Shopify has revolutionized ecommerce for everyday sellers. Before Shopify, there was no ecommerce software platform that made it quick and easy for beginners to build beautiful and fully functional online stores. Shopify is superb, but there are good Shopify alternatives ⇣ too.
Shopify was founded in 2004 is today a complete ecommerce platform that enables everyone to start an online business, grow and manage it.
- Best Shopify competitor: Wix ⇣ ecommerce capabilities are a bit limited but its drag and drop functionality is made with beginners in mind. Cheaper pricing also gives Wix an edge over Shopify.
- Best for big stores: Bigcommerce ⇣ is the second biggest name on the ecommerce market and comes with the most built-in features of any ecommerce platform out there, including Shopify.
- Best WordPress alternative to Shopify: WooCommerce ⇣ is an ecommerce platform for sites powered by WordPress. It’s free, open-source but can be extended with a range of premium add-ons.
Shopify has become one of the most popular platforms on the Internet when it comes to building online stores. Although it is one of the most popular ecommerce software platforms, it is not perfect for all use cases.
Best Shopify alternatives in 2021
Here are the 9 best Shopify alternatives right now that offer better features, and/or are cheaper to use for building your online store.
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1. Wix (Best cheap Shopify alternative)
- Official website: www.wix.com
- Easy to learn and use drag and drop website builder.
- Build a beautiful website all on your own.
- No coding skills whatsoever needed.
Wix is a personal favorite of mine, in large part because of its beginner-friendly drag-and-drop online store builder.
It's a lot easier to use than Shopify, offers pixel-perfect editing that's only really limited by your imagination, and requires absolutely no coding skills at all.
On top of this, there's a large selection of store templates, enough online selling features for all but the largest stores, and numerous other features to help you get the most out of your online selling efforts.
- Excellent design flexibility across the board
- More beginner-friendly than Shopify
- Integrations with numerous third-party platforms
- Check out my review of Wix.
- SEO is far from amazing
- No native multi-currency checkout
- Limited dropshipping tools
Wix Plans and Pricing:
Wix offers one free forever plan and four website plans, with prices ranging from $14 to $39 per month.
However, you will need to use one of the three Business & eCommerce options if you want to build an online store.
The Business Basics plan ($23 per month) offers very basic online selling tools, and I would recommend using either the Business Unlimited ($27 per month) or Business VIP ($49 per month) plan to ensure you're getting the most out of your efforts.
Why Use Wix Instead of Shopify
Wix is a drag and drop website builder that is made with beginners in mind. If you have never built a website before, you will love the drag and drop interface.
It allows you to make a fully-featured website easily within minutes.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Wix
Although Wix allows you to build an eCommerce site, the functionality is a bit limited. Unlike Wix, Shopify is a platform that is designed to run online stores.
2. Bigcommerce (Best alternative for large ecommerce stores)
- Official website: www.bigcommerce.com
- Ecommerce platform for serious business owners.
- Used and trusted by big brands like Skullcandy.
- Is the best and most popular alternative to Shopify.
BigCommerce sits alongside Shopify as an industry leader in the ecommerce space.
It's a favorite among the world's largest online stores, offering highly scalable, all-in-one solutions that are designed for ongoing growth.
On top of this, you will have access to all of the expected online store tools, along with a selection of customizable templates, a decent store builder, and full HTML/CSS code access.
- A favorite among the world's largest online stores
- Highly scalable ecommerce solutions
- Industry-leading online store features
- Not the best option for small stores
- A little complicated to get started with
- Free themes are quite basic
BigCommerce Plans and Pricing:
BigCommerce offers three paid plans, with prices ranging from $29.95 to $299.95 per month. All plans come with a 15-day free trial that lets you test the platform, but there's no free-forever option.
On top of this, BigCommerce is known for its custom Enterprise plans. These are designed for large, scalable stores and come with some of the most powerful ecommerce features available.
Why Use Bigcommerce Instead of Shopify
Bigcommerce is much more scalable than Shopify. Their main offering is Enterprise-level tools that allow you to compete with the big players in your market. Bigcommerce is the best Shopify Plus alternative out there.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Bigcommerce
If you have never sold anything online, Shopify is a great starting point. Once you start scaling, you may want to switch to Bigcommerce.
3. WooCommerce (Best WordPress alternative)
- Official website: www.woocommerce.com
- Runs on WordPress making it doubly easy for you to manage your whole website and just the store.
- Have full control over your online store and run it on your own servers.
On the simplest level, WooCommerce can be thought of as a powerful WordPress plugin that's designed to help you build a fully functional, converting online store.
It's up there with the most popular ecommerce platforms in the world, and for good reason.
WooCommerce comes with basically everything you need to build a new store and is designed to help you harness the power of the WordPress ecosystem.
