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Shopify Alternatives Ranked for Ecommerce Stores in 2022

Shopify hosts over one million stores, making it a top choice for countless ecommerce professionals who need a quick way to build an efficient shop. But what if you don’t want to use Shopify?

It’s one of the most popular ecommerce platforms out there. Shopify hosts over one million stores, making it a top choice for countless ecommerce professionals who need a quick way to build an efficient shop.

But what if you don’t want to use Shopify?

Or what if you simply want to find out if there’s a Shopify alternative that might suit a specific need? Isn’t it better to learn ecommerce alternatives that might be free vs. paid? Built for enterprise-level commerce instead of focusing on small businesses?

Fortunately, you don’t have to scour the Internet in search of ecommerce platforms that serve as Shopify alternatives for small businesses. We’ve done it right here.

Shopify Alternative #1: WooCommerce

The low-down: WooCommerce is a free, open-source Shopify alternative popular with users of WordPress. In fact, it’s built for WordPress, which means that it caters to a very specific niche. 

That’s if you can call a content management system as big as WordPress a “niche.” WordPress has nearly two-thirds of the entire CMS world on lockdown. That means WooCommerce is popular, affordable, and accessible.

WooCommerce may not be your choice of ecommerce platform if you’re building from scratch. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, the idea of building a platform on top of a platform might sound more complicated than what it really is. 

But if you want a free platform for building an ecommerce presence as quickly and as cheaply as possible, there’s a reason so many people flock to WooCommerce. It works.

What you need to know: 

  • Open-source: It’s free to use, free to modify, and decentralized. The advantage is that it’s easy to start running yourself. The disadvantage is that you can’t exactly call up WooCommerce customer support and expect any help. If you have a glitch, you’re on your own.
  • WordPress-exclusive. As a WordPress plugin, it’s dependent on you already using a specific CMS, which may or may not be your cup of tea. But given WP’s popularity, we’ll hardly consider this a knock.
  • Best for content-heavy sites. If you want to host a blog and sell a little on the side, WooCommerce is a great bet. WooCommerce stays out of the way of your blog but makes it easy to handle upsells and cross-sells as if you’re a pro.

Shopify Alternative #2: BigCommerce

The low-down: BigCommerce is kind of what it sounds like: a big, meaty, robust option for getting a store set up from the moment you open your first account.

As a Shopify alternative, BigCommerce has some interesting quirks. It’s not going to be the rich source of add-ons and applications that the Shopify market can provide. Instead, it tends to give you the features you want as soon as you’re able to start them. That means less customization.

Their drag-and-drop designs are also robust, which means that BigCommerce might sound intimidating, but it’s actually user-friendly. For small businesses that want to create a unique ecommerce shop presence but don’t want a lot of hassle, the 24/7 customer support of BigCommerce—along with its platform—is a top way to go.

What you need to know: 

  • Pricing: It’s pretty great. Because BigCommerce doesn’t ask for transaction fees, it’s an out-of-the-box solution that you can start earning a profit with as soon as you sell enough products to meet your expenses.
  • Scaling. BigCommerce doesn’t require a lot of expensive “unlocking” for pricing tiers if you want to sell more products. If you already have a business and simply want to get it online, BigCommerce’s scaling features are a handy Shopify alternative.
  • Drag and drop. If design is an issue for you, BigCommerce’s drag-and-drop page building is a great way to start from scratch and still end up with professional results. Many people consider BigCommerce as an option for businesses with lofty goals, but it’s equally robust for businesses starting from the bottom up.

Shopify Alternative #3: Big Cartel

The low-down: Have something of a custom or craft shop and need to unleash that creativity on the world—while making some money doing so? You might consider Big Cartel as a valid Shopify alternative because it’s so great at taking unique products from creative types and turning them into viable stores.

One of the appeals of BigCartel is that you can set up a shop right away. With their free pricing tier, you can currently upload up to 5 products onto your store and still not have to give Big Cartel your credit card number. That makes it a great way to beta test any idea you may have without making a lengthy commitment of time and money.

Like many of the other options on this list, Big Cartel also makes it possible for you to digitize a physical shop, and vice versa. BigCommerce is great at that as well. In short, Big Cartel is an ideal platform for anyone with plenty of ideas of what to sell, but aren’t sure how they want to do it just yet.

What you need to know:

  • No credit card. Like WooCommerce, Big Cartel doesn’t necessarily require that you set up with a credit card to get started. As your store grows, however, you will need to upgrade to more advanced pricing tiers, which are still reasonably priced at $9.99 a month and $19.99 a month. People also love the flat monthly fee rather than charging on a per-item basis.
  • Artist-friendly. Here’s a unique thing about Big Cartel: they love the creative types. It’s an independent company that’s been helping artists sell since 2005. 
  • Limited. Big Cartel is great, and it’s an ideal starter for anyone who wants to sell their Etsy-esque crafts online. However, if you’re looking to build more of an ecommerce company, you may find Big Cartel’s features more limited compared to the other alternatives on this list.

Shopify Alternative #4: Magento

The low-down: Magento is for the big stores. If you have major ambitions, a large company, and a large customer base, Magento can be a powerful tool if you have a lot of products to sell, and you know that you’re going to have a lot of them selling. Otherwise, the open source approach can be a bit of an intimidator for new users and new companies; especially if you don’t have a development team to help you navigate its various nooks and crannies.

