Top 7 WooCommerce Alternatives (2020)
Looking for WooCommerce alternatives for your online business? You’re in the right place.
WooCommerce might be the number one most popular eCommerce platform on the market but that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to eCommerce platforms. Different businesses; different needs.
And while WooCommerce is undoubtedly a great eCommerce plugin, there are a lot of great WooCommerce alternatives out there that might make more sense in certain circumstances.
With that in mind, we’re going to be sharing some of the best WooCommerce alternatives on the market in this post. We’ll be reviewing each of them in detail to help you to find the best platform for your needs.
Let’s get started!
The drawbacks of WooCommerce
First, let’s talk about when WooCommerce might not make sense for your business. Here are a few of the reasons you might be better off with an alternative eCommerce solution.
Limited functionality without add-ons
The basic WooCommerce plugin is very limited. You’ll need to install a bunch of add-ons to unlock more advanced customizations and features, which can make things feel a little messy.
Most of the free WooCommerce add-ons provide ‘just enough’ functionality. If you want a powerful, comprehensive eCommerce solution, you’ll probably need to purchase paid add-ons. The cost of all these extensions adds up quickly.
Lots of configuration required
WooCommerce isn’t an out-of-the-box solution like other eCommerce solutions. You’ll need to spend time setting everything up and configuring it. The front-end typically also needs a lot of customization to make your storefront look the way you want it to.
WooCommerce’s biggest strength is also its biggest weakness. It’s a WordPress plugin, which is great if you have an existing WordPress website, but not so great if you’re trying to build an eCommerce store from scratch and you want to keep things simple.
Broad feature set
WooCommerce is a very flexible eCommerce solution, which is great, but it also means it doesn’t really ‘zero in’ on any one area. Some other eCommerce solutions are purpose-built with much more targeted, advanced feature sets designed for specific use cases, like selling digital goods or subscriptions, or drop shipping.
WordPress plugins vs all-in-one eCommerce platforms.
Before we jump into this list, it’s important to understand the difference between WordPress eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, and all-in-one eCommerce platforms.
The former are add-ons that can be installed on your existing WordPress website. They expand your website’s functionality and convert it into an eCommerce store. They allow you to add a shopping cart and start selling directly through your WordPress website.
The latter are tools that allow you to build and host your own eCommerce website from scratch. They include everything you need to run and manage your online store in one neat package. They’re much easier to build than WordPress websites (which can be very technical) so I’d recommend going down this route if you don’t already have an existing website.
We’ve included both in our list of WooCommerce alternatives below. We’ll start with the plugins and then move onto some all-in-one solutions.
WooCommerce alternatives: WordPress plugins
Here are 3 of our favorite WordPress plugins like WooCommerce.
Best for businesses that exclusively sell digital downloads
If you’re only selling eBooks, MP3s, online courses, photographs, or videos through your website, consider Easy Digital Downloads. It’s a fantastic WordPress plugin that makes it easy to turn your WordPress site into a digital eCommerce store.
The standard plug-in is free and will allow you to create your store, add a shopping cart and start taking payments, and manage your marketing campaigns. Paid add-ons start at around $15 and allow you to add things like software licensing, frontend submissions, and more.
Easy Digital Downloads vs WooCommerce
Unlike WooCommerce, which supports both physical and digital products, Easy Digital Downloads only supports digital sales. This can help to simplify your dashboard as it won’t be cluttered up with physical product features that you’ll never use.
Easy Digital Downloads also includes some advanced features for free, like Product Bundles, which are only available through paid add-ons in WooCommerce.
Of course, Easy Digital Downloads is limited to digital goods, so it isn’t suitable if you plan on selling physical products now or in the future.
You can learn more in our full Easy Digital Downloads review.
Best for subscription-based businesses
If you plan on selling subscription memberships through your online store, check out MemberPress.
It’s one of the best WordPress membership plugin geared towards subscription-based businesses. It has a bunch of really useful membership features like drip content, subscription management, and powerful access rules.
You can use it to build your own community forums, generate dynamic pricing pages for different membership products, set up affiliate programs, and much more.
MemberPress vs WooCommerce
Unlike WooCommerce, MemberPress isn’t a free tool. The basic plan currently starts at $149/year.
However, it’s still a more economical choice if you’re trying to set up a membership operation as WooCommerce requires a bunch of extra paid extensions to set everything needed to run a subscription service up. MemberPress simplifies the whole process and should work out cheaper.
Unlike WooCommerce, MemberPress doesn’t support selling fixed-price items. You can learn more in Linday’s full MemberPress review.
Best for beginners and small businesses
Ecwid is another excellent WordPress plugin that makes it easy to add an eCommerce portal to your existing website. You can also use Ecwid to build a brand new eCommerce website from scratch in minutes using simple, customizable design tools.
It offers a rich, powerful feature set with multi-channel integration, automated shipping, responsive design, robust security, and more.
If you’re already using WooCommerce and want to switch platforms, it’s easy. Ecwid makes it quick and painless to automatically export all your products over from WooCommerce to Ecwid.
Ecwid vs WooCommerce
WooCommerce is all about adaptability whereas Ecwid is all about simplicity. WooCommerce is an open-source toolkit but Ecwid is a closed-source SaaS solution. As such, it’s much less flexible but it’s also much more simple and straightforward to use.
Ecwid also offers a more traditional pricing structure, with a highly-limited freemium option and several paid pricing tiers.
