to a huge range of superb sales features, BigCommerce is definitely one of Shopify’s biggest competitors. Being a hosted solution, BigCommerce enables users to build and customize their websites with no coding skill required.
What Shopify alternatives don’t charge transaction fees?
While Shopify charges extra transaction costs if your store doesn’t accept Shopify payments, most Shopify alternatives, such as Shift4Shop, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, don’t.
Are there any free alternatives to Shopify?
Yes! There are several free Shopify alternatives, such as Wix, that can be the ideal answer for beginning an online business on a shoestring budget.
To sum up, there are a lot of Shopify alternatives that have their own strengths and may suit your needs. Choosing a suitable platform for your business means reflecting upon your needs, goals, budget,..etc. With that, you can smartly end up with the one that hits all the right spots.
In case your Shopify store isn’t able to cater to your business as your wish, making a platform switch to one of the best aforementioned Shopify alternatives is of utmost importance.
In that advent, choosing the appropriate migration method is as important as choosing the right platform to transfer to. With 60,000+ migration completed, LitExtension is #1 the world shopping cart migration expert you can count on.
Give your business a fresh start with these Shopify alternatives and enjoy the brand-new excitement! LitExtension is always willing to help you with the eCommerce re-platforming process. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always 24/7 ready for anything from you.
Thanks for reading! See you next time!