Who Are Shopify’s Competitors

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 14 minute read

Thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises rely on Shopify as their primary e-commerce platform. But it’s hardly your only choice. As any business owner who has utilized Shopify’s services can attest, it is not the least expensive e-commerce platform available. 

Although pleased patrons may insist that you get what you paid for, thrifty entrepreneurs know they can’t afford to turn a blind eye to cheaper rivals. Check out these other e-commerce platforms before committing to Shopify, as they offer similar features while catering more to merchants.

Top Shopify Alternatives for Online Shopping

These are the best options available to you if you decide to look further than Shopify. While the vast majority of these services require businesses to pay for monthly subscriptions, there are a few that follow the freemium pricing model and are suitable for smaller stores without the need to pay any fees at all.

Keep in mind that the prices listed on eCommerce sites may not include all of the costs associated with your purchase. All of these alternatives to Shopify, unless otherwise specified, have standard security features like SSL certificates and standard inventory management tools.

But not all of them come with free domain names and hassle-free payment processing like Shopify Payments though an increasing number do. The quality of assistance offered to customers might also vary greatly between different platforms.

1. Volusion

  • Payment Options. All major U.S. credit card networks, PayPal, Stripe, and others;  contact Volusion for a complete list
  • Transaction Fees. None, but credit card processing fees still apply
  • Additional Fees. Various fees for optional one-off services (Quick Wins), such as Google Analytics training ($200) and image ad asset creation ($100)
  • Web Hosting. Hosted
  • Coding Required. No
  • Ideal For. Smaller businesses looking for a professional, customized look and third-party integrations

Plans and Costs

There are three different paid e-commerce plans offered by Volusion, in addition to the enterprise-level Prime solution. Every one of them has a free trial period of 14 days and allows you to store an unlimited number of items. 

If you pay your premiums every three months, you’ll save 10%:

  • Personal Plan. $29 per month. Personal supports phone and manual orders and integrates with drop-shipping solutions (direct shipments from the warehouse to the customer).
  • Professional Plan. $79 per month. Professional supports bulk ordering and orders processed through fulfillment centers.
  • Business Plan. $299 per month. Business customers get a dedicated customer success team, traffic growth consultation, and $150 in monthly Quick Wins credits.
  • Prime. Prime pricing is customized. Users enjoy real-time support via Slack and can add multiple administrators to their accounts.

Volusion doesn’t offer a free plan, however, the price of its most basic “Personal” plan is comparable to that of Shopify’s most affordable option. There is no need for any sort of coding expertise during the shop design process, making it accessible to even the most tech-averse and design-blind store owners. 

However, once stores are up and running, anecdotal feedback from Volusion users suggests that this e-commerce website isn’t particularly user-friendly. Volusion, like Shopify, has a significant edge over its rivals because it does not impose transaction fees on its customers.

There are no additional or hidden charges beyond the monthly membership fee, though Volusion does incentivize the use of its paid Quick Wins services by providing merchants on more expensive plans with monthly credits redeemable for the use of these tools.

2. SquareSpace

  • Payment Options. All major U.S. credit cards, Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, and others; contact SquareSpace for a complete list
  • Transaction Fees. 3% for Business plan users; none for Basic Commerce and Advanced Commerce plan users. Credit card processing fees still apply.
  • Additional Fees. Additional fees for domains and email accounts purchased through SquareSpace (not required as part of any membership plan)
  • Web Hosting. Hosted
  • Coding Required. No
  • Ideal For. Businesses of all sizes seeking all-in-one website builder and e-commerce solutions

Plans and Price

SquareSpace offers four distinct pricing tiers for e-commerce websites. There are annual payment discounts available for all three plans, with the Business plan offering the most savings at 30%.

  • Submit an annual payment of $120 to receive a monthly rate of $12 for personal use. A complimentary domain name, infinite space for your data, basic metrics on your site’s performance, and room for two authors (users).
  • If you pay for an entire year at once, your monthly cost will be $18 for your company. Supports an unlimited number of items and data transfer, in addition to specialized third-party apps like OpenTable.
  • With an annual subscription, Basic Commerce costs $26 per month. Benefit from an integrated checkout portal on your own domain (instead of SquareSpace’s) and limitless storage and bandwidth.
  • There is an annual payment plan for Advanced Commercial Services that costs $40 per month. Adds features such as recovering abandoned carts automatically and a subscription sales module to the standard plan.

In addition to being an e-commerce platform, SquareSpace also provides a full suite of website-related services for small and medium-sized enterprises. It’s used by many companies since it allows them to create high-quality websites for less money than would normally be spent on developers and designers.