You can learn more in our full Ecwid review.
WooCommerce alternatives: all-in-one solutions
Alright, let’s move onto some all-in-one eCommerce solutions. Here are our top four favorites.
Overall best fully-hosted eCommerce platform
Shopify is probably WooCommerce’s biggest competitor. It’s the number one most popular all-in-one eCommerce solution on the market and sits alongside WooCommerce as one of the market leaders. Over 3 million websites are currently powered by Shopify – and that figure is growing every day.
There’s a reason so many brands trust Shopify. It’s a super-powerful tool that makes it easy to create great-looking, fully-functional stores.
It offers a good balance of adaptability and simplicity and supports both physical and digital products. It also offers complete inventory management, powerful integrations, and lots of payment and shipping options.
It’s suitable for both beginners and larger businesses with a range of paid pricing plans to suit every budget.
Shopify vs WooCommerce
Shopify takes a simpler approach to eCommerce than WooCommerce.
Unlike WooCommerce, Shopify isn’t built into WordPress. Rather, it’s a complete, fully-hosted eCommerce builder that provides all the tools you need to build your store in one dashboard. It takes care of all the hosting, updates, or security for you, which makes it a better choice for beginners and small businesses.
The downside is that it’s less flexible and scalable than WooCommerce as you don’t have full website control. It isn’t free like WooCommerce but several affordable pricing plans are available.
Overall, it’s definitely one of the best WooCommerce alternatives if you’re looking for a fully-hosted, all-in-one solution.
Best fully-hosted platform with WordPress integration.
BigCommerce is somewhere between WooCommerce and Shopify. Like Shopify, it’s an open SaaS tool that allows you to build and host your own eCommerce platform but it also offers a WordPress plugin that allows you to integrate it into your existing WordPress website.
It combines the best of WordPress and eCommerce in one place. You can continue to use your carefully-crafted WordPress website on the front-end while using BigCommerce to free up server resources and take care of payments, logistics, and catalog management on the back end.
It supports multiple WordPress sites and lets you manage all of them in a single control panel, so it’s a great choice if you’re running a large-scale eCommerce operation with multiple online stores.
BigCommerce vs WooCommerce
The BigCommerce website builder is far easier to use than WooCommerce as it provides you with a base to build on as well as better technical support. All plans include access to 24/7 support via email, phone, or webchat.
WooCommerce still wins when it comes to scalability and flexibility as it’s an open-source toolkit that gives you full control.
You can learn more in our full BigCommerce review.
Best for medium to large stores and enterprises.
Magento is one of the best eCommerce platforms for larger businesses and enterprises. They offer two different eCommerce solutions for customers to choose from: Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce.
Magento Open Source is a flexible software solution that gives you access to all the features you need to build your online store from scratch. You can install any number of extensions from the Magento Marketplace to extend your store’s capabilities.
Their all-in-one cloud solution, Magento Commerce, is easy to deploy and powerful. It’s built for scalability with a more advanced feature set than many other platforms and is tailored more towards large businesses and experienced web developers than complete beginners.
Magento Commerce is a better choice for businesses that want an all-in-one solution right out of the box. It comes bundled with all the essentials you need to build and run your store including professional reporting, analytics, order management, an intuitive drag-and-drop page builder, cloud-based hosting, customer support, and more.
It also allows you to segment up your customers into different ‘buckets’ so that you can send them more personalized marketing materials.
Magento vs WooCommerce
Magento Open Source is comparable to WooCommerce in that they’re both highly adaptable, open-source solutions that can scale up with your business. Like WooCommerce, Magento Open Source has a ton of plugins to choose from but many of the paid-for plugins are more expensive.
The all-in-one solution, Magento Commerce, is also very expensive compared with plans starting at around 2,000 USD per month. As such, it’s probably not the best choice for small businesses with a limited budget.
Best for multi-vendor stores and marketplaces
Running a regular eCommerce store is one thing, but running an online marketplace is a whole different ball game. When you have multiple vendors operating in one place, things get a whole lot more logistically complex.
That’s where Arcadier comes in. It’s probably the best eCommerce platform for building a multi-vendor marketplace from scratch. It’s a fully-hosted tool that allows you to set up a multi-vendor store in any niche complete with chat boxes, ratings and reviews, negotiation tools, and social logins.
The guys behind the SaaS technology studied global marketplace leaders like eBay and Airbnb and used that knowledge to create a powerful marketplace platform that meets global standards.
You can choose your template based on the type of marketplace you’re operating. For example, there are different templates for marketplaces where users can buy and sell goods and marketplaces that rent spaces or items.
Arcadier vs WooCommerce
The basic WooCommerce plugin doesn’t support multi-vendor stores. You can install some WooCommerce marketplace extensions but they’re usually missing certain key features like support for rentable goods and negotiation tools.
Arcadier, on the other hand, has a rich feature set designed specifically for multi-vendor marketplaces. It’s a platform entirely dedicated to multi-vendor selling.
Alright, that concludes our guide to the top 7 WooCommerce alternatives in 2020. Hopefully, you’ll have found something suitable for your business in the list above.
In case you couldn’t be bothered to read all that, here’s a quick summary:
- For a simple all-in-one alternative to WooCommerce, go for Shopify.
- If you’re selling digital goods, try Easy Digital Downloads.
- If you’re offering subscription memberships, check out MemberPress.
- And if you’re trying to build an eCommerce marketplace from scratch, Arcadier is the way to go.