Shopify is an extremely popular eCommerce platform, but it's not for everyone. Maybe your business is just starting out and you want to do some more research before committing to an eCommerce solution.
Or, maybe you already have a Shopify store and you're looking for new options that don't have the limitations and extra fees Shopify imposes on its merchants. Either way, you're in search of a Shopify alternative — and we've gathered the best of them here for your review.
WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that brings eCommerce functionality to WordPress websites. There are two different ways you can start using WooCommerce: if you're using a free WordPress.com account, you'll need to upgrade to WordPress's Business plan. Or, if you run a self-hosted website using the downloadable WordPress.org version, you can simply install WooCommerce from the list of available plugins.
WooCommerce is very flexible as far as design goes, and you can extend its features by adding additional plugins. The pricing of these plugins can vary greatly, with some being free, and others requiring a monthly subscription or a one-time fee. When choosing plugins to add, make sure you check for compatibility with any existing plugins you're also using, and read up on user reviews of the plugin to get a sense of its reliability and that of the plugin's developers. As long as you take these small precautions, you can use WooCommerce to make a great online store. Read the full Woocommerce vs Shopify comparison.
WooCommerce has a far bigger selection of plugins than Shopify, and many are free.
There are thousands of WooCommerce themes available, far more than Shopify themes.
WooCommerce doesn't deduct transaction fees from your sales.
While you'll need to pay for web hosting, WordPress and WooCommerce themselves are free.
Volusion is similar to Shopify in a few ways. They're both cloud-based or SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platforms, which means you don't have to deal with web hosting or software updates yourself. Instead, the provider itself handles the technical aspects behind-the-scenes so you can focus on your business. There's no need to download or install anything; simply create an account and start building.
Volusion is very user-friendly to new business owners, and its competitive pricing makes it easier to fit into your budget. However, Volusion began charging transaction fees upon their V2 software release, and there's no Volusion equivalent of Shopify Payments to help you avoid them. Volusion is also a bit short on features, but it can be a good choice for a new business. Read the full Volusion vs Shopify comparison.
Volusion's monthly plans are a little cheaper than Shopify's plans.
Some business owners find Volusion much easier to use than Shopify, although your results may vary.
Even though Volusion has fewer overall features than Shopify, it does have a few advantages, like a single-page checkout.
Volusion includes real-time shipping rates for USPS, UPS, and FedEx, while Shopify includes USPS only.
BigCommerce is a strong competitor against Shopify. As another SaaS platform, BigCommerce provides all the same convenience in the form of included hosting and software updates. While BigCommerce isn't quite as easy to use, this is mainly because it rolls so many more features into the platform as opposed to Shopify, which relies on the addition of apps — so for some users, having all these tools available from the outset can be confusing. Still, the presence of these features means lower app costs.
However, BigCommerce does have its downsides. Users have little control over which plan they use, and may find their business unexpectedly bumped up to a more expensive tier when profits start coming in. There's also a bit of a learning curve when using BigCommerce because it has so many more features than Shopify. Read the full BigCommerce vs Shopify comparison.
BigCommerce doesn't take a percentage of your sales.
BigCommerce includes more out-of-the-box features than Shopify, saving you on app costs.
BigCommerce doesn't limit how many variants you can have per product, like Shopify does.
While Shopify has no built-in one-page checkout option, BigCommerce does.
Magento is known as a heavy hitter in the world of eCommerce software. It has traits in common with all the other Shopify alternatives on this list. Like WooCommerce, Magento is free and open-source. Like the other listed solutions, it's a complete software solution made for online stores. To use Magento, you'll need to download the program and install it on a compatible web server.
Magento comes with tons of features and is the software of choice for many large retailers. It's not without problems, though — the software is known to get dragged down under large numbers of products, slowing websites to a crawl. Support can also be very difficult to get. And since you'll be responsible for hosting your website, all the technical aspects of your store will be yours to handle as well.
The open-source nature of Magento means tons of addons are available, many for free.
Since you'll have access to the source code, you're free to develop Magento as you see fit.
You only pay the usual fees to your chosen payment processors.
Much like with custom development, the complete access to Magento's source code means web designers are free to create.
3dcart is a full-featured, SaaS eCommerce platform with none of the drawbacks of other Shopify alternatives. Software updates, web hosting, and security are all handled behind-the-scenes so you can focus 100% of your attention on running your business. 3dcart has more features than both Shopify and other SaaS solutions, meaning more tools at your fingertips for a lower cost. 3dcart is more reliable than WooCommerce, more stable than Magento, and more advanced than Volusion and BigCommerce as well.
With 3dcart, you'll have access to a full suite of inventory management tools, marketing features, and the best built-in SEO in the industry. More features are available on lower-priced plans than any other competing platform, so you'll always get more for your money. Plus, all 3dcart plans cost the same or less than comparable Shopify plans, and you'll never lose a portion of your profits to transaction fees. And if you ever need help, 3dcart includes free 24/7 year-round live support with every plan.
You have the freedom to choose your payment providers without being penalized.
No need for $80/month-worth of apps just to make your store competitive; with 3dcart, everything you need is built in.
More of the tools you need to rank higher and earn more traffic.
Shopify will register a domain for you for a cost, but 3dcart provides one free with every plan.
There's no app needed to provide your customers with a smooth, fast checkout.
3dcart themes can be fully customized, including checkout, unlike Shopify.
Shopify redirects to checkout.shopify.com when certain payment processors are used, but 3dcart has no such redirect.
3dcart themes are built for speed and usability on all devices, including mobile, with advantages like Google AMP and more.
Want a web designer to build your 3dcart site for you? Only HTML and CSS are needed, unlike Shopify which uses Liquid Markup.
3dcart integrates with more payment processors than any other eCommerce platform.