SquareSpace stands out from the crowd with its aesthetically pleasing templates and simple, user-friendly interface that doesn’t require any coding. 

Its Business plan is substantially less expensive than Shopify’s bare bones Business plan, and its more expensive plans contain value-added features, like integrations with third-party cloud services like the OpenTable reservation engine, that many rivals lack.

Customers who use external payment processors are likewise exempt from transaction fees under the company’s Basic and Advanced Commerce plans.

SquareSpace’s Personal website builder plan starts at $12 per month, making it a great option for those on a tighter budget. At this pricing point, SquareSpace lacks more advanced e-commerce options, but it serves as a solid foundation for one-person businesses.

3. CoreCommerce

  • For a full list of accepted payment methods, including but not limited to all major U.S. credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and others, please contact CoreCommerce.
  • No matter your subscription price, all transactions will cost you 2.9% plus $0.30 in fees. CoreCommerce’s CorePayments Processing solution is the only one that incurs charges; fees for other gateways vary.
  • 0.5% plus $0.10 per transaction fee for payments not processed through CorePayments.
  • Create a website; As long as a semi-dedicated server is available, web hosting might function as a reasonable choice.
  • However, it must be coded: Coding help from CoreCommerce is not required but can be purchased if desired.
  • Great for both big and small businesses that need a flexible solution

Plans and Price

CoreCommerce offers five different pricing tiers. For further information, including details we were unable to present here, please visit our price page. Annual payments qualify for a 10% savings.

  • Merchant, please note that this is a free “teaser” plan created to entice new CoreCommerce customers. It provides unlimited services and features, just like more expensive subscriptions.
  • The first month’s payment is $29, and subsequent payments are $29. Avail yourself of unlimited storage for up to 10 things.
  • Money saving benefit; $79/month. There are 300 components, plus 30 minutes of setup assistance.
  • The cost for commercial use is $229 per month. Gets access to everything, the first 60 minutes of setup assistance, and 30 minutes of personalized content creation each month.
  • Costs can be negotiated on a per-business basis. Provides one hour of monthly time in addition to the initial onboarding hour for monthly custom programming.

To put it simply, CoreCommerce is built for massive expansion. Even while the most basic plan is geared toward one-man shops, the enterprise-level e-commerce capabilities of the most advanced plan are more than sufficient for even the most demanding operations. There is plenty of space for the rest of us in between.

CoreCommerce integrates with over a hundred of the most popular payment processors, shipping businesses, social networks, CRM programs, and more, and it also comes with dozens of free, unique designs.

Moreover, it offers larger degrees of customization than competing e-commerce solutions, allowing for more precise tuning. If you have developers on staff or the means to pay for a more expensive plan that includes monthly credit for programming support, this feature will be very appealing to you.

When compared to its rivals, CoreCommerce is more expensive. Your plan level is partially determined by the variety of products you sell; therefore, if you’re in business full-time, you’ll probably want to spring for the $79/month Pro plan. The term “feature-rich” doesn’t even begin to describe CoreCommerce, but you definitely get what you paid for.

4. BigCartel

  • Payment Options. All major U.S. credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, Square (in-person only), cash (in-person only)
  • Transaction Fees. Varies depending on the payment processor
  • Additional Fees. Possible listing fees for Gold plan users
  • Web Hosting. Hosted
  • Coding Required. No, but these codes are customizable
  • Ideal For. Lower-volume sellers in creative industries

Plans and Price

There are three affordable pricing tiers to choose from on BigCartel. Keep in mind that the Diamond plan has a cap of 500 products if you’re a heavy seller.

  • Gold is at no cost to you. Please only upload one image per product.
  • The platinum plan costs $9.99 a month. Supports up to five product photos per listing, along with features like bulk product editing.
  • In the Diamond tier, monthly fees start at $19.99. Including all the features and capabilities of the Platinum plan, this one lets you upload up to 500 products with five photos per product.

BigCartel is a shopping cart built specifically for artists and designers. Nearly one million active makers, designers, musicians, and other artists are among its consumers, which is astounding in such a turbulent field.

BigCartel caters specifically to smaller-scale vendors, such as artisans and artists selling items they’ve manufactured or those who have made them for them. BigCartel lacks the scalability element of its competitors and is not suitable for larger firms with a significant quantity of items because you cannot sell more than 500 unique products on the platform.

BigCartel includes many features that are available from its more expensive and high-traffic rivals. Individualized shop skins give your business a polished, unique appearance. If you upgrade to a paid plan, you can use a custom domain instead of in your marketing materials.

