We all did see the eCommerce wave coming.
Even if you’re a marketer, business owner, or entrepreneur, you are a customer of any brand.
When you buy your favorite brand of T-shirt, you expect it to be on time, without any faults, and you do expect their customer service to be always there for you.
eCommerce sales are projected to reach $7.4 trillion by 2025.
Not a big deal.
Tesla is one of the biggest companies using Shopify.
Still not a big deal? Right.
But recently, Shopify user outages were reported for the past 24 hours. This means the number of problem reports is higher than the typical volume on that day.
Now, this is a big deal.
When we talk about e-commerce, “Shopify” is the first name that pops up in our heads. But even the best eCommerce platform in the market can have downtimes where customers can get frustrated.
The truth is Shopify does change the way people see eCommerce, but that model is now twenty years old. Marketers do need to look into
- Consumer trends
- Unique brand positioning and personalization
- Site performance and speed to run a successful eCommerce business.
On this note, it’s time to look at some fresh options and see what’s works best for your eCommerce business.
In this blog, we will discuss 8 Shopify alternatives for your business.
Why may Shopify not be in favor of your business?
As per stats, Shopify has contributed to $319 billion in global economic activity.
So, before we discuss the alternatives, let’s discuss some of the reasons why Shopify is causing more issues than solving for your business.
1. High fee
Shopify charges extra transaction fees, especially the 2% for using Shopify payments.
Apart from their normal pricing, they also charge online credit card rates that range from 2.4% to 2.9% per transaction. In addition to this, Shopify can be expensive if you want to use premium features for your business.
For example: If you’re a shoe brand on a Shopify store. Firstly, Shopify will charge its random subscription cost.
Secondly, the platform takes a percentage of each sale, and if you’re not making enough sales to offset that, it can way into your profits.
2. Banned Products:
Shopify has banned a few products like tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and some adult content on its website. If you’re caught selling these products online, your account will be suspended since this is against Shopify’s terms of service.
There are a few more restricted items, like products related to living animals and foods, that require refrigerators.
3. No email hosting:
Shopify does not take care of your email hosting aspect. This is where it can be stressful since, for a successful business, you do need a server that can send and receive emails.
There are various email hosting platforms for Shopify, like Google workspace, Zoho mail, Name cheap, and FastMail. These hosting platforms include features like cloud storage and calendar sync, which Shopify doesn’t.
4. Difficult in many other forms:
Sometimes there can be other reasons that your Shopify store is not suiting your business needs.
There can be many reasons, like the UX design of your Shopify store, or you find their customer support is way too slow for your products.
The best part is that there are many options out there for the same that can help you find the best option that suits your e-commerce business.
5. Less control over your site SEO
When your store and website rely heavily on organic search, SEO becomes a huge part of your business.
You do want some extensive control over your website or store to optimize the URL of any product.
For example, Shopify doesn’t allow users to access and edit robot.txt files. This file tells Google how to index your site.
As store owners, we do need this information so that we can keep a check on the web pages you want to show up in the search engine results.
Features to look in a New eCommerce Platform:
Understanding the “Why” behind anything is essential. Now you know why you want to move to a new eCommerce platform, it’s time to learn about the features you should look for before choosing any new eCommerce platform.
This way, you can decide what features you need to solve all your previous business issues.
- Customization Opportunities
As per optimum, 74% of Gen Zers show an interest in personalized products.
If an eCommerce platform can allow your customers to decide on color, design, and customize their products as per their needs, then this can help you increase your profit margin.
Take the example of the Magento 2 Product Designer, this extension offers a web-to-print feature that allows customers to customize the product.
- Good Customer Service
This is a no-brainer, good customer service should always be on top of your mind. To provide great customer service, an eCommerce platform should offer the following:
- Variety of payment and delivery options
- Includes live chat, web chat, or direct help center
- Streamline your website for fast loading.
