Shopify Competitors & Alternatives (2020): Top 5 Alternative E-Commerce Platforms for Shopify

When looking for the best e-commerce platforms, Shopify definitely comes out among the top of the list. With its intuitive interface designed for selling online or dropshipping, new and experienced online retailers can build a store conveniently and efficiently. While it’s one of the highly-recommended platforms out there, you may find yourself looking for Shopify competitors and alternatives that can better cater to your business needs and resources.

We narrowed down the list of the top Shopify competitors and alternatives to the following e-commerce platforms (in no particular order): BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, Squarespace, and Ecwid. Whether you’re a growing business or only starting a new one with limited products and resources, these are solid Shopify alternatives.

Shopify Competitors & Alternatives Comparison Chart​​​

ModelBigCommerceWooCommerceMagentoSquarespaceEcwid
Bigcommerce logoshopify competitors & alternatives woocommerceshopify competitors & alternatives magentoshopify competitors & alternatives squarespaceshopify competitors & alternatives ecwid logo
Pricing PlansStarts at $29.95/month
Check Monthly Plans
Free Plugin
Check Bluehost WooCommerce hosting plans 
Free platform
Check SiteGround Magento hosting plans
Starts at $18/month
Check Monthly Plans
Starts at $0/month
Check Monthly Plans
Ideal ForGrowing businesses who want to scaleBusinesses that require full customization options and an SEO-friendly site (requires a WordPress account)Larger and B2B businesses that require extensive customizationBest for store owners who want beautiful, elegant themes at a lower costBest for new and smaller businesses with a more limited budget
HostingYesNoNoYesYes
SSL Certificate IncludedYesNoNoYesYes
Domain Name IncludedNoNoNoYes, free for the first yearNo
Staff AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited2 for the Personal plan, Unlimited for the restUp to 2 for Business, Unlimited for the Unlimited plan
Transaction fees for Third-Party Payment Gateways0%0%0%3% on the Business plan, 0% on the Commerce plans0%
Free Trial/Free Plan Free 15-day trialFree plugin, but requires hostingFree platform, but requires hostingFree 14-day trialFree plan for 10 products or fewer

BigCommerce

Best Shopify alternative for enterprise-level e-commerce stores or growing businesses who want better scalability

READ  Ecwid Vs WooCommerce (2020): Which E-Commerce Plugin Should You Choose?
bigcommerce shopify competitors & alternatives (2)
BigCommerce Essentials offer the basic features you need to get your online store up and running

BigCommerce is one of Shopify’s biggest competitors. They are both website-builders that offer robust e-commerce features to support the growing needs of businesses of all sizes. They host your online store for you so won’t have to deal with bandwidth and security issues.

From its lowest-tier Standard plan to its Pro plan, BigCommerce lets you open as many user accounts as you need. Shopify, on the other hand, offers very limited user accounts, starting at two for its Basic Shopify plan. In terms of ease-of-use, it’s hard to beat Shopify’s intuitive interface, but BigCommerce’s platform and page builders aren’t a whole lot more complicated.

Many online merchants want to shy away from Shopify’s transaction fees, and BigCommerce becomes an attractive Shopify alternative as it doesn’t charge any if you use leading payment gateways. However, do note that BigCommerce sets a cap on your annual maximum sales for every tier. For instance, if you’re subscribed to the $79.95/month Plus plan and your annual sales exceeded $180k USD, BigCommerce will automatically bump you up to its $299.95/month Pro plan. You can try BigCommerce for 15 days at no cost here.

Read our more in-depth comparison of Shopify and BigCommerce here.

Shopify vs BigCommerce Reddit Review

Here’s a helpful Reddit comment for e-commerce store owners considering BigCommerce as a Shopify alternative:

shopify competitors & alternatives bigcommerce reddit (1)

WooCommerce

Best Shopify alternative for e-commerce retailers who want full control over customization and have the resources/skills to do so

shopify competitors & alternatives woocommerce (2)
WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress sites 

While Shopify is one of the best platforms for beginner e-commerce sellers, some merchants find its customization option wanting. This is why WooCommerce, an open-source e-commerce platform for WordPress sites, is a great Shopify alternative. The customization possibilities are endless on WooCommerce, especially if you know how to code or have the budget to hire someone who can tweak your online store as you wish. WooCommerce sites also have a more SEO-friendly platform, thus increasing its chances of ranking on search engine results.

Another reason why WooCommerce is one of Shopify’s top competitors is it doesn’t charge any transaction fees if you use a third-party payment provider to collect payments. While WooCommerce is a free plugin that you can install to your WordPress site, it doesn’t mean it’s the more affordable option right away. You will need to find your own SSL and hosting provider for your e-commerce store as WooCommerce doesn’t come packaged with these, unlike Shopify. Check out Bluehost’s hosting plans for WordPress and WooCommerce here. 

READ  Shopify vs WooCommerce (2020): Which Is the Better Platform For Your Business?