- Great for website/store combinations
- Gives you full control of your store
- Industry-leading customizability
- Very limited customer support
- Not the most beginner-friendly option
- Numerous hidden costs
WooCommerce Plans and Pricing:
At its most basic, WooCommerce is 100% free, forever. With the base plugin, you can sell online through your WordPress website, but don't expect very many advanced features.
Most of these are available as premium add-ons through the WooCommerce marketplace. In general, you can expect to pay a one-time license fee, which can vary significantly.
In saying that, it's easy to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars just to get your store up and running.
Why Use WooCommerce Instead of Shopify
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to build a full-blown online store on your WordPress site. The best part of running your online store on WooCommerce is that it puts you in complete control of your website.
Unlike platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify, with WooCommerce, you can edit anything you like and add as much custom functionality as you need.
Why Use Shopify Instead of WooCommerce
Shopify is a fully managed platform. It makes it super easy for you to run your online store. If you use WooCommerce or a similar ecommerce software, you need to manage your web server and everything else.
And if something breaks, you will need to hire a WooCommerce / WordPress developer. With Shopify, your online store will run on their servers and will be fully managed by their team.
- Official website: www.zyro.com
- Zyro is a powerful website and online store builder tool that makes it easy for anyone to build a beautiful website or launch an online store.
- Comes with AI-driven marketing features, such as a Writing Tool, Logo Builder, Slogan Generator and Business Name Generator.
Zyro is known as one of the world's most competitively priced website builders, but it also offers a suite of ecommerce tools.
Although it's not the best option for large stores, those on a tight budget will find more than enough here for a basic ecommerce site.
One notable tool is Zyro's AI-powered marketing package. These include a powerful writing tool, a logo builder, and much, much more.
- A great option for beginners
- Easy-to-use ecommerce builder
- Comes with most advanced features
- No native email hosting
- Blogging tools are limited
Although Zyro's cheapest plan starts from just $2.47 per month, you will have to pay at least $8.42 per month for an ecommerce plan. This allows you to list 100 products and includes most tools, including email notifications, gift cards, and discount coupons.
Upgrading to the eCommerce Plus plan (from $12.67 per month) unlocks abandoned cart recovery, multilingual support, product filters, and multichannel selling.
Note, though, that you will need to pay for four years up-front to access these prices.
Getting started with Zyro's website builder is easy. First, choose a theme from their huge template library and pick the one that stands out to you the most. Then you can customize everything, from images, text, and other website elements, plus you can use Zyro's AI tools to generate designs, content, call-to-action buttons.
Why Use Zyro Instead of Shopify
Zyro's online store builder main focus is on offering users a smooth and clean interface, packing easy-to-use tools for both customizing and designing your business or personal website, or online store.
Zyro can help you build and launch your online store within minutes. Don’t mistake Zyro for just a basic website builder, it can help you launch and grow a full-blown ecommerce business. Ready my in-depth Zyro review here.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Zyro
Shopify is the world’s leading ecommerce platform that lets you start, grow, and manage your online store. If you are serious about selling online, Shopify is almost always the right ecommerce platform for you.
- Official website: www.volusion.com
- Comes with tools for managing everything from payment processing to website design.
- Integrates with a lot of popular tools like MailChimp, Slack, and PayPal.
Volusion offers an all-in-one ecommerce platform designed for mid to large-sized online stores. It includes a suite of tools to help you get the most out of your online selling experience, including great SEO features and a full CRM dashboard.
On top of this, you will have access to all of the expected features, including an intuitive order management panel, great inventory management tools, and a suite of third-party integrations to help streamline daily workflows.
- Excellent third-party integrations
- Great SEO tools
- All-in-one platform for ecommerce
- Quite complex for beginners
- Up and cross selling tools are limited
- Designs can be average
Volusion Plans and Pricing:
Volusion offers four standard plans, with prices ranging from $29 to $299 per year. Each successive plan unlocks more advanced tools and features, and each comes with a max annual sales volume.
There are also custom solutions available through Volusion Prime for enterprise-level stores, and all plans come with an intuitive 14-day free trial.
Why Use Volusion Instead of Shopify
Volusion is an all-in-one platform for building, managing and scaling an ecommerce site. They offer tools to help you with everything including managing customers (with their own CRM), sending newsletters, and optimizing for SEO.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Volusion
If you don't need a CRM for managing customers or if you simply want to test the waters, Shopify is a much better option as their platform is built for beginners.
- Official website: www.magento.com
- A free, open source ecommerce software you can install and run on your own servers.
- You have complete control over your website and can edit anything and everything you like.
Magento is a powerful, self-hosted ecommerce platform that's a major competitor to industry leaders like Shopify and BigCommerce.
It comes with virtually everything you need to build a large, enterprise-level store.