For example, the company Zappos, an online footwear and apparel company, set a world record with 10-hour, 29-minute customer service. This even caught the attention of Jimmy Fallon, who discussed this on his late-night talk show.
It’s important to choose an eCommerce platform that has SSL certification.
Since this helps to encrypt the data between your website and the user’s web browser- making it unreadable for everybody except you and the user, this is mandatory for all eCommerce websites under the payment card industry (PCI).
- Multiple Payment Options
Ensuring a familiar payment method is crucial. Stats suggest that almost 15% of users abandon websites during checkout because they don’t have familiar payment methods and they don’t feel safe giving their card details to it.
If your eCommerce platform has more than one payment method, it will be easy for your customers to checkout.
- Store Functionality
Your Shopify store needs analytics, reporting, and other features that can help you find the loopholes in your business and then correct them.
E-commerce platforms that have an executive dashboard with charts and statistics help you to keep a record of reports.
This often includes total sales amount, sales by order volume, best sellers, and most used discount vouchers.
Shopify Alternatives: Top Recommendations (2023)
Now that we understand what features you need in your new eCommerce platform, it’s time to talk about Shopify alternatives.
|Shopify competitors||Overall ratings||Starting price||Quality of support||Sales feature||Ease of use|
|Weebly||4.2||Free option available; $6 per month (if billed annually)||7.9||4.5||8.9|
Let’s discuss nine Shopify alternatives, their pros and cons, and the reason why you should pick them over Shopify.
This drag-and-drop website builder allows you to create and design a website for small businesses. Weebly offers a range of services and is an easy-to-use website builder with a wide range of themes and templates.
With 4.2 star ratings as per GQ, Weebly is flexible and affordable.
Pros and cons of Weebly:
- It has a great template selection. You can change your theme whenever you want with just a click of a button.
- It has an amazing user interface.
- With plenty of inbuilt tools and a large store app for extra functionality, Weebly is an affordable option over Shopify, starting with $6 per month billed annually.
- Weebly has a poor backup system which means if something goes wrong and you lose countless hours of work, you can do nothing about it.
- Customer service can be a little expensive. Weebly has customer support plans in which they only provide web chat or phone call services if you’re on a starter plan.
- Weebly does have outdated designs, its templates have limited design optimization.
BigCommerce is an open SaaS software platform. It’s an all-in-one solution that provides top-notch features like product management, order fulfillment, online payments, analytics, etc.
It is optimized to host stores with thousands of products.
- Professional, high-skilled technical 24*7 customer support
- You can save a lot of money since Big commerce doesn’t charge any transaction fee.
- Extremely reliable and flexible platform. Add as many product options and variants as you want; there is no limit, unlike Shopify.
- It doesn’t have any email marketing tools, you do need to pay for a third-party app.
- Their annual online sales have limits. This means you have to upgrade to a costlier monthly plan if you surpass those limits.
- Free templates aren’t as easy to change as they should be.
Fast spring is a digital eCommerce platform, an ideal tool for websites that aims to sell digital apps, products, software, and SaaS.
It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 as per the Get app. You can communicate with clients while keeping up with your security and privacy.
- The best thing about fast spring is that it has fixed-price selling. This helps consumers to focus on a one-time purchase price.
- It is easy to use, set up, and highly customizable.
- It provides various ways of payment, and lots of currencies are accepted on this platform.
- They have no desktop app, so this can be an issue for many businesses.
- Since they have 3rd party affiliate system, it can cost a lot for many businesses.
- Need to work a lot on the integrations part with web and eCommerce platforms.
It’s an eCommerce website platform owned by Adobe and written in PHP. It’s an open-source technology that provides flexible eCommerce solutions.
Magneto users have a strong list of features that helps in robust integration for your eCommerce store.
- It offers flexibility and third-party integration apps for customization.
- Magneto can handle the influx of sales. This means magneto can handle up to 500 thousand products.
- Equips you with more than 50 payment gateways
- Slow loading time as compared to other eCommerce platforms
- You do need a dedicated server to host Magneto.