It gets better. The ability to make sales on the largest social media platform in the world is made possible with an integrated Facebook store. To top it all off, a mobile app allows you to accept orders and payments in person, which is a huge boon for creatives who make a lot of money at conventions, fairs, and festivals.

5. Shift4Shop

  • Payment Options. All major U.S. credit cards and more than 200 gateway options; contact Shift4Shop for a full list
  • Transaction Fees. None, but credit card processing and gateway fees may still apply
  • Additional Fees. Nonrequired a la carte services may cost extra, such as dropshipping support ($9.99 per month)
  • Web Hosting. Hosted
  • Coding Required. No
  • Ideal For. High-volume sellers and smaller sellers looking to scale

Plans and Price

There are four options available on Shift4Shop. There are no hidden fees for transactions when utilizing Shift4Shop’s integrated payment gateway, and all plans come with unlimited product counts, data transfer, and storage space (Shift4 Payments).

  • End-to-End Free of charge online shopping. This is the most extensive Shift4Shop plan, available solely to American businesses, and it allows for an infinite number of users and transactions. The caveat is that members of the plan are required to use Shift4 Payments, Shift4Shop’s own payment gateway.
  • The starting monthly fee is $29. The system can accommodate two authorized employees. There are also group specials, affiliate programs, and daily deals.
  • Add $80 each month to that. The maximum number of users on staff is five. A shopping cart saver, in-store credit, and a loyalty program are among the extras.
  • Upside your monthly payments will only be $229 if you pay for an entire year. 15 employees maximum. Notifications of package arrival and pre-orders are two extra features.

The premium e-commerce solution Shift4Shop (previously 3dcart) was developed with the help of ambitious merchants in mind. The cheapest paid plan costs around $30 per month, which is on par with Shopify; however, U.S.-based merchants can and should) take advantage of an ultra-premium free plan (End-to-End Ecommerce) that provides unlimited users and a large array of options with no monthly subscription.

You can expect great value from any Shift4Shop plan, as they all come with features like unlimited products and bandwidth, professional-level SEO, dozens of custom themes, in-depth logistical support, integrations with powerful programs like eBay and MailChimp, customer relationship management (CRM) support, customer reviews, tax and accounting support, and much more.

With over two hundred different payment gateways and a plethora of handy integrations (including eBay, MailChimp, Facebook, Google Customer Reviews, and more), Shift4Shop is designed for intelligent sellers that are committed to expanding their customer base.

6. Ecwid

  • Payment Options. U.S. credit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, and more; contact Ecwid for a full list
  • Transaction Fees. None, but processing fees may apply
  • Additional Fees. Nonrequired a la carte services may come with additional fees, such as online store setup ($100 and up)
  • Web Hosting. Hosted or self-hosted, depending on which plan you choose
  • Coding Required. No, but may be necessary to customize shops
  • Ideal For. Smaller businesses looking for a lightweight, turnkey solution

Plans and Price

Ecwid offers four different plans, the free one of which is really good. The free plan also has unlimited data transfer, as do all the others. Prices are reduced by about 17% if you pay for your plan annually.

  • The free tier allows for the sale of 10 products and integrates with any website.
  • When paid monthly, Venture charges $19.50. Features such as an abandoned cart feature to prevent the loss of a customer’s items, a mobile POS system, and coupons that may be used in-app are included. allow 100 items
  • For commercial use, the monthly fee is $29.17 if paid yearly. Features staff accounts and other high-end conveniences. 2,500 items are allowed.
  • When paid annually, the price drops to $82.50 per month for unlimited. Complete with limitless stores and all Ecwid features.

Ecwid is a lightweight e-commerce platform that is compatible with most website creation tools. If you already have a website, you can easily integrate a shopping cart with Ecwid’s plugin, or you can create a brand new store with Ecwid’s out-of-the-box Starter Site package, a one-page e-commerce portal with beautiful, professionally designed templates and an easy-to-use editor.

Ecwid can be used in conjunction with the social media platform, Facebook. Some of the most well-known online marketplaces, like eBay and Google Shopping, are included in the Business and Unlimited programs.

When compared to alternative online store builders, Ecwid lacks the flexibility that its competitors offer. Changing the CSS code of your theme is necessary if you want to make major visual adjustments. There may be a learning curve or cost associated with hiring a coder.

In a positive turn of events, Ecwid offers a functional free plan that allows for unlimited traffic, supports selling across many sites at once, and allows for the inclusion of up to 10 different items. The lack of sophisticated SEO (search engine optimization) tools in the free plan is a major issue for store owners who rely on organic traffic.

