Shopify Competitors: Best Alternatives to Shopify in 2022

Shopify competitors, potential alternatives

Shopify competitors are often overlooked, simply because Shopify is so well known. They provide a beginner-friendly platform for entrepreneurs to launch websites and build their businesses quickly and easily.

While these are huge pros for Shopify, sometimes it can be worth considering some other options as well. In this article, we're going to cover some of the top alternatives for Shopify and what the pros and cons are for each one.

TIP | The leading tools you need to start and grow your online business:

  • Bluehost: Get 70% off Bluehost web hosting, the most popular web host powering over 2 million websites and officially recommended by WordPress.

  • Shopify: The leading eCommerce platform to easily build your online store, used by over 1.75 million entrepreneurs worldwide.

  • Teachable: Sell online courses in your knowledge business.

What to Consider When Evaluating Shopify Competitors

First, let’s talk about why many are choosing Shopify as a platform for their store, and why some are choosing to go in a different direction.

Shopify Pros

Shopify

Shopify is likely the most well-known platform for new business owners, and for good reason. It is a very beginner-friendly platform that you can launch a storefront on quickly and easily, with very little technical knowledge.

Shopify is perfect for those that have never created an online store, and an easy to reach customer service is there for any questions an entrepreneur might have. The easiness that Shopify brings to creating an online storefront is something that Shopify competitors find hard to beat.

Furthermore, because Shopify is so well known a lot of external partners have created apps that integrate directly into their platform. Free and paid apps are available to enhance your business, build in additional features, and more. These apps can help capture metrics and data on your store traffic and create a better, more customized experience for your customer.

If you are considering starting a dropshipping store, this is a huge advantage for Shopify. Many marketplaces that dropshippers source from are directly integrated with Shopify through apps like Oberlo, DropCommerce, and Spocket.

Shopify Competitors: Why Consider Alternatives?

With all of the pros of Shopify, you might be asking why anyone considers an alternative platform for their site.

There are a few downsides to Shopify. With all of the beginner-friendly functions built in, some of the customization features that you find with Shopify competitors are lacking.

For larger brands or those looking to build a storefront with a larger number of products, it can be worth evaluating some other alternatives too although Shopify can handle their specific needs with Shopify Plus, their premium subscription. Indeed, big brands like Heinz, Red Bull, Gymshark, Kylie Cosmetics, and many more use Shopify.

Additionally, if you do have some technical knowledge of coding and how to build a website, you might enjoy a platform that offers additional customization options and more ownership.

Depending on what your business is, where you're selling, and exactly what your needs are it might be worth considering some Shopify competitors before deciding on a platform.

Shopify Competitors

Let’s talk a little bit more in detail about some of the top Shopify competitors.

WooCommerce with WordPress

One of the most widely known alternatives to Shopify is WooCommerce.

Pros of WooCommerce

There are many pros to using WooCommerce. Because WooCommerce is widely known and used, there are a ton of both free and paid apps that are integrated into this plugin.

Additionally, WooCommerce is a free plugin you install on top of WordPress, the free and open-source CMS (Content Management System) used by over 40% of all websites worldwide.

There are more than 4.4 million active websites using WooCommerce, making it the market leader in terms of the number of active installations (Shopify has 1.7+ million merchants).

Ownership

The big advantage of WooCommerce over Shopify is that since you host your site yourself through your hosting company, you are the owner. You have access to the source code, the database, and the backups. No one can take your store down overnight.

WooCommerce ownership

Shopify, on the contrary, can shut you down at any time and without notice if you violate their AUP (Acceptable Use Policy). It’s the case with all the SaaS platforms (Software as a Service), BigCommerce included, where you pay monthly to “rent” their e-commerce platform.

No monthly subscription

You just pay for hosting and your domain name with WooCommerce, which can be very affordable depending on what company you use.

Some WooCommerce plugins are also paid in their premium version but you only pay once while you have to pay monthly for the apps on Shopify. If you want to continue to receive support and updates on your paid WooCommerce plugins, you will have to pay again, but if you don't you will still have access to them. With Shopify, if you stop paying, you lose everything.

Another pro is that WooCommerce offers a lot of flexibility with the design for your store. You'll have much more control over the layout of your store with WooCommerce compared to similar platforms.

Cons of WooCommerce

Using WooCommerce does have some drawbacks though. Using this platform requires a little bit more technical knowledge than some of the other Shopify competitors.

As previously mentioned, WooCommerce is actually a WordPress plug-in. So, if this platform is the one you choose, you'll have to use WordPress too. It’s also self-hosted, so you'll need to obtain web hosting separately. Additionally, you'll have to obtain your own domain and manage security as well.

While this is not impossible, it is more work than Shopify which does all of this when you set up your account. This can make WooCommerce a little less approachable to beginners with very little technical knowledge or experience.

We compare WooCommerce and Shopify in more detail in our advanced guide: “Shopify or WooCommerce, which is better?”

Squarespace

Squarespace is another well-known platform and one of Shopify’s top competitors.

Shopify competitors: Squarespace

Pros of Squarespace

Squarespace has a number of pros compared to other platforms available. One of the biggest pros of Squarespace is how easy it is to make a very attractive website. You need no coding or technical knowledge to create a seamless website and storefront with Squarespace.

If you do have coding knowledge though, you’ll be able to customize and edit your website easily to get exactly what you want.

Additionally, Squarespace brings a lot of analytical tools and an inventory management system. With Squarespace, you’ll be able to quickly track stock levels and analyze sales with just a few clicks.

 Cons of Squarespace

There are some cons to using Squarespace. The main one is that Squarespace does not have as many options for third-party apps or extensions as some other platforms do. If you like to use a lot of extensions or need additional custom features for your site, Squarespace may not be the best option.