- It can be relatively little expensive than other eCommerce development platforms
With a 4.4 stars rating, Miva is an eCommerce platform that helps you to manage the evolving eCommerce ecosystem.
You can manage your B2B & B2C sales, stock management, shipping, and returns from a single management interface.
- It has awesome features like a product catalog, listings, website integration, and customer service tools.
- Their pricing is reasonable and affordable.
- Provide full control over how you want to design your website with their quick-running templates.
- If you want to customize, it can be costly since customization requires the purchase of additional modules.
- Integrating any third-party app is expensive on this platform.
- If your customers or staff complain about the performance or uptime, they need developers to assist them.
This customizable open-source software built on WordPress provides small and mid-size businesses features to create professional-looking online stores.
They have thousands of tutorials and online resources that can help you with this.
- Great flexibility. You can sell any type of product, from furniture to downloadable products like novels and books.
- Add a backup that stores your data information in encrypted form. You can add a security plugin.
- With over 4.5 million woo commerce operating sites, there are thousands of members in the community that share guides and tutorials and help out each other in terms of crisis
- It’s more expensive than other alternatives in an eCommerce platform.
- Limited customization and lack of customer support.
- You cannot host or use it on sites that WordPress doesn’t host since it’s WordPress specific.
7. Pinnacle cart:
It’s a robust online platform that allows you to create and help businesses create, launch and manage custom websites.
You can sell products and services and connect with your target audience. It enables managers to manage payments, add and edit products, define shipping rules, and handle bulk orders.
- You have complete control over your store. Integrate your website with leading CRM, sales, and marketing tools.
- It helps you create visually appealing stores. They have mobile-friendly templates, and you also have access to several SEO-optimized and beautiful product pages.
- There are no transaction fees.
- Pinnacle cart does not offer a point-of-sale system to track inventory and sales for the users.
- With no HTML or CSS editor, customization is limited for your website.
- It has limited customer support, which can affect your customer satisfaction rate.
Ecwid, also known as ‘e-commerce Widget,’ is a platform that manages an online shop in the cloud.
It offers one of the easiest ways to connect a website, marketplace, social media, and online store all in one interface.
- It is fast and free, and its plans come with decent features.
- You can also take advantage of Ecwid’s POS functionality to put up an offline store.
- It offers numerous payment gateways.
- Limited customization options
- Doesn’t provide 100% translation into other languages
- The chat/phone customer support system is only available for premium subscribers.
Volusion is another great alternative to Shopify, and it is best for small business owners with fewer products to sell. It is already serving over 200K businesses and helping them grow. Its one-checkout feature is the best and offers convenience to your customers.
This platform offers you amazing features and extensions, so you won’t need any third-party integrations. The best part about Volusion is that it offers you everything you will need at an affordable cost.
- Volusion does not charge you any transaction fee and gives you everything to market your business.
- It gives you amazing editing & site building tools, in-built features for managing everything, and offers web hosting for free.
- The cheapest plan of Volusion starts at $35/month and allows you to sell up to 100 products from one store.
- If you are planning to sell digital products, then it will be difficult for you to set up your store on Volusion.
- No abandoned cart feature is available in the basic plan of Volusion.
- The marketing features of Volusion are not as good as Shopify and other eCommerce platforms.
The stats are taken from GQ and website builder expert
Conclusion: Shopify Alternatives (2023)
Just like any other e-commerce system, Shopify also has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Nevertheless, we cannot deny that the top-grossing companies on Shopify have annual revenues of $7 to $11 billion as per Statista.
Shopify has, for example, its cost factor and growing ecosystem and community outweigh its negative points. That being said, everything depends on your business needs and goals; for small businesses, Shopify can be expensive, but for medium-sized online stores, it can be essential.
In both cases, you can choose your favorite alternatives from above.
Choose the alternative that best suits your business needs, goals, and Budget.