The internet commerce sector is quite large and it continues to grow. The total sales amount is estimated to be around $4.9 billion in 2021. Creating an online store has never been such a fast and accessible process. The possibilities are huge – more and more people prefer to start an online business. In this case, they need to find a good platform that has all the necessary tools.
If you have anything to do with eCommerce, you must have heard lots of good and bad things about Shopify. Yes, it is by far the most popular eCommerce website builder. Over 800,000 merchants have already used it for creating their online stores. And the number of those who prefer Shopify over other eCommerce software platforms has been growing rapidly since 2004 when it was founded. But is it the only and irreplaceable one? What Shopify alternatives are on the market and how do they differ from this platform?
First, let's clear things up.
Shopify is an e-commerce platform that helps people create online stores and enables the online and offline buying and selling process. In simple words, Shopify works as a graphical user interface (GUI) website builder. You don't have to be a computer genius to use this platform.
1. Selling across multiple channels
The product integration feature comes in handy for increasing e-commerce profits. How does it work? You can sell Shopify products on your Facebook page, on Amazon, on Pinterest, on mobile apps (if you're a developer), and sell in person with the built-in POS system.
2. Convenient payment
First, Shopify has introduced Shopify Payments for US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore residents. With it, you can manage your store transactions on the Shopify platform, which naturally makes online payments much easier. Second, Shopify integrates with more than 100 payment services that specialize in currency conversion-a feature for those who don't have access to Shopify Payments.
3. Selling digital and physical goods
Shopify offers the ability to sell physical items followed by shipping through the mail and digital items that can be downloaded through online storage after payment.
4. Shopify is on a cloud-based network
What's the advantage? Unlike a server, the cloud network doesn't go down at the most inopportune time or on particularly busy days like Black Friday. Cloud networking allows your business to grow regardless of the day of the week or time of day.
Shopify comes with more than 50 templates, 10 of which are free. What's more, you can easily customize them to your taste by changing the color palette. More experienced developers use the platform's specialized "Liquid" language to make more substantial changes and make the brand stand out.
It is no secret that doing business involves not only profit but also costs. Let's be happy that Shopify has pricing plans for every budget.
7. Shopify Plus customization
This is a suggestion for old-timers in the business and e-commerce world. If you're a big business or company owner looking to improve and grow on a serious scale, Shopify Plus is designed for you. Among its features are advanced reporting features, prioritized customer support, high-volume order processing, and more.
8. Trial subscription
The last item on our list, but one of the first to prioritize. A free 14-day subscription will help the prospective customer determine the pros and cons of Shopify and try out the free apps.
Being the front-runner in the race of the best online store building platforms, Shopify is great, but not the only store building platform out there.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress that allows e-commerce based on the CMS. It is one of the most popular platforms for creating online stores, which has several advantages.
1. WooCommerce is a free plugin
With several standard features, WooCommerce is completely free and publicly available. It's strange, but it's the truth of the matter. You can install the website building platform with no minimum investment. However, if you want to expand the e-commerce functionality of your website, you need to install additional plugins, for which you will be charged extra.
2. Сonvenient payment
WooCommerce offers only two payment systems - PayPal and Stripe. However, as with Shopify, WooCommerce can integrate with different plugins that provide currency conversion and more than 100 payment methods.
3. Selling digital and physical goods
A feature that allows you to sell absolutely any digital and physical product item is common between WooCommerce and Shopify. However, it's worth noting that WooCommerce involves selling products exclusively on the online platform.
WooCommerce supports virtually all themes, but we recommend looking for e-commerce themes in Theme Store for high productivity and maximum customization. Among thousands of ready-made templates you can choose free or premium, the latter’s cost reaches $119.
Undoubtedly, it is very important to promote a website on the endless world wide web. To edit the content so that the site has a high chance of ranking for keywords helps function SEO. Because WooCommerce is based on the WordPress engine, it has more functionality for SEO than Shopify.
WooCommerce is a pretty sensible solution for startup entrepreneurs and experienced merchants alike. With a wide range of default options as well as the ability to install additional plugins, this platform deservedly ranks at the top of the eCommerce plugin hierarchy.
PrestaShop is another Shopify alternative. It is specialized open-source e-commerce engine. This platform allows you to create a business of any scale - from a small online store to a large-scale multifunctional commercial website.
1. PrestaShop is a free plugin
Like the two previous platforms, Shopify and WooCommerce, PrestaShop can be installed for free. For those for whom the standard list of options is not enough, there are also several add-ons that you will have to pay for.
PrestaShop provides special sections for SEO optimization. Among the wide range of options, you can choose both free and paid modules. By the way, the paid module can automatically fill in meta tags.