And on top of this, Magento's open-source nature means that you can customize virtually everything you need to, including your site's appearance, global design, and underlying code.
- An extremely scalable option
- Leading ecommerce feature list
- Self-hosted for optimal flexibility
- Requires some tech skills to use
- Over the top for small online stores
- Takes some time to get started with
Magento Plans and Pricing:
If you decide to use Magento, there are two options to choose from.
On the one hand, Magento Open Source is 100% free, forever. However, it only provides the bare essentials, and you will have to develop the majority of your site on your own.
On the other hand, Magento Commerce is a great option for those with a decent budget who are planning to build larger stores. Prices are developed on a case-by-case basis, but expect to pay at least a few thousand dollars per month.
Why Use Magento Instead of Shopify
If you want complete control over your website, then go with Magento. Magento is open-source software that you install on your own servers.
It allows you to build an ecommerce site as complex or as simple as you like. Whether you wish to compete with Amazon or just want to sell a few handcrafted goods, Magento can handle it.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Magento
Magento is very difficult to understand for beginners. It offers so much functionality that once you dive down the rabbit hole, you will end up wasting dozens of hours. If you are just starting out, stick with Shopify.
7. Shift4Shop (Formerly 3dcart)
- Official website: www.shift4shop.com
- Shift4Shop's pricing starts at only $29, which is one of the lowest for an ecommerce platform.
- The platform is built for creating online stores that give you an edge in terms of SEO.
Cloud-based Shift4Shop (formerly 3dCart) offers a variety of ecommerce solutions for businesses of all sizes. It includes all of the expected online store features, along with a selection of noteworthy tools.
For example, the platform's SEO tools are among the best I've seen. This is important for those who plan to drive traffic through organic search, as it will help you achieve better search engine rankings.
On top of this, the email marketing and social media tools are excellent. Take advantage of the POS system if required, and enjoy everything the platform throws at you.
- Very competitively priced
- Excellent SEO tools
- Great mobile-first editor
- Average store templates
- Customer support could be better
- Platform useability isn't amazing
Shift4Shop Plans and Pricing:
There are three standard plans available, with prices ranging from $29 to $229 per month. All three come with unlimited bandwidth and unlimited product support.
On top of this, there are enterprise-level solutions for high-end users, along with a complete end-to-end payment solution to help you accept payments online.
Why Use Shift4Shop Instead of Shopify
If you want to pay based on staff members and not based on how many products you sell, then go with Shift4Shop. All their plans allow unlimited products and unlimited orders. Their pricing grows with your team.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Shift4Shop
Shopify's platform is much more suitable for beginners than Shift4Shop.
- Official website: www.squarespace.com
- Build your ecommerce site with a drag and drop interface.
- Easily customize the design of your ecommerce store without writing a single line of code.
- Save 10% off your first subscription by using the code PARTNER10.
Squarespace is a popular website builder best known for its extremely attractive themes and excellent native integrations.
However, I've found that its ecommerce tools are impressive as well. Create your online store with a beginner-friendly editor and take advantage of a range of tools to optimize its performance.
- Excellent online store templates
- Drag-and-drop website builder
- No coding knowledge required
- See my Squarespace review for more features
- Design flexibility can be limited
- Poor scalability
- Not great for large stores
Squarespace Plans and Pricing:
To build an online store with Squarespace, you will need to subscribe to at least the Business plan ($18 per month).
However, this is quite limited, and I would highly recommend upgrading to either the Basic Commerce ($26 per month) or Advanced Commerce ($40 per month) plan to access better features.
Why Use Squarespace Instead of Shopify
Squarespace allows you to build and customize your site using a drag and drop interface, which makes it super easy for beginners.
Why Use Shopify Instead of Squarespace
Although Squarespace allows you to build online stores, their platform isn't built for handling larger online stores. If you want to be able to easily scale your store and need more functionality, go with Shopify – or use one of these Squarespace alternatives.
Although Webflow is a relative newcomer to the ecommerce scene, it has a lot to offer nonetheless.
The Webflow Ecommerce platform is designed to help you create a new online store without any coding or tech experience whatsoever.
There are numerous tools available, along with the choice of various payment gateways and an excellent store editor.
Webflow hasn't been around for as long as other options like WooCommerce and Shopify, but it's grabbed a pretty large chunk of the overall market share already.
With Webflow Ecommerce, you can build and design your online store, customize every little detail of your website, shopping cart, and checkout experiences.
- Webflow's visual “no-coding” builder lets you customize every little detail of your website, shopping cart and checkout experiences.
- The option to list an unlimited amount of items for sale through the inventory.
- Coupon codes and special offers or discounts for customers, which you can add with just a few clicks.
- Free plans or paid plans depending on what you're looking for.
- Webflow gives you complete design freedom, it's a completely customizable ecommerce platform.