For most start-ups and small enterprises, Shopify’s Venture plan—which includes search engine optimization tools but costs less than half as much as the base plan when paid annually—is sufficient.

7. BigCommerce Essentials

  • Payment Options. U.S. credit cards, PayPal, Stripe, Square, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Adyen, and more than 200 others; contact BigCommerce for a complete list
  • Transaction Fees. None, but credit card processing fees may apply
  • Additional Fees. PayPal transactions may cost extra — up to 2.9% plus $0.30, depending on the plan
  • Web Hosting. Hosted
  • Coding Required. No
  • Ideal For. Growing businesses and established enterprises looking for a scalable e-commerce solution

Plans and Price

There are four different BigCommerce Essentials packages available. All have unrestricted access to everything from merchandise to staff accounts to file storage to bandwidth. If you pay for a year in advance, you can save 10% on either the Plus or Pro plan.

  • Monthly subscriptions at the standard rate of $29.95 are the norm. Features like one-page checkout, coupons, discounts, product ratings and reviews, and social network integration are all part of the package. On a TTM basis, this plan can accommodate sales of up to $50,000.
  • Seventy-nine dollars and ninety-five cents a month, yearly. Admits Sales of Up to $180,000 (TTM).
  • The annual payment plan costs just $299.50 per month, which is a definite pro. supports up to $400,000 in annual revenue (TTM).
  • BigCommerce provides enterprise-level customers with customizable pricing and a gross sales cap to meet their unique business requirements.

Instead of BigCommerce, which caters to already-established businesses, new ventures can take use of BigCommerce Essentials. BigCommerce Essentials simplifies the launch of an online store for small businesses by providing a plethora of free templates and a user-friendly editor that doesn’t call for any technical skills.

It also has an extensive network of partner apps; with just one click, you can add hundreds of time-saving programs like MailChimp and ShipStation to your system. BigCommerce Essentials stands out above other e-commerce systems because of its powerful backend support.

The BigCommerce Essentials bundle is more expensive than many of its rivals, but its features justify the additional cost. BigCommerce Essentials states that their Enterprise plan option is usually less expensive than Shopify’s equivalent options, so it’s worth considering if you’re already an established e-commerce company.

8. WooCommerce

  • WooCommerce accepts a wide variety of payment methods, including all major US credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Payments, Stripe, and many more.
  • Finance Charges. There are no costs, although there may be transaction fees associated with making a payment.
  • The Cost of Extras. Premium add-ons and themes can cost anywhere from $0 to $69, depending on the features you choose.
  • Self-Hosted Web Hosting (requires an existing WordPress website)
  • This Requires Coding. No, although it might be required to alter generic online shops.
  • Companies on the rise that want to avoid compromises in terms of scalability and flexibility in their solutions and are willing to put in the work required to build completely customized online stores will benefit

Plans and Price

While WooCommerce’s core Storefront product is available at no cost to users, the vast majority of add-ons, integrations, and extensions necessary to run a fully working online store come with a monthly or annual subscription or purchase costs.

In its own words, WooCommerce is the most flexible e-commerce platform for making money online. Although WooCommerce is not noticeably more adaptable than some other flexible competitors, the slogan does tell something about the company’s strategy: namely, that it is aiming to attract expanding businesses that need specialized e-commerce platforms.

It is estimated that about 28% of all online retailers are supported by WooCommerce, which has more than 30 million downloads. In particular, the fact that the most essential features are available at no cost will appeal to thrifty merchants.

With its user-friendliness and integrated blogging capabilities, WordPress is a great choice for any business looking to improve its content marketing strategy. A simple plugin download for WordPress is all that’s required to get going.

WooCommerce’s primary flaw is the rigidity of its default Storefront theme. It takes a lot of effort to find, download, and install the proper extensions for your Storefront in order to make the necessary changes.

Bottom Line

These are not the only options for small businesses looking for e-commerce software. Some of the most well-known names in online retail are conspicuously absent from this list. Yes, Amazon, I am addressing you. As do you, eBay.

These are omissions on purpose. There is a significant difference between selling on Amazon and eBay, the so-called “Big Two” of online retail, and any of the channels described below. Visit our post on 10 eBay selling techniques to enhance your profits if you believe the Big Two are a good fit for your needs.

I also forgot to bring up Etsy, the most popular online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods. Even if you also use a more generic online storefront to sell your wares, opening an Etsy shop will greatly expand your business’s exposure and customer base.

You have a firm grasp on what it is that your clients desire. Keep the needs of your potential customers in mind when you whittle down your options for online shopping.

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