PrestaShop has a wide range of ready-made templates for websites. Both free and paid templates give the site an effect of completeness and look attractive. Since most of the themes are paid products, the price segment is not happy, because the average cost of the template is €60. The maximum cost is €400. A more serious issue is that working with PrestaShop templates requires a designation in HTML, CSS.
4. Integration with Google Analytics
This feature is designed to create statistics on the performance of the website. Thanks to the integration with Google Analytics the website owner can track the number of orders, the list of the most popular and least popular products, the effectiveness of advertising, as well as the dynamics of traffic.
PrestaShop is a powerful and reliable tool for creating e-commerce. Encrypting passwords and databases, SSL certificates, blocking frequent password retrieval attempts - just a few ways to support the highest level of protection against hacking.
6. Easy payment system
PrestaShop, having different payment systems, including LiqPay and Interkassa, as well as synchronous content translation and currency rate synchronization, is the optimal solution for international e-commerce.
Let's not argue that PrestaShop is relatively expensive. As a potential entrepreneur and someone with a command of HTML and CSS, PrestaShop is a great solution if you are willing to pay for quality. PrestaShop is feature-rich, professional, secure, and attractive.
OpenCart is another open-source e-commerce platform. OpenCart presents an exciting interface and many customizable options to help your website become easily recognizable and profitable.
1. OpenCart is a free plugin
The platform is technically free to install, just like the previous options. However, be prepared that there are several mandatory settings that you will have to pay for. Among them are hosting, domain name, security. Consider future costs right away!
2. Convenient payment
Opencart offers to use one of the 36 payment systems. Accepting payment with Interkassa guarantees buyers protection of their data and access to a wide range of payment solutions: payment with any Visa or MasterCard card, e-wallets, and payments via terminals.
The marketplace offers both free and premium templates for Opencart. Pay attention to the fact that buying a premium theme once at an average cost of $20 to $100, you can apply it to several sites at once. Isn't it a saving?
4. Affiliate marketing
This is an e-commerce tool that promotes your site online. What is the point? An affiliate receives a reward for a client, visitor, or sale made through their efforts.
5. Selling across multiple channels
Like many online e-commerce tools like WooCommerce and Shopify, OpenCart allows you to integrate with social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to sell more online. You can connect to Amazon and eBay, and small businesses can also easily find a better position online with access to SEO and marketing tools.
OpenCart, as another Shopify alternative and representative of open source platforms, has great functionality for running and promoting an online business. It can allow you to immerse yourself in the process of coding and building a website with your efforts.
And if you're a true Shopify fan, you really need a list of the best free templates. Be unique with Shopify's website building tools. Watch the video and improve your online business!
Now that we have covered the top alternatives to Shopify, you might think that it is time to pick the winner. Each eCommerce software solution has some advantages and some downsides, so we would recommend using this post as a guide. The first task of this comparison was to help you to get acquainted with possible eCommerce items related to Shopify.
|Selling via multiple channels||+||-||-||+|
|Digital and physical goods||+||+||+||+|
|Templates (free\ premium)||+||+||+||+|
|Online & Offline||+||Online||Online||Online|
|Managing||Closed platform||Open Source||Open Source||Open Source|
|Hosting||+||For a fee||For a fee||For a fee|
|Certificate SSL||+||+ (As usual for a fee)||For a fee||For a fee|
|Knowledge of HTML, CSS||-||-||+||+|
Given that now you have all the necessary information about each Shopify alternative, you can make your choice based on what you need more: cheaper pricing options, a more comprehensive feature set, attractive and responsive themes, etc.
Yes, Shopify is a big fish in the sea of eCommerce platforms, but this doesn't mean that Shopify is right for everyone. We think that you might be one of those people for whom the cons of Shopify can outweigh the pros. That’s exactly when basic knowledge about Shopify competitors can come in handy.
This template is great if you sell furniture. Here are some features of this product:
There are many other features as well. All of them will make your store easy to manage and use. Moreover, all the elements are optimized – the page won’t take much time to load. The template is mobile devices friendly.
Here’s a nice template if you sell beverages. This template has such features as:
There are many other features as well. This template is high-performance. The design is fully responsive.
If you work with something related to solar energy, then you will like the Helios template. Here are some features of this template:
There are many other features like the blog section, slideshow, testimonials, etc.
If you sell accessories then you will like this template. The features of this template are:
There are many other features that make your store work fast and look amazing.
This New Skin template is great for cosmetics stores. The features of this template include:
This template has many additional features as well. This template is a combination of the attractive style, ergonomic and high performance.
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