- The selling platform for Webflow is easy-to-use.
- Integration is easy and seamless, whether you know HTML or not – and whether you're used to commerce selling platforms or not.
- Webflow supports a few more payment avenues than other forms of selling platform.
- Webflow is primarily built for web designers launching websites, ecommerce capabilities were added later on.
- You're better off figuring the options out on your own rather than relying on Webflow's customer support or helpline to help you.
- Webflow has a serious lack of features for the money you pay when you move over to their paid options.
- Right now you can only use Stripe or PayPal as your payment provider, and there's no POS.
- The Webflow pricing structure is a bit confusing.
- Steep learning curve, there are easier to use Webflow alternatives out there.
Webflow Plans and Pricing:
Webflow offers a great free forever plan, along with three premium ecommerce options.
Prices range from $29 to $212 per month with annual subscriptions or $42 to $235 with month-to-month payments.
The main constraint with the lower-end plans is the number of items you can list, although there are various other features that are unlocked with more expensive subscriptions.
Why use Webflow instead of Shopify?
Webflow is way more visual and customizable than Shopify, in short, it lets you build a much better looking and functioning online store than Shopify. But in terms of ecommerce and online selling features, Webflow falls behind Shopify.
What is Shopify
Shopify allows you to build an ecommerce site without writing a single line of code. They help manage everything for you including payment processing, generating invoices, managing your catalog and everything else you need to run a successful online store.
Shopify's pricing plans range from $29 per month (Basic plan) to $299 per month (advanced plan).
Benefits of Shopify
Shopify is one of the easiest ways to build an online store for your business. Whether you sell just a few niche products like stuffed toys or a catalog of everything fashion, Shopify can handle it all.
Their platform allows easy management of your online store and even allows you to extend the functionality of your site with the extensions Shopify's partners have to offer.
Here is a rundown of the main Shopify features:
- 100+ professional themes (both free and paid themes).
- You can sell on Facebook and Instagram.
- Accept payments anywhere with Shopify POS.
- Auto-calculate shipping prices.
- Abandoned cart checkout recovery.
- 70 payment gateways.
- Can be translated into 50+ languages.
- Easily integrate with dropshippers or fulfillment centers.
- Speed and search engine optimized (SEO).
- Add product reviews, discount codes and create gift cards.
- Mobile commerce ready.
- Social media integration.
- Unlimited products, and unlimited bandwidth.
- Use your own custom domain name.
- Secure shopping cart – 256-bit SSL certificate.
- Track everything with Shopify analytics and reporting.
- Huge ecommerce app marketplace.
- Built-in fraud analysis.
- Great multi-channel selling tools
- Choice of more than 70 different payment gateways
- Industry-leading ecommerce tools
- Beginner-friendly themes with great customizability
- No free forever plan
- Transaction fees with external payment gateways
- Support could be better
- No built-in email hosting
- Prices are quite high
Shopify Plans and Pricing:
At the cheapest end of the spectrum, Shopify Lite ($9 per month) lets you add a payment gateway to an existing store or website.
Unlock full ecommerce hosting and base features with a Basic Shopify plan ($29 per month), or upgrade to a Shopify plan ($79 per month) for most tools the average online store will need.
Alternatively, go with the Advanced Shopify plan ($299 per month) if you need high-end features such as third-party calculated shipping or international pricing.
Enterprise-level solutions are also available through Shopify Plus, and all plans come with a 14-day free trial so that you can test the platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the pros of Shopify?
Shopify is the undisputed leader in the ecommerce space. It's fully hosted ecommerce software is easy to use and comes packed with features making it simple to start selling online. You get abandoned cart recovery, multi-channel retailing and POS integration, intuitive inventory system, great looking themes and a huge range of add-ons and integrations.
What are the cons of Shopify?
There is no free plan available (only a 14-day free trial). External payment gateways have additional transaction fees.
What are the best Shopify alternatives?
Bigcommerce is the best like-for-like fully hosted ecommerce software alternative to Shopify. If you are on a budget, then both Wix and Squarespace offer ecommerce functionality and features at much cheaper prices.
Best Shopify Alternatives: Summary
Shopify ecommerce is a fantastic ecommerce software platform for creating online stores. But there are Shopify competitors out there worth taking a good look at.
So who are the best and most serious Shopify competitors out there?
BigCommerce is another leading ecommerce platform (#2 after Shopify), providing all the must-have features and extreme scalability for online stores. It's also the best Shopify Plus alternative.
If you simply want more control over your website, then go with a self-hosted online store solution such as WooCommerce or Magento. Both run on your servers but the former is much easier to learn than the latter.
On the other hand, if you want to be able to customize the design of your website without knowing how to code, then go with Wix or Squarespace.
Both offer a drag and drop interface to help beginners build a professional-looking website within minutes.