What is Shopify?
Shopify is a multinational e-commerce company founded in the year 2006 that provides retailers with an opportunity to set up their own online stores where they can sell their products and market them to a wide range of potential customers.
Shopify was launched to provide businesses with an all-in-one e-commerce platform that could provide online sellers with all the right tools to grow and develop their businesses.
The services offered by Shopify include assisted shipping, streamlined payment options, and marketing tools that will help you redefine the way you sell your products online.
With Shopify, your customers’ online store experience can also be enhanced by installing handy applications and plug-ins from the Shopify App Store.
These additional tools will help you run a smoothly-functioning online store that facilitates easier navigation and better sales. If you leverage the benefits of Shopify, you can quickly boost your sales and revenue and ensure that your business thrives despite the competition.
However, several Shopify Competitors exist as well that could help you market and sell your products online. Each of these Shopify alternatives has its own unique set of features that you can use to boost online sales.
Things to consider before choosing an eCommerce platform
Choosing an online eCommerce platform to sell your goods is a critical decision that requires substantial amounts of research and thought. Picking a platform that suits your business model and is sustainable in the long run, with ample scope for growth, is crucial.
The following are some of the essential factors you will need to consider before choosing an eCommerce platform to sell your products.
There are two primary types of online platforms, self-hosted and cloud-based. With cloud-based services being offered by the platform, you will be in full control of the management and customization of your online store.
Still, the data itself will be managed by the organization and stored on their secure servers. Self-hosting would require you to maintain your independent servers to set up and ensure continued access to your store.
The size of your business when you are setting up an eCommerce store is not the only thing you must have in mind while deciding the most suitable platform.
Still, you must also consider the future growth of your business and whether or not the platform can handle such growth. Moreover, the platform must offer scalability, where you are given support to grow and build your business.
Such expansion must not cause any problems in the management of the online store.
Several eCommerce platforms offer a plethora of different features to their customers, but to avail of most of these services, a fee is required to be paid. Keep in mind that free services often offer limited functionality and do not offer much scalability.
Depending on the nature of your business and the expected revenue, you may choose any platform that comes at a price point that is realistically affordable and will not significantly eat into your revenue and profits.
When choosing an eCommerce platform for your business, likely, you are not a tech expert who knows everything about online servers, platform functionality, and how to deal with any problems that may arise.
Therefore, it is essential to choose a platform that offers a dedicated, 24×7 support team that can help you promptly resolve any issues in the management and use of the eCommerce platform.
5. Payment Processing
Apart from the fees that some platforms charge for hosting your online store on their servers, if payments are routed through the platform itself, the service provider may choose to levy a transaction fee on the payments made to you by customers.
Ensure that the eCommerce platform you choose does not charge exorbitant transaction rates and ensure that it allows for ease of making secure and quick payments.
6. Easy to set up
An online platform must only be feature-rich and boast increased functionality but must also be simple and easy to understand and use.
While choosing an eCommerce platform for your business, make sure to keep in mind the amount of time and effort necessary to get your business up and run on the platform and stay away from those platforms that have arduous and time-consuming setup processes.
A simplistic platform that offers a limited number of features might be preferred by smaller businesses, but depending on the nature and size of the business, more features may be required to ensure that valuable business is not lost due to lack of functionality.
Make a note of all the necessary features for you to run a successful business both now and in the future, and ensure that the eCommerce platform you are choosing offers those features.
8. Size of community
The strength of the eCommerce platform’s user community is also something that you may need to take into consideration.
A platform that boasts a large tech solution and user community will be able to offer you faster self-resolution of issues, easier accessibility and understanding of the platform, and quicker learning of the intricacies of the platform.
There are several top competitors to Shopify today, and each of them offers a unique set of eCommerce tools and features that you can use to propel your business to greater heights.
The following list summarises the leading competitors and is divided into two parts based on the size of the business seeking to establish an online store.
Shopify Competitors for Small businesses
The following is a list of Shopify competitors for small businesses that online sellers may choose to help start their eCommerce journey and learn more about how online retail and sales work.
Wix eCommerce offers an intuitive online store building platform that features over 500 exclusive online store design templates to get you started. A simple drag-and-drop system allows you to customize your entire online store the way you want it.
Wix eCommerce is a cloud-based service which means that you do not have to worry about back-end maintenance and compliance and can devote all your efforts to enhancing your customer experience and selling more of your products online.