Customer support is also limited, with no phone support readily available. A chat feature is open for users to submit issues, but if you need quick support this will be hard to find with Squarespace. This is also the case with Shopify which no longer offers phone support, and don’t expect this level of support with WooCommerce too.

Lastly, with Squarespace, you’ll have additional restrictions on payment options. With Squarespace you’ll be able to use Apple Pay, Stripe, or PayPal, but nothing else.  This might be fine for many but if you want additional flexibility you should look at using another platform.

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a platform that is maybe slightly less known than Shopify or WooCommerce, but still a major platform that many are considering today.

Shopify competitors: BigCommerce

Pros of BigCommerce

First, let’s cover some of the pros of using BigCommerce.

One of the main pros BigCommerce offers is that you have the ability to sell across multiple platforms. This means that if you sell directly with partners like Walmart Marketplace, you can integrate this information directly with BigCommerce.

This keeps all of your sales data in one place. You can manage multiple channels of sales in one place and keep this streamlined. This is a big perk of BigCommerce that a lot of competitors don't offer.

Additionally, BigCommerce has a lot of built-in features, so you don't have to rely on a lot of third-party apps for full functionality. With Shopify, a lot of additional features do require adding apps. This is not hard, and many of them are free. However, it is a pro that BigCommerce has them already built-in in a lot of cases.

BigCommerce, similar to Shopify, is very beginner-friendly too. They offer a platform that requires no coding knowledge. You'll be able to easily create a website and storefront with no technical background.

Cons of BigCommerce

There are a few cons of BigCommerce that we'll mention briefly.

Because BigCommerce is not as widely known as Shopify, it has few apps and integrations built into the platform.

Specifically, for businesses following a dropshipping model, this can be a drawback. Shopify offers a lot of integrations with different marketplaces for you to source products. Lesser-known platforms like BigCommerce don't have the same integrations to offer in terms of sourcing or automating the ordering process.

Wix

Wix is another option that you may have heard of in terms of Shopify competitors.

Shopify competitors: Wix

Pros of Wix

Wix offers a couple of advantages that set it apart from other platforms. The main one, however, is that they simplify everything.

For those looking to create a website quickly and easily, Wix is a great option. They focus most on being easy for beginners and totally user-friendly. You can create a website and storefront by using a simple drag and drop interface.

You won't need any coding or technical knowledge to create a great-looking website on Wix.

They also offer in-house SEO tools and additional features such as abandoned cart recovery and in-house domain name purchasing. These are available on platforms like Shopify but compared to other competitors such as WooCommerce this is an advantage.

However, even if it's easier we don’t recommend buying your domain name from such e-commerce platforms. Indeed, if they don’t want you anymore, they can close your store at any time because you are renting their service, you are not the owner unlike with a WooCommerce store.

It's best to buy your domain name from an external domain registrar such as Namecheap or GoDaddy to keep it in case your store is shut down in the future.

Cons of Wix

Wix is a great platform for those just getting started, or for those with little or no technical knowledge. It is designed to be super streamlined and easy to use.

However, with a platform that is this streamlined, you'll have to give up some of the more advanced features that you get on Shopify and other similar competitors. While this might be a benefit for some to have a super streamlined platform, you may prefer the customization and additional options that you get on Shopify compared to Wix.

Volusion

The last platform we'll cover in this article is Volusion. There are pros and cons to using this platform, we'll discuss each in a little more detail in the next two sections.

Volusion

Pros of Volusion

Volusion's main appeal is the analytics that it offers and the integrations across multiple channels.

This platform will track all sorts of data points easily, including revenue, conversions, stock levels, and more. Features like abandoned cart recovery are seamlessly integrated into the platform. With all of these options for customization, you have the ability to create a better experience for your customer when they're shopping.

Additionally, similar to BigCommerce Volusion offers multi-platform integration. If you're selling on channels like Facebook, Volusion pulls these sales into one place seamlessly. This allows you to track and analyze all sales data quickly and easily in one place.

Another benefit is that Volusion offers easy customization of documentation such as invoices, packing slips, and POS receipts. If you're dropshipping, this is not a major benefit since likely your supplier will be in charge of the documentation that the customer sees. However, if you're choosing to follow a traditional business model this is an added benefit.

Cons of Volusion

There are a couple of drawbacks of Volusion. The platform as a whole is not as user-friendly as some of its competitors. Shopify is a much more user-friendly platform for those with little technical knowledge.

Customer service is also limited for the base plan in Volusion, so it could have a bit of a learning curve for new users.

Additionally, another drawback is that an SSL certificate is not included, which is different from a lot of the competition. Shopify includes an SSL certificate when you set your website up.

SSL certificates provide an extra layer of security for your website. This is often something that customers look for when making purchases online, especially when purchasing from a new brand they're unfamiliar with. If you choose to use Volusion as a platform, you'll want to obtain this certificate on your own separately.

However, as explained before, we recommend that you buy your domain name elsewhere. SSL certificates have become a standard and web hosts offer free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates.

Conclusion: Which Platform is Best for You?

Depending on what your business is and your specific needs, it might be worth considering some alternatives to Shopify.

Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on if you value ease of use, customization options, analytics, or more can determine which platform might be the best fit.

TIP | The leading tools you need to start and grow your online business:

  • Bluehost: Get 70% off Bluehost web hosting, the most popular web host powering over 2 million websites and officially recommended by WordPress.

  • Shopify: The leading eCommerce platform to easily build your online store, used by over 1.75 million entrepreneurs worldwide.

  • Teachable: Sell online courses in your knowledge business.

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