The 5 Best Shopify Alternatives for 2023 Compared
Are you tired of Shopify’s expensive platform fees and other limitations? Don’t worry. We’ll help you find a better Shopify alternative to start your online store.
However, many people aren’t happy with some of the limitations and features of Shopify, such as the lack of shop design customizations, expensive pricing, and transaction fees.
You don’t have to settle for Shopify. There are many other eCommerce platforms that let you set up online stores quite easily. Keep reading to find out which platform suits your eCommerce business.
- Price: Free
- Best for: Advanced users
WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress that currently powers over 23% of all online stores. It allows you to add eCommerce functions to your WordPress website, such as shop layouts, product pages, checkout systems, and shopping carts. Simply put, it turns a regular WordPress website into an online store.
While WooCommerce is not the best solution for beginners, it’s a plugin that you can use to build a fully-customized online store that gives you more control over the website design and the overall shopping experience.
👍 Benefits of Using WooCommerce
- Free to use with WordPress.
- Plenty of free and paid extensions.
- Thousands of themes to customize the design.
- It includes built-in payment processing.
- It supports affiliate products.
- Coupon systems.
- No setup charges or monthly fees.
👎 Downsides to Using WooCommerce
- Requires advanced knowledge to set up the store.
- You can add some functions with paid extensions.
- No built-in support for dropshipping.
- Have to pay for website hosting separately.
How It’s Different from Shopify
Advanced customization is probably the best feature of WooCommerce. It allows you to build stores with unique designs, custom product pages, and shop layouts using WordPress page builder plugins.
The pricing is different between the platforms. With Shopify, the plans start from $39/mo. However, you can begin using WooCommerce for free. Just bear in mind that there are costs involved with WooCommerce, even if it’s a free download.
Both platforms provide great support for payment gateways.
By default, Shopify has its own integrated Shopify Payments, only available in selected countries. But if you can’t use the system, you need integration with a third-party provider (with 100+ options already).
In the WooCommerce platform, the Shopify Payments equivalent is WooCommerce Payments. Like Shopify Payments, it’s also an integrated payment solution, and it’s available in selected countries. If you live outside these countries, you still have plenty of options as your third-party payment provider.
With the Shopify Payments system, you don’t have to worry about transaction fees. However, with third-party systems, the cost is 0.5%-2% for each transaction. With WooCommerce, you don’t have these kinds of transaction fees.
WooCommerce Payments uses a pay-as-you-go system. You don’t have any setup or monthly fees. However, a fee is deducted from every payment you make, and the amount depends on the country you live in.
- Price: Betweenfree to $99 per month (with a monthly billing plan).
- Best for: Existing websites, selling on social media or marketplaces.
Ecwid provides multiple channels for online selling. You can sell your products on social media, through marketplaces, or on your website. The store management occurs through Ecwid’s hosted platform.
👍 Benefits of Using Ecwid
- Less expensive than Shopify.
- Free plan available.
- No transaction fees from Ecwid.
- Simple admin panel.
- The solution integrates with your existing WordPress website.
👎 Downsides to Using Ecwid
- Requires an existing website and hosting if you want to use it with your website.
- No product variants in the Venture plan.
- The admin panel still needs to be fully translated into specific languages.
How it’s Different from Shopify
Ecwid’s admin panel is easier to use than Shopify’s. You can find all the essential actions on the left sidebar. It’s fair to say that the user experience is smoother than Shopify, and the learning curve is flatter.
You can also adjust the look and feel of your site with a simple editor. The editor gives you access to various page areas, including sections, images, or fonts.
While Shopify has many payment options, Ecwid also provides various options for accepting payments. Ecwid has a system called LightSpeed Payments, their preferred payment method.
With Ecwid, you can also use third-party payment systems like Stripe, Square, or PayPal with a cost of 2.9% + $0.30 per online transaction. But Ecwid doesn’t charge transaction fees for third-party payments, unlike Shopify.
While Shopify is more comprehensive with its features, Ecwid, on the other hand, is more wallet friendly. The pricing is between free to $99 per month.
- Price: Between $39 to $399 per month (with a monthly billing plan).
- Best for: Advanced users.
BigCommerce is one of the more advanced alternatives to Shopify that many businesses use to sell products across multiple platforms. With BigCommerce, you can list products on Amazon, eBay, and Google Shopping and set up a standalone online store.
BigCommerce has many advanced tools for improving your store and sales, such as multi-currency payments and integration with many eCommerce apps.
👍 Benefits of Using BigCommerce
- Ability to list products on multiple platforms.
- No transaction fees.
- List unlimited products with unlimited hosting.
- Integration with valuable apps.
- Supports all popular payment processors.