The primary Wix eCommerce drawback is the relatively high transaction fees for every US purchase but thanks to seamless integration with payment services like PayPal, this is not a dealbreaker.
Therefore, Wix eCommerce is an affordable and user-friendly alternative to Shopify and seller assist services such as dropshipping and print on demand are also available.
Primarily launched as an easy-to-use website building platform, Squarespace now features exciting tools that can help anybody build an attractive and functional online store without any hassle.
Technical knowledge is not necessary, and the drag-and-drop design system will allow you to create a unique and custom online store for your products in very little time. The ease-of-use of the platform is very similar to that of Shopify.
What further enhances the quality of the platform is the array of advanced analytical and marketing tools such as abandoned cart recovery and email prompts. SEO tools are also present to help you optimize your website for optimal reach on the internet.
There are preliminary and advanced monthly plans available for users that are reasonably priced. If undecided on whether or not you want to pay, you can avail of the free trial and explore the platform and its features before taking a call.
A trendy, open-source eCommerce platform, WooCommerce is hosted on WordPress and allows you to create a personalized online store to sell your products quickly.
It is a free service, but payment is required for hosting services, and website development and the significant benefit of choosing WooCommerce is its zero transaction fees policy.
Since it is an open-source platform, WooCommerce offers you the opportunity to edit and modify the platform’s code which means you have absolute control over the hosting of the website and this is very apt if you have coding professionals available.
The drawback of WooCommerce as compared to a hosted platform such as Shopify is that you will be responsible for back-end maintenance and compliance.
WooCommerce also features an array of unique extensions and plug-ins that you can use to enhance website functionality. It is highly recommended that you opt for WooCommerce if you know web developers who can assist you in maintaining and running your store. If not, you would probably be better off with a hosted service such as Shopify.
PrestaShop is an excellent open-source eCommerce platform and offers a perfect alternative to Shopify for small business owners who are looking to sell online. It requires hardly any technical know-how and allows business owners to quickly and efficiently set up their highly-customized online stores to suit their business needs.
The platform also offers several handy tools to manage your customer relations and interactions and drive your business through marketing data and analytics.
The platform also supports multiple languages and currencies, which is crucial if you sell across international borders. The platform also offers attractive and user-friendly themes for your online store along with a range of add-ons and plug-ins created by a large and active community.
Unlike Shopify and similar to WooCommerce, PrestaShop allows unfettered access to its code and thereby places full control of your online store in your hands. Unless you have a team to help or are trained to handle hosting, security, and compliance by yourself, a hosted solution might be more ideal.
3dcart is an attractive eCommerce platform option for small business owners as it provides a wide range of exclusive features at prices that are similar to Shopify.
Moreover, unlike the previous two entries on this list, 3dcart is a fully hosted service which means all complicated back-end maintenance, compliance, and security are taken care of by the service provider.
The platform boasts several unique customer plans to choose from that ensure that you will be able to select the plan that best suits your business.
The primary reason why 3dcart is an ideal choice for smaller businesses is its added service options such as dropshipping and affiliate marketing which help you grow your business and sell more, thereby resulting in more significant revenue.
All plans allow for unlimited product capacity on your online store, and the platform allows for seamless integration of external marketing tools such as Facebook, Google Analytics, and Amazon.
The platform has a dedicated and highly efficient customer support system to add to the list of positives.
Arguably the most user-friendly Shopify alternative available, Weebly is an eCommerce platform that allows you to launch your online store as efficiently as possible with hardly any effort.
The platform has an intuitive step-by-step guidance program that will take you through all the necessary steps from setting up your store, customizing it according to your preferences, listing your products, and marketing and selling them.
Weebly offers a highly customizable interface where you can experiment with multiple fonts, backgrounds, and themes, and although some eCommerce features may be missing, small business owners are unlikely to be affected.
Weebly eCommerce also offers seamless marketing tools integration like Facebook Ads and automated marketing to allow you to boost sales and revenue.
An added benefit of using Weebly is that it is cost-effective. It is cheaper than Shopify, and if you are on a tight budget, you can quickly get access to a good quality online store for a very reasonable price.
To better experience the website builder, you may opt for the free trial that is available to all new customers.
Shopify Competitors for Large Businesses
While the first six eCommerce platforms on this list are ideal for smaller businesses, the following are some of the significant Shopify competitors for large businesses which require much more elaborate online store infrastructure and support.
One of the world’s leading eCommerce service providers, BigCommerce was established in 2009 and offers similar services to that of Shopify.