What you need to know:

  • It’s expensive. Compared to everything else on this list, Magento is easily the most expensive one, because it negotiates by individual enterprise. It has not monthly options for small shops
  • It’s extensive. If you want to scale fast, Magento is a great option, especially for larger “retail” style stores.
  • It’s open source. That means there isn’t the traditional “customer service” approach with Magento. So if you’re not confident in your abilities, you should feel free to move on to another option.

Shopify Alternative #5: Wix

The low-down: Wix is a combination page builder and online shopping platform, often designed for beginners who need to get their Internet presence up in a hurry. You shouldn’t expect the same robust features as Shopify and its marketplace of add-ons, but it’s still a viable alternative and great for testing new stores.

What you need to know:

  • Wix is for beginners mostly, but there are enterprise options if you have bigger ambitions. If you want to start off with something a little simpler and more affordable, Wix is a nice option.
  • Wix is helpful, knowing that you may be new to this. It features an extensive help center that makes it easy to get installed with your first products and have a store up and running in a hurry.

Shopify Alternative #6: Shift4Shop

The low-down: Formerly 3DCart, this unfamiliar name may not be so unfamiliar as you think. It features software for building your website, launching your shop, and includes multiple options for designing your website, such as editing the HTML/CSS directly, or accessing their marketplace of designers.

What you need to know:

  • It’s affordable. With a $0 enterprise fee, Shift4Shop is an immediate contender if your primary concern is start-up cost.
  • Free themes are included, which means that you should also consider this if you don’t have access to designers yet, but do want to get a store up and running and have it look professional without professional-quality time or labor.

Shopify Alternative #7: Ecwid

The low-down: If you’re really social, Ecwid can fit neatly into your following on social media networks. This makes it a nice Shopify alternative if you plan on leveraging an existing crowd of followers, but aren’t quite sure how you’re going to proceed with setting up a store.

What you need to know:

  • You’ll need to upgrade. There aren’t many free SEO features in the free plan, for example, so while it’s affordable, it’s also tightly controlled and you won’t be able to unlock greater features until you upgrade. Still, without any transaction fees, that might not be a top concern.
  • It’s easy to upgrade an existing site. Ecwid is ideal for people who are new to this and want to leverage an existing following, because you can easily migrate products to an existing website and get selling.

Shopify Alternative #8: SquareSpace

The low-down: SquareSpace is one of the best website builders if you want a website that really looks like a professional made it. However, its features in building out a store can be a bit tough; the content management system leaves a lot to be desired. Otherwise, if you want a professional-looking site, this is your go-to.

What you need to know:

  • It was created as a website builder. That should tell you a lot about SquareSpace. In recent years, they have tried to create a lot of additional features, but at its heart, it’s an offering like Wix.
  • Lack of tools. As a pure Shopify alternative, we have to keep it low on the list because it simply doesn’t have the features and tools that you would expect with Shopify.

Shopify Alternative #9: PinnacleCart

The low-down: This is a self-hosted platform, which means you can arrange everything you need through PinnacleCart. That’s a nice feature. But since the standard plan starts at $79/month, you might find it a bit pricey, especially considering the alternatives on this list.

What you need to know:

  • This is an all-in-one solution. It’s designed to be feature-rich and ready to go out of the box, just like BigCommerce. For some people, that makes for more simplicity along with the price tag.
  • Can be difficult to use. Some people believe PinnacleCart might not be as intuitive as Shopify, which can make it tricky for people who are both trying out ecommerce and a platform for the very first time.

Shopify Alternative #10: Weebly

The low-down: Like PinnacleCart, we’re looking at another all-in-one self-hosted platform here. And the pricing is even better than PinnacleCart’s. However, Weebly’s web design features leave a lot to be desired, which means that you will have to make some obvious aesthetic sacrifices to get your shop up and running.

What you need to know:

  • The price is right. With low pricing tiers and simply features, there’s a nice match between what you expect—and what you might expect to pay. There is a $30+ business plan if you need to expand.
  • Limited customization. There are plenty of Weebly themes you can choose from. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with limited customization features.

Shopify Alternative #11: OpenCart

The low-down: This open-source solution is more for experienced developers than anyone else, and because of that, it’s largely free, which is a nice change of pace. The robust features and possibilities make it very appealing if you have some development experience. Otherwise, you might find yourself lost.

What you need to know:

  • Plenty of extensions. The extensions here are often nice, easy to use, and easily integrate with your store to enhance ecommerce capabilities.
  • The dashboard is surprisingly easy to use. Even though this is an open source option, the central dashboard might be deceiving. It’s easy to use, which means that if you want to poke around, you always can.

When you’re building an online store, issues like ease of use might sound like they’re simple to understand. But you don’t know how a platform really is until you take on its more advanced features. Hopefully, this preview of online business platforms will let you know which popular platform is ideal for you. The best Shopify alternatives are easy to find; but getting that exact one that meets your needs can feel a bit more like finding a needle in a haystack. Hopefully, it’s not quite so bad once you know the low-down on each option.

Grow Blog
Erika Trujillo

Erika is Groove’s Customer Success Manager, committed to helping you find the right software solution for your business needs. She loves finding innovative ways for your support team to scale and grow, always putting the customer first. She also loves to run marathons and play softball in her spare time.

Read all of Erika's articles

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