- Advanced tools for improving sales.
- Plenty of themes to choose from.
- Sell products on Instagram and Facebook.
👎 Downsides to Using BigCommerce
- Shopify offers a $1/month deal for the first three months if you choose monthly billing. BigCommerce doesn’t have this kind of deal.
- Puts an annual sales cap for each pricing plan.
How it’s Different from Shopify
The biggest benefit to using BigCommerce is the ability to sell your products across multiple eCommerce platforms and social networks. With a BigCommerce account, you can sync your products on eBay and Amazon, as well as Facebook and Instagram to drive more sales.
Above all, unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t charge transaction fees for your product sales. You only have to pay the monthly subscription and your payment processors.
- Price: Between$35 to $299 per month (with a monthly billing plan).
- Best for: Beginners & advanced users
Volusion is an eCommerce platform with over 250,000 storefronts built with it. More than $40 billion in total sales has been made with it.
Volusion comes with an onboarding process and a user interface designed to attract complete beginners. It features quite a simple setup process and even comes with the ability to integrate your store with Amazon and eBay.
👍 Benefits of Using Volusion
- Beginner-friendly user interface.
- Free theme designs for beginners.
- Supports Stripe, Amazon Pay, and PayPal.
- Integrate with eBay.
- Advanced customization options for coders and developers.
👎 Downsides to Using Volusion
- A limited number of theme designs.
- Little support for payment processors.
- Very few add-ons.
How it’s Different from Shopify
For complete beginners who are new to eCommerce and online shops, Volusion is more wallet friendly than Shopify. It only costs $35 per month and goes to $31.50 per month when paying annually.
Volusion also features a beginner-friendly user interface where you can easily set up the shop and customize the design without any web design knowledge. It also has tools for developers to modify the site design even further.
- Price: Between$29 – $159 per month (with a monthly billing plan).
- Best for: Print-on-demand sellers, digital files, creatives
Sellfy is geared towards creatives who want a simple way to sell their creations online. It is an exciting option for those selling digital downloads or print-on-demand products.
The platform has been open since 2011. Since then, over 60,000 creators have sold products worth over $100M using Sellfy.
👍 Benefits of Using Sellfy
- Clear and easy-to-use interface.
- Change your store language based on your customer’s location.
- Sellfy doesn’t charge a platform transaction fee.
- You can sell a variety of products using the platform.
- Email marketing tool available on every plan.
👎 Downsides to Using Sellfy
- Removing Sellfy branding is only possible in the Business plan and up.
- Annual sales volume cap based on the plan.
- Limited payment gateway options.
- Very few themes and integrations.
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How it’s Different from Shopify
Sellfy doesn’t take any transaction fees when you sell on their platform. However, expect to pay the fees that PayPal or Stripe charge you.
The user interface is simple to use. This factor is important, especially if you are starting out and setting up your first online store.
The menu items are easy to find, and customizing your site is easy. This way, you can design your site without having to hire anyone to do it.
The main difference between these two types is the amount of control you have and the technical knowledge you need to run your website.
With a self-hosted platform like WooCommerce, you control the site, and the technical limitations come from your web host. You have to take care of the website’s technical aspects yourself.
On the other hand, a hosted platform, like BigCommerce, gives you everything you need in one package, and you can leave the technical stuff for the platform’s support personnel. The subscription level determines what you can do with the platform.
Most eCommerce platforms provide either a free account or a free trial. This way, you can test the platform before purchasing a plan.
If you are looking for a free platform, WooCommerce is your best bet. Of course, there are always costs involved, even with this type of platform.
For instance, you may have to purchase additional software to run your store. Accessing payment gateways generate costs, too.
To a certain extent, yes.
As mentioned, most of the eCommerce platforms provide a free plan. However, there can be limitations in functionality or branding, which block you from selling through these plans.
For instance, Ecwid provides a free plan for building an online store. However, it’s only limited to selling a maximum of five products. So, if you have more than five, the free plan is not for you.
eCommerce platforms provide many valuable features that you need when running an online store. I would still pay attention to some of them, including the pricing, transaction fees, and what customer support channels are available.
Naturally, you know your requirements the best, so you can add more items to the most critical features list. But the three I just mentioned are a great starting point when comparing the platforms.
Which is the Best Shopify Alternative?
It’s difficult to decide on a clear winner; it always comes down to which features you want to get from an eCommerce platform.
If you’re looking for simplicity and a beginner-friendly environment to set up a simple online store at an affordable price, go with Sellfy.
While Shopify is good at what it does, there are plenty of other great eCommerce platforms out there that you can use to set up an online store on a budget or even for free. Be sure to test out these platforms before considering Shopify.