BigCommerce provides a fully hosted eCommerce service with all the features you will ever need to run a successful online store and increase your revenue and build your brand value.
The primary advantage of BigCommerce is the feature-rich platform that is afforded to businesses wherein little to no reliance is placed on external plug-ins and add-ons to enhance the website experience.
It boasts a bundle of exciting and game-changing features, especially for B2B (business to business) eCommerce models.
The more you pay, the more features you get with BigCommerce but irrespective of the plan, all customers get unlimited product listings and bandwidth and the opportunity to integrate the store with various channels such as eBay, Amazon, Google Shopping, and more.
One of the best features of the platform is the 24×7 live agent support that comes with all the plans and to add to the long list of pros, and the platform charges no transaction fees.
One of Shopify’s most significant competitors in the field of eCommerce, Magento not only existed as a handy online website creation platform much before Shopify but also now boasts the support and technical understanding of Adobe Inc.
Magento is a highly reputed eCommerce open-source platform that employs next-gen technology, market-leading security, and a large extensions marketplace to help you build an online store that redefines the traditional online shopping experience and makes it a lot more engaging.
Product and inventory management is made effortless, and with personalized shopping experiences, you can drive your conversion rates with relative ease.
Magento is not just the brand value either; it boasts a tremendous number of intuitive features such as customer analytics, drag-and-drop customization, fast and convenient checkout, and more.
With the help of Adobe Commerce’s global ecosystem of eCommerce developers, partners and merchants, there is nothing stopping you from taking your business to unprecedented heights. The only drawback of Magento eCommerce is that it tends to be a rather expensive alternative to Shopify.
3. Core DNA
A more recent competitor of Shopify, Core DNA offers what it calls a Digital Experience Platform (the Digital Experience Platform 2.0 was launched in 2017) with a wide range of features to manage both content and commerce on your websites.
The most significant advantage that Core DNA has over Shopify is that it offers much more customization potential to its users. The platform also boasts a wide range of marketing and analytics tools to help you better understand your performance and your customer base.
This, however, comes with rather expensive plans that begin from $1250 per month per website.
The reason many big businesses are shifting to Core DNA is the level of control afforded to clients even though the service is fully-hosted on a hybrid model of dedicated servers and cloud servers.
This allows sellers to devote all their time and energy to customizing their online store and selling their products in the best way possible to expand their businesses and rake in more revenue in the process.
At the same time, back-end maintenance, management, and compliance are handled by Core DNA.
If exceptional customer support is what you are looking for while at the same time, not burning a hole in your finances, Volusion is the best option for you. The platform offers several customization options with beautiful themes and engaging templates.
Volusion has been around in the eCommerce market for longer than Shopify and has the experience to provide excellent and top-quality services to all its clients.
Volusion is reasonably priced and also gives you a full-access free trial for 14-days that you can use to explore and better understand the platform.
Since Volusion is a fully hosted service, it takes all the pressure of back-end maintenance off your shoulders and frees up effort and time for you to focus on building and developing your business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Shopify Competitors
Who are Shopify’s competitors?
There are several eCommerce platforms that may be viewed as Shopify alternatives such as Wix, Squarespace, 3dcart, and Weebly. Other competitors include the likes of Magento, BigCommerce, and Volusion.
Which platform is better, Woocommerce or Shopify?
If you are looking for cost-effectiveness and maximum control over your store, Woocommerce is an attractive option. In contrast, Shopify may be ideal for you if infinite scalability and best-in-market convenience are what you want.
Is BigCommerce better than Shopify?
BigCommerce boasts zero transaction fees and offers an extremely feature-rich setting that may just be marginally better than Shopify’s services at comparable prices. The choice would boil down to which you think is more suited to your business needs.
Is 3dcart better than Shopify?
3dcart offers slightly fewer features than Shopify that make it not as easy to customize and use as Shopify. However, 3dcart boasts zero transaction fees that might be a gamechanger for many businesses.
Which platform is better, Volusion or Shopify?
Shopify is more convenient and easier-to-use than Volusion and offers more sales tools to help retailers. Volusion is famous for its advanced and modern analytical tools that may be important to many retailers. The choice again comes down to what you as a seller need.
Although Shopify is immensely popular and boasts a considerable number of online retailers and stores, by no means is it the undisputed best eCommerce platform out there.
If you think that Shopify is not ideal for your business, do not fret, there are several other alternatives that you can choose from depending on your requirements and business needs.