Read our more in-depth comparison of Shopify and WooCommerce here.

Shopify vs WooCommerce Reddit Review

If you’re leaning towards WooCommerce as your chosen Shopify alternative, you might find these Reddit comments helpful:

Magento

Best for larger and B2B businesses that require extensive customization

Magento
Businesses with tens of thousands of orders each month tend to gravitate towards Magento

Similar to WooCommerce, Magento is an open-source platform that is a solid Shopify alternative for those who want full customization control. The difference between Magento and WooCommerce is your store doesn’t need a WordPress site to run on Magento. In addition, Magento’s Extension Marketplace boasts around 5,000 plugins that you can integrate into your store, more than double what the Shopify App store has. Magento’s powerful platform can support the complex requirements of rapidly-growing online stores and B2B businesses.

Magento is a free platform, but just like with WooCommerce, it requires knowledge in website coding and development as it’s not a website builder like Shopify. Hosting, SSL certificate, apps, and themes are among the factors you need to consider when budgeting for your Magento-powered e-commerce store as well. If you need to hire a web developer to design your ideal store to life, that won’t come cheap, too. For hosting providers, you can check out SiteGround’s Magento hosting plans here.

Read our more in-depth comparison of Shopify and Magento here.

Shopify vs Magento Reddit Review

While Magento can be a powerful Shopify alternative in terms of handling larger volumes of products, it requires consistent upkeep and is not apt for beginners. As this Reddit comment confirms

READ  Shopify Dropshipping (2020): Top Dropshipping Products, Suppliers, Tools, Themes, and More

magento reddit review

Squarespace

Best Shopify alternative for professional, elegant store layouts; offers great value for your money

Squarespace
Squarespace offers some of the most stunning store templates

Squarespace is one of Shopify’s biggest competitors, as this alternative offers beautiful, customizable storefronts at a lower cost. It is worth noting that its e-commerce features and plugins are not quite as powerful as Shopify’s yet, but Squarespace remains an excellent alternative for new or smaller businesses.

Just like Shopify, Squarespace is a website builder that will take care of the hosting and security for you. What it offers that Shopify lacks is a free domain name during your first year with Squarespace. For bigger savings on Squarespace’s monthly plans, sign up for its Business plan for a full year. From $26/month, the cost is reduced to $18/month. With the Squarespace Business plan, you can start selling unlimited products and gift cards, accept donations, get advanced analytics, and more. You can try Squarespace’s 14-day free trial here.

Read our more in-depth comparison of Shopify and Squarespace here.

Shopify vs Squarespace Reddit Review

If you’re a small business looking for a Shopify alternative, read this Reddit comment from a user who has used both Shopify and Squarespace:

shopify competitors & alternatives squarespace (3)

Ecwid

Best free alternative to Shopify

Ecwid homepage
Ecwid’s forever free plan is one of the top reasons why it’s a great Shopify alternative

This Shopify alternative goes beyond just offering a 14-day free trial. Ecwid lets you create an online store completely free as long as you have 10 products or fewer. Its perpetually-free plan already comes with the essential e-commerce features to start selling online and lets you promote your online store on major social media platforms. Of course, if you want more advanced features such as connecting a custom domain name or plugin installation, you can upgrade to Ecwid’s paid monthly plans that start at $15/month.

Powered by Amazon Web Services, Ecwid’s hosting and SSL certificate are free, even under its free plan. On top of that, you can easily integrate Ecwid to any of your existing sites so you can start selling in an instant. It works with WordPress, Adobe, Drupal, Wix, Joomla, and more. E-commerce stores that sell digital products will find Ecwid’s capacity of uploading up to 25GB per file a better alternative to Shopify’s 5GB/file. Try Ecwid for free here.

Read our more in-depth comparison of Shopify and Ecwid here.

Verdict

BigCommerce is the best Shopify competitor for larger/enterprise-level stores while Squarespace is the best Shopify alternative for smaller businesses.

BigCommerce

Best Shopify alternative for growing business and enterprise-level e-commerce stores

Bigcommerce: best for growing or larger businesses

Squarespace

Best Shopify alternative for smaller businesses

shopify competitors & alternatives squarespace (4)

The top Shopify competitors for larger businesses are BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento. Among these three Shopify alternatives, BigCommerce stands out. WooCommerce and Magento are open-source e-commerce platforms that require technical website building skills. BigCommerce, on the other hand, lets you scale your business and handle bigger volumes of products even if you don’t know how to code.

Meanwhile, Squarespace and Ecwid are the top Shopify competitors and alternatives for brand new or smaller businesses. Both e-commerce platforms don’t have the extensive e-commerce features that Shopify boasts, but they are enough to start selling your products online. Whether you’re in the creative space or not, you’ll like Squarespace’s stunning, professional-looking themes. Meanwhile, Ecwid lets you start selling online, promote on social media, and integrate Ecwid to your existing site at no cost.