Instant setup, beautiful themes, tons of integrated apps, and easy to use inventory management system; these are just some aspects which make Shopify so popular amongst the eCommerce community. It is very user-friendly and requires you to have minimal tech skills to manage. And when you need help, you can instantly choose from one of Shopify’s trusted partners to help you with marketing or integrations.
However, it is not the only eCommerce platform out there. In case you are looking for an alternative, there are plenty of other options that can be used. These are equally good and offer almost all the features that Shopify does. Some of them come with extra benefits, like no additional transaction fees, availability of more tools, etc.
WooCommerce is one of the most customizable eCommerce platforms (thanks to WordPress). It is open-source and free of cost. However, if you wish to enjoy some of its advanced features you will need to pay either a one-time subscription or you can buy an annual plan, unlike Shopify where you have to purchase monthly subscriptions. Furthermore, you are not charged with any extra transaction fees which you will have to pay while using other eCommerce platforms.
Magento is another free and open-source CMS that you can use. There are free and premium themes available. But one thing about Magneto is that it does require some technical or web development help as it is not your regular plug and play CMS like WordPress.
It is one of the fastest-growing eCommerce platforms mainly because of its flexibility in use. With tons of features like multichannel selling, drop-shipping and, and plenty of options for Search Engine Optimization, it is becoming widely popular among the online business community. Moreover, BigCommerce offers a certain number of free themes which, however, are basic. You will have to pay some extra bucks if you want to explore those advanced themes. But the overall user experience of this platform is very good especially if you are going to run a large-scale eCommerce store.
Wix gives you total control over the layout of your online store since you can customize it as you desire. Wix Editor provides drag-drop options allowing you to move content on your online business website by simply dragging it from one place to the other. Apart from this control over the outlook of your store, Wix also provides cool themes, integration of countless apps and marketing addons and plugins which enrich your eCommerce experience. Moreover, you can integrate your online store with your social media accounts, payment gateways, and live chat. So, with Wix, the complete control over your eCommerce business is just a few taps away on your mobile phone.
Next on this list of Shopify alternatives is Volusion. Although it is not free as other eCommerce platforms the amount it charges for its plans is worth it. Regardless of the plan you purchase, all of its themes will be readily exposed at your disposal. Also, there are no additional fees for addons and plugins as these are already compensated in the plan you purchase.
Although Jimdo is a website builder, it can also be used as an eCommerce store developer. With its free subscription, you can sell up to five products at max. However, for a meager amount of twenty dollars, you can sell unlimited products. The downside is that you cannot sell digital products or services. Only those products can be sold which physically exist. Moreover, it is also missing many basic eCommerce features that are essential to run an online business store.
Prestashop is free, offers unlimited products, supports multiple currencies and can be used in more than twenty different languages. However, you do need to buy a web domain which may cost you some money. By the way, Prestashop does come in a hosted version as well as it is associated with multiple domain providers itself. Strongly recommended for small scale and low budget businesses as it requires a very less initial investment to develop an online store.
BigCarteldoes not require you to have extensive coding experience to use it. Its features are limited in comparison to Shopify, but it comes naturally integrated with PayPal, Facebook and Google Analytics. The downside is that it neither supportive chat nor provides the inventory search features.
Weebly offers simplicity and ease of use which makes it suitable for new startups and small-scale businesses. All you need to do is tap a few clicks if you wish to add or remove some from products from your website. However, it could get problematic once your business grows in the future because this alternative is not much handy for large scale eCommerce businesses.
Just like other eCommerce platforms on the list, Squarespace is also simple, easy to use and does not demand you to have next-level tech skills to be used. It offers beautiful templates with interactive designs. The cons include limited integration with marketing features and payment processors. Marketing is limited to google AdWords and Amazon whereas the payment process is limited to PayPal and Stripe.
Shopify is undoubtedly one of the finest eCommerce platforms. However, its alternatives are present in the market which are also free, easy to use and much more diverse in their approach. It is recommended that you should know the needs of your business and then select the one which suits your requirements.